Ilford HP5 - An affordable black & white film

Anyone who shoots film, and especially black & white, knows that Ilford is worth anyone’s salt. HP5 is a high speed (400 iso), medium contrast film which makes it perfect for press, action and general photography. The negatives produced feature fine grain and exceptional sharpness, which make it perfect for big enlargements in the darkroom. It is well suited to push processing of up to 3200 iso achievable with ILFORD MICROPHEN developer, maintaining good shadow detail and well separated mid-tones with sharp grain.


People all over the world have said this film is ‘a workhorse’, ‘Consistent’, ‘Versatile’, ‘Great latitude’. And they really aren’t joking.

During my last year of school when I studied photography, I mainly used HP5 to do a series of surreal portraits. It was during this time of the year I was shooting, and being quite cloudy weather limited me to certain lighting conditions. Using HP5 allowed me to have great latitude under a variety of lighting conditions, and meant I was able to do a large 8 x 12” inch print for a final piece. 

And you aren’t limited to just 400 ISO, this film is designed to really push the barriers of different ISO’s. Effectively it can be shot between 100 – 3200 iso, with a slight loss of quality, but still maintaining its fine grain and medium contrast.

Processing must be done in the traditional way with developer, stop bath & fixer. And playing with the contrast on the enlarger really works in your favour when using this film. From dark blacks to bright whites, along with a fine medium gray. It really gives your prints the ‘oomph’ they deserve. If you have access to a darkroom, it gives you a lot of chance to really see how far you can push this film. If not, there a few labs in Melbourne who still do BW developing, such as Michaels on Elizabeth St.

The film is available in 35mm, 120 rolls & sheet film for large format cameras. So you aren’t limited by the type of camera you have (Unless you shoot 110, which lomography has covered anyway hehe), so you can go shooting with any camera, under any condition and this film will have you covered.  

We are currently selling this film for $9 per roll and $26.50 for a 3 pack! That's quite possibly the cheapest BW film in Melbourne! 

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