Ilford Films (In General)
So I am on the lookout for some new films to experiment with.
I have completely ignored Ilford films up until now. I've tried most Kodak films, the Foma stuff, and Agfa (sniff). Now I am ready to try Ilfords films. The thing is they have quite an assortment, and I don't really know where to start. Buying 5 rolls of each type is an expensive endeavor, especially if I don't like the film.
So, I am hoping of someone could tell me what each film is (in terms of is it like Tri-X, etc) so I can whittle some down.
I shoot mostly landscape and "fine-art" work, so good tonal range is very important. I love grain (I guess I could clarify I love Plus-X grain). I am looking for a good film I can shoot hand-held with my Mamiya 645 (80mm lens fitted), obviously in good lighting conditions.
Which Ilford films have nice grain, tonal range, and respond well to pushing? Is there an excellent film in Ilford's range that I should be shot in the foot for not using yet?
I usually develop my film in D-76 because I know how it works, but I am currently starting to use Rodinal as well. I just haven't wrapped my head around Rodinal like I have D-76.
Pan F is closest to Pan X
FP4 is closest to Plus X
HP5 is closest to Tri-X 400 (not Tri-X 320)
Deltas are closest to T-Maxes
XP2 is closest to BW400CN
SFX stands alone as a pan film with extended red sensitivity
Tri-X 320 stands alone as a "pro" version of Tri-X 400 (a totally different emulsion; not just pro handling of a consumer emulsion). Tri-X 400 is not available in sheet sizes. Tri-X 320 is not available in 35mm. Both are available in 120.
Neither of them are close enough to be considered identical, but those that I listed as "closest to" are certainly designed to fulfill the same purposes as the film from the other company.
Also: Go to http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp. Bring up the drop-down menu under "Products", on the right. Click on "Competitor Equivalents". They have PDFs for Kodak, Agfa, and Forte.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-26-2009 at 04:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added Tri-X 320 line
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Well, those PDFs certainly make it easy
Thanks for that!
I like the ilford conventional grain film, Delta not so much.. Compare
PlusX ~ FP-4
TRI-X ~ HP-5
My prefs are Tri-X for 400 and and PF4 tor 125. Those I have found I can substitute based on speed fairly easily.
As for modern emulation I have yet to embrace Illford offerings , Delta and this is completely subjective , preferring T-Max particularly new stuff.
D-76 is a standard developer, although not one I use.
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If you do not mind the speed, try Rollei Retro 100 (ex Agfa APX 100) a wonderful film.
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I would try HP5 and work from there.
I rarely use anything else than the triad of Ilford PanF+ - FP4+ - HP5+ even though I have plenty of variety in my film storage.
They are consistent, you can rely on them and I love the final image.
I treat them more or less like one film (even though PanF+ is notoriously contrasty) with just different ASA depending on the lighting conditions.
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My personal favourite is Delta 400 dev. in stock ID11 for 9.5 mins.
I went through this years ago and here were my conclusions. Your taste in film sounds similar to mine so it might be a good starting point:
XP2+ - just fine if you need color precessing. Grain was non-existent if properly exposed and very ugly if not.
Pan-F - like it, little grain, a little finicky in processing (contrast) but not as bad as the forums would lead you to believe
Deltas - I only really used Delta 400 and it was my primary 35mm film until new Tri-X came out. The grain was nice and tight and latitude was good.
FP4 - Absolutely lovely film. The best of the range IMHO. I used it mostly souped in HC110 but it looks great in xtol or just about anything. This was Barry Thornton's favorite who believed that a good grain structure was necessary for good apparent sharpness and I agree. I am a fan of Tri-x and this always seemed like a fine grain, lower speed version of Tri-x to me.
HP5 - never really liked it. It always seemed "flat" compared to Tri-X. There are talented folks using it so I think that I just never figured it out.
FYI -- I did finally settle on two films....Tri-X for 35mm and Acros for 120 in Rodinal. I've made it up to Ilford by using silly amounts of their paper (:
I think I'll try Pan F and FP4 (because I love Plus-X) first, and work from there. Delta 3200 will be good when I'm looking for a low-light film.
I don't see the use of the other films to me. I normally don't use 400 speed film, don't need color processing, and I don't much care for tabular grain films. I like grain in 99% of my photography.
For the 1% that I don't want grain, I'm in the studio, shooting landscapes, or etc. and slow film doesn't matter much.
Do these films work well in D-76 (or ID-11)? How about Rodinal?