5 Frames… On the Buffalo River with ILFORD HP5 PLUS (35mm Format / EI 400 / Nikon EM + Nikon Series E 50mm F/1.8) – by Chase Taylor

Written by and published on

Having been a Boy Scout for the majority of my life, I have spent a lot of time looking for a capable and lightweight SLR to take camping, hiking, and in this case canoeing. In this article, I have opted to refrain from talking about ILFORD HP5 PLUS extensively, but I will say that it fit the utilitarian requirements of my setup. I would recommend it to anyone considering shooting black and white.

ILFORD HP5 PLUS is my go-to for black and white film, but I don’t have much to say about it that hasn’t been said countless times before. After just a few weeks of searching, I saw a really nice looking Nikon EM at a local camera shop, and it certainly fit the bill. What’s more, it was cheap.


My Nikon EM + Nikon Series E 50mm F/1.8, Chase Taylor

The camera has no mirror lock-up (MLU). There are no manual functions. There is no aperture / depth of field preview, but that’s what I love about the EM. It’s simple. When I bought the camera it came with this little 50mm lens that I have absolutely fallen in love with. This combination made the camera feel almost like a point and shoot with a ton of lens options. I was confident that this was the perfect camera to take on my troop’s next outing, canoeing on the buffalo river.

The night before the canoe trip I carefully wrapped my new camera in a hand towel and stuffed it and one roll of HP5 PLUS in a dry bag to be clipped onto the canoe. I will admit that I was a bit nervous bringing my new to me Nikon EM camera out on the open water, but I set out on the Buffalo River the next day with 17 miles and 36 shots ahead of me.

Here’s a little tip to those of you who decide you want to try canoe photography yourself, load your film on solid ground. Loading film in the rain in a canoe is less than ideal. Another thing I didn’t account for was the immense effect of the rocking of the canoe on the shake of the camera. I had several overly blurry shots because I used shutter speeds around 1/60 of a second according to one of the most fundamental of photography rules.

While this roll only produced a few keepers, I am quite proud of it. When I inevitably find myself out on the river again, you can count on me carrying my trusty little Nikon EM with me.

~ Chase

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.


Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.


More related reading

MY Minolta X-700 + MD f/3.5 Macro Lens), Kathleen E. Johnson

5 Frames (+1)… Of beautiful B&W flowers on ILFORD HP5 PLUS (35mm Format / EI 400 / Minolta X-700 + MD 50mm f/3.5 Macro Lens) – by Kathleen E. Johnson

I believe that we don’t give enough consideration to photographing flowers in black and white. Last year I ventured into the garden with my Minolta ... Read more5 Frames (+1)… Of beautiful B&W flowers on ILFORD HP5 PLUS (35mm Format / EI 400 / Minolta X-700 + MD 50mm f/3.5 Macro Lens) – by Kathleen…
Previous

Add to Queue: Interviewing Steve O’Nions

5 Frames… From a Hasselblad XPan at Lake Aloha on Kodak Portra 800 (35mm Format / EI 800) – by Brian Fulda

Next

4 thoughts on “5 Frames… On the Buffalo River with ILFORD HP5 PLUS (35mm Format / EI 400 / Nikon EM + Nikon Series E 50mm F/1.8) – by Chase Taylor”

  1. From my failing memory, I think the Nikon EM was a budget model designed to bring new photographers into the Nikon fold (all main stream manufacturers did the same with budget models) I think the EM was actually made by Ricoh to keep the costs down, a good basic camera that did what it was designed to do.

    Reply
  2. I may have missed it in your posting (I read it twice), but it would have added to your posting to tell the readers where the river is located. I assume you were on the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas.

    Reply

Join the discussion