Monday, April 23, 2007

Ilford FP4 Plus

This film was the first B&W film I ever used, although now called FP4 'plus' it has very similar characteristics to the original.
One thing that has changed is the packaging which is a white box rather than the old black, something that has made me confuse it with Ilfords other 100ISO film Delta 100.
FP4 is a 'medium' speed (125ISO) film with quite fine grain and good tonal range. I feel (as do some other photographers I know) that it is best when slightly down rated to 80-100ISO and this is how I have used it for many years, as it gives better shadow detail.

Whenever I come back to FP4 using it feels like I'm with an old friend; I know its basic character so well. It does most things very well which makes it a good all round film but personally I feel it can lack depth in certain situations, but most of the time it suits the job very well.
Grain and sharpness I rate as good, in fact if you look below I was surprised how good the 100% crop looks.

Below is the 100% crop.

The Black bag has gold writing on it, and this can clearly be seen, definition is a little low but this could be the 1950's lens. Tonality is very good as this image was taken in bright sunlight, although I'm sure Rodinal helped preserve the scale.
FP4+ is a very capable film, and one that most photographers could use with confidence if they need a medium speed film.

All Images and text ©Mark Antony Smith 2007

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