Saturday, July 08, 2017

Ilford FP-4+ - A great medium-speed B&W film

I have long been a fan of Ilford's films -- and if you shoot a lot of monochrome film, you'll know that Ilford is a brand that is monochrome only.  I have reviewed a lot of films on this blog, but have skipped many popular emulsions, because I figure that everyone knows about them.   However, with the resurgence of film, I realize that some films definitely should get a shout out.  A few years ago, Kodak discontinued their Plus-X Pan film.  Plus-X was a very good old-style film with good grain, latitude, and with an ISO of 125, it was great for allowing a shallower depth-of-field in brighter light than Kodak Tri-X.  Kodak felt that the Tmax 100 was a good substitute and it also used less silver than Plus-X, thus saving them money. In any case, Ilford has been making FP-4+ for a long time, and it remains an excellent medium-speed black and white film.  I feel the images from it have a great tonal scale, and there is no type of subject that it does not do well with.  It has excellent latitude and sharpness, depending on your developer.

I have been shooting with FP-4+ for almost 20 years, and while it is obviously not the only 100-125 ISO film out there, I consistently get good results with it.  My typical developer is D76, diluted 1:1 for 11 minutes.  D-23 for 6 minutes also works well.  Since it is a current film, the Massive Development Chart will give you other choices.  It is available in 35mm, 120, 4x5, and 8x10.  I find to be the ideal "every day" film for me.

Here is a small sample of images from my archive of images shot on Ilford FP-4+ film: