Tag Archives: Ilford Hp5+

Fujica ST605N {Two Rolls In}

This could be subtitled “I got my mirror self-portrait mojo back”

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am trying to get back into shooting m42 cameras/lenses. In the aforementioned blog about my Praktica MTL 5, I told of a “jumpy” meter needle that didn’t make me feel very secure about its readings and said I’d actually bought another m42 body after shooting that roll with the MTL 5. The second m42 body I bought was a Fujica ST605N.

Just as with the MTL 5, there isn’t much to say about the features on the ST605N. They’re both pretty basic cameras. The film speed selector goes from to 25-3200 ASA. Shutter speeds are 1/700s – 1/2s, plus bulb. However on my Fujica, the slowest two speeds, 1/4s and 1/2s are inaccurate. This is no big deal, as I very rarely use those shutter speeds anyway. One of the Fujica’s selling points for me was the fact that it takes batteries that are much easier to find than what the Praktica takes. Battery availability is one of the main reasons I bought this camera.

Shutter speed dial on top, with shutter speeds from 1/700s – 1/2s, plus B. Film speed selection is within the shutter speed dial.

It’s not lightweight, but I do like how much more compact the Fujica is compared to the Praktica.

This is kind of a strange thing to like, but I really like the little button that activates the meter/stops the lens down! Most other cameras of this ilk have a lever (as the MTL 5 does) that you press to turn the meter on. I like both the way the round button on the Fujica looks and the way it feels. It’s pleasant, I guess.

Little round meter activation button

Another thing I like is that the Fujica has a shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder. I don’t believe I’ve ever had an m42 body that’s had that feature, but it’s pretty handy and reminds me a bit of my beloved Nikon FE’s viewfinder.

Now, to the photos. As I always say, camera bodies are just vehicles for lenses and lenses are the thing that determine image quality. But inaccurate shutter speeds or a faulty meter can ruin photos taken with even the best lens. So when I am testing a “new” camera body, I’m really testing the shutter speeds and the meter (where applicable.) The Fujica’s meter seems just fine! I was shooting some of my expired Kodak High Definition 400, so I dialed in a film speed that was a little slower than 400 to help compensate for potential stop loss of the expired film.

Roll #1 was Kodak High Definition 400, expired in 2011

Chevy Camaro, Hennessy edition in the auction bay at work. I heard a really interesting story while I was taking these photos that maybe I’ll tell you one of these days. 

Me in the beauty shop the day Rachel gave me “fancy hair”

“The new Sunday dinner” – we stop and get Popeye’s, and I get a biscuit and an ear of corn. I use agave nectar instead of the “honey sauce” (it’s not honey) that Popeye’s gives you for the biscuits. 

Hope you aren’t tired of Wyatt’s photos yet!

Sunday dress


There were already way too many photos of my new favorite book on my Instagram feed, but here’s another one!

Afternoon coffee and readin’ The Scarlet Letter

Roll #2 was Ilford HP5 Plus (and outshines the color roll IMHO)

Chevelle at work

Coffee out on my aunt’s deck in Texas

Some shots using a macro extension tube on the Fujinon lens

Some sweet little champagne coupes I got at Goodwill recently

Sundress days

Memorial Day at Huddle House


“The day my Vans arrived”

Vans mirror self-portrait


Eureka theatre, Batesville, MS (color images taken that same day in Batesville, coming soon)

Photos taken with Fujica ST605N, mostly with a Fujinon 55mm/1.8 lens, though a few were with a Sears 28mm/2.8 lens


I really like this Fujica! I have had so many different m42 cameras over the years, and this is definitely one of my favorites. And I’m still likin’ my Fujinon 55mm/1.8. I wish I’d not gone through the frustration and cost of having a Praktica with a weird meter before getting the ST605N, but “God bless the broken road that led me straight to you” 😉

“Something Extraordinary”

The subject of today’s post is the time my niece (aged 12 at the moment) was wanting to do some paid modeling work ( 😉 ) for me last month. She was getting excited, asking me how much I might possibly pay her to be my model. She wanted to know what the MAX amount I might pay her for this session. In sort of a teasing manner, I said “Oh, well, if you want over x amount of dollars, it’d have to be something extraordinary.” She wanted to know what constituted “extraordinary.” Just for grins and giggles, I suggested maybe if she’d wear the tiara from her graduation ceremony at church last year (a sparkly tiara being something she would NOT want to be caught dead in under normal circumstances,) I would consider that extraordinary and would give her a higher “modeling fee.”

