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My retirement plan is:

1 - keep working

2 - shoot film with cameras that will last forever.

So here's a quick update on how part two of that plan is going so far, even though retirement feels far away.

That photo teasing me about the inevitability of my decline is recorded with Portra 160, which I might use more of in the summer. I recently added a couple of rolls of the older 800-speed emulsion to my collection, but like retirement, I've trying to avoid thinking of the inevitability of Portra 400. I'm really not into film for colour, but if I don't use some every now and then the relentless greys of my 'film' keyword in Capture One starts to get me down.

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While this slogan is clearly going to be a load of rubbish for whatever they're advertising, it's actually a pretty good description of the Nikon F6 that I used to take the photo. Big, heavy, and quick. I've put a half-dozen rolls through it so far – the previously-mentioned Portra, Kentmere 400, and four rolls of HP5 at an average EI of 800. I'm trying to resist writing a review of it until I've finished a set of batteries, at least, but that might take another dozen rolls.

Who am I kidding – most of the review is already written, now I'm just delaying to see if I'm right.

Although there was a bright spot today with the battery meter dropping a bar when I was out for five hours in near-freezing temperatures. That was long enough to go through a couple of rolls of FP4. They would have gone by faster if I had only been carrying one lens and left the tripod at home. And the battery meter rebounded just fine once everything warmed up again.

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More HP5 at iso800, this time with the ZM rangefinder. It has become my small camera system, which is its strength compared to accurate framing and autofocus with the SLR. Very handy for a long walk with a small pack. This was from a trip to the islands, naturally, with just the camera, 35/2, and a few rolls of film. 

While I do like the high-speed capability and range of HP5, what I'm really looking forward to are the three rolls of Kodak XX / Cinestill BW that I have in the freezer. That with the 40mm single-coated lens should give a nice, if clichéd, vintage look. All I need to do is find the right light and the right subject. I've also picked up some PanF to try out next, and soon the New Acros will be out to make my long-exposure work easier.

And I'm also really enjoying that when I want to try something different with the potential to change my abilities and results it isn't a multi-hundred dollar lens, or a thousand dollar camera. It's a sub-$20 box of film.