difference between FP4 and PlusX

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Is there any significant difference betwee Kodak PlusX and Ilford FP4, I mean in a sharpness and grain department. Which one is better.

thank you Sergey

-- Sergey (roksyserg@aol.com), May 05, 2001


I don't know Sergey, but before the flamethrowers arrive you may want to indicate subject matter, degree of enlargement if any, same developer for each? (or different developers optimized to each film, etc.) The term "which is better" will set you up like a bowling pin. Remember, opinions are like apertures...

-- david o'connor (dco@definitive-security.com), May 05, 2001.

Ilford products are much better than Kodak's in general.

-- xosni (xosni@gega.net), May 05, 2001.

Sergey, Films, usually, don't show fixed qualities, rather what we make them to look like. It's much easier to destroy potential habilities than taking the most of any emulsion. So, both films will work fine on capable hands or, in the other side, be grainy, contrasty, etc. It takes some time to master a film, to predict it's responses to different exposition and development variables. It seems wise to forget this "better" film condition and try to be a better photographer. Good work.

Cesar B.

-- Cesar Barreto (cesarb@infolink.com.br), May 05, 2001.

I teach a photography class in NYC and recently had students shoot an assignment on both Plus-X and FP4 Plus and developed in D76 1:1. Everybody agreed that the FP4 Plus was sharper and had a longer tonal range.

-- Steve Wiley (wiley@accesshub.net), May 07, 2001.

I disagree that Ilford products are generally better than Kodak's. I think you have to judge each on its own merit for the job you need. For instance, Kodak's Verichrome Pan film for 120 is wonderful, and Polymax papers are very good, too. Having said that, however, I think Ilford's FP4+ just kicks the everloving crap out of Plus X. The Ilford product is sharper, much less grainy, and has a better tonal scale.

-- Brian Hinther (BrianH@sd314.k12.id.us), May 07, 2001.

Plus-X in Diafine at EI 400 prints easily and looks fantastic. Exposure latitude is wide, a plus if you work without a meter. FP4 in Diafine at EI 250 is a little flatter, and has a narrow latitude, in my experience (yours may be different). As a big fan of Diafine, I prefer Plus-X. I also love Pan F.

It's great to have so many films and developers to choose from. Try them for yourself, Sergey.

-- John Fleetwood (johnfleetwood@hotmail.com), May 07, 2001.

Plus-X is a dinosaur from the days when Ilford was making FP3. FP4 versus Plus-X was a no-contest, and FP4plus turns the win by a head into a full length.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), May 08, 2001.

Having used Plus-X only once in 35mm and 120 format, I found it was a nice film with moderate grain and a pleasing tonal scale. Having said that, I exlusively use FP4+ for 35mm, 120, and 4x5". The grain is very tight compared to Plus-X and the tonal scale is longer than Plus- X. It's the tonal range of FP4+ that impresses me the most. FP4+ is my main film, along with HP5+. There really is no "better film", it depends on what you want. However, I wish Kodak would update this film.


-- floren (flcpge@yahoo.com), May 08, 2001.

Plus X is indeed from the Jurassic. Fred Flinstone probably used it. It is a grainy film and not up to the sharpness of FP4+. I'd bet though that if Kodak were to cancel it, there'd be howling from it's users! (Like RG 25 and now KR 25.) Somebody must be using it or it would be history.

FWIW, about 5 years ago I read a book about a turnaround at Kodak B&W imaging where they were touting the Tmax film series. If memory serves me, it's a separate group that doesn't talk all that much with the color film group. The B&W imaging group I believe is also responsible for Xray film and the like. Also, I recall that B&W film sales were like 5% of Kodak's total at the time the book was written. Can anyone confirm my memory? Anyway, Ilford is a much smaller company and it's business plan and management motivations are different from Kodak's.





-- Duane K (dkucheran@creo.com), May 11, 2001.

Sorry to burst a bubble, but archaelogical digs show that Fred Flintstone photographed with TriX.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), May 13, 2001.

I don't know about Fred Flintstone, but Patrick Demarchelier shoots Plus-X for most of his B/W studio work

-- matteo persivale (mpersivale@hotmail.com), May 28, 2001.

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