Photographic Film Of Choice... Review Of The Ilford HP5 + By Keith Moss

Firstly Ilford HP5+ is decribed as a medium contrast, all-purpose black & white film. Ideal for action, street photography, documentary and available light photography. A high speed, fine grain, medium contrast black & white film, that has a wide exposure latitude. This makes it a great choice for beginners and professionals alike.  

Nominally rated at ISO 400, the HP5 + can produce negatives of outstanding sharpness and fine grain under all lighting conditions, depending on how it is exposed and developed.

Personally for me it is one of the most flexible films I use due to its ability to respond well to pushing and can be rated up to El 3200/36°.  HP5 + can also be processed in a wide range of different developers using spiral tanks, deep tanks and automatic processors.

For street photography my favourite combination is shooting HP5 Plus at 400 ISO, occasionally uprating it to 800 and 1600 depending on lighting conditions on the streets.

My usual developer would then be Ilford ID11.

I always process at stock, not one to one or anything other, using ID11. This is by far the best way to control the tone and grain. The timings preferences are 7 minutes at 20 degrees centigrade. I love the fine grain and the tonal range it produces which is so beautiful at this speed and combination.

If I shoot HP5 Plus at 800 ISO, I would generally develop it for 10 minutes at stock at 20 c and if I'm rating it at 1600, I will go to 13.5 minutes at 20 c. One of the other factors is cost and that's another bonus as the Ilford ID11 is quite cheap to use.

Times change and rather than sticking to the same old thing, I do like to experiment now and again. I like to test new films and new developer combinations  I've just started using Ilfosol 3 which again is from Ilford and I'm finding this developer equally as flexible if not slightly better than ID 11.

I'm also testing Bellini's Hydrafen, which is looking very promising and I will let you know how i get on with that developer later down the road once I've put it through it's paces.

If you give it a go, you will definitely not be disappointed... the Ilford HP5 is one of my favourite films.

If you get a chance to try the Ilford HP5 Plus film, please let me know how you get on, I would love to hear from you.

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