Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Ilford XP2

Before shooting this roll of film I'd never used Ilford XP2. I'd almost actively avoided it. I think if you develop your own black and white film you either don't have a need for C-41 developed black and white films, or like me, you're a little snobby about the whole idea. I think I just assumed the results wouldn't be very good and that put me off.

At the beginning of December, before I'd unpacked all my chemicals in my new home I had an urge to go out and shoot a roll of black and white film. Without processing it myself I'd have to send it away somewhere at quite a high cost so I figured it was finally time to bite the bullet and shoot a roll of XP2 which is stocked in my local Boots relatively inexpensively. (On a side note, I'd never recommend getting film developed at Boots. The printing quality is awful and it's not cheap. I go to Snappy Snaps. They're much more flexible and if you're getting prints done then the matte paper gives a lovely finish.)

Anyway, off I went on what was a nice, warm, sunny December day shooting as always with my Minolta X-300. I took a short train journey and wandered around a nearby riverside town shooting the roll and generally bumbling. The film rates at ISO 400 which is on the slow end of the speeds that I like to use. I'm a high contrast high grain kinda girl. Generally I shoot at 800 and what isn't rated there I tend to push. I know that Snappy Snaps won't push film for me though so I shot it at the box rating and all relatively quickly. I put it in to develop as soon as I got back to town and scanned it that evening.

I think I'd expected it to be a bit washed out. Maybe quite muted in tone. I was very wrong.

River Colne from the train

I was pleasantly surprised with how dark the blacks were. I know it's ISO 400, I probably shouldn't have been. I'd imagine that quite a few photographers wouldn't like the lack of subtle gradient but I like a low grain high contrast. Not as much as high grain but certainly enough that I'd use the film again. 

Look at what it does to the water!!! Lovely. 

Overall i'm going to give this film a not too shoddy 6/10. 

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