Monday, 19 April 2021

The F2 is Complete, and a Return to PanF+


Nikon F2a, 105/2.5 AI-S, Ilford PanF+ stand developed in Rodinal 1:100

I was able to pick up a DP-11 metering head for my erstwhile-headless F2 last week, which gives me a fully functional F2a (the 'a' indicates the DP-11 configuration). That's basically the same setup I had with my original F2a, but a much older body as my original one was 79 production and my current body dates to 1973, the DP-11 is a few years newer.

I immediately shot up the last of the test roll in the body, only to discover that like an idiot I'd loaded it last fall with Superia X-Tra 400 rather than the HP5+ I'd thought I had put in the body. Double oops, as that old expired HP5+ is something I've been shooting at EI 125 (a 2/3rds of a stop pull from the EI200 I often use with HP5+. Luckily C-41 should handle ~2 stops of overexposure OK. 

At least now I actually have a box tag in the memo holder so I can document what's actually loaded.

As soon as I'd polished off the last of the Superia, I loaded some PanF+, and this is the first image from that roll. I missed focus, it's back focused, but I do like the shot overall. It reminds me why I love PanF+, it's gorgeous tonality, minimal grain even in stand-developed Rodinal and so easy to work with if you can deal with the low speed.

The F2a is pretty much how I remember. A brick, but a delightful one to work with. it's so nice to have a real manual, mechanical SLR again, there's just a joy in shooting with these bodies that's hard to duplicate in more electronics-infested bodies. 

This does remind me, so often I've prioritized bodies over anything else, but I really do have almost everything I really need right now in terms of bodies. I'm going to make a concerted effort to quit buying more bodies, with 2 exceptions. Those being a proper MF SLR (probably an RB67) and maybe another E-M1 Mark II to use with that 12-40 I just can't bring myself to sell. 

If I add gear, aside from those two specific items, the gear needs to be lenses or accessories. And I want to actively try to hold onto every body I currently own for minimum one year.

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