Ilford HP5 (35mm, 400 iso) user-review


Nice contrast and grain, definitely one of my new favorites!

Nice contrast and grain, definitely one of my new favorites!

This is a great faster speed film with good contrast and smaller grain. I usually like to work with Kodak Plus-X 125; it is low speed, moderate contrast, very small grain, very nice to print with… so when i needed a faster film for long exposure i was tempted to go to Kodak Tri-X 400. Instead i took a chance with the Ilford because i had a few rolls and I enjoyed printing on Ilford paper- I figured the film would be just as nice.

I was pleasantly surprised with Ilford’s nice contrast and not so big grain! I picked up a lot of nice details with this film. as for developing, i had to fix for five extra minutes (10 minutes total) than i would have with the plus-x or tri-x and it was not responding to the photo-flo well (very streaky and water marks everywhere)! i ended up re-washing the negs and re-doing the photo-flo. It was still a little streaky even after that but was better than the first time. i ended up wiping it with a (lintless) cloth when it was in the negative carrier before printing.

Over all, it was pretty easy to develop (compared to Kodak T-max) and i should have no problems the second time around. Definitely a joy to work with, i’ll be using this again!

written by strangerous on 2008-10-30 in #reviews #35mm #b-w #ilford #hp5


  1. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    Great pics !

  2. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    Nice review, I have 3 rolls i have to get developed. cant wait to see the results

  3. strangerous
    strangerous ·

    i would like to note that i've developed about a dozen more rolls since my review was posted. for the fixing, i find that "cleaner" fixer is better (if you are working in a shared darkroom). even after ten minutes of fixing, i still get purple-color negs. after about 15 more minutes it's a little better. i would recommend using TMax fixer or just cleaner fixer in general so you don't have to fix as long. do about 5 minutes and then check the color. if it's still purple, do five more minutes. when printing with purplish colored negs, it's not too bad- i'm noticing my pictures come out less contrasty, though.
    i'm slowly adding pictures to my chinese new year 2009 set and all of them were taken with ilford hp5 plus. check out my lomo home for more examples of the hp5! <3

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