View Full Version : "new" HP5 Plus

Carl Weese
30-Sep-2003, 09:15
The question about film speeds brought up a number of references to the classic characteristics of Ilford HP5 Plus film.

I have observed that sheet HP5 Plus has changed, starting about a year ago, and the change is very much for the better from a Pt/Pd printer's standpoint. The "new" (Ilford has not announced any change) material has significantly reduced fb+f level. It used to come in around .18-2.0 and now sits at about .12. That's barely more fog than TXT or FP4 Plus.

The notoriously stubborn shoulder also has relented a bit and I find that I get contrast adequate for palladium prints with less development than formerly. Lower fog, higher contrast. It would be nice if manufacturers would tell us when they change things, but this time I'm delighted with the change, announced or not.---Carl

Mark Houtzager
30-Sep-2003, 09:25
That's interesting. I have been using HP5+ in PMK for a while and noticed that I have been getting a little higher contrast lately. I thought it had something to do with my sharpening technique (in Photoshop), but could not figure out how and why. This may well be it. I'll test a strip with a slightly shorter dev time.

Thanks Carl!


tim atherton
30-Sep-2003, 09:30
Ilford has always made it a practice to make small tweaks to their film, but not announce it until they get really big.

when they changed from HP5 to HP5 Plus (a big tweak...) that last batch of HP5 before the change was not at all the same film as HP5 when it was first introduced years before - it had gradually changed over the years in small increments.

Sal Santamaura
30-Sep-2003, 11:20
Well Carl, now that I finally got some time (a little each weekend, starting this past Saturday) to do exposure/development tests on the 8x10 HP5+ which has been sitting in my freezer for a year and a half, you point out this change. Damn, but it's good to know so no more effort is wasted calibrating something unavailable in the future. Mine is definitely old stuff; fb+f comes in at the classic 0.18 in DD-X 1:4.

Any idea when Ilford cut in the improvements? What's the expiration date on your box of 'new' film? Thanks in advance.

Carl Weese
30-Sep-2003, 13:00

I got a large batch of 7x17 just about a year ago. The expiration date on the boxes is "Jun 05"

8x10 film that I've bought during the past year also shows the lower fog and straighter curve.---Carl