If you click on a link and make a purchase, Shoot It With Film may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Of course it means a new film to try, but in a digital world where the relevance of film is generally becoming less and less, the release of new films is an encouraging sign! It took me a while to get my hands on it I had to get my local film shop to special order it , but I finally got out and shot a couple rolls of the film in my Hasselblad. Here are a few thoughts!
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Stupid Hamish, crap conclusion, I actually love it! That point never came though… perhaps because of my now overly-documented grumpiness… What instead happened was a short email from Michelle at Ilford asking if I might like to try a couple of rolls of Ilford Ortho Plus. With nothing to lose, of course I agreed. A week or so later I had a plan to visit Paul from Analogue Wonderland.
We were going to meet, have a bit of a chat on camera for my very slow burning YouTube channel and then go and take a few photos nearby.
By the time we got to the area he wanted to go shooting it was raining, cloudy and very cold. Because I was freezing and actually shivering a fair amount, a lot of the photos were shot wide open. I mentioned this to really highlight the point that the aesthetic of the outcome really was as much, if not more of a product of circumstance than creative desire. In fact, walking around in the freezing cold, I was a little concerned that I was wasting the film on what would be largely out of focus or motion-blurry photos.
It really was that cold and hard to concentrate… As it turned out, the combination of wide open shooting, the tonality and sharpness of the film and the crap English weather would all add up to something a lot more special than I expected. Me and Paul actually joked a fair bit as we walked around about how we were just taking facsimiles of millions of other photos of lone trees and the like.
Spurred on by this success I decided I would shoot the roll of 35mm whilst out on a photo walk I organised in Worcester a few weeks later. This lens vignettes a bit, though I had a good feeling this might add something to the look of the images from this film — especially when shooting the industrial estate I had in mind. I had both rolls developed by Duncan at SilverPan Film lab — I just went with his advice for the development process.
He tells me they were developed in Perceptol for 8. Only a couple of adjustments to the horizon and a slight crop to couple of the frames of and some very slight adjustments to contrast on the 35mm roll mainly to combat my lackadaisical exposure.
As such, these images should fairly strongly indicative of what you can expect from this film. The ISO80 film speed is a little bit of a limitation of course, but the gains in terms of the lack of grain and sharpness seem quite evident to me. With a little bit more thought, I could see myself getting into this film for landscape work. Sometime last year I started compiling some of my favourite bleak landscape images on my website in a bid to inspire me to capture more similar shots.
I often tweak my black and white images in this direction anyway, so having something that works like this naturally might work really well for me.
But as I say, this is just gut response from two rolls, I have a way to go yet before properly getting to grips with. Ilford supplied the film for this post, and Duncan is doing an excellent job at developing the film I shoot as well as giving me useful and insightful feedback — this being a service he offers to all of his customers.
They stock Ilford Ortho Plus, but also supply something like other films making the website interesting to explore as well as purchase from.
35mm BW Film Ilford Ortho Plus (1 Roll)
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Ortho Plus - New Films From Ilford!
35mm BW Film Ilford Ortho Plus (1 Roll)
5 Frames… With ILFORD ORTHO PLUS (EI 80 / 120 format / Rolleiflex 2.8F) – by Matt Parry