Ilford, the stronghold of analogue photography for the last 140 years, continues to demonstrate its dedication to innovation in the field. After an extensive teaser campaign across the manufacturer’s social channels, Ilford introduced the following new products:
- Ilford Ortho Plus 80 – the original Ilford Ortho Plus copy film emulsion, previously available only in sheet form, now in 35mm and 120 format
- Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe – next generation resin coated photographic paper
- 35mm Harman Camera – Ilford’s take on a cheap and cheerful point and shoot camera, comes bundled with two rolls of Kentmere 400
- Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit – an all-in-one kit for film development
While no groundbreaking products are to be found in this announcement, it’s nice to see that a company like Ilford is actively targeting new film users out there. So let’s have a closer look:
Ilford Ortho Plus
Perhaps the most exciting of those is the Ortho Plus 80. While not a brand new emulsion as we all hoped, it does provide a bit more choice in the black and white range of the British manufacturer. The only difference between the sheet variation of Ortho Plus and the new roll options is the base, which is to be expected. The 35mm and 120 are coated on a triacetate base while the sheet Ortho Plus is polyester based.
This release might be connected to the growing popularity of Arista’s Ortho Litho film, albeit the emulsions are quite different. More and more photographers are getting involved with experimental processes, and these previously exclusively technical emulsions are finding their way in the creative market. With suitable subject matter, the fine grain and high sharpness of copy films can produce amazing results.
Key selling point of the Ortho Plus is the possibility to work with the film under a standard deep red safelight. This greatly simplifies handling of the film in the darkroom and loading it into processing tanks. It also allows the film to be developed by inspection, introducing a great deal of control into the process. Finally, the ability to work under a safelight also enables the film to be used in all sorts of experimental cameras where loading might not be straightforward.
This is what Ilford says about the film:
ILFORD ORTHO PLUS is an orthochromatic black and white film. Designed as a high-resolution copy film for negatives, ORTHO PLUS offers superb photographic potential thanks to its fine grain and sharpness.
Ideally suited for landscape photography, the blue and green sensitivity of this emulsion enables the film to be handled in deep red* safelight conditions making processing and inspection easier.
Its lack of red sensitivity also means that reds and oranges in your frame are rendered darker with stronger contrast than standard panchromatic films (all other ILFORD and Kentmere films are panchromatic).
ILFORD ORTHO PLUS is DX coded for ISO 80 for daylight / natural light shooting. For tungsten work a manual ISO setting of 40 should be used. Alternatively, a 1 stop exposure correction can be made. Whether shooting at ISO 80 or 40, it can be processed as standard. Development times can be found in the technical data sheet or on the inside of the film cartons.
*Please do not use with an amber safelight as this can cause fogging.
Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe
The new paper, Ilford Multigrade RC Deluxe, is the manufacturer’s fifth generation of resin coated multigrade darkroom paper. An update to the popular Multigrade IV RC range introduced 25 years ago, the new paper incorporates all the latest advancements in emulsion technology.
The paper comes in all of Ilford’s standard formats and surfaces, and is available with both warmtone and cooltone emulsions. Notable features are the slightly warmer base tint and improved sensometric curve. Resin coated papers are notoriously less susceptible to toning, and Ilford claims to have improved the Multigrade V RC toning response.
Here’s what Ilford has to say:
ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC DELUXE is the 5th generation of the world’s most popular range of black & white photo papers and utilises the latest emulsion technology. This paper is the perfect choice for beginners, students and darkroom pro’s delivering a full tonal range and exceptiomal image quality throughout its wide contrast range of grades 00-5.
It is now easier than ever to get stunning darkroom prints whether you are new to the darkroom and creating straight prints from your negatives, or are a more experienced printer looking for full creatuve control.
Additionally, these papers offer excellent toning properties giving those who want to experiment or learn toning an alternative starting option to our fibre based papers.
Compared to ILFORD MULTIGRADE IV RC DELUXE – what you need to know
Since the launch of the world’s first variable contrast MULTIGRADE paper back in 1940, ILFORD has maintained a long and proud tradition of quality. Launched 25 years after generation 4, this 5th generation paper continues to build on the defining features of its predecessors.
Key differences: Generation 5 has a slightly warmer base tint, better blacks for greater depth, improved mid-grade spacing and a smoother sensometric curve providing more uniform contrast throughout thetonal range.
ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC DELUXE is available in glossy, pearl and satin surfaces and a variety of sheet and roll sizes. ILFORD MULTIGRADE RC PAPERS are also available in Cooltone and Warmtone variants.
35mm Harman Camera
The new Harman Reusable Camera builds upon the popularity of the single use HP5+ and XP2 black and white cameras of the company. It comes bundled with two rolls of Kentmere 400 film and features a built-in flash. The camera is ready to shoot out of the box, with a battery and strap included. It’s an all-in-one package to introduce new users to film photography. It is ideally paired with the last product of Ilford’s new announcement, the Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit.
Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit
Again, targeted directly to new film users, the Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit has a pretty accurate name. The kit contains all the necessary tools and chemical to process 35mm or 120 black and white films. The tank is able to accommodate two 35mm rolls or one 120 roll at a time.
Users might find the kit a little lacking for chemicals. It only contains one Ilford Simplicity Film Starter Pack, which, according to Ilford is good for just two 35mm films. Therefore, a purchase of the Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit is probably best combined with some more chemicals. If you want to keep the consistency, you might want to know that the Simplicity Film Starter Pack contains sachels of ILFOSOL 3 film developer, ILFOSTOP stop bath, Rapid Fixer and ILFOTOL film wetting agent.
In details, Ilford + Paterson Film Processing Starter Kit contains the following:
- 1 x ILFORD 35mm Film Cassette Opener
- 1 x ILFORD Simplicity Film Starter Pack (containing developer, stop bath, fixer and wetting agent)
- 1 x Paterson Universal Film Tank
- 2 x Paterson Super System 4 Reels
- 3 x Paterson 600ml Graduates
- 1 x Paterson Thermometer
- 1 x Paterson Stirrer
- 2 x Paterson set of 2 film clips