Retro mono

It’s time for another sidestep into film photography. Some months ago my vintage Olympus-35 EC was loaded up with an Ilford HP5 400 black and white film. On various occasions it’s been slipped into my pocket and taken on walks around London and beyond.

Finally the roll came back from the developers, spiced with the old-fashioned magic of wondering what the results were – and not quite remembering taking some of them. At least this time there were no misfires or focusing disasters.

My first impression wasn’t as dazzling as the first colour film, which was rich and sparkling, defying all expectations for a 46-year-old camera. Unsurprisingly monochrome is far more subtle and creates an entirely different mood. The contrast is decent but benefited from a minimal, careful amount of post-processing. The grain appears strong and consistent, adding atmosphere and authenticity – far removed from the smoothness of digital.

Any impressions or thoughts will be much appreciated…

Click first image to view this set

Olympus-35 ECGallery entrance

22 thoughts on “Retro mono

  1. There’s a lovely graininess about the images; you may seem uncertain, but they certainly work for me! (Although your photographs are very reminiscent of my great aunt – pointing and shooting at family gatherings, once in a while we’d be lucky enough to get something other than the top of our head in them… ;) )


  2. Those old Olympus compacts have fantastic lenses. Going to be using the Trip 35 and the 35RC a lot over the coming months. A great set, sir!


    • Thank you Zorkimeister! I wasn’t sure about the amount of grain but adjusted after the flat clarity of digital. Next move is to run some other types of film. Any suggestions?… And looking forward to seeing your Olympus results.


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