Tuesday, 19 November 2019

New Ilford Ortho Plus 80 - first (visual) impression

I wanted to try this new film from the first day when it was announced. For a few reasons -  the look of photographs exposed on orthochromatic films, its abilities and finally the fact that it will be available locally at last... as most of Ilford films.
Last Saturday it arrived to the shop where I always buy all photographic materials. It was afternoon, just about 40 minutes before closing time. Too late when I got this information and I had no choice but waiting until the end of the weekend. The longest weekend ever...


Monday morning. Finally! Kids in school. I am on my bicycle heading to John Gunn Camera Shop. 8.58am John with his usual wonderful smile opened the door to let me in. 
I took out Rollei, packed into my bag the evening before, and loaded fresh roll of new Ilford Ortho Plus 80. 
Ready to shoot. Beautiful, sunny morning. And very cold.

I decided to go through parks where morning light was doing its magic. I have two on my way home... could also jump into third one but 12 shots (usually too much) in such situation is not enough. Two parks were OK then. I also wanted to expose a few frames on the street photographing buildings, my usual subject.
Done.  A few minutes after 10am I was back at home with roll ready for processing. And then surprise... I completely forgot to check processing data sheet. There was no XTol, my usual developer on the list or anything else I have at home at the moment...like Rodinal Spezial (R09 Spezial).
The only Ilford developer I was using from time to time was Perceptol but stock I had here was already out of date. After extensive online research I was back to square one.
I decided to call on John Gunn camera shop for Perceptol. Unfortunately out of stock but got an advice instead - 4min in Rodinal Spezial can be the way to go. 
OK. It had to be done fast as that was the plan for the day and the clock was ticking.
In my small bottle of Rodinal there was only 20ml left. I needed almost 32ml. 
As this film can be processed under deep red safelight there was an option of processing by inspection. Not this time. It would be too time consuming and too risky considering the fact that I had some images on the roll which I wanted to get processed correctly. 
Maybe I should photograph flower pot next time while testing film. It would be much easier ;)
Back to online research...  
Got it! 
One short sentence at the end of one of many forum's discussion.  
Ilford Ortho Plus exposed at ISO 80... Xtol, 1:1, 9.45min, 20C. 
Quite old 'conversation' and based on large format negative version.
Had to trust this guy.

And I did...

© Artur Sikora
© Artur Sikora
© Artur Sikora
© Artur Sikora
© Artur Sikora

My thoughts? I love this film. Sure it's not for everyone and not for every application but it is orthochromatic film. Film designed for specific usage. And it works great for that purpose. Landscape, streetscape or architecture... (besides copy and reproduction of course) 
It's a very sharp, fine grain film with beautiful contrast. What strikes me the most, however, is its dynamic range. I have never experienced it with any other film I was using before. I know, it's my first ortho film so I can't compoare. At the same time, I was using wide range of Ilford, Kodak and Fuji films for over a decade and this material is impressive.
The way how beautifully it renders foliage... 
I definitely should use a camera on a tripod and with closed aperture but this time I really wanted to try it out as fast as possible and with no hassle. 
All photographs were exposed using Rolleiflex T - ISO 80, f8 (except one with f3.5) and 1/60s - 1/125s, handheld with yellow filter. Then all was scanned on Epson V850 Pro using Silverfast Ai Studio software.
Apologise to anyone who expected here very technical information. It's purely visual opinion based on my experience and preferences.
One thing is certain - there will be many people who will enjoy this film for sure. 
I am one of them.

For all specs and data please check Ilford website HERE

Thank you!

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