Developing Adventures · film photography · Film Processing

Developing Adventures – Ilford XP2 Super 400 Pushed to 1600

In my last Developing Adventure, I shared my results with pushing Ilford XP2 by one stop. Even though Ilford doesn’t recommend it, I decided to push it even further. In this article, I’ll be sharing my results with Ilford XP2 Super 400 pushed to 1600.

Developing Ilford XP2 Super 400 Pushed to 1600

These two rolls were processed in Cinestill C41 developer and Blix. I compensated the time for pushing two stops. Also, I use a final rinse, but the film had what looks like large soap stains. I can’t figure out if the Final Rinse isn’t good anymore or if I need to also add photo Flo. Could it be the sponge squeegee? Maybe you can give me your thoughts on this in the comments. You can see an example in the photo below, there’s a white smear at the bottom.

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My Results

I shot one roll with my Olympus Pen FT, and another with my Nikon F. The Pen takes half frame photos, so I tried to take diptychs here and there.

Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600
Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600

As you can see from the photos above, this film does fine pushed to 1600 in good lighting. Even though the pics of my cats were indoors, there’s still a good amount of light coming in the window. The photos outside were at sundown, but still enough light to make nice photos.

Olympus Pen FT with Ilford XP2 Super 400 Pushed to 1600
Frankie

Photos taken in lower lighting didn’t come out as well as they have with other film stocks I’ve pushed in the same setting. Above, you can see there is a good amount of grain. Below, you can see there is a lot of contrast. However, depending on your taste or the look you are going for, those are not necessarily a bad thing.

Olympus Pen FT with Ilford XP2 Super 400 Pushed to 1600
Olympus Pen FT with Ilford XP2 Super 400 Pushed to 1600

Pushing this film to 1600 gives it a look similar to pushing Ilford Delta 400, in my opinion. The photo below is Ilford Delta 400 pushed to 1600.

Ilford Delta 400 at 1600
Ilford Delta 400 at 1600
Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600
Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600

Now, Ilford says that they don’t recommend pushing this film because no real difference in speed would be achieved. I’m not sure if this means that subjects in motion won’t be rendered correctly even pushed. I didn’t test it in that type of setting, but I think that I have shown that you can still get really nice results if you’re pushing film for the purpose of shooting in lower light conditions.

Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600
Nikon F with Ilford XP2 400 at 1600

Final Thoughts

What I like about these results and this film is that it proves that I can push it and still get reasonably nice photos. The other good part is that I can process it with my color rolls so I don’t have to develop with tons of different times and developers.

The downside for me is that I don’t always want that much contrast and grain in my photos, so I will probably continue using Kodak TX and Ilford HP5. However, this film may just work for my everyday shooting now that I know it can be pushed simply just for the ease of developing it with color film.

I may have come to the end of my black and white developing adventures, unless you can recommend some stock I have missed. Although, in the future I will be experimenting with different developers.

However, I want to share my results pushing some color films. I know it’s not really recommended to push color film, but as this article has demonstrated, I am a big rebel lol. Really though, I pushed a roll of Portra last Christmas and loved my results, so I want to expand on that and share it with you all. Stay tuned.

Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

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