Hard to beat
Honestly, not much to say that hasn’t been said already. This film is incredibly reliable and shoots well in most situations. Give it a try if you haven’t already.
Will definetly buy some more!
I brought my film camera on a trip Las Vegas, and very quickly shot all the film I brought! I looked in all the convenience stores and drug stores for some more, but they don’t sell film anymore… So I made a trip to the Leica store, hoping they of all people would have film, and sure enough they had some black and white film, like Ilford HP5! The film is grainy at times, and looked best when there was natural direct sunlight to create highlights and strong tones. Would recommend for both new and experienced photographers!
Most versatile BW film out there
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.
Hit the Ground Running
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.
Brilliant forgiving film
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.
If at first Tri-X doesn't succeed. . .
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.
Go-to B&W film
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.
Dependable and Fantastic
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).
All time Favorite BW Film Stock
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.