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  1. #1

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    Pushing/Pulling Ilford XP2 Super Dev Times

    So I picked up some Ilford XP2 Super in 120 for my Mamiya and I was reading about pushing/pulling the film. Here is an interesting bit of info I found, is it true that you do not need to change development times if the camera is set to speeds between 25 and 800? Meaning you can push and pull on the same roll? I tried searching but couldn't find anything to back this up.

    I normally use Ilford XP2 Super over the Kodak product, as I find it to be superior in sharpness, scanning ability, and lack of grain. I shoot anywhere from 0-50 rolls a week of XP2, and for those of us who scan our own film, it is IMHO, the best film out there. XP2 is made by pouring 3 layers of material to make the film. This is what gives it the variable ISO structure (I think). Ilford recommends shooting at either E.I. 25, 200, 400, or 800. Mine is a simplified explanation, but by shooting at different ISO's, you are activating different layers of the emulsion. I am sure that Kodak has a somewhat similar process, but I find that the XP2 is the one that gives the best truly variable ISO results, with NO CHANGES IN DEVELOPMENT TIMES!! AMAZING!! I can actually shoot 4 frames on a roll at E.I. 25, 10 at E.I. 400, and the rest at E.I. 200 - with no change in processing. I find this unbelievable - it's like digital film! Whatever type of coating layer it has, it scans very nicely too. Again, negatives shot at E.I. 25 will have the best detail and sharpness, but will be the densest. It is best to set your scanner to scan a positive (even though you are not), and then change the result back to a negative in CS3 once it's scanned. This is recommended by Ilford and other experts, and will hold much better highlight detail this way. I have used 400CN when I am out of Ilford, and it's pretty darn good, but it's not quite the same as XP2. The XP2 is sharper with a little better detail. I was just reading a test of the 3 C-41 B&Ws in the latest issue of a photog magazine, and they concurred that Ilford indeed, tested as superior. I cannot find the issue, I believe it was B&W Photography, or one of the Canadian magazines. Try XP2 for yourself, I'm sure you will love it. It has saved me amazing amounts of time by being able to be processed as C-41, in one of those giant computerized machines. I think the quality is a lot better this way too. I had been having a lot of headaches with hand processed B&W and it was making me nuts (and broke). There are a lot of different B&W films with a lot of different looks, and you won't want to abandon that entirely, but for what I do, this stuff is fantastic.

  2. #2

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    I do -1 to +3 stops regularly and never tell the lab to push it. Simply works. XP2 has a big latitude it seems.

  3. #3

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    Yup, it works....and of course C41 Colour process.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology limited :

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Most color negative film has a similar latitude and XP2 is simply a one color, color negative film. Actually most 400 speed B&W negative film has a similar latitude for normal scenes.

    This doesn't mean mean there's no point in metering, just that you have options if you need them.

    And Yep, it's a great film for any situation where the ability to meter or set exposure is limited, like with toy cameras, without the need for development changes. This is how disposable cameras work too.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info guys, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun shooting this film. I think I will start off shooting it at 100 and then work my way up through to 800 and see the effect pushing and pulling has on grain structure

    For those who already have experience, what did you guys find?

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Just FYI, pushing & pulling are development changes.

    What you will be doing is simply changing exposure placement.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7
    CGW
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    LOVE the stuff for studio portraits with strobes or hot lights. Usually rate it ISO 100/160 in 120. With 35mm, available light, fast lenses and a monopod, ISO 800 is no problem.

    Back shooting it again now and prefer it to Kodak's C-41 B&W materials. XP2 seems to be made for hybrid work.

  8. #8
    CGW
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    Duplicate post.
    Last edited by CGW; 08-01-2012 at 10:26 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: duplicate post

  9. #9
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    I used to use this film, but that was nearly 10 years ago. I played with the exposure times myself and from what I experienced, the results were nearly indistinguishable between 100 and 400 ISO and only sligtly worse at 50 and 800 ISO. ISO 50 was a bit more contrasty and ISO 800 a tad more grainy and duller, but only slightly.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Ilford had a major problem with labs not liking XP1, it was a superb film but needed non a non normal standard process time in C41 developer something which few labs catered for. Ilford published times for their own XP1 developer ansd C41 which included push p[rocess times for speeds abovec 800 EI.

    The film was reformulated as XP2 (later Super) and is designed to be processed at the standard C41 time. Ilford dropped the push processing recommendations because few labs would do it but in practice it's still an option and I continued to push process my XP-2 to 1600 & 3200 EI in C41 chemistry until about 2001/2. I remember discussing this with a senior Ilford chemist, and to sales managers, in the early to mid 80's and they confirmed taht while it was obviously still feasible the recommendations had been dropped because Ilford wanted a film with 100% processing compatibility with C41 minilabe etc.

    For my use push processed XP1/2 gave far better results than HP5 etc.

    Ian

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