HP5 vs XP2 for exposure latitude
Recently returned to MF after a few years dalliance with digital.
I am using a meterless yashicamat, and have got through a few rolls of XP2 using the "guess" exposure method. I would put my strike rate at about 10/12 (i.e. two duffers per roll) using this technique, but I am well aware that this is mainly due to the wide latitude of C41 print film.
So, I need to order some more film, and am thinking about switching to HP5. Question is, by how much can I expect this strike rate to decrease due to the change?
Processing cost is neutral between the two for now, I am using the Ilford mail order service.
From the above, you may have gathered that I am in the UK, so my exposure rule, if that makes any difference, is basically to apply "sunny 16" as if the film were 100-rated, since 1) it's never that sunny here and 2) the XP2 benefits more from over than under exposure, so my "effective" ISO setting is probably somewhere around 200.
I've never tried the XP2, but I rate my HP5 at 320. Though, one time I accidentally over-exposed my HP5 about 5 stops and wound up with an image I consider "useable" per se. (It was just really contrasty.)
As always, the best best it to go out and give it a try.
However, you will gain the added benefit of processing it yourself if you go with HP5.
Re. the 5-stop overexposure; did you compensate for this in development, or do you really mean 5 stops overexposed and standard (i.e. 320/400) development?
If the latter, think I am sold on the HP5.
Am aware of the benefits of home processing, and I still have my old tank. Not really doing the volume to justify it (yet) though.
There was no compesation in development. However, what would be mostly white with digtial was an image with film. (With some end-point adjustments in post.)
Originally Posted by Arapa1ma
I don't reccomend over-exposing this much if it's an image you care about. However, I think you'll find that this film is fexible.
Honestly, I think film in general is WAY more forgiving than digital. (Just got tired of dealing with blown highlights.)
Welcome to APUG.
With no meter your strike rate will be much lower with HP5 until you learn to estimate properly. I processed for someone for over 30 years and he never used a meter shooting with an Agfa folder. He'd be a touch out occasionally but usually not to far that I couldn't get a print.
You can get a used Leningrad (Russian) meter for under £5/$8 and they are small but quite accurate.
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Yeah, just buy a meter.
That said, if I were limited to no meter, I'd stick with XP2. As far as I ever saw it's almost impossible for practical purposes to overexpose XP2 to a degree that really harms the image. As with other C41 you get less, rather than more as with conventional materials, apparent grain with overexposure. It gets a little flatter but that's easily compensated for in printing and highlights just refuse to blow out. You could probably do it if you overexposed by 20 stops or something, but within any range you're likely to hit it works great. Just err on the side of overexposure. It will take one stop underexposure without too much problem and two stops in a pinch, but when I shot it I tried to avoid that and generally rated it at 200 or 320. It's a lovely and underappreciated film. If Ilford would make XP2 Super in 4x5 (Simon? Please?) I would stock up on C41 for the Jobo and shoot a lot of that, saving the conventional stuff for times when I really need to vary contrast in development. Sheet film XP2 Super would also be much appreciated by those who do things with their negatives post-processing that are verbotten to discuss in detail here. (Pssst...scanning. Dye clouds are much better than silver grains for that.)
Hah, been looking at meters on eBay this afternoon as it happens.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Have decided to go for the HP5 for now, and if the weather improves later in the year, get a cheap meter and some faster film.
Thanks both for your suggestions.
Well, I've enjoyed the "no meter" photography over the last few weeks - a TLR is already "fiddly" enough without any addons - but these have been during the British overcast winter, so mostly photos of "people and things" rather than Ansel Adams-esque sweeping landscapes, and as you say, erring on the side of overexposure is the way to go.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
The other thing that has made me think about this is that erring on the side of overexposure can lead to fairly wide apertures when handheld, with concomitant shallow DOF (at least shallower than the postage-stamp sized digital sensors I've become accustomed to), and having a more accurate exposure might allow a bit more slack on the focussing front.
The nice man from Ilford has been doing my scanning for me up until now (I'm not doing exhibitions), and I reckon he probably has a better scanner than I can afford for conventional b/w.
Think I might have talked myself into getting a meter to go with the HP5.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 04-09-2012 at 03:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I use a Luna-Pro SBC with my Yashichamat even though the built in meter works surprisingly well. The meter is darned near as big as the camera but it wouldn't call it using the combo fiddly at all, though I suppose compared to digital it might be seen as such.