ILFORD Shows Us How to Create Black and White Darkroom Prints

If you’re a film photographer looking to make your first black and white darkroom print, ILFORD covers everything you need to know to get started.

For many ardent film photographers, the process is not complete until one has a print of their photo in their hands. Creating a darkroom print is one of the most magical experiences traditional photography offers. If you’ve been shooting film, you might as well go all the way and give darkroom printing a try, with the help of a quick guide from ILFORD.

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Ilford #MyFilmStory: Capturing the Spirit of Mountains on Large Format

Tedious and unwieldy as it may it seem, Anton Ivanov prefers to capture perilous peaks using his large format camera and Ilford black and white film.

How far are you willing to take your black and white photography? In the latest episode of Ilford‘s #MyFilmStory series, we meet Saint Petersburg-based Anton Ivanov, who combines his love for the mountains and passion for film photography. Taking on some of the world’s tallest peaks and documenting his adventures with a large format camera and Ilford black and white film allows him to capture the spirit of the mountains and the emotions that come with it.

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Ilford Photo Is Asking for Input on Darkroom Printing Habits

If you’re a film photographer who develops and prints your own photos, Ilford wants to know your darkroom printing habits through a survey.

Passionate film photographers who want to be active in keeping the medium alive can do more than buying films and going to independent film labs. They can also support their favorite brands and companies in research and development. One such opportunity comes in Ilford Photo’s callout for their latest global film users survey, which aims to “inspire others to print and/or address the gaps that stop people from printing.” So, if you’re a regular darkroom printer, the company wants your insights.

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The New ILFORD ORTHO Plus ISO 80 Comes in Both 35mm and 120

Ilford has been very quiet, but today we’re being treated to the new ILFORD ORTHO Plus film.

Landscape photographers will perhaps be the most interested in the brand new ILFORD ORTHO Plus film being announced today. Ilford has been teasing on Twitter for a while that something new is coming. Today, they’re releasing the details on their brand new film. When landscape photographers load ILFORD ORTHO Plus into their cameras, they’re going to be treated to something absolutely special. According to Ilford, this film is going to render the scenes in a special way to due its design and the new acetate base. But in addition to that, Ilford is announcing a few other products.

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ILFORD Shares How Their Prized Black and White Films are Made

If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite 35mm and 120 ILFORD black and white films are made, the company shares it all in their recent short film.

It’s always fascinating to learn about how our favorite things and everyday tools are made. For some photographers that includes their go-to film stocks. Black and white film photographers are definitely in for a treat, as ILFORD recently shared an official peek inside the HARMAN technology factory in Mobberley, England, where the ILFORD and Kentmere product lines are made.

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The ILFORD Ultra Large Format Ordering Window is Back!

Attention, ILFORD fans and black and white film photographers! Now is your chance to go big — like Ultra Large Format big!

If you’ve been long waiting for the chance to shoot Ultra Large Format (ULF), it’s now time to dust off your gorgeous cameras and grab some black and white film from ILFORD. HARMAN Technology Ltd. (ILFORD PHOTO) has just opened their ULF program for this year, allowing practitioners of the craft to go big with their black and white snaps without having to worry about most of the restrictions that come with typical minimum order quantity.

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Film Emulsion Review: Ilford FP4 Plus 125 (35mm and 120)

Ilford FP4 Plus 125 is one of the more unique films on the market.

Since learning about what it could do years ago, I’ve had an affinity for Ilford FP4 Plus 125, but also understood that it isn’t a jack of all trades type of film. Instead, Ilford FP4 125 is what I’d like to call a film that you’d try to shoot high contrast with, but with the knowledge that the shadows are going to be opened up no matter what. In fact, that’s really what this film is all about. You’re often encouraged to underexpose it to get more from the highlights and have the shadows be taken care of in the processing. Available in both 35mm and 120 film stocks, Ilford FP4 125 can be really beautiful in the right hands. While I may instead reach for CineStill bwXX for portraits, I’ve found Ilford FP4 Plus 125 to be best for things like street and abstract, architecture photos.

