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Run from the Darkness! Please Avoid Using Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso) Without a Flash!

Sorry about the dark article! Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso) is a film best used under good lighting conditions. It may be better to use a flash on rainy days with this film!

I chose a rainy day to shoot photos with fellow Lomographers. I brought a Diana loaded with Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso.) West Hollywood had deserted streets during the rain. The streets had many subjects to photograph. The sky was overcast. The light was neither dark nor too light. The Diana I had was set for shooting on cloudy days. The Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso) would have created better photos if I had brought a flash for the Diana.

The Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso) had many dark photos. A flash would have been a better option when using this film. The rain was a negative factor for photography. I feel that the film should have been able to function better. Multiple-exposure photos were attempted by me using the Diana. Most of my multiple-exposure photos did not get developed due to bad lighting. I attempted self-portraits with the Diana. None of my self-portraits were able to get developed. I made an effort to shoot photos of flowers and random objects I saw while walking around. Most of my photos did not get developed as a result of the darkness.

I was able to seek the help of fellow Lomographers in using the Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso.) My fellow Lomographers were able to shoot portraits of me at a distance of 2 meters (7 feet away.) The portrait photos were taken near an intersection, so perhaps some lights from passing cars had an effect. The portrait photos were the most clear photos that were developed from my roll of Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso.)

This article was written as a means of avoiding future mistakes with Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso.) Flash should be used whenever possible. The 400 iso may function best with a flash. In the future, I would use Ilford XP2 (120, 400 iso) with as much light as possible.

written by glenn

5 comments

  1. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    In low light, I would pretend that it was rated at 1600 ASA and then process it with a two stop push. If you have someone else process it for you, just ask them to push it two stops. The other Ilford films I've tried can EASILY handle a two stop push and look great.

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  2. alex34

    alex34

    If I may suggest, the issue here is really with the camera, not the film. Cameras with a limited range of shutter speeds are inherently prone to producing erratic results under less than perfect lighting conditions, regardless of the film. Therefore the fastest way to getting better results (with any film) in low light conditions is to learn how to use a more sophisticated camera-SLR, rangefinder, TLR, the choice is yours, the Russian camera section of the Lomo site has plenty on sale. There is on the other hand no point expecting ANY film, however good or bad, to somehow 'rescue' a camera with an extremely limited range of shutter speeds from making erratic quality or underlit shots.

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  3. superlighter

    superlighter

    agree with @alex34 I wasted a lot of 120 film this way!

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  4. glenn

    THANK YOU FOR THE NOTES! KEEP SHARING TECHNIQUES ON WORKING WITH THIS FILM!

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  5. gvelasco

    gvelasco

    The Diana F+ has four apertures - f/22, f/16, f/11, and f/150. She has one fixed shutter speed, 1/60", plus "B". If you operate the shutter twice on "N" that will give you a total exposure of 1/30". If operate the shutter as quickly as possible on "B" that will give you a shutter speed of about 1/15". If you operate the shutter as quickly as possible twice on "B" that will give you a total exposure of about 1/7". Of course, you can use "B" for even longer exposures, but you can use the above trick to give you very consistent exposures.

    The combination of apertures and shutter speeds already gives you a fairly wide rang of exposure values, but you can combine that with pushing and pulling film, especially black and white, to easily handle even more lighting conditions. I a meter would have indicated that he needed an exposure value two stops higher than f/11 at 1/60" with his 400 ASA film, then he could have simply done a two stop push.

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