Harmon Films: Ilford FP4 Plus (1)

Results from the Kentmere 100 were a bit disappointing, with blown highlights and clumpy grain. Both, of course, possibly the result of the 24℃ temperature or some other development issue. I followed times and temperatures included on the box for the FP4 Plus, though, so let’s take a look and see how it held up.

Here’s a shot that may show what this film is capable of: with a full range of tones from white to black.

And here’s a crop:

MashaAllah! The highlight isn’t blown, there are nice transitions in the greys, the grain is even and not overly harsh, and it looks really good overall.

Clear, sharp, good contrast… I’m impressed. Check the reflection on the tank: it’s as clear as anything… MashaAllah.

Things break down a little bit at 100%, but I expect this would print nicely at rather large sizes, though only Allah knows, since I do very very little printing.

Maybe one day.

So far, I think I prefer FP4 Plus to Kentmere 100, though I need to give the Kentmere another chance at 20℃ to see if that’s really the problem, or if it’s the quality of the film.

So it handled shooting into the sunrise, and it handled shooting from the car window in the middle of the afternoon, how does it handle indoors?

Well, at 125 ISO (shot at 100, I think), it wasn’t great at freezing motion, but it still yielded pleasant enough results.

This shows the grain quite a bit better, and it’s much more even than the Kentmere.

There are some blown highlights in reflections in the water dish, but those highlights were blown in the scene, so that’s no big deal. The great part here is how even and natural the grain looks, and how many different shades of grey are in this picture. For get 50, this is analog: it’s mostly infinite, a smooth gradient.

FP4 Plus took on a scenes in different environments at different times of the day, and handled everything happily, with good detail and clarity, great separation, low, even grain and good tone, and it’s probably worth the extra dollar or so per roll over the Kentmere, even for just playing around.

If I were shooting for school or something, or if I wasn’t so picky, and if it was easier to get to chemicals to 68℉, maybe the Kentmere would be fine. But for my purposes (limited time, desire for quality, etc.), FP4 Plus wins hands down.

Up next, the Kentmere 400, actually developed at 20℃.

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