Autumn Canal in Venice - Ilford HP5

Many...( many..many..many) moons ago I asked a press photographer friend  what b&w I should use to have good shots... he answered "HP5".  That's how I discovered this great classic b&w film by Ilford that I used even last week. (Marco Secchi)


If I had to describe the main quality of the HP5, it surely its adaptability to every situation and its great flexibility in use at 400 ASA but also great when used at 800 ASA, or even at 1600!! This HP5 can be your everyday film, from the sunny morning to the dark evening, through rainy cloudy days or beautiful summertime. It’s incredible how this film can absorb so different light conditions with amazing results.

At 400, you’ll got a sharp b&w, with many different subtle levels of grey bringing you from the black to the white. When light conditions are good, it’s almost normal, but you see the power of this film when used by very dark, rainy, cloudy conditions.

if you want to do some night shots, use the HP5  with long exposure and set it on 800 or 1600 asa (and develop it just as that of course), you’ll get the most grainy textured b&w shots you could see but still with a perfect equilibrium of the whole shot, that means a perfect deep texture you almost think you can touch the shot with your eyes closed

The HP5 isn’t afraid of anything, use it at his maximum possibilities, stretch its sensibility and it will not disappoint you!


  • High Speed ISO 400
  • Great results in varied lighting conditions
  • Wide exposure latitude
  • Available as 35mm, 120 Roll & Sheet Film

HP5 PLUS is a high speed, medium contrast film making it especially suitable for action and press photography and also an excellent choice for general purpose photography. Nominally rated at ISO 400, it yields negatives of outstanding sharpness and fine grain under all lighting conditions. HP5 PLUS has been formulated to respond well to push processing and film speeds up to EI 3200/36 are achievable with ILFORD MICROPHEN developer maintaining good shadow detail and well separated mid-tones with sharp grain.