Harmon films – Ilford HP5 Plus (1)

Well, I got through this roll quicker than expected, and despite continued issues with the LC-A. Alhamdulillah, I’m able to get this out quicker than I expected.

Similar to the experience I had during the Kentmere 400 test, I had to open the back of the LC-A up and re-wind the roll, then shoot through to where I thought I stopped. Due to the issues I had during the World Wide Photo Walk (winding the screw bit on the bottom round and round, but never finding a point where it would reset the shutter), I had no idea where I stopped exposing, but I figured it was around frame 15. So I shot half the roll into the dark bag, said “Bismillah,” and went for it.

Alhamdulillah, I ended up with no double exposures and only 3 blank frames in the middle of the roll.

I had a bit of a snafu with the scanning and should probably re-scan this batch: I used some settings I found on a piece of scratch paper to set the flash power and aperture, but it was a bit too dim, like 3 stops too dim, and I expect that the grain I’m seeing is partially due to the underexposure during scanning, rather than the film. If I make the time in the next day or two, I’ll do that, but I’m mostly happy with these as-is.

Anyway, I shot a variety of scenes, sorta: shade, sun, indoors, out, morning, midday, evening, etc. And in most cases, the HP5+ performed admirably.

Here’a s shot through my brother-in-law’s front windows at about 1 in the afternoon.

So there are definitely black blacks and white whites in there, and at 100%, the grain is fairly well controlled (and what’s there is more pronounced due to the 3 stops of exposure I had to pull out of the scans), and everything remained nice and sharp. You can even see the detail in the molding below the windows and the pattern in the scrim.

And out on the softball field just before sunset, there’s plenty of detail, but you can see a hint of bromide drag, maybe, that could be due to a) the lack of a prewash (I totally forgot about the prewash, poured the developer in instead of temperate water, and then had to juggle the times for developing, stopping, and fixing) and/or b) maybe the “cocktail swirl” agitation method was a bit insufficient.

I like how that super-bright light bled outside of the frame.

Only with film.

Anyway. That bromide drag (if that is, in fact, what it is) was slightly more apparent on other frames, but only if pushed the digital torture processing a bit too far.

After I got back from the World Wide Photo Walk disaster, I fixed the LC-A and Hana and I went for a walk this morning that gave me the opportunity to shoot through the rest of the roll.

I tried to shoot some of the people out exercising, and I did manage some decent hip shots with straight horizons plumb lines, but I was a bit eager on the trigger and missed. God willing I’ll get more confident and just use my eyes to frame shots instead of taking it easy.

I did shoot the trees though, and some signs and whatnot, and you can flip through the gallery (including some of my favorites from the WWPW) below, but first, my favorite and some final thoughts.

There are little exercise stations at various points along the trail, and Hana and I stopped to check a couple of them out.

Fun!

So… HP5+ vs Kentmere 400… Given proper exposure, development, and scanning, I think there’s little difference between them. The HP5+ might have a bit more dynamic range, and the grain might be a little more well controlled, but without more testing, I’m not sure that it’s really worth the extra buck and a half or so.

So that wraps up the first round of Harmon film tests. I don’t know when I’ll get around to shooting the second round, but stay tuned.

 

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