If you have been following my blog for the past month or so, you know that I have been experimenting with different films in order to find one that can be shot handheld around my house in low light.
I have so far shot Ilford Delta 3200 at 1600 with nice results, but the price and the grain has kept me on my quest. Next I tried Kodak P3200 at 1600 and then 800. I just really didn’t like my results. It was even grainier than the Delta 3200, and although some may like that, it is not what I want for the subjects I will be shooting.
The other factor with those two films was the price tag. Ilford Delta 3200 is around $12 for a roll of 35mm film where a roll of HP5 is around $6. Half the price. So I’ve decided to try pushing my favorite black and white film Ilford HP5 400 to 800.
I developed the roll in Kodak D-76 developer for 10min and 30 seconds. I agitated lightly 10 seconds every minute with the swizzle stick.
Below are two photos to compare. The left is my dog Frankie taken on Kodak P3200 at ISO 800 and the right is Frank taken on HP5 400 at ISO 800. The grain is noticeably different. If you are on a phone it may be difficult to see, but it is very noticeable in the white areas.
You can also see in the photos below, when comparing pulling Kodak P3200 to 800 with pushing Ilford HP5 400 to 800 the grain is a lot less in the HP5. Look closely to the white wrapping paper and you should see it.
I only pushed it one stop this time, just to see its limits and not waste a roll. The next roll I will be pushing to 1600 just so I can have a little faster shutter speeds.
Now you may be asking, why not just google it and see what others have gotten by doing the same? I did that but I have also learned that everyones results can vary. My lighting conditions and subjects, as well as processing methods may differ from theirs.
Ilford HP5 400 is my go-to black and white film because it has low contrast and low grain which allows me to add in what I want in post. Pushing it has been no different.
Even though pushing film tends to add contrast, I was still able to control it in post and add a little more as needed. I like having that control.
I am really pleased with these results. The price is right and the grain is to my liking. I would like to be able to use faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures, so next I will try pushing it to 1600. I am not sure if I should push it any further than that. It will depend on the grain. Stay tuned for more.
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Until next time stay motivated and keep shooting.