Holme 1940s day – Pentax 6×7 and some HP5

Many will know, if they have heard me wittering on the Lensless Podcast or elsewhere on line that HP5+ has been, and remains my main “go-to” emulsion for 120 film.

I have developed HP5 in many soups over the years but these days I mostly use ID11 1+1 for 9.5 mins or so and this yields a nice print on my Meopta Magnifax enlarger around grade 3 on its colour head.

In October Julie and I went to a 1940s day in Holme, a village a few miles from our home. I tend to keep things simple on days out so this trip I had already decided to take the Pentax 6×7 loaded with some HP5 which I rate at 250 for “normal” photography. I have rated it at 1600 and love the results when developed in DDX.

I took just one lens the Pentax 105mm f2.4 “Super-Multi-Coated” so not the latest ones which I think were SMC branded, anyway mine has the big metal focusing and aperture rings. One lens because my intention was to shoot at least 2 or three “portraits of strangers” and the combination of the 6×7 format, waist level finder at that Takumar lens are a tried and tested combo with HP5+.

All the images below are darkroom prints made on Ilford MGRC Pearl paper


Wandering through Holme village I spotted this gentleman and was immediately drawn to his vintage 1940s Voigtlander TLR, so we chatted and I asked him to pose for me. In all these situations I take their names and addresses and send them a print in the post. Graham was very pleased with his and sent me a thankyou note.


A bit further on there were military vehicles moving across an open field and I saw this man with his kids, a shallow depth of field set on the camera and a lovely moment captured. I’m sure he would love this image but I do not have his details.


Moving through the many stalls selling vintage clothing I was immediately drawn to this lady who was selling hand painted vases, when she had finished chatting with customers I asked if I could photograph her, I sent her a print too.

Finally I homed in on some detail that caught my eye, the “in the mood” image was on the back of a chap’s leather jacket. I spoke to him, moved him into favourable light and made the exposure.

All in all a great day out with a much loved camera, lens and film combo – plus I got to send prints to people I met.

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