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View Full Version : HP5 or FP4? Which 8x10 film to pick.



Daniel Grenier
10-Feb-2004, 11:48
Aside from speed, exactly what is the difference between the two? Especially when working with Pyro & AZO? I now use Tri-X and know nothing about Ilford film but I can have a case of either at my disposal (owed favors) so I'm trying to pick the best match (and speed is not an issue for me).

Thanks for your input.

Mark Sampson
10-Feb-2004, 11:59
HP5+ and Tri-X are similar in speed. FP4+ has a great reputation, but it is nominally rated at ISO 125- which might be too slow for those small 8x10 f/stops. Since you're contact printing, grain and sharpness won't be considerations. I use Tri-X, and were I in your shoes, that's what I'd ask for. But given your choice, I'd go for the HP5+.

Jim Galli
10-Feb-2004, 13:14
FWIW, curious if anyone else has had a similar experience......I use FP4 for most things and HP5 has dis-appointed me in almost every case until I switched to Pyrocat HD. Kapow. The HP5 came to life.

Typically, HP5 is a little flat and useful in brightly lit situations where you could use a little less contrast to advantage. FP4 builds contrast faster and would be a better choice perhaps on a day with more subdued light where you could use more contrast. So I think both are useful. I get mine in the plain white box that says "ARISTA" from Freestyle Sales Co.

Jay DeFehr
10-Feb-2004, 13:44
I use HP5+ developed in ABC Pyro by inspection for natural light portraits, and have not found it flat at all. I usually shoot in fairly flat light, and develop my film to the contrast that I like. Some of my negatives have a density range of 1.6 , and a few up to 2.1 for albumen printing. I love the look of this film/developer combination.

Ken Lee
10-Feb-2004, 15:34
Jim - What film speed do you get with HP5+ and Pyrocat HD ?

Jim Galli
10-Feb-2004, 17:03
Hi Ken. 400. YMMV. My style of metering almost always has me at the mfg's advertised when others aren't. jg

Michael Kadillak
10-Feb-2004, 17:26
HP5 is a fine film, but I find that it has a tendency to block up in the highlights of full range images, which is clearly evident by the shape of the film curve as it tops out on at the high end and you have a propensity to lose detail. A classic example is the white froth in a waterfall or a puffy highly illuminated cloud in the sky. As a result, I would recommend FP4+ as a film that has far less of this aformentioned tendency and is simply marvelous in Pyrocat HD. Plus, you can shoot it at its recommended film speed in this developer. Take a quick glance at the film curves within Sandy King's article on Pyrocat HD at unblinkingeye.com and see for yourself.Cheers!

Brian Ellis
10-Feb-2004, 17:28
I use HP5+ and rate it at EI 200. Assuming that FP4+ would be rated at half to two thirds of the manufacturer's speed (I've never used it so I don't know), you'd be using some very slow shutter speeds with the small apertures often encountered with 8x10. I'd go for the HP5+ for that reason. No need to worry about grain with contact prints.

mark blackman
10-Feb-2004, 22:35
I use FP4 and rate it at 100. I've pushed it to 200 many times, with no problems. I've seen it pushed to 400, likewise. Both are fine films and once you get a combination of emulsion, chemicals and process that gives you the results you expect, I'd advise you to keep with it.

Quite frankly, for contact prints, you can happily overexpose by several stops and get excellent results, especially with POP.