Disposable cameras don’t get enough love, so we thought we would take a moment to shine our spotlight on one of our favourite disposable cameras: Ilford’s black and white single use cameras. Ilford currently has two versions of these in either of their C-41 Black & White film; the XP2 Super, or the true Black & White HP5 Plus. Both of which are ISO 400 films. These little guys also feature a built-in flash and can shoot up to 27 exposures. We recently decided to take our own little joyride on the XP2 and here are our thoughts on it!
For starters, we like the way this camera looks! Most single use cameras aren’t quite as snazzy or as retro as this little one, and we dig it! We are also head over heels in love with the weight (or lack thereof) of Ilford’s disposable XP2 camera. Typically when you’re shooting film on a regular film body set up (whether it be 35mm or medium format bodies), more than likely it’s going to have a little heft to it. But with a disposable you are allowed to forget that you’re even carrying a camera on you. It’s a carefree way of capturing beautiful memories in black and white 🙂
The XP2 disposable camera uses a black and white film that can easily be developed using the standard C41 process. All this basically means is: you can have the film developed at any local camera shop or film lab that can develop ordinary color film. Cheaper developing, no dust and high dynamic range!
We tested this little guy in both indoor and outdoor light and what we found was that the XP2 film yields an amazing contrast and has an extremely wide exposure latitude making it suitable for a variety of lighting conditions. Some might say that this camera does better outdoors in bright light but we found that if you use the flash indoors we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how good the results can be indoors too! (pro tip: use the flash no matter what your lighting conditions are! You can’t go wrong using it and it will give your image an extra pop!)
We also did find that you will get a soft vignette on your film, which means the edges won’t be crisp, but, honestly we don’t think they need to be. This delightful result adds uniqueness and character to the image and coupled with black and white film just makes it timeless!
Our staff has unrestrainedly embraced this fun, portable, plastic wrapped, stuffed with black and white film, piece of joy and we simply can’t get enough of it! It’s a fun and different way to get into black and white photography. It’s also ideal for those who want to get into shooting film but are intimidated by the learning curve, or even for those who have forgotten about how fun film is!
In our experience, we can say without a doubt this is the perfect gift, both to give and to get. Got a friend going on a long trip and want to give them something meaningful? Throwing someone a birthday party? Got a friend that likes photography but never really takes pictures? Perhaps you want to capture the behind the scenes at your next workshop?
There’s no doubt the Ilford’s single use camera is an ideal way to capture those moments with a timeless black and white flavour.
We were terribly excited when Ilford announced these single use guys back in 2012, and we have to admit, little by little we came to love them. In fact, every time there is a event at the lab we have to bulk order them! Not to sell them, but to use them ourselves 🙂
It’s a nice throwback to the old family days, when single use cameras were queens and you had to wait a good week after coming back home to see any of your holiday memories. But more importantly, it’s our favourite way to carelessly capture the most ordinary memories in our lives, which, more often than not, are the most unique ones.
*Want more information like the specs of this single use camera like focal length, aperture, and more? Check it out on Ilford’s technical information here.
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You can get yours in our little shop too!