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.