Tasting Athens

Athens belongs to everyone, yet is it hard to fully understand it, let alone capture its essence if you only spend two half-days of an ordinary October. My last business trip has been quite full and this time I did not have the time to squeeze my agenda to enjoy a city I’ve been wanting to discover for so long; with just the afternoon of my arrival and the morning of my flight back home, I decided to pack light and carry just the Nikon FM2n with the 85mm and the 50mm. It was the perfect occasion to challenge my street photography skills with a film camera and, while I knew that the weather was sunny and shining, I opted for two black & white rolls, a Kodak TMAX 400 and an Ilford HP5+, both pushed at 1600 as the development times are identical in DD-X 1:4.

The first thing I did was (for once) what the tourists usually do: I went to the Acropolis…but I did not take a single photo there. I started snapping pictures at the Acropolis museum though, and continued at the near Plaka area. The pictures came out pretty nice, and TMAX confirmed itself as a perfect option to enter film photography with a controlled and stable approach. The grain is very well rendered considered the 2 stops push and the shadows are rich and rarely pitch black.

Technical info: Nikon FM2n > Nikkor AF-D 85mm f1.8 > Kodak TMAX 400 pushed 2 stops > Ilford DD-X 1:4, 12m at 21*C

The second day it was time to load HP5+, an all-time favourite of mine in 120 format that I had never used in 35mm yet. The central fish and meat market was the perfect playground for testing it and, while I can clearly see how grain is more than present compared to its tabular counterpart, I must admit that I like the results very very much.

Technical info: Nikon FM2n > Nikkor AF-D 50mm f1.4 > Ilford HP5+ pushed 2 stops > Ilford DD-X 1:4, 12m at 21*C 

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