Film Showcase Ilford XP2 Super

adam

Regular
Jan 24, 2013
Birmingham UK
Adam
Nice one, Amin. I really like that film--and Kodak's recently discontinued BW400CN. Nice tones and sharpness, & moderate grain. Best of all, you can use ICE to remove dust and scratches when scanning. But now that I'm doing my own home film processing, I use traditional B&W film and I donated my supply of BW400CN and XP2 to a local photo program for urban youth that my daughter volunteers with (http://www.firstexposures.org).
 

Edward Conde

Regular
Dec 16, 2013
I have gotten some good grainy results from XP2.. I dig it especially when using an orange filter!


Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 | XP2 Super + Orange Filter
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
Now this is the C-41 black and white film I always recommended to people who wanted traditional silver gelatin prints. It was quirky to print beside silver halide films, but nothing like the Kodak orange based alternative.
 

derelict

Rookie
Jan 27, 2017
Very nice results - a little veiling flare in the second image, I guess? The 3:2 are from the ETR - or even from the Ercona?

M.
Might be. It was MUCH brighter than any 400 speed film should have been. I metered it at 400 but the light meter was recommending speeds much faster than 1/500 that the EM maxes out at. I then had it pushed a stop in development to 800. In the second frame, the sun was low in the horizon on the left so it was shining right into the lens. I do not use hoods.
1. Yashicamat EM
2. Yashicamat EM
3. Pentax MX
4. Pentax MX
5. Yashicamat EM
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Might be. It was MUCH brighter than any 400 speed film should have been. I metered it at 400 but the light meter was recommending speeds much faster than 1/500 that the EM maxes out at. I then had it pushed a stop in development to 800. In the second frame, the sun was low in the horizon on the left so it was shining right into the lens. I do not use hoods.
1. Yashicamat EM
2. Yashicamat EM
3. Pentax MX
4. Pentax MX
5. Yashicamat EM
Thanks for clearing that up - the MX did very well here, but you really squeezed quite a lot of performance out of that film. I wasn't so happy with it last time, but your results sure warrant another attempt ...

M.
 

derelict

Rookie
Jan 27, 2017
Thanks for clearing that up - the MX did very well here, but you really squeezed quite a lot of performance out of that film. I wasn't so happy with it last time, but your results sure warrant another attempt ...

M.
I really like XP2. The differences between the EM and the MX are going to be metering. I allow the MXs mostly center weighted metering system make the recommendations for me whereas the EM I use a Sekonic and take a basic shadow reading and work off of that.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I found the film a bit hard to like when I had to scan it - compared to other base materials, it appeared downright brittle and flimsy, but it probably just felt that way among all the other rather stout b&w strips I was handling. The scans turned out fine, btw. - just a little harder to balance than Acros 100, and if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is ... As for shooting it, I'm a bit peculiar in that I prefer finely graded films to those with lots of contrast; I only noticed this recently when comparing images with very similar subjects (I shoot a lot of forest stuff - it seems to speak to me; it's a little embarrassing, really): smooth transitions really are my thing - and XP2 is solid middle of the road here, even though old-fashioned HP5+ suits me a little better, in spite of being a bit grainier. Actually, Delta 400 delivers quite similar results to XP2, a tiny bit crisper, but also coarser when it comes to transitions - again, just a tad; the upside is finer (but grittier, rougher) grain. I'd say that for most purposes, XP2 and Delta 400 are interchangeable, and given the convenience of the C41 process for lab processing, XP2 really is wonderful to have around. In the end, it's a question of taste anyway - and your images really show off the impressive dynamic range XP2 is capable of; of course, a lot of that is your doing ... I really like the slightly more "daring" appearance of the YashicaMat images, btw. - the first and last images are my favourites, in spite of the solid results you got from the MX.

M:
 

derelict

Rookie
Jan 27, 2017
I found the film a bit hard to like when I had to scan it - compared to other base materials, it appeared downright brittle and flimsy, but it probably just felt that way among all the other rather stout b&w strips I was handling. The scans turned out fine, btw. - just a little harder to balance than Acros 100, and if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is ... As for shooting it, I'm a bit peculiar in that I prefer finely graded films to those with lots of contrast; I only noticed this recently when comparing images with very similar subjects (I shoot a lot of forest stuff - it seems to speak to me; it's a little embarrassing, really): smooth transitions really are my thing - and XP2 is solid middle of the road here, even though old-fashioned HP5+ suits me a little better, in spite of being a bit grainier. Actually, Delta 400 delivers quite similar results to XP2, a tiny bit crisper, but also coarser when it comes to transitions - again, just a tad; the upside is finer (but grittier, rougher) grain. I'd say that for most purposes, XP2 and Delta 400 are interchangeable, and given the convenience of the C41 process for lab processing, XP2 really is wonderful to have around. In the end, it's a question of taste anyway - and your images really show off the impressive dynamic range XP2 is capable of; of course, a lot of that is your doing ... I really like the slightly more "daring" appearance of the YashicaMat images, btw. - the first and last images are my favourites, in spite of the solid results you got from the MX.

M:
Thanks. I have only shot one roll of Acros in 120 through my ETR. I liked it quite a bit but not enough to choose it over anything else. I have a bunch of Kodak 125PX I am working my way through for finer photos. The beauty of the XP2 is that it is C41 which makes it SO much cheaper to develop than any of my other BW stock. I just threw a roll into my Ercona so in a week or so I will have a few more frames to put up as examples. It is funny that you mention Delta 400. I never really liked it. Not too sure why but something just seems like it is missing with that one. Cannot tell you really.

I appreciate the comments on the shots. I really like the EM. With it I use a modified zone system and work it as close as I can get with the speeds available to me with that one. That and being 6x6 mean I have to look at things just a little bit different than when I take any of my other stuff out.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I think Delta 400 trades "sharpness" for "smoothness" - better edges, but somewhat artificial. I guess I don't like T grain too much - the XP2 is just that little bit smoother. But it only really shows close-up or printed out - or if your image has lots of the above-mentioned smooth transitions. But Delta 400 really scans well - go figure ... As I said, even though Delta is a fine film at all speeds available, I don't favour it. Having XP2 is truely a boon, and it's a good film, but again, not my favourite ... So it goes.

It's funny you should mention costs, though - because my lab charges exactly the same for whatever roll I hand to them, and they're reallly cheap compared to just about everyone else here in Switzerland. I'll start developing myself soon, though - which will make b&w the much, much cheaper choice.

M.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2013
Cheshire, England
Martin Connolly
I finally got round to having some rolls of film developed. Here are some shots taken on XP2 with Minolta X370 and 45mm f/2 lens. Developed by AG photographic, scanned on a Canon 8800F with Vuescan, tweaked in Lightroom.

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Birch by -theoldsmithy-

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Escape is possible by -theoldsmithy-

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