Ilford HP5+, part 2

In part 1 I noted that my HP5+ negatives were rather thin. The next roll I developed for 13 minutes at 68F in Rodinal 1+50 and the results were much closer to what I’m used to with Tri-X and Acros. Still a little low in contrast compared to them, so the next one was souped for 14 minutes.

This is the first time I’ve had to really dial in a film, Tri-X and Acros development times were about spot-on first time I tried them. I’m pleased to have been able to diagnose the problem too, maybe I am learning something after all?

Otherwise I am definitely happy with the results. On a light table with a 10x lupe I’m unable to notice much of any difference between HP5+ and Tri-X shot in the same camera and developed the same way. Similar grain, similar sharpness. Same thing when scanned. I have no complaints so far. Still curious to see what, if any, difference I’d see with enlargements made in a darkroom.

On the basis of something mentioned over at TOP recently about getting better results by pulling one stop and under developing (thereby increasing shadow density while controlling highlights), plus the “I think it’s undercooked a stop” experience of my first two rolls, I’m shooting my last roll of HP5+ at EI 200 and will be developing it for 11 minutes.

On a related note I now have 7 rolls of Ilford’s mid-speed FP4+ in the fridge awaiting their turn. My starting point there will be EI 64 and whatever Ilford’s official time for Rodinal 1+50 is.