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01-11-2009, 10:51 PM   #1
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Shot some Ilford HP5 Plus (2 sample shots)

After going through 10+ rolls of Delta 400, I figured I'd try a roll of HP5 Plus to see if it'd be a bit more amenable to my kitchen sink development. I tend to carry my camera(s) day and night, so 400 is usually my go-to all purpose speed.

Rated at 400, developed in DD-X 1-4, 9 minutes @ 20 degrees celcius. MX & SMC K 35mm f/2. PP = 'medium contrast' in lightroom.

My Aussie girlfriend loved the snow on a hike today.


Keeping warm in an ATM lobby.



Thoughts: Grain is more noticeable than the Delta, but the tonality is quite good. Images have good contrast and definition, and none of the poorly lit indoor shots had that 'muddy' quality that I've had issues with developing my own Delta/T-grain films, especially in monotone areas of the image. I feel I'm going to get more consistent results developing my own stuff using traditional emulsions.

Also: I've not botched up loading the film into the spiral lately, I think I've got it down pat. (use a metal one-piece that loads from the center-out)


Last edited by CSoars; 01-11-2009 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Bigger/better image hosting
01-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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Wow, talk about grain. Maybe a tad to much?
01-11-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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Too much grain? Never!

Nice. Hard to go wrong with HP5+ and DD-X. I've found the HP5 to be fairly forgiving, whereas the Delta films seem to fairly fussy about exposure and developing.

Tell your girlfriend it's warm and sunny at home (unless she's from far north Queensland, which is underwater!).
01-12-2009, 01:27 AM   #4
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The contrast and sharpness of the first image is fantastic, especially the details on the girl's coat, hat, and eyes. The background is nice and sharp too, and I think that is of benefit to this particular picture.

So this is HP5+. I need to try this.

01-12-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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a bit grainy for my taste too. maybe it was the scan?
01-12-2009, 07:43 AM   #6
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what was used to scan it?

nowdays shooting film is only as good as the scanner
01-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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It's film, for heaven's sake! It's supposed to have grain. Grain is good!

Chris
01-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #8
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Scanned @ 2400 DPI on an Epson V500 photo flatbed: unsharp mask = medium, grain reduction = off. Like I said, it's quick kitchen sink development and not as cautious or exact as a pro lab; I'm betting my chemical temperatures are + or - a degree or so, I have an ancient fahrenheit thermometer from days bygone. It's probably not the best example of the film's performance (Search flickr for samples), but I'm not too disappointed by the grain. Also, the roll had been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long before I bought it, it wasn't refrigerated. Not sure if that'd have any influence, though.

Plus these onscreen images are bigger than the prints I'd likely make from the negs anyway. Not like I'm going to be making 12x18 enlargements from ISO 400 snapshots.

If you think these are too grainy, wait till I finish my roll of Delta 3200 rated @ 1600!


Last edited by CSoars; 01-12-2009 at 09:31 AM.
01-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #9
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Delta 3200 at 1600

I just finished another roll of Delta 3200 rated at 1600 and I have to say that I love the results. Yeah there is definitely grain there but you have to expect it and as such use it to your advantage in your final image. I have to say I don't mind grain at all in black and white photos, its part of the artistic expression. Some of my favorite photographs of all time are old high-ish ISO photo journalism shots taken by no name photographers all around the world. That grain is just part of the game and I think it can be used to add a new dimension to the photograph. Color photography on the other hand, I'm not as much a fan of it, though it can still be used to good effect in certain circumstances.

I wish I had a scanner so I could put some of my shots up here to share. Whenever I'm near a scanner I never think to ask to run my film through.
01-12-2009, 09:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
It's film, for heaven's sake! It's supposed to have grain. Grain is good!

Chris
+1 to what Chris said. Grain = tasty. I believe less agitation is one way to reduce grain, if it wasn't the effect you were going for, but I could be totally wrong, having not done it yet myself.
01-12-2009, 09:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
+1 to what Chris said. Grain = tasty. I believe less agitation is one way to reduce grain, if it wasn't the effect you were going for, but I could be totally wrong, having not done it yet myself.
I've been experimenting with that, I'm doing 4 slowish inversions over the course of 10 seconds, trying not to treat it like a martini shaker. kind of: one-two...three-four...-five-six...seven-eight.

I'll run a second roll through my LX when it gets back from Erik, and try slightly cooler chemicals and even gentler agitation.
01-12-2009, 09:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
I've been experimenting with that, I'm doing 4 slowish inversions over the course of 10 seconds, trying not to treat it like a martini shaker. kind of: one-two...three-four...-five-six...seven-eight.

I'll run a second roll through my LX when it gets back from Erik, and try slightly cooler chemicals and even gentler agitation.
So you're waiting too, hey? My SP-F is on it's way back as we speak. He turned my camera around in three days! I couldn't be more grateful as I need it for a wedding on the 24th. Mine, incidentally.

Is it my lax understanding of B&W that has me thinking that Delta films can produce less grain than the HP5 because of their differences? I thought I'd read that somewhere on here. I agree with what you've noticed with tone reproduction however; as I mentioned in my first post, they are excellent all-around.
01-12-2009, 10:03 AM   #13
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I agree that grain is a huge part of the beauty of Film and in particular black and white. This is why I shoot it. But context also has a lot to do with it.

Lets take the second image. The grain looks fine to me there.
Now lets take the first image. had his girlfriend not been in the shot, the grain would have also worked fine there as well, but instead the grain makes her look
unflatteringly sick to me. She is obviously a very pretty girl. Great eyes, great smile, great face, but the grain is not doing her any favors. now if the image where darkened a bit, then perhaps the grain would work.
01-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #14
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Yeah, supposedly t-max/delta uses 'grown' crystals that are like little plates on the backing, so they give more uniform grain and edge sharpness. My LX has been away for a bit, had to get a finder part from Japan and I sent it in before Christmas to boot. Ah well, should be here in a week or so, sans sticky mirror.

Congratulations on the wedding!
01-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
I agree that grain is a huge part of the beauty of Film and in particular black and white. This is why I shoot it. But context also has a lot to do with it.

Lets take the second image. The grain looks fine to me there.
Now lets take the first image. had his girlfriend not been in the shot, the grain would have also worked fine there as well, but instead the grain makes her look
unflatteringly sick to me. She is obviously a very pretty girl. Great eyes, great smile, great face, but the grain is not doing her any favors. now if the image where darkened a bit, then perhaps the grain would work.
For comparison, here's the same lady shot with Delta 400, this is an aggressive crop from the center of the frame, so I've used a smaller sample to keep it more comparable to the HP5 Plus shots. Pardon the 60W bulb lighting.

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