She ran into her room and grabbed the box which had been housing the tiara since she had been required to wear it for the ceremony at church last year. I guarantee you she hadn’t given that thing a second thought until the day of our photo shoot. I told her to put it on, so I could see if I really did like the idea of photographing her in it. She popped it on her head and sat down next to me to start figuring out ideas for the photo shoot. I was laughing SO HARD (on the inside – didn’t want her to think I was making fun of her) because she would pitch an idea, look over her glasses at me with a twinkle in her eyes, and say “Would that be ‘extraordinary’??” This went on for quite awhile, between pitching ideas and fee negotiations. Eventually, AM said “What if I were holding my bo staff* and had the tiara on??” She thought that combo would be worth a high sum. A tough princess vibe for the shoot? What was really making me laugh was the fact that she was running around with the tiara on her head the whole time that we were trying to figure out the details of the photo shoot – much longer than would have been required to wear it in the photos. I was thinking, “Girl, don’t you realize you’re wearing that tiara for free while you’re running around trying to plan these photos??”


Yashica-Mat • Ilford HP5 Plus
(+ the Impossible Project gold frame shot with my Polaroid SX-70 Sonar)

And you know what? After all that planning, I just took 12 photos with my Yashica TLR (well, and the Polaroid one at the top of the post.) There were only a few I really liked enough to show off.  But I just think so fondly of this session because of the planning portion when my niece had that glimmer in her eyes, trying to think of something extraordinary for the photos. ♥♥♥
*Don’t worry, internet, my niece doesn’t really have a bo staff. It’s a broom handle that has tape on it in strategic places, that she and my dad made to go with a Halloween costume a couple of years ago.

{Forgotten Frames} Black and White Edition

I’ve had quite a few “forgotten frames” experiences in recent years. As a result of these experiences, I do not even hesitate  to take film in for processing if I find a roll in a drawer, in a packed up box, etc., even if that roll could very well be blank.

That’s what happened with the photos I am sharing today. I found film in a drawer in my parents’ bathroom, which is the room where I used to process black and white film. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed the roll prior to this, but I decided to take it to the photo lab the next time I stopped in. It was a roll of Ilford HP5+. I knew I hadn’t shot that type of film in years, and I estimated that 2007 would have been the last time I’d had any of it at my parents’ house. That’s all I had to go on when I took the roll for processing. I told the photo lab that the roll could be blank but asked them to go ahead and process it anyway.

When I picked the film up and saw that it wasn’t a blank roll, I was a very happy girl! I squinted at the negatives before getting home to look at the disc of scanned photos and found that I was right about the film’s approximate age. Judging from my niece’s age in the photos and a couple of other context clues, I figured the film must have been taken in December 2006 or January 2007. I cannot, however, discern which camera I used for this roll of film!

From a day at the park with my niece. I LOVE these! You can’t see her face clearly in any of them, so they just feel like little vignettes or impressions of a child playing at a park. She was only 5 when these were taken!

The only thing I can gather is that this roll of film was not taken with an SLR. Very possible that I used the Olympus XA3 I had at the time. Some of them just LOOK “zone focused”  (a method where you have to guess the distance between the camera and whatever it is you’re photographing.)

Mikey and Meredith at IHOP, probably after we’d seen some bands play

Food Not Bombs. Typically how I spent my Saturdays at that time.

A BBQ restaurant in my town

Here’s what I mean when I say that the photos were probably not taken with an SLR. Though I don’t even see how I would think this photo would be in focus  when I took it (and this photo is one way I placed the time period when this film was exposed, since I had color versions from the same day.)

By comparison, this is a color version of the same photo, taken with a Yashica TL Electro-X (an SLR.)

I tried to do some sleuthing by looking closely at the photos that were taken of windows (like the BBQ restaurant or the elephant one) in case my reflection were visible and I could catch a glimpse of the camera being used. No such luck though! It will remain a mystery.

Film: Ilford HP5+, film expired by the time it was developed in November 2013. Camera: Unknown.