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A Quick Look at Ilford Delta 3200 vs Kodak TMax P3200

Ilford Delta 3200 vs Kodak TMax P3200 is the film comparison we need right now

In the analog film world, there are two big high ISO black and white films in existence: Ilford Delta 3200 and Kodak TMax P3200. They’re both much different films, but they’re also both black and white. It recently came to our attention that folks would love to see some sort of comparison of both. And so we decided to go through our archives of testing to bring you some of our thoughts.

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How Ilford Delta 400 Became My Favorite Film for Street Photography

This is a syndicated blog post from La Noir Image. 

I wish that when I first started exploring street photography with film that someone had told me all about Ilford Delta 400 before trying to shepherd me into the church of Kodak Tri-X. But back then, years and years of guides online said that it was the absolute only way to go. As time progressed, different voices have arisen and they don’t all say the same thing. My voice, like many others, is the one that fell head over heels for the lineup of Ilford Delta films. To a photographer who grew up knowing digital, but tried to stay away from everything film because it was “hipster”, I regret that my mind was never open to a whole world of photography both I and many others are still only now just exploring–but that those before us probably haven’t explored even fully.

Kodak Tri-X 400 is inherently one of the best and most versatile black and white films ever made. Want to shoot street photography with it? You’re bound to get great photos. How about portraits? Yup, those work too. But growing up in the digital photography world and not really knowing or understanding darkroom processes taught me to look for other things. The way that I would process my digital photos to look in black and white weren’t what I’d get from Kodak Tri-X 400 or even my older favorite, Kodak 400 BW CN. There needed to be a grainy film that was sharp, crispy, and almost cinematic in its look. I came from the school of Magnum, and even though I’m still enamored with the film photos that many of those photographers produced, I’m not beholden to them. Every photographer taught us to find our own path and do our own thing. And part of that comes with experimentation. But today, photographers have lots of venues of experimentation. There is traditional digital, mobile phones, film, tintypes, etc.

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Ilford Has Updated Their Box Designs for 35mm and 120 Film

You might spot something different on the box the next time you get some Ilford film

Are you among the eagle-eyed film photographers who have noticed Ilford’s new film box design? If you haven’t seen the change yet, we got the details for you.

Don’t worry, the new packaging isn’t much different from the clean and easily identifiable design we all know and love. It still sports the big Ilford brand name on one of the longer sides. The color-coded names of the emulsions are also still being used. The announced update to the design is actually just a small change but still noticeable enough.

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Can You Guess Why Shooting Film Isn’t Vegan Friendly? Ilford Explains

Ilford answers vegans’ questions about film in a straightforward FAQ

One of the things keeping vegans from shooting film is the fact that the medium uses animal gelatin as part of the emulsion coating on the plastic film base. The short answer is, yes, film contains animal products, but Ilford attempts to explain this matter in a straightforward and honest FAQ.

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Ilford Demonstrates How to Develop Your First Black and White Film

Learn black and white film developing tips for beginners from the esteemed Ilford.

Ilford is not only one of the best known makers of black and white film, but also one of the strong stalwarts of film photography itself.  So, if you’re planning to get into black and white film photography, the folks of Ilford are among the best to learn from on how to develop your own films as well.

Whether you’re a digital photographer curious about black and white film photography, or an analogue lover who wants to dive into this traditional medium, the experience will be even more rewarding with learning how to process your own films. In the quick video below, Ilford has outlined all you need to know if you’re doing film developing for the first time.

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Film Emulsion Review: Ilford Delta 400 (35mm and 120)

Ilford Delta 400 is perhaps my absolute favorite film emulsion.

While I really enjoy the look of Kodak Tri-X 400, almost nothing in black and white has made me drool like Ilford Delta 400. I’ve always felt Ilford Delta 400 delivers those inky, beautiful black levels I’m smitten with. It’s a beautiful film for street photography, portraits, candids, etc. It’s simply a gorgeous film that consistently delivers everything I want in a photo. What makes Ilford Delta 400 even better for me is that it pushes and pulls well and looks good no matter what ISO you’re shooting it at. I’ve shot it in both 120 and 35mm and found both types of results to look pretty fantastic. Ilford Delta 400 doesn’t have the characteristic grain Tri-X does, but a very classic look instead. It isn’t as gritty as Tri-X, and for that reason you shouldn’t necessarily use it as such.

