At the start of the year I finally resorted to clearing out my camera cupboard.  There was a drawer in there that has all sorts of rubbish in it.  UV filters, strap attachments, a few cable releases, all that kind of stuff.  Every photographer has at least one drawer like that.  If you ever need an obscure battery, ask a photographer.  They’ll have 2 or 3 in that drawer! The sort of stuff that we keep because ‘It might come in useful some day’.   At the back of the cupboard, I found a Pentax Espio 120 compact camera.  Casting my mind back, I remembered that back in the day, it was  pretty handy camera to always carry round, although it was just a little thick to qualify for pocket status. I even found a spare battery for it, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I had a roll of Ilford XP2 Super that was past its use by date, so, without thinking how I was going to process it, I loaded that up.  It was January.  Who knew there was going to be a global pandemic that meant that I wouldn’t be able to process it when I needed to. (Edit:  That was an unintentional pun.  W.H.O. did actually know! )

So, after using the roll up on a couple of walks with the dog last week, I needed to see if the camera was still working before I shot anything important with it.

A quick look at The Massive Dev Chart confirmed what I suspected.  That XP2 could be processed in B&W chemistry.   I double checked with the fine hive mind of The Film Shooter’s Collective, many of whom confirmed the process and here we are.  Posting the photographs.  I will say in advance, that the subject matter isn’t all that exciting – sorry about that..


The camera seems to work.  It did have a mark on the rear lens element that seems to have appeared on every shot that was light at the top of the frame, skies etc. but I touched that out in photoshop.  I’ve had a look and seem to have been able to clean that off now for the next roll.

As for processing XP2 in ID-11, it worked as an emergency measure, and it seems like there’s virtually no grain when compared to other 400 speed films.  I’m not sure whether the process offered anything over using a dedicated B&W film.  Grain size appears to be roughly akin to Ilford Delta 400 / Kodak TMax.


Camera: Pentax Espio 120Mi.

Film: Ilford XP2 Super 400.

Process: Ilford ID-11, Stock Concentration, 14 mins at 22 degrees.

Have a good Easter weekend people & stay well.

More Images…

If you’re at a bit of a loose end while you’re locked in over Easter Weekend,  check out some of my Personal Project Work