5 frames with...

5 Frames with an Olympus OM2-N and Ilford HP5+ at EI1600 – By Marius Balayn

May 3, 2020

The Olympus OM2n is an SLR camera that was given to me by a member of my girlfriend’s family. I’ve found this to be one of the nice aspects of film photography, when talking about this hobby, it’s quite often that someone proposes to give me an old family camera, in fact so much so that I have to limit myself in order to shoot and not being submerged by all this photographic equipment. Gear addiction, gear addiction…

Back to the Olympus, it is a compact and discreet camera which makes it perfect to put in my bag when attending all sorts of events. The possibility of removing the flash socket makes it even smaller and not very imposing for the people I’m photographing. In fact, I always use it with the flash socket removed.

The camera was given to me with a very nice 28mm Zuiko lens, which I find interesting for landscape photography. I completed it with a 50mm f1.8 Zuiko lens to feel closer to people I take photos of. Indeed, street photography is my favorite type of photography, I find it to be the most emotional and interesting – though, I also enjoy all other types of photography, from landscapes to abstract.

As a beginner on photographic matters, I didn’t feel confident enough to be very close to people with the 28mm. To this day, the 50mm is the focal length that works for me. I also find it advantageous that 50mm lenses as they usually have larger maximum apertures, with f/1.8 50mm lenses being very common with great optical quality. The 50mm f/1.8 Zuiko lenses are nice and can be acquired for less than 50 euros, shipping included – as such, makes for a good and cheap investment for these cameras!

When my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to join her in a local event for French municipal elections, the Olympus was the camera of choice. The integrated light meter and f/1.8 aperture were very useful for this shooting situation.

The organizers of the event invited a blues band to create entertainment for the evening. I asked them if I could take their picture and offered to share my photos with them if they wanted some publicity. I’m glad they accepted.

The film I chose was the last roll of Ilford HP5 Plus I had in my closet. I pushed it to 1600 and developed it with Rodinal with the semi-stand dev method. In the end the photos are grainy but I was able to manage it in lightroom. It’s probably not the best photos of a band ever made but it was my first project on this subject and I had a wonderful evening listening to blues, shooting pictures and listening to ecological projects for a small city.


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