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Thread: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

  1. #1

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    FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    I've been mainly using FP4 since I started processing my own film a few years ago. I've always been happy with it, but am wanting to add HP5 to my repetoire. Other than its faster speed, what other situations would I want to use it over FP4? I've heard that HP5 is a low contrast film so doesn't really like low contrast N+ dev type situations and FP4 is contrasty so better for N+ and less suitable to N- situations. Have others observed this? It seems less convenient as it's the low contrast/darker lighting you'd want a faster speed film for. I also notice that the HP5 curve doesn't have a shoulder- does this mean that past a point of + processing, you'd just get blocking and no seperation compared to FP4? How would I use these 2 different curves to greatest benefit? Lastly, how does the grain compare? I would be contact printing and enlarging to 16x20 max from 4x5 and 5x7 negs. I also hope to eventually start doing diginegs for Ziatype. I guess I'm just wondering if I need to keep the FP4 around for any reason....

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2

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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    For LF I use FP4+ any time the shutter speeds are fast enough for what I'm shooting. When the light gets dim I start metering more and thinking of using HP5+ if I must.

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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    p.s. given the option I'd still be using Plus-X.

  4. #4
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    I've never particularly liked HP5 but then I've always disliked Tri-x. But that was based on 35mm use back in the 70's/80's.

    I started with HP3

    Since starting to use a Crown Graphic hand held I've found a need to use a faster film, so that I can use a speed of 100th or more as well as apertures like f16 or preferably f22.

    So while in Turkey for hand-held work it's HP5 I'm not used to the look of the negatives yet, I can read more in a negative tahn looking at a contact sheet, but the prints are superb. I should add that light levels are usually near the maximum a Luna Pro will read

    I tried it in the UK using a tripod and didn't like it, it's too fast, I prefer a 50 EI film like Tmax or Delta 100 and long shutter speeds at f22/32 or even f45 depending on the lens.

    For tripod work I find Delta 100 is far better alround, but in reality HP5 is an excellent film and has plenty of flexibility.

    FP4 is equally as good, ultimately it's knowing your films, I used Delta 100 & 400 for a long time, I've only changed because Kodak films are harder to find (for me).

    Ian

  5. #5

    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    Ian G .. I'm curious to know how Delta 400 compares to Tri x or Tmax 400 ? Any thoughts ? Delta seems easier to find.. and a bit cheaper too I think ?
    Thanks
    Eamonn / Ireland

  6. #6
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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    I don't understand why you would want to replace FP-4+ with HP-5+.

    You are used to working with FP-4+ and are perfectly happy with it. Don't replace it. Make use of both types of film.

    I use HP-5 for 4X5, 5X7 and 8X10 negatives and FP-4+ for 120 roll film negatives. I usually to enlarge to 11X14 or 16X20.

    Both are conventional grained films. You are correct in assuming that developing HP-5+ to N+ will tend to blow out the highlights. However, when developed in Pyrocat-HC. I have found that a 4X5 HP-5+ negative easily holds detail in the highlights and can be enlarged to 16X20 without exhibiting unacceptable grain.

    Fp-4+ is a slower film and finer grained. A 16X20 enlargement from a 6X7 FP-4+ negative not a problem as far as grain is concerned.

  7. #7

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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    I used FP4 for a few years and it is still one of my favourites.

    I then began to use TMY when I needed more speed, and now it is the only film I use.

    FP4 has better exposure latitude, but TMY I prefer for the extra speed. The grain is similar between the two films, at least in XTOL 1:1.

    I prefer TMY to Tri-X and HP5.

    If you don't need the speed stick with FP4.

  8. #8
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    I'm the opposite of Ron. If you don't need the grain, stick with HP5. In general, I see the choice of film speed as blur vs grain. I'd like to know more about FP4, but I've always found that when I carry two films, I never have enough of the right one for the moment.
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  9. #9
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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eamonn Doyle View Post
    Ian G .. I'm curious to know how Delta 400 compares to Tri x or Tmax 400 ? Any thoughts ? Delta seems easier to find.. and a bit cheaper too I think ?
    Thanks
    Eamonn / Ireland
    Delta 400 is close to Tmax 400 in it's qualities, unfortunately it's not available in LF, it was discontinued some time ago, I shoot it occasionally 6x6 & mainly 6x17.

    Ilford films are significantly cheaper in the UK compared to Kodak, one reason I switched back, but the main one was Tmax was almost impossible to find when I was in South America, and it's the same here in Turkey. On my last trip back to the UK only Ilford and a little Fuji was stocked by my local store.

    I will always use the slowest possible speed film.

    Ian

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    Re: FP4 vs HP5- when to use one over the other?

    i use faster lenses and like to shoot them wide open or close to it. FP4 is my film of choice as a result.....i find it frustrating that in 11x14 it is easier to get HP5......
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