In Liverpool with an old Nettar Folder and some HP5 at 1600

I have had this camera for around 20 years, used it occasionally and was always pleased with the results it gave.


It wasn’t till I bought the lovely little “watameter” rangefinder that the Nettar gained its full creative potential. This particular rangefinder has screw adjustments for the rangefinder to bring it into calibration which is an important consideration when buying these old things from the bay. So far it seems pretty accurate.

Now I have been using Ilford’s HP5 for years but in general I shoot it at 320 and develop it in ID11 1+1 for 9.5 mins.  Negatives print well on grade 2-3.  But I had seen some excellent results from folk out there using HP5 at 1600 so I thought I would give it a go and develop in DDX developer 1+4 for 13 mins.

Julie and I were in Liverpool for the weekend, dropping our daughter off at University so we made plans to meet up with a few mates for a wander around the Open Eye Gallery and to take a few pics.

The next morning Julie and I wandered around the streets where our Daughter’s accommodation is and I used the rest of the roll up.

Here are the results, pretty much straight scans. I will give my thoughts at the end.

Docks #1

Docks #2

Streets #6

Docks #5

Streets #1

Streets #2

Streets #5

Streets #3

Streets #4

Docks #3.jpg

Docks #4.jpg

So, what do I think.

Well, not tried printing these yet but I cant see any issues. The first thing I would say is shadow detail has been well retained which reinforces the reputation that HP5 has for being an extremely flexible film. Grain is visible in places but I quite like the effect.

Up till now I have only ever shot Delta 3200 at 1600 and I love the results, maybe they have the edge on HP5 but I will reserve judgement till Ive shot more.

I think the 13min dev time can be cut by 10% to help control contrast and highlight detail but overall I’m really pleased to have a film that I can rate at 250 – 1600 and get great results.



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