When I shoot black and white, there is one film I turn to more than any other. It’s a stalwart, bullet-proof film, reliable until the last. Ilford HP5 Plus.
Its 400 ISO rating means that it’s perfectly suited for plastic cameras, whose lenses are less bright than their glass cousins. They let less light in so even in bright sunlight with your Diana (for example) you are still better off with 400 speed.
It can be pulled and pushed, pushed as far as 1600 with good results, great for natural results without flash.
It has very good grain for a 400 speed film, it doesn’t take away from your shots and allows plenty of detail to shine through.
Being from the UK where Ilford is from, I tend to use it instead of Kodaks offerings. So I can’t compare but I trust it.
The following shots show just how good it is at picking up detail. I used it to pick up all the tones and pits in the service of the old concrete at a series of gun placements that have seen a few wars (though never fired in anger).
It has an amazing dynamic range, it can see a wide range of light and record it well in complicated scenes.
It’s excellent for portraiture too.
For those who self develop (like I do) it’s very lenient if you make mistakes. I’ve used other films that reticulate like crazy if your temperatures are even slightly out, but HP5 can handle a few degrees variation.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. Want results? HP5 Plus.