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Thread: HP-5+ and grain

  1. #1

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    HP-5+ and grain

    After using Tri-X and the Arista variant for some years, I decided to try HP-5+. Did my first roll yesterday, using D-76h 1:1 and Massive Development chart times. When I wet printed, I noticed two major changes - less contrast than Tri-X and more grain - a lot more grain. Agitation is the same - constant for the first minute (inversion) followed by four inversions every minute. Is this just the nature of the film, or is it developer-specific? Any help appreciated. Thanks.

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    I've never made a direct comparison, but something that comes to mind, if you had lower contrast negs (you might increase development of the film), you might have printed on a higher contrast paper to compensate, which could have increased grain appearance, maybe not a fair comparison.
    Don't want to muddy the waters here, philosophically, but what is really important (to many) is the look and texture of the grain pattern (and of course, other things like tonal quality and feel of the image.)

  3. #3
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    I've always had trouble getting good contrast from HP5, and yes, it seems to be more grainy. My best results were to expose it at 320 and develop in Microphen adding about 25% to the time. Contrast is better, but still grain. Just nothing like Tri-X.
    Bruce

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    ROL
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    You haven't indicated which particular flavor of "Tri-X" you are comparing. Specificity helps a lot in attaining a targeted answer to a question. And that helps me in helping you as I only assist where I have a lot of personal experience.

    I use both HP5+ and TXP 320 in 5x7 interchangeably for similar kinds of work, both shot at 200 (arrived at by my own film testing). I develop both in PMK Pyro as that allows me to obtain the finest grain and proper contrast (for me) in these films, given that the film is properly exposed for the scene (zone). I tested many developers with each of these films, based on my own desires, before standardizing on pyro.

    I find HP5+ to have more contrast and slightly finer grain than TXP – so fine that I cannot grain focus under the enlarger at less than 20"x24". But for the purposes of enlarging a 5x7 negative to anything less than 40"x60", the distinction is negligible.

    Yes, developer and process (agitation) make a difference, but proper exposure and recognition of light for the scene trumps both in terms of contrast.

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    Instead of using the Massive Development chart time what does Ilford recommend for ID-11 which is the same as D-76. I don't know how you can judge a film on the basis of a single roll. If you had developed several rolls and always got the same results that would be a different matter.
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    HP-5+ and grain

    If your film exhibits poor contrast you develop longer and you may want to consider agitating every thirty seconds.
    HP5+ and Tri-X are not identical, but every time you switch films you have to recalibrate how you do things, to make sure your negs suit your work flow, and that's what film developing is, a part of a whole, or part of a system, as an intermediary to carry information from the photographed scene to your paper.

    So it's your job to make it work, since it's your work flow. Bracket your exposures, alter developing time, change agitation frequency; all these are tools at your disposal to fix any problem you might have.
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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    HP-5+ and grain

    I should add to above comment that sometimes when we have exhausted all options of making good vehicles of information out of our exposed film, we may come to the conclusion that the material we chose simply doesn't provide what we need.
    One roll of film is not nearly enough to make such a judgment, however. Maybe after a couple of dozen rolls of trying can we be sure.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

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  8. #8
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    I have not ever had a grain problem with HP5+ for 35mm, 120 or 4"x5" when I developed with XTOL replenished.
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    I use Rodinal almost exclusively. But with HP5+ I did not like results. When I started to use HC-110 with HP5+ problem was solved. I have bottle of HC-110 only for HP5+, tonality and contrast are great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkosaric View Post
    I use Rodinal almost exclusively. But with HP5+ I did not like results. When I started to use HC-110 with HP5+ problem was solved. I have bottle of HC-110 only for HP5+, tonality and contrast are great.
    I had the same problem with HP5+ and Rodinal. I switched to Ilford DDX (that I use for Rollei Retro 80S) and got much better results, certainly a lot less grain.

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