This post is sponsored by Analogue Wonderland, who make film photography fun and accessible for everyone.
You’d think I would have shot Ilford’s FP4 Plus by now. It’s a traditional-grained ISO 125 film, much like Kodak’s lamented, discontinued Plus-X, which I loved. Also, Ilford films are easy to buy in central Indiana given that their US distributor, Roberts, is located here. I can walk into their store and buy any film Ilford makes.
But it wasn’t until the nice people at Analogue Wonderland asked if I’d like to write some sponsored posts for them in exchange for some film from their extensive selection that I thought, “Here’s my chance to finally shoot some Ilford!” FP4 Plus was at the top of my wish list.
As much as I miss Plus-X, I’m not going to compare the two films. It’s been overdone. Search “Plus-X vs. FP4” and prepare for the link avalanche. No, I’m going to evaluate FP4 Plus on its own merits, through the lens of my Olympus XA.
FP4 Plus is a very good medium-speed black-and-white film. Its blacks are inky rich and it authoritatively captures a full range of middle tones. Best of all, it does not tend toward blown highlights like so many other ISO 100-125 black-and-white films I’ve tried. I’m looking at you, Kentmere and Fomapan.
Even in mixed lighting, FP4 Plus delivers the details. Its grain is almost undetectable, it’s so fine. It leads to delicious sharpness.
The only time I wasn’t thrilled with FP4 Plus was on a particularly gloomy day. An ISO 400 film would have been a better choice, but FP4 Plus is what I had in the camera and so I shot it. This photo conveys the feel of the day all right, but lacks detail in the deepest shadows.
I plowed ahead shooting on this dim day. I had to run an errand in Lebanon after work, so I photographed around the town’s square. You can drive only one way down this alley.
The original Boone County Jail is now a bar and restaurant. You can have dinner in one of the cells.
This seriously old house is about a block off the square.
Down another side street off the square is the First Baptist Church. Just look at the great tones and all that detail!
FP4 Plus is a lovely, lovely film. I regret not trying it sooner. I need to always have some cooling in the film fridge.
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Last updated on 19 March 2020 by Jim Grey