ILFORD HP5 Plus 400 - Film Review

5.0 rating
User Ratings
4.9 rating
35mm, 120, 4x5, 8x10

HP5 is one of the oldest running film stocks and has a very classic look.  It has beautiful subtle tones and medium contrast that produces great detail in the shadows.  It has incredible exposure latitude and pushes very well.


Buy this film online – 35mm | 120 Rolls 

User Reviews

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4.9 rating
4.9 out of 5 stars (based on 7 reviews)
Very good14%

Most versatile BW film out there

5.0 rating
February 4, 2020

I´ve been shooting HP5+ for over 15 years and it has never disappointed me! Exceptional tonal range makes it very forgiving. Pushing it 1 or 2 stops ? No problem but personally I prefer the look when pushing it to 800.

Balazs Brauner

Hit the Ground Running

5.0 rating
February 2, 2020

I can’t honestly say that I have done more than dip my toes into 35mm photography yet. So naturally making a lot of rookie mistakes is kind of my MO. This film stock is that laid back driving instructor everyone wants to have. Just sitting there with a relaxed smile and an occasional: “don’t worry mate, she’ll be ‘right”, while you commit all sorts of horrible atrocities against your stick shift. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a safety net while you learn from your mistakes. Cannot recommend this one more.

Michael Hoepfl

Brilliant forgiving film

5.0 rating
January 31, 2020

This film is saveable when over or under exposed. Contrast is not that great, but allows for the addition in digital post or during processing (add higher temp). The grain is very fine and retains so much detail in the shadows and highlights. No wonder it’s so popular.

Paul Petch

If at first Tri-X doesn't succeed. . .

4.0 rating
December 16, 2019

Wonderful film. Handles pushing in daylight with smooth contrast and very fine grain.
I much prefer this film over Tri-X if pushing in bright situations but I wouldn’t recommend it when working in low light.

Logan Garrett

Go-to B&W film

5.0 rating
September 30, 2019

A while back I decided to buy a dozen rolls or so of HP5 to really get a feel for what a single film stock can do. HP5 is an incredibly flexible, forgiving film. It handles highlights well, it’s relatively low contrast, and to me it has a relatively soft feel. I mention that last part because I’m often conflicted about whether to shoot HP5 or Tri-X. Both are excellent, but the latter has more contrast by default. It’s difficult to quantify the difference; I suggest looking at examples or trying it yourself.
I should also note that HP5 pushes extremely well one or two stops without much increase in noticeable grain. Contrast does increase as is typical, but the results are lovely rather than overwhelming. In most situations I’d choose to shoot HP5 pushed two stops instead of a dedicated low-light film like Delta 3200.
You can’t go wrong with HP5 for its quality and flexibility. Choosing this vs. another B&W film comes down to the look you’re aiming for.

Wesley Chambers

Dependable and Fantastic

5.0 rating
September 28, 2019

This affordable film provides a great foundation for B&W shooting in most situations. Nice grain that’s visible, but you can still obtain a sharp shot. The contrast is what you’d expect from a great B&W film when developed correctly – not over the top (a la tri-x). Affordable (thanks Ilford).

Tyler Belcher

All time Favorite BW Film Stock

5.0 rating
August 15, 2019

I’ve been a long time fan of HP5 because of it’s overall versatility. Very good for pushing, contrast looks great at 400 but gets better at 800/1600. Grain is very fine as well even when pushed overall just an amazing everyday black and white film.

Jonathan Paragas