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33 Reviews
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great B&W film (while it lasts)
I have to admit I'm not shooting film the way I used to. However, when I do shoot film, I reach for Ilford XP-2, which is a black-and-white film that can be processed by "standard" C-41 processors (same as any color negative film, such as Kodak MAX, etc.). Translation: the film is black and white, but you don't have to take it to a special lab to get it developed and...
Published on February 10, 2010 by intJohn

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice for "art shots" but for tight grain, look elsewhere
Okay, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. This film definitely does interesting things in low light, lots of contrast, very dramatic. But outdoors, it's just plain weak. The contrast is too high even in good light. It works well for low-light band photography, very artsy. It just plain looks fuzzy in well-lit scenarios. Kodak BW400CN is, in my opinion, a...
Published on July 5, 2011 by Shutterbug


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great B&W film (while it lasts), February 10, 2010
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
I have to admit I'm not shooting film the way I used to. However, when I do shoot film, I reach for Ilford XP-2, which is a black-and-white film that can be processed by "standard" C-41 processors (same as any color negative film, such as Kodak MAX, etc.). Translation: the film is black and white, but you don't have to take it to a special lab to get it developed and printed.

(I actually try to get it printed on B&W paper to avoid possible "sepia" tones; that is, on regular color paper there is sometimes an orange or green tint to the print. This is certainly not a big deal for 4x6 prints, but if you intend to enlarge and frame a nice shot, go ahead and splurge for true B&W paper.)

The film is sharp with a nice-looking fine grain structure.

Technical detail: I overexpose it by 2/3 of a stop (that is, I force the ISO to be 250 instead of 400), since it's typically much easier to correct for overexposure at printing than to make up for underexposure. (The lost wonders of film!)

I feel like this review is probably five or maybe even ten years too late, but for anyone still looking at such things, XP-2 is a great way to get your feet wet with the look and feel of black-and-white film without shelling out big(ger) bucks to get it developed in "true" B&W chemistry. Have fun while this is still available!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy C41 black and white film with great results, March 2, 2013
By 
Kon Peki (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
I love this film. I could go on and on about it, but this fellow does a much better job of that: theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2012/10/how-to-shoot-ilford-xp2-super.html

Bottom line is that it's a great B&W film that you can process on a regular color film processor at CVS, Target, Costco, etc. I highly recommend Costco who will develop a 36-exposure roll and scan at very high quality to CD for cheap.

For best results, expose to the right, meaning take care not to underexpose this film. Set your camera to ISO 200 or 250 even though the film is rated 400, and the results are really excellent.

An example shot of mine with this film: farm3.staticflickr.com/2054/2204085304_bd95152a4f_b.jpg

Addendum - I tried the Kodak alternative and didn't like it as much. Seemed washed out by comparison.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great convenience with C-41., August 13, 2012
By 
A. Gara (Chicago, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
I've used the Kodak BW400CN and XP2, and after many rolls I give the nod to XP2. Yes, the mask is slightly purple-ish. Since it's negative film, inverting the image makes the film mask light yellow. However, none of this matters since it's all removed when you convert your scan to B&W. Not sure regarding the high contrast issue, my scans need a lot of levels and contrast boost adjust in PS. I get plenty of detail, a small amount of 400 speed grain, and I like it.

Tip that I didn't invent: scan as a positive with all adjustments turned off in your scanner. Setting black and white points (or levels) with some headroom above and below is OK, but nothing else. Import to PS, then either invert or desaturate, or use monochrome setting in color channels, and adjust the saturation of each separately for results. Don't know WTH I'm talking about? Then get and read Black and White in Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop Lightroom: A complete integrated workflow solution for creating stunning monochromatic images in Photoshop CS4, Photoshop Lightroom, and beyond
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb, September 11, 2012
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
I love this film. I have recently decided to get back to shooting film and this particular film has not disappointed yet. It is sharp and contrasty and delivers a nice mix of smooth tones for people and sharp grain structure. I have also been really happy with the ability to push this film. Shooting much higher than 400, I've gotten decent results (not amazing, but passable). I say this with the caveat, though, that I have only used a real pro lab to process and print my film, just because I am wary about what smaller labs like walgreens (just because my results from them have been kind of crappy-looking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINE GRAIN, SMOOTH GRADATION, LOW LIGHT, BRIGHT LIGHT SCANNABLE BLACK AND WHITE FILM, May 12, 2013
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
ILFORD XP2 PROVIDES A BLACK AND WHITE LOOK THAT IS IMITATED BY DIRECT DIGITAL CAPTURE BUT NOT DUPLICATED. THE "DEPTH" AND GRADATION FROM HIGHLIGHT TO SHADOW IS VERY PLEASING (AND HAS BEEN FOR 30 YEARS) AND DOES NOT "BURN OUT" AS SILVER BASED FILMS TEND TO DO WITH SLIGHT OVER EXPOSURE. UNDER EXPOSURE IS ALSO FORGIVING WITH THIS FILM PROVIDING A WIDER RANGE OF PLEASING EXPOSURES UNDER WIDLY VARYING LIGHTING CONDITIONS. I HAVE ALWAYS USED THIS FILM WITH NIKON FM SERIES BODIES FOR MORE DIRECT EXPOSURE CONTROL. IF YOUR VISION REQUIRES BLACK AND WHITE FILM, GIVE THIS EMULSION A TRY...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice for "art shots" but for tight grain, look elsewhere, July 5, 2011
This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
Okay, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. This film definitely does interesting things in low light, lots of contrast, very dramatic. But outdoors, it's just plain weak. The contrast is too high even in good light. It works well for low-light band photography, very artsy. It just plain looks fuzzy in well-lit scenarios. Kodak BW400CN is, in my opinion, a MUCH better film and the grain is many times smaller. Also, they should call it "Purple & White" not Black and White, since the emulsion and film is quite cyanotic. I have no idea what that would do in a traditional enlarger, this film is probably made for scanning. Again, if you're going to do low-light band photography, this stuff does cool things. I can't think of any other use for it, myself. I'll be sticking to the Kodak BW400CN from now on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film, May 16, 2014
By 
Nathan (Honolulu, Hawaii) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
Best film I've used, hands down. Shot with a Nikkormat Ftn using a 55mm f/3.5 macro, 17-28 f/4 wide, 35-70 f/3.5 and 50mm f/1.8.
Check out some of my photos here:

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great But..., March 19, 2014
By 
Wyetha Lipford (Alexandria, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
It's great film but I couldn't use it for class because this type of film is process the same as color film so it's not idea for darkroom processing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's perfect for me., August 21, 2013
By 
Shawn Ramirez (San Antonio, Txx USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
It's Ilford, they make great film!
It's C41 process, That means just about any Walgreen's can develop it in an hour.
It's black and white,.. 400. Perfect ISO for everything.

Google search it and look at the images, then come back and buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great B&W film for 1-hour development!, August 18, 2013
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This review is from: Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film (Electronics)
I picked up this film because I was getting impatient (and broke) from dropping Ilford's regular B&W film off at specialty camera stores for 48-72 hour development. I am just starting getting into rangefinder photography and love B&W film because it's forgiving if I don't have my settings just right.

I have yet to get one photo of true black and white colors with this film. That may be my camera settings, but it also may be the film (hence the 4 not 5 stars). The photo's come out a darker "sepia" color, which is still great. They aren't grainy, and very detailed. I plan on using this in regular rotation in my Zorki 4!
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Ilford XP-2 Super 400 135-36 Black & White Film
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