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Film Emulsion Review: Ilford Delta 3200 (35mm and 120)

Ilford Delta 3200 is the highest ISO black and white film on the market. 

Ilford Delta 3200 is a black and white film perfect for photographers shooting concerts, street photography at night, or anything that requires you to shoot in near darkness like a wedding reception. Like the other Delta films, it’s fairly contrasty but perhaps the least so of the bunch. Characterized by a strong grain in the images and a fair amount of sharpness, Ilford Delta 3200 deserves to be used with your fastest lenses and while using a camera that is handheld. You can surely use it any way you’d like, but in most other situations it would be more logical to use a slower ISO film. Instead, Ilford Delta 3200 should be brought along when you want to go out at night.

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Film Emulsion Review: Ilford HP5 Plus 400 (35mm)

For some odd reason, I first picked up Ilford HP5 Plus because I was told it would be the perfect film for street photography. Why was I told this? I’m honestly not sure, but besides the work that I’m doing with film this year in 2017, I haven’t shot with Ilford HP5 since 2012. I’ve always had more of a liking for Ilford Delta and Kodak Tri-X; but my tastes have evolved over the years. Ilford HP5 Plus is a low contrast film–one that I’d like to equate to Kodak Portra 400. In fact, if you’re shooting in black and white then I’d like to call Ilford HP5 the Kodak Portra 400 of black and white film. That’s bound to either make you fall madly in love with it, or run for the hills looking for something else. Personally I think it’s fantastic for portraits, but when it comes to street photography I prefer something more raw, gritty, and contrasty.

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How Ilford Delta 400 Became My Favorite Film for Street Photography (Premium)

I wish that when I first started exploring street photography with film that someone had told me all about Ilford Delta 400 before trying to shepherd me into the church Kodak Tri-X. But back then, years and years of guides online said that it was the absolute only way to go. As time has progressed, different voices have arisen and they don’t all say the same things. My voice, like many others, is the one that fell head over heels for the lineup of Ilford Delta films. To a photographer who grew up knowing digital but tried to stay away from everything film because it was “hipster” I regret that my mind was never open to a whole world of photography that both I and many others are still only now just exploring–but that those before us probably haven’t explored even fully.Kodak Tri-X 400 is inherently one of the best and most versatile black and white films ever made. Want to shoot street photography with it? You’re bound to get great photos. How about portraits? Yup, those work too. But growing up in the digital photography world and not really knowing or understanding darkroom processes taught me to look for other things. The way that I would process my digital photos to look in black and white weren’t what I’d get from Kodak Tri-X 400 or even my older favorite, Kodak 400 BW CN. There needed to be a grainy film that was sharp, crispy, and almost cinematic in its look. I came from the school of Magnum, and even though I’m still enamored with the film photos that many of those photographers produced, I’m not beholden to them. Every photographer taught us to find our own path and do our own thing. And part of that comes with experimentation. But today, photographers have lots of venues of experimentation. There is traditional digital, mobile phones, film, tintypes, etc.

For years I would only use Kodak Tri-X with mixed results. Did I like them? Yes. When I look back on those photos today, I’m still in love with them. But I didn’t do enough experimentation. Then one day, a roll of Ilford HP5 made its way to me and I was told to use it for street photography. To this day, I’m still not completely totally sure I understand why that was as it was from a photographer whose knowledge I still respect. Delta only truly came into my lap years after I had tried Ilford HP5. As you may have read in previous posts, I’ve never been the biggest fan of that film. But when Delta 400 came back to me after being shot in my Hexar AF, I was seriously hooked. The film and it’s inherent look reminded me of some gritty work done by Moriyama, but instead the images that were right in front of me had my own personal, unique take on the world around me.

