Ilford XP-2 Super? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

After trying the Kodak 400CN I gave the Ilford XP2 Super a try.

Very different, I like the Ilford better for its "grain" similar to a tri x/plus x look when printed. So convenient to drop it off then pick up machine prints and negs to print at home. Has anyone been using this film? Are you having problems with negs being scratched up by the c41 machine process? How can this be minimized? Thanks!

-- Garry Segal (, September 08, 1999


XP2 is a very good film. Fine grain and an excellent tonal scale. Make sure you understand, however, that the image is composed of color dyes, not silver, and therefore is not archivally permanent. As for the scratching, try another 60 Minute Lab. They're a dime a dozen. If one scratches your film another will not. The only real problem I've had with using the film is that very few labs know how to zero out the color balance and produce prints that are even a semblance of black and white--rather than yellow, blue, orange, etc.

-- Peter Hughes (, September 09, 1999.

I have been using Ilford XP1 and 2 almost since it was launched to the exclusion of all other B&W films. Home processing is the best solution- very easy. The the film is relatively 'soft' so needs careful normal handling. I frequently print from my oldest images - now 10years+ old and there has been no lack of quality. Many members of the Leica Portfolio now use it exclusively. It offers great opportunities for cameras without exposure meters due to its incredible latitude. Stop playing with Beutler and Stockler - get clicking.

-- Anthony Brookes (, September 09, 1999.

If you can find a lab that has a "dip-n-dunk" pocessor, you will save your self some grief. I've made large prints from negatives with roller marks, and it's not a pleasant experience. Properly handled, XP-2 is an incredible film. I have made 16x20s from 35mm XP-2 that look better in every way than the same size prints made from 6x7 Plus-X negatives.

-- Dave Jenkins (, September 10, 1999.

I bought XP1 in Germany as a four roll kit with developer back before it was released in the states. I was very impressed with the quality of the negs. I'll have to dig to the bottom of my photo closet and check the negs. They must be about 16-17 years old.

Imagine what a 6*9 neg would look like enlarged if a 35mm looks good at 16x20...

-- Bill Karoly (, September 14, 1999.

I've been using XP1, 2, and 2 Super for years. Send it to Dale Labs in Hollywood Fl to develop and come back as mounted B&W slides. They do good work, clean and scratch-free! I've also tried Kodak 400CN. It may have even finer grain, but has less contrast in the middle of the gray scale, so prints look a little "flat" by comparison. They don't seem as sharp, though I can't prove it by measurement. Despite being dye images instead of silver, I can't tell any fading after all these years. I usually shoot XP2 super at ISO250 to give a little extra shadow detail. That means that it's actually the same effective speed as TriX, and about 2/3 stops slower than TMax 400. XP2 prints best on Agfa papers, The curve doesn't seem to quite match either Galorie or Elite papers.

-- Bill Mitchell (, September 18, 1999.

I also used the first release of XP1 - bought on a trip to Germany before it was released in the UK. Never used anything else since. I think the results were better with Ilfords own chemistry pack. I could push it to 800 or 1600 ASA. I dont seem to get the same speed increase when using Photocolor C41 chemistry. Does anybody have experience of XP2 in other C41 chemicals? I admit the emulsion is a bit delicate but dont forget the old trick of a light rub of 'nose grease' on the emulsion to hide any scratches in printing (Rub index finger down the side of the nose -outside- then apply to negative), it really works. My output is mainly theatre photography printed off at 16x20, I've taken a 16x20 out of a 30x20 blow-up and the grain still flattered the leading lady's complexion.

-- Len Swann (, September 19, 1999.

I have not processed the XP2 by hand However I am considering this option. I have noticed serious degradation in my negatives only two to three years old. Possibly this could have been the lab I was using. They printed XP2 the best I have seen done by anybody.

How would I go about processing XP2 at home?

-- Drew Neerdaels (, December 15, 1999.

Use one of the C-41 kits intended to process color film. The only trick is the processing temperature of 100 degrees, which may account for a somewhat scratch prone emulsion. It's more expensive to do yourself, and sure a lot less convenient. I don't know how the rumor got started that it's not archival; I've seen no hard data, but a lot of BS.

-- Bill Mitchell (, December 16, 1999.

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