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Ilford HP5+: The The Bullet-Proof Film You Really Can't Go Wrong With

A hugely popular film that is very very hard to mess up, Ilford HP5+ is very forgiving and rewards the user with nice contrast, nice grain and detail. Learn more about this film after the jump!

Ilford HP5+ is a film many of you are probably aware of. Ilford is renowned for its fantastic films, and HP5+ is quite possibly the most known. It is known for its ability to withstand abuse (in exposure terms), so you can massively under or over expose it and still get great results.

It was the first black and white film I used and then one that sparked my passion for monochrome photography. I only shoot black and white and if it wasn’t for my first taste with HP5+, I’d still be using color.

Anyway, onto the review. The first camera I used this in was a Halina Paulette, a camera which I have reviewed and if you have read that review, you will know I hate that crappy camera. Here are some results from the Halina:

It was a very sunny day, so even at the Halina’s smallest aperture and fastest shutter speed, the film was overexposed by nearly one full stop. I got the film development the highstreet, so it wont be the greatest. And even though the results are poor it still made me crave more monochrome.

Inbetween that roll and my next roll, I ditched colour film and began developing my own film and also bought a scanner.

So recently I picked up another roll, and it was the first roll of film shot through my Kiev 4. I shot the film using sunny 16 rule, and then developed it in Rodinal 1:150 for one hour semi stand. After I scanned the negatives I learnt my Kiev unfortunately has a light leak.

Here are the results:

As you can see, there’s much more grain than the others. It is due to the stand developing but personally, I like it. The two small galleries show that the film really does live up to its “bulletproof” title and can survive being shot in a crappy camera and one that has a light leak and then stand developed.

I highly recommend this film to everyone. If for some reason you already haven’t used it, it will be great for beginners because it is so forgiving, produces very nice images with lovely tones and details, and because the 400 speed means it can be used in many different lighting situations.

Thanks for reading! Keep shooting!

written by brandkow93

3 comments

  1. neanderthalis

    neanderthalis

    I have gotten a real taste for this film lately. I live is a really bright environment so I mostly use iso 100, but have found it useful in hikes in the forest or light hungry cameras.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. brandkow93

    brandkow93

    @neanderthalis yeah i used mainly iso 100, lucky shd100, APX 100, foma 100, FP4+ etc etc, but i do occasionally mix it up and will go for a film like this or neopan 400 when im going to like you said a forest or a city at sunset.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. asharnanae

    asharnanae

    I used HP5 throughout my photography student days, and its still my favourite B&W film, it is as you say, very difficult to get a truly crap picture. I love the grain of the film, especially if you bring it out with paper developer.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam