35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 Film (2)

35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 Film

(Part 2)

Matthew Osborne Photography

35mm Ilford FP4+ 125 film was the first film I ever tried, in my late Grandfathers 35mm Yashica MG-1 back in 2012.  FP4+ film has a classic grain structure and negatives often have a vintage low contrast grainy appearance.  I find the grainy appearance of FP4+ and Kodak Tri-X 400 can sometimes be too much for my female portraits shot on 35mm film so I wanted to try to minimize grain when developing.

I bought 3 rolls of 35mm FP4+ last year to try it again (vs the Kodak T-Max 100 film I used mostly in 2013-2014) and last weekend I decided to load a roll in my 1950s Leica M3, with Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens at f1.  I developed the FP4+ film at box speed in 1:100 Rodinal, semi stand developed for 45 minute at 21 degrees.  Negatives were scanned with my new Epson v800 scanner at 2400dpi using an Epson v600 35mm film insert (placed on the v800 glass).  Please see the results below.  I think this film has a lot of character and it is up there with my favourites.

Leica M3 + 35mm Ilford FP4 plus

Studio Shoot - Film

35mm Ilford FP4+ film - M3 & Noctilux

Leica Noctilux + Ilford FP4+ film

Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal 1:100

Ilford FP4+ & Leica M3 / Noctilux

Here is some of my early film days photography with Ilford FP4+ 125, both 120 and 135 formats – Part 1

Ilford Black & White Film

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Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 (1981)
MatthewOsbornePhotography – Leica Photographer

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0

After getting the chance to try a new Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 lens during a London Photography Workshop a few weeks back I was excited for the arrival of my older Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0. I purchased the mint condition vintage Leica lens on eBay from ‘longmilan84’ (Long) who it based in Milan, Italy. Despite the worry of the high value purchase the transaction all went very smoothly and the lens arrived as described. Many thanks Long!

Leica Noctilux 50f1.0 for wedding photography?

I ordered the Nocti lens to arrive in time for a wedding booking last weekend. I used the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 for wedding photography and was really pleased with the results. It is well documented that the f1.0 lens is much softer wide open the compared to the newer 50mm f0.95 but I was hoping to use this effect to my advantage. I relied on Leica m mount lenses I knew for the most part of the day (CV 35/1.2 ASPH + Leica Lux ASPH 50/1.4) but did use the Nocti at the end of the day and for arty ‘B roll’ style detail shots. Once I was confident with the results from the Noctilux for wedding photos I asked my next wedding couple in advance if I can use this lens for their wedding and they said yes! Great news! I now hope to use the Nocti as much as possible on the wedding day shot wide open throughout.

Here are some Noctilux wedding photo examples, all shot wide open at f1.0 on a Leica M9
Leica Noctilux Wedding
Noctilux Bokeh
Leica Nocitlux Bokeh
Leica Food Photography
Noctilux DOF
Leica Noctilux Bokeh
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 Sharpness
Leica Look
Leica Nocti Wedding
Leica Noctilux Low Light

(I will share a separate blog post for the full wedding highlights including more Nocti photos)

Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 for Leica Studio Photography?
Yesterday I was teaching a photography and lighting workshop again in my Coventry studio giving photography tuition on how to use available light for portrait photography. Holly kindly modelled for me and here are a few samples of me using the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 in the studio shot wide open on a Leica M9 camera body.
Leica Noctilux f1
Leica Noctilux Portrait

Did I like using the Nocti 50f1 in the studio?
I found I kept wanting to get closer than 1m to my model to give a tighter crop. The 50f1 will not focus closer than 1m so at times changed lenses to my Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 that will focus as close as 0.7m. Here is a sample image using the Lux ASPH 50 as a comparison (on the M9) –
Leica Portrait

Initial thoughts.
I am very happy with the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 purchase and I do not have the desire to upgrade to the newer f0.95. The Noctilux f0.95 gives a similar look to that from the Summilux ASPH 50 f1.4 but has the same drawback as the f1.0 in that you can only focus as close as 1m. If Leica released a new Noctilux with 0.7m focus distance I would be there in an instant! ..after robbing a bank en route! (joke – as I imagine it would be very expensive!)

I have not yet had chance to do a dedicated model / fashion photography shoot with the Leica Nocti as I have been teaching photography much more in recent weeks. That said, as soon as I do I will share the results. I am also really looking forward to all the Leica weddings booked for the year as I hope to sell them the Leica Noctilux look as I have for the next wedding. Wedding photography is no different to any of my other photography genre. If I can’t get excited when taking the photos I will not enjoy it and then I would stop doing it. The Leica Noctilux photos make the ordinary look extraordinary and that is what I want others to benefit from too.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Wedding Photographer, Coventry

Related Links

> Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 (pre-arrival hype) – https://mrleica.com/leica-noctilux-50/

> Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95 (model photography workshop examples)

Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95

> Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 (as a comparison)

Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

> Coventry Wedding Photographer /Leica Wedding Photography – http://matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Leica-Wedding-Photographer-UK.html

> Photography and Lighting Workshop / Portrait Photography Courses
http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Photography-Courses.html