This film is great for walking around and taking snapshots. It's cheap, it's good quality, I can get great shadows and highlights. I also like the fast developing time. But the difference between this and the Delta is noticeable and the price difference isn't that much. I'd spend the extra fifty cents and go for the Delta for anything more than snapshots.
I must admit when I bought HP5 I kinda had low expectations because it was not pricy. I had just bought my Yashica 635 and I wanted a roll just to test functionality. Well after getting my photos developed I can honestly say my expectations were exceeded by far! In low light situations it has that gritty grain that adds character to a photo. The blacks are true and the dynamic range is ubelievable. It was also sitting in my camera as it got scanned through airport security with no problems. I will def be buying more.
This is the Ilford equivalent of the famous Kodak TriX--a fast film with a 400 ISO that can be pushed to 1600 or more, depending on development, developer and exposure. It is a bit different than the journalistic standard TriX and those differences were enough to make me switch long ago to using Ilford over Kodak.
Some of the differences:
1. The film base seems to lie flatter than Kodak.
2. There seems to be a bit more latitude (range of grays) with Ilford HP vs TriX.
1. Recently Kodak stopped making their own acetate, so the base may now be the same among most film brands.
2. Thickness of acetate seems to be the same (4-5/1000 inch)
3. Developers: the famous standard Kodak D76 is chemically the same as Ilford D11.
Actually, one of my favorite B&W films is Agfa APX, which I can't find often (rumor has it, it's discontinued.) So I am usually between Kodak and Ilford. Try both to see if you get better results pushing this film than Kodak. As to quality in high-speed, nothing seems to beat Kodak TMax, which has a different shape silver crystal, a "t-shape" which is supposedly able to layer in such a way to give finer grained results.
None of these films has as much silver halide content as the films of years ago that I grew up on; silver is expensive. So you have to try different brands such as Ilford, Kodak and also different developers. I ended up using Rodinal (despite my instructor's warnings that it was "weird s***")
If you are seeking really fine grain and can go the other way with film speed, down to 25 ISO (tripod!) then try Ilford Pan F and Perceptol developer. Pan F is normally ISO 50 but this is cut in half by Perceptol. I never got better grain in 35mm, almost a creamy look and a very wide range of latitude. However, for speed, HP-5 Plus 400 is a standard and its ability to be pushed with reasonably good range of tones makes it one of my favorite films for available light use.
I used to work at a photo lab a few years ago that also sold cameras and film product. The store I worked at carried this brand and I loved it! I have had a difficult time finding this for sale where I live so I love the fact that I can get it through Amazon! Great buy!
I love this film. Ive used this in a 1929 Kodak Pocket folding camera, and a 1958 Yashica Yashicamat TLR. Attached are a couple of samples that I took with the Yashicamat. Even though this is a 400 speed film, the grain is not very noticeable. It is extremely flexible in terms of exposure. If you are shooting outdoors, you dont need to worry about using an exposure meter with this camera, just use the "Sunny 16" rule. With this film, set your shutter speed as close to 1/400 sec as possible (most cameras dont have a 1/400 speed so 1/250 is fine). In bright sunlight with harsh shadows, set your aperture to f/16 and you will be properly exposed. If you are outdoors with hazy sun with soft shadows, set it to f/11. If the sky is overcast/cloudy, set it to f/8. If there are heavy clouds, rain, or in total shade, use f/5.6 and your pictures will always come out nice!
I love the camera I purchased and for some reason the film did not come up with a great rating...I thought I rated the film and the camera at the same time..but I rated it all 5 stars because it is just exactly what I wanted..sorry for any confusion..and I appreciated the note to my husband..it was exactly as I asked..couldn't be happier..Linda