We thought we'd start highlighting all the amazing types of film that we use in both our professional and personal work and I wanted to start with one of my favorites - lovely Ilford Hp5 film.
1. Versatility: This film is always in my camera bag because I can use it anywhere. Hp5 is noted for its excellent overall performance in a wide variety of lighting conditions. You can rate this film from 320 all the way up to 3200 and it will look amazing!
2. Contrast: It's contrast, while high, is less pronounced than that of Tri-X, which appeals to shooters that prefer a more even tonal scale. Because it is less pronounced than Tri-X, the highlights and shadows respond really (well if exposed correctly) when using it in a low-light situation where you intend to push the film.
3. Grain: I found an informative article in the Adorama Learning Center comparing Hp5 to Tri-X, which is considered the gold standard among street and documentary photographers. Hp5 is noted for its fine grain, high-edge detail, and excellent overall performance in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Usually, grain on a pushed 35mm b/w film is too much for me, but I love it on Hp5 film! Last, the grain is still absolutely beautiful on medium format when pushed 3 stops (see example below)!
4. Cost: Ilford Hp5 currently costs $4.39 per roll of 35mm or $4.69 per roll of 120, not bad! Note that Tri-X isn't much more ;)
So if you haven't tried out Ilford Hp5 film, I encourage you to give it a try! It's quite an amazing and extremely versatile film.