Ilford FP4+

January saw the first of the popular Film Parties being organised on Twitter. The principle is straight forward enough. There is one week for shooting the film, another for developing, and then in the final week, everyone shares their images. Hats off to the guys who organise the Film Parties – it’s one of the things make the twitter community so great.

The first party of 2019 was dedicated to Ilford FP4+. Its an ISO125 film, which is has a reputation for great tones and sharpness. It’s not a film I’ve shot that often, preferring Ilford PAN F or Delta 100.

However, I don’t need an excuse to go out shooting, so I purchased a few rolls from the wonderful Analogue Wonderland, with the intention of shooting it my Mamiya RZ67 Pro ii. I didn’t really have a plan for what I would shoot, so decided to see how FP4+ would handle shooting in the evening. I headed to the Oasis swimming pool in Bedford, which I thought would offer a couple of interesting architectural components to shoot.

The following images were all taken that night. I rated the film at EI80 and metered the scene to places the highlights in Zone VII, and an exposure time of 15s. Once reciprocity was taken into account, my exposure times were up to 1 min.

I also wanted to try FP4+ in the landscape, where the detail and tones should work really well. An early morning trip to one of the local fishing lakes allowed me to put it to the test. Again, I was really pleased with the results. The sun has just given, resulting in some quite strong contrast at it reflected off the water, but handled it really well. I had to do a little more work with the negative in post than I would have normally for a couple of them, but there was a lot of usable detail in the shadows.

Summary

I was really impressed with the FP4+, in particular the shots taken at night. I’m tempted to try some night time shooting before spring kicks in, and try the FP4+ rather than Delta 3200 I would normally use in such circumstances. The films were developed for 10 mins in Ilford DD-X and the negatives came out sharp and dense. Hopefully, I will get a chance to print them in the darkroom for the March #Printparteh.

The shots at the lake are more my familiar style and the film held it’s own perfectly well, but I’m not sure it will knock PAN F off the top spot for me when it comes to landscapes.

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