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  1. #1

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    I see there are a few people using Ilfords XP2 and Iím curious if there are other benefits than the ease of processing? Thanks.

    Happy Days
    You can't be lost if you don't care where you are.

  2. #2

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    XP2 is known to have an almost-infinite shoulder to the highlights. I have read at least one author who advocates XP2 as a one-film zone-system replacement. His method involved using 35mm XP2, bracketing extensively towards overexposure (relying on the shoulder of XP2 to control highlight contrast), and using variable contrast paper in the darkroom to manipulate contrast.

    Other authors emphasize that XP2 can be exposed successfully as speeds from 100 to 800.

    There's no doubt the shoulder of XP2 does make it a good tool for certain situations.

    --Philip.

  3. #3

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    I dispute the 'ease of processing' statement. I can process normal B&W quicker than I can get in the car and take it to get processed. My film also has no scratches, etc associated with machine processing that can and does happen. Thirdly, I'm not that thrilled with the tonal representation that XP2 gives, but that's a personal thing, some people love the stuff.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It's got a nice smooth look not unlike Verichrome Pan, making it very well suited to portrait work (it also is easier to scan than real B&W film, but we don't talk about that sort of thing in these parts).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    In the right situation, XP2 can give incredibly beautiful and smooth skin tones. It's not always my preference, but often it is just the thing for portraits. It does scratch easily, but if it is processed by a pro lab (dip and dunk) and is not subjected to the sleeving machine, it can do just fine.

    It does stand up well to massive overexposure, although I don't advocate sloppy metering.


  6. #6

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Living in Berkeley I would have to agree with you Nige I had not thought about the dreaded drive, although I think the camera store I use offers hand processing. I'm as color blind as one could possibly imagine so I've never even thought about processing color film on my own and know little about it. Is the C-41 process anymore difficult than processing B/W film?

    Happy Days
    You can't be lost if you don't care where you are.

  7. #7
    glbeas's Avatar
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    C-41 is quite easy to do and pretty short times you can do it in an open tank in the dark if you are dipping from one tank to another to avoid timing errors from prolonged pouring times. Only thing I don't like is the short life of the developer once mixed. Using it one shot if from concentrated you must be careful to exclude air from the developer concentrate or it will die on you before you get to use it. Happened to me. I now purge with nitrogen before closing the lid.
    Biggest hassle is getting the solutions to temp and stable but a tub full of water once gotten to the right temp will hold it for long enough to do the job with no problem. A Jobo system solves this problem hands down but I don't have one myself and see no need for it personally.
    Gary Beasley

  8. #8

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    I've used XP2 quite a bit. My best results were when I exposed it as if it were ISO 200 and then upped the contrast after scanning or in the printing. It's a very convenient film to use in cameras that have very limited exposure settings (vintage box cameras, Holgas, etc.), as it has such a wide, useable exposure range, on the same roll, without changing the developing at all (ie. you can shoot one picture at ISO 200, another at 400 and another at 800, if you want, or if the lighting conditions change - and this does really work). I prefer more conventional B&W film like Tri-X and HP5 though. XP2 is great for scanning, because, since it's really just colour print film without the colour, you can use Digital ICE and other similar infrared dust removal systems, unlike conventional B&W films. One downside of chromogenic C41 B&W films might be that you don't get the longevity that you do with conventional B&W - but, I can't say I've had XP2 negatives long enough to know.

    Now, personally, after having used quite a bit of it, my opinion is that, if you only scan your negatives, XP2 is great. But if you print conventionally in a darkroom, you may as well use conventional B&W and go through the one additional step of developing the film yourself.

    Pierre[/b]

  9. #9

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    Convenient processing, if you are not inclined to do it yourself, fine grain for a 400 speed film, nice tonal range, good tolerance to massive overexposure, are all good reasons to use XP2 Super. C-41 films also scan much better than conventional B&W materials should you choose to go that route. But they do have a much different look when printed on conventional B&W papers. It's not bad, just different.
    Frank Schifano

  10. #10
    geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I use both Delta 400 and XP2-Super for 35mm work in the conventional darkroom. At 8X10 wet printed I can't tell that much of a difference in the final product. Both produce nice tones and contrast can be controlled via my color enlarger. I see the biggest difference when I enlarge to 11X14 the XP2 gets looking much softer/less sharp looking.

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