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It is said that with this film you really have to try to get the exposure wrong. I agree.

From Wikipedia: “HP is a cubic-grain black-and-white film from Ilford Photo with a long history. It originated as Hypersensitive Panchromatic plates in 1931.”

This film is a true classic. Anyone shooting monochrome sooner or later tries it out. For good reason. Its nominal 400 ASA and nice grain and tonality make it the perfect all-rounder. It can be easily processed. It is readily available. And what amazes me the most is that it is one of the most robust films in the world. I present here pictures made with Ilford HP5, the previous version to the current HP5+ Ilford film, which had expired in 1989. Yep, that’s 21 years ago, more than some of you are old :D (And I still have some rolls of that 120 goodness left!).

The HPs are legendary for their pushing capacity. I have seen HP5+ pushed to 64000 ISO. Amazing, eh?
I honestly have no idea to what ISO I pushed my HP5 when making these shots (and what nominal ISO it had to start with after so many years of expiry under unknown storage conditions!), as I Don’t Think, Just Shoot!!! whether it be a dark gloomy winter day with some medium format slow platic lens or sunny summer with fast glass 35mm.

Whatever low-light punishment you inflict on this emulsion, just semi-stand develop it in Rodinal 1+200 for 2 hours (or 1+125 for 1 hour as I did with these two rolls) and you’re all set!

Ilford HP films. Classic.

written by cyan-shine


  1. basho


    Love this film. Love the review :o)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. keepitsimple


    oh my god! you have one of those old displays from target to?!?! :D thats incredible!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. woosang


    Good review. A film I will have to try

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. sidsel


    I'm still a newbie at analog photography but this film intrigues me quite a bit! I'm so gonna try it as soon as I finish to set up my own darkroom!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. cyan-shine


    @keepitsimple what display?

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish.