FP4+ or HP5+ for a beginner?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by hoffy, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Howdy,

    Once it cools down a bit(....we have just had our 5th consecutive day above 40 dec C in Adelaide) I am going to start with this B&W processing game.

    As per some of the other posts that I have read in this forum, I will take peoples advice and stick with known products.

    Ilford films seem to be the most obvious choice and it appears that Rodinal is going to be the easiest developer for me to source.

    At this early stage, though, I will only be scanning to view the images. This will not be scanning for printing, just scanning for viewing. (Printing will come a bit down the track, once I am familiar with the developing process, I will try Enlarging and printing). With this in mind, I would rather I didn't fork out the cash for a higher end film scanner. I would like to just stick with the flatbed and neg holder.

    SO, with all the above information at hand, what film(s) should I stick with? I know a lot of people in other posts have said HP5+ or Tri-X is best for starting out, but I am concerned with the larger grain and the scanner. I have used FP4+ (quite a while ago) and was wondering whether this would be a better option?
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I would get some of each. On bright sunny days go for the FP4 and if it's a bit dull, go for the HP5.




    Steve.
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    OK, let me slightly rephrase.

    Is Fp4+ anymore difficult to develop then HP5+?
     
  4. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    No. Just check the times for each.
    Regards,
    John.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    No. They are both simple, just different developer times.



    Steve.
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Cool.

    I better ask.....Rodinal is OK for these films as well, or is there something better to use (I want to stick to one shot developers at the moment)?
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Member

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    FP4 and Rodinal is a great combination.
     
  8. SamWeiss

    SamWeiss Member

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    Are you intent of developing your own film? The reason I ask is that I have never been happy with how traditional b&w films scan; and that from trying it over a 10 year period.

    On the other hand, the C-41 "b&w" films (such as XP2) have been a very positive experience scanning.
     
  9. SamWeiss

    SamWeiss Member

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    (double posted)
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    FP4+ and HP5+ are easy films to develop. As to Rodinal being the easiest developer for you to obtain, that surprises me a little. If you can get the Ilford films, couldn't you get a more general purpose developer, such as ID-11? That would be an excellent, standard developer to start out with.
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Yes, I want to develop at home. I had thought about the C-41 films (& I may still do that), but the ultimate aim is to do the lot from camera to traditional print at home. Developing and scanning is the first step. I tried some scanning tonight with a photo that I took with FP4 about 5 years ago and it looks OK (as a 800x600px electronic only image....I wouldn't want to print it).
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Y'know what? I havn't even looked on that one! On another forum, I was told to start with either Rodinal or HC-110. Rodinal is easy to get, HC-110, not so.

    I'll have to make a trip when things cool and see who has what!
     
  13. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Rodinal is a very sharp developer and lasts for abolutely ages. However, it is not a particularly fine grained developer. I have never used HC110 but I have read that it is not particularly fine grained either and development times can be inconveniently short. I have used ID 11 and find it a very easy developer to use. It comes in powdered form so you will have to mix it yourself. Mind you if you can make a cup of coffee then you can mix ID11.
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Ilford also make a large range of liquid concentrate developers. I would recommend LC29 and DD-X if you wanted that option.



    Steve.
     
  16. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I think everything relevant has been said so far. FP4+ and HP5+ are both very easy to develop as Steve mentioned. If you have enough light "down there" in Adelaide (and according to your starting post you have it ;-) ), use FP4+ for finer grain.
    FP4+ was also the first film which I developed by myself many years ago. I also can confirm Curt´s statement that FP4+ and Rodinal are a nice combination, I used it some years ago. As Adrian said, Rodinal stock solution will last nearly forever, I think it will be very suitable if you are going to develop only few films from time to time, so you won´t waste developer. Scanning the negs for a first look is a good method, I do it the same way, using a very cheap flatbed scanner.
    Am I right that you shoot 35mm?
    You should (If you haven´t done it already) look at the Ilford site, they have some very useful "how to", tutorials.
    http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=9
    Greetz, Benjamin
     
  17. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Use identical techniques for processing either film. Development times are different, but that's about it.

    FP4+ developed in Rodinal is ok, but only just. Not my first choice of developer for general picture taking. I've never been happy with HP5+ and Rodinal at all. There have been a few shots that worked reasonably well, but they have been exceptions. Overall, I've been much more successful using Kodak's D-76 or XTOL, or Ilford's ID-11 (same thing, different brands) with these two films. Kodak's HC-110, or its English twin from Ilford, Ilfotec HC (itself a more concentrated version of LC-29) are good options if you need or prefer to work with a long lasting, liquid concentrate developer.
     
  18. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    HP5+ in DD-X is the combination for me, perfect for everyting I do. Nothing else in my fridge for a long time. :cool: It prints on MGIV and scans on Coolscan 5000 like a dream, too.
     
  19. Ian Tindale

    Ian Tindale Member

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    You might as well get colour film and do C41 processing. It's just about as easy, and you're already more or less at the right temperature anyway.
     
  20. viridari

    viridari Member

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    I am a film beginner and have been doing fine with Ilford HP5+ (in Rodinal 1:50) rated from 320 to 1600. When I shoot @ 320, I develop as 400. For all other speeds I follow the massive dev chart. I haven't yet tried FP4+.

    If you have easy access to it, also try Kodak Tri-X 400 and Tri-X 320 (which is almost a completely different film). The Tri-X 320 (TXP320) is actually becoming one of my favorites and I really need to get more of it. I develop it in Rodinal 1:50, as well (per Massive Dev Chart).

    Feel free to PM me if you ever want to compare notes or see examples.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2009
  21. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Out of the two, HP5+ is possibly a bit more forgiving. In general (which applies to all negative film), a low ISO film is more contrasty than the higher ISO film. So, to start with I would go for HP5. Not that FP4+ is difficult to handle, but I personally use it in more dull conditions to give a little bit of extra punch.
    Anyhow, as you're about to start with processing your own film, try to stay with one developer, until you succeed in getting good negatives over and over again. By then you can start to experiment, as you have established a standard for your personal needs (darkroom, enlarger ...). There is plenty of information on this site on how to adjust the developing time so that your negatives really suits your way of printing. (It all comes down to an old photographic rule: "Expose for the shadows ... and develop for the highlights.")

    //Björn
     
  22. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Member

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    I would also vote for HP5 rather than FP4 for a beginner. Higher ISO provides a bit more latitude for hand holding and easier to make a basic "good" print with HP5 than FP4 in my opinion. FP4 is more contrasty and in my experience needs a bit more skill in initial exposure and then printing. Xtol 1+1 is my favourite basic developer. Easy to get the working solution right and at the right starting temperature.
     
  23. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    If you don't mind restricting yourself to one film (which is not a bad idea) HP5 would be my choice. As Tony said, it will give you more opportunities to get a good shot. Regarding developers, there's a lot to be said that will probably confuse you. I'd say pick one that is easily obtainable and stick with it. If I had to give some advice, I'd say pick a concentrated liquid developer. ID11/D76, XTOL are all great, but the bad thing is that you need to get them to the correct temperature. Right now, the temperatures down there are very high. On the other hand, you only need to mix water to the correct temperature with concentrated liquid developers. When mixing 25 parts (or more) water with 1 part developer, developer's temperature is insignificant. It's a matter of convenience too...
     
  24. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with those who suggest a superconcentrated developer. If you can find Ilfotec HC then that's my top recommendation - in my experience it gives tighter grain and smoother tonality than Rodinal; and it lasts just as long.

    Whether you use FP4+ or HP5+ is up to you. I prefer FP4+ myself - in every format from 35mm to 8x10". And I develop everything in Ilfotec HC. :smile:
     
  25. trexx

    trexx Member

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    One caveat, not in the same cup.
     
  26. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Rodinal is a great developer, but it accentuates grain, which will be more apparent with faster film. Scanning also accentuates grain. Thus you will find a scan and a real silver print from a Rodinal developed negative to look quite different from each other. The best advice that can be given is to try it, and if you don't like it, try a more normal developer with less accutance like ID-11 or D76.

    As far as which film, either one is generally forgiving and won't bust your dealios. Use the one that is the speed that suits your subjects.