For the first time, I had felt betrayed. Years and years of an industry and marketing teaching me that Kodak Tri-X 400 was the absolute best and that there is no reason for you to go out there and try anything else. Fujifilm Acros 400? Nah, they’d tell me that it’s worthless and to go Kodak Tri-X 400 or bust. But why? Was it because it’s just the general choice and overall it provides the most pleasing look of any film across the board? Was it because Ilford was relatively quiet back then and still are? It angered me. The anger turn into an unstoppable lust for more and more of this film. I’d find a way to get my hands on all the Ilford Delta 400 that I possibly could and run it through my Hexar AF like no tomorrow. I’d get loads of photos that I’d be smitten with and I’d spend hours and hours absolutely in love with the prints that I’d make at a larger size. But as my job would have it, I got pulled away from shooting film due to more work coming in.

Every now and again, I’d look back at those images that I shot on Delta 400. How could I have thought otherwise? How could something have been made to look so perfect? Why were there so many lies about the look and feel of the film? Is it just ignorance? Was it that people just haven’t looked at it all and understood what’s possible? Why couldn’t people have told me otherwise? More importantly, why weren’t there more resources online about any of this? Had Kodak paid everyone else off?

These questions raced through my mind. I didn’t understand any of it. To be honest, I still don’t understand any of it. I ran the Phoblographer for years believing that everything out there is great but that we all just need to choose what’s best for us. For me, Ilford Delta 400 was just that.

What’s so great about Ilford Delta 400? It’s a sharp film with quite a bit of contrast. There’s grain but not a whole lot of it. The blacks and nice and inky–which I haven’t really totally seen with much of Kodak Tri-X that I’ve shot. But mostly, I think that it’s because of the way that I learned to see and think about the world in black and white. In order to get the best black and white images for you, you need to have some sort of creative vision. You need to not just think about the world as monochrome, but you need to see a scene in black and white. You more importantly need to see the scene in a specific black and white. Then you need to find the film that lets you get that scene that you’ve got in your mind’s eye. But even beyond that, you need to know how to get that scene. You need to work with the scene. You need to have fun with it. You need to understand it. That’s something that many photographers struggle with: connecting the technical side of their brain with the artistic side of their brain. Perhaps this is why so many photographers sit there and just shoot in auto hoping that the camera will do it all for them. But that doesn’t always happen and that makes film even more unappealing for even more photographers.

But once you understand it, you get the scene that you want and dream about. For me, those scenes were made on Ilford Delta 400.

My Love/Hate Relationship with Ilford HP5 Plus 400 ISO Black and White Film (Premium)

The lead image of this blog post is perhaps the only image that I’ve loved and that I shot with Ilford HP5 Plus 400. For years, I remember it being marketed to me as a beautiful film for street photography when I was falling into love again with Rangefinder cameras. So when loaded up into my old Voigtlander Bessa R with a 50mm f1.5 lens, it yielded me some pretty nice images indeed and for a little while, ignorance was bliss. I tried Kodak Tri-X 400, then Ilford Delta 400, then Lomography’s Earl Grey 100 when pushed to ISO 400, then Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400, and then finally Kodak TMax 400. The reason though why this one image is my favorite that I’ve shot with Ilford HP5 Plus 400 doesn’t really have to do with the film, but instead with the moment simply being a beautiful, candid one during a party in Bushwick. Now of course, I understand that the image is still the image is still the image. There is no denying that. But beyond just capturing or creating a moment on film, there is something to be said about personal aesthetics which then create a feeling and a mood based on a photographer’s personality and a viewer’s interpretation.

Why someone told me that it’s a great film for street photography is honestly a bit beyond my comprehension. But I don’t think that it is. I’d like to think of Ilford HP5 to be the black and quite equivalent of Kodak Portra 400–yet another film that I tend to have a love/hate relationship with. Ilford HP5 has a great look and beautiful skin tones to it. But some photographers, like Portra, tend to just use it for everything. Personally, I’m of the belief that Superia is a superior (pun intended) color film for Street Photography while Portra 400 works better for portraits. At the same time, I’m more partial to Delta 400 or Kodak Tri-X 400 for street photography. Ilford HP5 Plus 400 is right up there with Kodak TMax 400 to me when it comes to portraiture.

 

This not only has to do with the subject matter involved but how you tend to approach your subject matter and photographing them. With portraits, there is a very careful setup when it comes to lighting, posing, choosing locations, etc. Like Kodak TMax 400, it believe it to be more of a creator’s film. But Delta 400 and Tri-X are more aligned to being a film that could be for the person that prefers to capture moments rather than trying to create them. For the most part, I feel like this about many films. You wouldn’t try to shoot a wedding with Velvia 50 and you wouldn’t typically shoot a brightly lit festival during the day with a film like Delta 3200.

In the darkroom, different things can be done with the film to make it look one way or another. Want more grain? Try Rodinal. Otherwise Ilford makes some very good developers.

As we all know, film looks better in larger formats. 35mm is alright, but it won’t compare to 120 and that won’t compare to large format. But unfortunately, what seems to sell the most is 35mm format simply because of its ease of use and the prevalence of how many cameras there are on the market. Our parents shot 35mm film. I didn’t know about or even shoot with 120 film until I was entering my mid-20s. So with this understanding, why then do I not like Ilford HP5 Plus film?

Well, let’s take a look.

 

JCH Street Pan

The image above is from Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400 and shot on 35mm film. How it differs from HP5 is that this film is slightly infrared and somehow or another has some very deep, inky blacks. It’s beautiful. It’s sharp. It’s contrasty. And it gives me a look that I feel reflects my creative vision of a scene better.

Kodak TMax

Now here’s Kodak TMax. TMax I wouldn’t say is the highest contrast film all the time. But it can be in the right lighting situations. TMax is ultimately sharper than HP5.

Here’s another TMax 400 image. See how sharp that is? It’s nuts.

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 has been often compared to Ilford HP5 Plus. But I seriously think that they’re much different films. Where Tri-X I think is designed to have a grittier, grainier look, Ilford HP5 Plus is cleaner and more refined with less contrast. For street work, I seriously prefer Tri-X.

Delta 400

Lastly, let’s compare this film to Delta 400. Ilford Delta 400 I believe to be perhaps the most perfect film for street photography and casual captures. It is gritty, grainy, and contrasty while not going overboard with any of that.

The opinions, I may remind you, are my own. Do I think that some photographers can create beautiful work with Ilford HP5? Sure. But I’m unfortunately not one of them.

Report: Using Ilford Pan F Plus 50 with the New Sigma 14mm f1.8 Art Lens (Premium)

I like to equate my experience of film photography to that of the experience that the older generation of photographers who experienced digital for the first time. At 30 years old, I still haven’t had the opportunity or the time or step into the darkroom. I never had the opportunity to do it either in college or high school. So to continue with the evolution of film and how it can deliver pleasing images, I believe that using newer, sharper lenses designed with digital sensors in mind is a great way to get even more out of film. Ilford Pan F Plus is arguably the sharpest black and white film out there with TMax and Acros being a bit behind, but if it was sharp even in the days before all of these fantastic new lenses started coming out, then when using these new lenses the film should arguably be even better. At least, this was my thinking when I loaded a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus 50 into my Canon EOS 33 and slapped the brand new Sigma 14mm f1.8 Art lens on the camera.

Sigma’s new lens is designed for astrophotography, but that doesn’t at all mean that you can’t use it for a number of other things. Interiors, landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, and believe it or not, even photos with some bokeh in them all came to mind when using this lens. Besides, Sigma’s lenses since the Global Vision announcement have been runaway hits almost consistently. However, using Sigma glass with film is always quite an experience. Why? Well, in the past few years Sigma has been doing this thing that ultimately increases the contrast of the images that you get. I noticed it first with the company’s 50mm f1.4 original and in comparison to the company’s 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Then when I looked at the rendering from the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art compared to that of Canon’s and Zeiss’s I found a lot more contrast. Lots of photographers love this contrasty look and understand that digital sensors can do quite a bit to get more details from the images. But with film, that’s a bit tougher unless you’re making a print, of course.

