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Thread: HP4 - now what?

  1. #1
    Toffle's Avatar
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    HP4 - now what?

    I've been given a box of 50 sheets of 4x5 Ilford HP4. I know nothing of this film in general; nor do I know anything of the age of this particular box of film or how it has been stored. I'm guessing at the very least it will have noticeable fog, and may be totally unuseable. Still, I'm interested in trying it, if for no other reason than getting some practice with my new camera. (without paying $1+ per sheet for every mistake I make... )

    So... where do I begin? I've done searhes here and around the web, and can't seem to find anything more than a passing reference to this film. My standard developer is HC-110, and I suppose I could guesstimate some starting times by inspection, but I'd really like to know what I'm comparing to. Does anyone know standard processing times for this film? What were its strengths? How does it compare to the more recent Ilford films?

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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    Why not try the hp5+ dev times as a starting point. Your hp4 will have lost some speed and contrast. I'd be tempted to rate it at 200-320 or so and develop normally for 400. Why not expose a sheet and snip it up and develop each to different times and find your own answer...

    You should probably develop(<---fixed mistake) an unexposed sheet and have a look at the fog before putting time into it, but it's probably okay. I have shot 40 year old panatomic x at box speed and developed it normally and gotten good results.

    I use ID11 1+1 most of the time for fp4+ and hp5+, but you can find times for hc-110 on the massive dev chart.
    Last edited by keithwms; 10-26-2009 at 10:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post

    You should probably expose an unexposed sheet and have a look at the fog before putting time into it, but it's probably okay.
    Thanks, Keith. If you mean develop an unexposed sheet, that's exactly what I was planning to do. It might not help much with starting times, but it will give me an idea of fog issues.
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    Thanks, Keith. If you mean develop an unexposed sheet, that's exactly what I was planning to do. It might not help much with starting times, but it will give me an idea of fog issues.
    Yes, I meant develop, sorry
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    I you do a search here on APUG you'll find times I posted using original Ilford publications as a reference. However, I'm not sure how useful they'd be. Your HP4 film is certainly pretty old (decades). I had very little luck with 25 years old HP5 (stored at room temp.), exposing it at ISO 25 seemed good, but the basefog was so high, that I could hardly locate the frames on my roll.
    I would suggest Rodinal 1+100 1 hour stand development, but others will have their own advices.
    Post a picture to see how it turns out.

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    Toffle's Avatar
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    Thanks, Aron. Am I to assume that HP4 is similar to Pan 400? I am optimistic that I will be able to get something useful out of these sheets. I may have to resort to extreme measures if fog is substantial. (that will make it more fun)

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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    Aron's Avatar
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    Tom, HP4, HP5, HP5+ and Pan 400 have similar development times.

    I would suggest to waste a few sheets to get your personal EI and development times. Also for a film which is this old probably trial and error is the only way to go.

    A developer for expired film:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum223/...developer.html

    On the other hand if you want to try your new camera, doing so with fresh film might be a better idea. Freestyle sells Arista.EDU Ultra 4x5" also in boxes of 25 sheets at a reasonable price. Many people like that film (re-branded Fomapan 100) and it is much easier to achieve better results in a shorter time this way.
    Last edited by Aron; 10-30-2009 at 04:31 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding more advice

  8. #8
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. I will try sourcing some of the chems as soon as my schedule opens a big enough hole.

    I am no stranger to "trial" and at times, "error" seems to be my middle name. On top of that, I take good notes, so I am certain I will be able to find something that works with this film.

    As for "trying out my new camera", (Calumet CC400) I've been using FP4+ and HP5+ with good success for just over three months. As yet, I don't have access to a 4x5 enlarger, but I've gotten some really nice contact prints from my negs so far.

    Thanks again.
    Cheers,

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron View Post
    Tom, HP4, HP5, HP5+ and Pan 400 have similar development times.

    I would suggest to waste a few sheets to get your personal EI and development times. Also for a film which is this old probably trial and error is the only way to go.

    A developer for expired film:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum223/...developer.html

    On the other hand if you want to try your new camera, doing so with fresh film might be a better idea. Freestyle sells Arista.EDU Ultra 4x5" also in boxes of 25 sheets at a reasonable price. Many people like that film (re-branded Fomapan 100) and it is much easier to achieve better results in a shorter time this way.
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  9. #9
    AgX
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    HP4 was introduced mid 60's and phased out most probably in 1975.

  10. #10
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Why not try the hp5+ dev times as a starting point. Your hp4 will have lost some speed and contrast. I'd be tempted to rate it at 200-320 or so and develop normally for 400. Why not expose a sheet and snip it up and develop each to different times and find your own answer...

    You should probably develop(<---fixed mistake) an unexposed sheet and have a look at the fog before putting time into it, but it's probably okay. I have shot 40 year old panatomic x at box speed and developed it normally and gotten good results.

    I use ID11 1+1 most of the time for fp4+ and hp5+, but you can find times for hc-110 on the massive dev chart.
    Well, I tried this tonight. With carefully measured temp and time, and thorough fix and wash, there are substantial fog issues with this box of film. (no surprise there) When I get a chance, I'll mix up some of the expired film developers to see what I can salvage.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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