Need a black and white film to shoot outside? Want to get just a little bit of extra detail in dark parts of your image? Ilford FP4 Plus might be the right film for you.
I was given a roll of Ilford FP4 Plus and held onto it for a full year before trying it out, because I was naive then and figured that the cool cursive lettering and the black, white, and teal colors on the roll made it special somehow. Granted, I don’t know why those two rolls looked like that, since I’ve bought 4 rolls of it recently and they look like the rest of the standard Ilford products. After using those two rolls, I decided I was definitely going to get more, and luckily I was able to find some in the expired film bin at my local camera shop.
The film is rated at 125, which is one of those off-numbers between the multiples of 50 you normally see (50, 100, 200, 400, 800, etc.) but it exists for a reason. Technically, if you have a camera without click-stops on your aperture and/or shutter speed settings, you could probably find a way to expose the film at exactly 125 ISO, but since this is Lomography, and we are Lomographers, we are most likely not going to do this.
What is attractive about the in-between speed of FP4 Plus is that it allows you more leeway in overcast/partly cloudy situations outdoors with your toy cameras and a little more detail with a flash if you just pretend that it’s 100 ISO film. Negative films generally have more leeway than slide films do, so I would recommend shooting this film in situations that might require either 100 or 200 ISO film, and if you’re developing yourself, FP4 Plus can be pushed to 200 ISO or even pulled to 50 ISO to suit your purposed. That’s what the Plus on Ilford’s films stands for, a greater exposure/development latitude.
I highly recommend using FP4 Plus to anyone who is doing their own developing, but wants less grain than HP5 Plus 400 ISO gives you. It’s a solid film, with almost-identical grain to Ilford Delta 100 or Kodak Tmax 100, and a sure bet if you’re not sure to go with 100 or 200 ISO film.