As you might know I recently tried out a new roll of black and white 35mm film. I decided to try out the Ilford HP5 plus since many photographers seemed to like it. I also haven’t looked up any images made with the film beforehand since I wanted it to be a surprise.
I shoot the film with my Zenit-E camera and a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 lens.
I love this camera and lens combo. The camera was manufactured in USSR in the 80s and it is very robust. It has no electronics inside and it works like new. Combined with the Helios lens which is just gorgeous and really sharp (as you can see in the image bellow) it truly makes for a fantastic combo.
This was one of the first images I shoot on this film. We were drinking coffee with a friend of mine in the city and as usually many birds came to the table looking for food. I shot this image around f4 since the sun was already getting low. Looking at the image now I would have probably shoot it a bit differently to keep more of the background in focus.
Regardless of that I was pleasantly surprised with the sharpness on the bird. Looking at his feathers up close you can really see just how sharp the Helios lens is. Seeing all the little details in his feathers and fur, alongside with the detail on his head and the beak it really is amazing especially since it is magnified from the original image.
On the image above we can also see quite some grain which in my opinion only adds to the image. It is noticable enough to give the image a special feel and yet not strong enough to distract the viewer. The grain alongside with the beautiful soft contrast between the lights and the darks and the ability to magnify the image quite a lot makes the Ilford HP5 one of my new favorite films to shoot.