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So why use Ilford Pan F Plus 50? I like to think of this film as the black and white version of Fujifilm Velvia 50. Even in today’s photographic world where digital photography gives you so many endless possibilities, Velvia is capable of doing things that make any photographer’s jaws drop. Fujifilm Velvia 50 is a chrome film and that means that you’re going to get some absolutely stellar colors but at the risk of a more limited dynamic range. Ilford Pan F Plus 50 has quite a range of tonality though. However, the process of working with a film like this is similar. The mentality of the modern film photographer is that of wanting to get everything that you possibly can perfectly right in camera because you don’t want to spend time dodging and burning or working with the images in post. There are indeed photographers out there who try to get the most from their scans and then edit in post; but in my opinion I feel like digital is superior when it comes to doing things like this. So Ilford Pan F Plus 50 film is a very nice challenge. It’s essentially a black and white chrome film.

For this test I decided to walk through New York’s Long Island City. LIC, as it’s affectionately known as, has held a place in my heart simply because it’s in the borough of my birth, Queens. Despite going through some massive changes, it holds an identity that makes it inherently still in some way or another the Queens that I grew up knowing. The LIC waterfront is home to tons of expensive apartments, beautiful architecture, views of Manhattan, the East River, and lots of complicated geometry that lends itself well to the black and white photography world. My scans, which were graciously developed by Lomography and then scanned by me at home, proved to me that this film can be absolutely spectacular but can benefit from using ND filters to get the most from the scenes. Unfortunately, the Sigma lens doesn’t lens itself well to using ND filters. The Sigma 14mm f1.8 has the lens hood permanently attached and the lens cap simply goes over the hood.

So when I went about working with Ilford Pan F Plus 50, I tended to underexpose the scenes simply because of a few methods that I’ve done with black and white photography in the past few years. Photographer Moose Peterson taught me that if you make the black levels in an image deeper, then they fool the eye into thinking that the image is sharper than it really is. Of course, this is already a black and white film. The intended result here was to play with silhouettes and backlighting of the city in a visually pleasing way.

What I really like about this film is how it handles midtones. When you look at the images from it, it’s almost as if you took a digital image, threw it into Lightroom and turned the Clarity up. But the clarity isn’t to the level where you’re obviously getting halos or anything inherently weird. Instead, I like to call it a crispness. Part of this also inherently comes from the super sharp Sigma glass, but ISO 50 film is also a big part.

Certain films from Ilford I feel have a cinematic look to this. But Ilford Pan F Plus I feel has a slightly digital look to it partially due to how much detail comes from the midtones. The only other film that I’ve seen pull midtone detail like this is Kodak Tri-X. So with that said, it’s difficult to get a cinematic look to the images that is so highly prized these days. Instead, the images look like, well, really well manicured photos without a whole lot of work. To any busy photographer, that is a godsend.

Ilford Pan F Plus is a beautiful film overall. At the time of my writing this post, I had just gotten off the phone with famous photographer Ellis Vener. It’s his favorite. Is it mine? Not for the way that I shoot. But I still can’t deny how great it is in the hands of a skilled photographer. If I were shooting portraits with this film, I think that my story would be much different.

Using Ilford Disposable Cameras for Candid Photography

If you’re reading this post, there are strong chances that you remember disposable cameras. My mother, who wasn’t that tech savvy at all, turned to them often when her Olympus camera broke. My college graduation was photographed on one in 2009 when I and many others had switched to digital point and shoots. My parents used them at events. So did my aunts and uncles. I always remember how fun they were–small, portable, and almost never reloadable until Lomography created their own reloadable versions earlier this year. So it was a complete blast from the past when I decided to try out Ilford’s disposable cameras.

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What Ilford Film is Best for Landscape Photography? (Premium)

Image by ExpectGrainIlford films are available for pretty much any type of photographer that you can name or list. At the moment, they have the largest selection of black and white films on the market as it is pretty much all that they produce. So with that said, there’s no good reason why landscape photographers would have been left out. Many photographers shoot landscapes as a hobby and very few actually end up selling prints of their images or being commissioned for tourist reasons. The look that Ilford film can provide is one that’s quite interesting. There are tons of photographers out there who shoot digital and simply try to create keystoned HDR photos. But that’s not really what film does.

