Don't get me wrong, I like Tri-X. I've shot a boxcar full of the stuff over the years. To me, HP5+ just has better tones. It's kind of like shooting Tri-X with a #8 yellow filter.
I've found making a transition to HP5+ from Tri-X to be pretty easy. Developing times are about the same using D76 1:1 or 1:3 or with my old favorite Rodinal 1:75 with sodium sulfite. I like a thinner negative and the HP5+ takes a little less time in the developer than Tri-X for what looks like the same density. Of course, my methods and materials work for me and may not be to your liking.
One thing I've never tried with HP5+ is pushing it. I don't know how it reacts to higher exposure indices. Tri-X pushes really well. At 400, I like HP5+.
Okay. I was just curious and haven't been able to make up my mind about HP5+. Maybe after I've shot and made contacts from some HP5+ negs I can make up my mind about it.
I've got no stake in Kodak or Ilford as I'm not a dealer for either.
However it seems to me we should pick films based on their qualities and not choose something we may not like as much to punish a company for poor decisions. If you like HP5 then great use it. If you like TRI-X then use it.
The concept that everyone should drop everything Kodak to support Ilford at all cost makes no sense to me. If and when the time ever comes and Ilford has to drop products due to financial considerations you'd better believe that they will. If some land developer decides the property they are sitting on a few years from now is worth more than the actual factory you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be gone in a heartbeat. Nothing is certain and stacking the deck in favor of one manufacturer at the expense of others is going to hurt us more than you think.
Buy what you like and want to use and let the market work itself out.
Originally Posted by colrehogan
An alternative voice...I've tried and tried to like HP-5. It just doesn't work for me. I keep going back to Tri-X and lately, even Tmax-400. OTOH, Tmax-100 and Plus-X don't work for me either. I much prefer FP-4 to Plus-X and the jury is still out on Delta-100.
Curious...as a long time Ilford user I've been shooting more Kodak film lately! Honesty I use both HP-5 and Tri-X. Since they're both cheap and available, why not? The new Plus-X is a remarkable film, particularly in Rodinal. When Kodak moved to the new coating plant, Plus-X gained the most. Never been much of a TMAX fan, though I do much prefer the tonality of TMZ 3200 to Ilford's Delta 3200.
I have noticed a lot more manufacturing defects in Ilford film and paper lately. Hopefully this is just due to the work stoppage last year and is sorted out. Since Ilford recently jacked up their prices, Kodak is about the same price and easier to get where I live.
I say, keep 'em both in business so neither gets a monopoly. Never was a big fan of Kodak B&W paper, but boy was I mad when the cut Kodachrome Super 8 this year! We all have our favorites I suppose.
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I use Tri-X and HP-5. I like Tri-X's tones better; it is just an amazing film. I keep stocked up on it. But I still use both of them. I like FP4+ for my "everyday" film, but I'm in the process of testing new Plus-X too.
I have used a lot of TMax in both 100 and 400 speed; I have had good results by precisely controlling time and temp in processing, made easy with my Jobo. I recently shot my first Delta 400, though, and I think it may have the edge. I go about this pretty systematically, so that I can achieve consistently good results, so I do a lot of testing both with gray cards and "in the field." (Gives me an excuse to burn film too without wifely scrutiny )I figure, why not hedge my bets and learn how to get good results from a few of each manufacturer's films?
I think I'd miss Kodak's chemistry more (Xtol just about exclusively.) I have recently gotten set up to make my own developers, starting with Mytol, so I have a fallback there as well.
I don't understand the jihadist attitude of some towards Kodak, or Ilford, or whomever has pissed them off most recently in making business decisions to try to survive. Their duty is first and foremost to return profits to shareholders, and to try to divine market demand in order to do so.
I say use the tools available, and learn how to use more than one toolmaker's stuff!
Thank you for a very sensible post. I wish more people realize that the only reason that Ilford remained in business was their insolvency co-incided with a weakness in the UK real estate market ensuring that a facility of their size could not be converted to profitable residential housing stock in the short-term.
Originally Posted by jandc
Nobody knows if their factory lease can be renewed or purchased at the end of the lease term. And Ilford isn't obliged to tell anybody.
It is absolutely foolish and naive to infer any long-term intent to support the analog photo market from any provider. Most aren't required to disclose financial statements, fewer still are obligated to issue statements to investors.
Somehow a myth has been promulgated that films are "mastered" and obtaining optimal results is the work of a lifetime. That's a poor joke.
I remember the UK rock photographer Kevin Cummings being asked on a web chat what film he used and he answered "I've always asked my girlfriend at the time to go and pick up whatever was cheapest at the time."
If one cannot obtain excellent results with a new film within 15-20 rolls in most lighting conditions given the wealth of information available in books and the internt then one is better suited to, say, lawn darts than photography. If you've used one "traditional" grain ISO 400 film, you've more or less used them all.
I think it's best to use whatever film suits one purposes while it's available. Everything gets discontinued sooner or later anyhow.
At this point Ilford's price increases serve merely to screw my photo students as far as I'm concerned. The loss of the red box and the yellow box doesn't serve any one's interests...save Ilford's and they are not the interests of most concern to me at the moment.
I would also like to thank you for such a logical post. It seems that the artists community really struggle with the realities of business. As you say, the overall market will dictate product availability....
Originally Posted by jandc
Often wrong, but never in doubt!
Consumers can be a fickle bunch, and you can probably label me as being fickler than most. As one who has embraced his ficklishness I don't have a problem spending a little more for product A if the people who are making product B are doing something I don't agree with, or if there is something positive about product A I want to support.
As an example, I'll spend more for a can of Canadian canned salmon even when there's a cheaper product from another country right beside it, or I'll pay more for locally grown produce from small family farms. But hey, we've already established my ficklocity!
Kodak isn't going to crumble because I don't give them my money to support their move to digital, and Ilford isn't going to survive because I buy a couple hundred sheets of film a year. It's my belief however, that fickle consumers like me who are meaningless in the grand scheme of things, in sufficient numbers, will make a difference
OK, here is a question that has nothing to do with Kodak vs Others. If we take the similar speed films (add to the list if you wish):
HP5+, Delta 400, Neopan 400, Agfapan 400
All in 120 6x6, developed standard D76/ID11 process, which will render the better result for general shooting (resolution, grain, tonality) as compared to Tri-X? Latitude with standard filters (yellow, orange, red, green) is also a consideration.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it...