So with that said we’re going to go down the path and figure out what films are perhaps most recommended for landscape photographers.

What Do Landscape Photographers Need?

So what do landscape photographers typically need? Well, while there are surely a whole lot of us who love to simply go about and shoot handheld with little to no other weight on us, the majority of photographers who still take it absolutely seriously do things the tried and true way. These photographers use sturdy tripods, lens filters, low ISOs, get to a location at the right time around sunset or sunrise, and more or less throw away all the great things that digital photography offer–even if they happen to use digital cameras. They’d rather work on getting the perfect image in-camera rather than in post-production. So when you’re using film, we’re pretty sure that you’re going to strive to do the same thing. Look at the landscape photos of so many photographers out there and they’re working to get the deepest depth of field that they possibly can at the lowest ISO that they can shoot for.

And so we’re taking a good look at some of the low ISO films from Ilford.

The Films

Ilford FP4 125

Photo by Nicolas Vigier

Ilford FP4 125 film is an interesting film that when shot, brings out more details from the shadows inherently in comparison to many other films. It’s more or less the opposite of Agfa APX 400–it’s slower and Agfa tends to get more details from the highlights so you can overexpose it. With Ilford FP4, you’ll want to meter somewhere in between the highlights and the midtones. You’re going to get the shadows for sure. Ilford FP4 is available in 35mm, 120, and large format emulsions too–so you can go get it no matter what sort of camera you work with. Landscape photographers using a film like Ilford FP4 will enjoy the fact that they’re going to be able to get an image with a lot of details and something that can deliver details in both the highlights and the shadows with relative ease. When working with the film, it’s perhaps best to look for a scene with a fair amount of contrast and even look specifically for clouds in the sky.

Image by Simon Paterson

Of any of the films on this list, Ilford FP4 is one of my favorite options.

Ilford Pan F 50

Image by Nicolas Vigier

Ilford Pan F 50 should be thought of as a chrome film. It’s range isn’t that crazy, but it can deliver a whole heck of a lot of detail and deliver some beautiful photos. Think about Fujifilm Velvia. You know how when you look at a photo, it’s usually done with a very slow shutter speed and the images are incredibly saturated? Well, Ilford Pan F 50 is a black and white film so you’re not going to get those deeply wet colors that Velvia will deliver. But you’ll find a lot of great details and a lot of contrast. Many photographers tend to love the look of high contrast film. However, you’ll probably still want to use ND filters to get more out of the sky and let the film’s natural abilities give you a high contrast image.

Ilford recommends that this film be used with either a lot of natural light but also does well in controlled lighting environments. It’s also great for enlargements since it’s just so incredibly well detailed.

Ilford SFX 200

Image by Alessio Maffeis

Ilford SFX 200 is a very special film. It’s well distinguished because of the fact that most of their boxes come with a white packaging but this is the only film with a black packaging. If you know anything about Ilford, then that may stick out to you. Ilford SFX 200 has an extended red sensitivity range, and so it’s well used at ISO 200 and with creative lens filters. Many photographers love using blue, orange, yellow, and green filters with their film to get a different and unique look. When you use it with filters, it’s said that you’re going to get dramatic effects. According to Ilford:

“When used with a deep red filter, SFX 200 renders blue skies almost black and green vegetation almost white to create a stunning infra-red look to your shots.”

 

Giles Duley Talks About Documenting the World’s Problems on Ilford Film

Image by Giles Duley for ILFORD Inspires

Photographer Giles Duley is a documentary photographer who specifically states he photographs what he doesn’t like. It’s a powerful statement.

Through a series of global events called ILFORD Inspires, HARMAN Technology and ILFORD Photo seek to encourage people to try traditional black and white film. The latest photographer to be featured in their upcoming event is Mr. Duley, with images from his stunning “I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See” exhibit. Set to take place during the PhotoBlock at the Old Truman Brewery in London on October 14th, the second ILFORD Inspires event will give visitors a private viewing of Giles’ impressive black and white photographs documenting conflict, and a talk from the esteemed photographer himself about the art of storytelling he has mastered.

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