XP2 Super @ 1600

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by stefano_giannuzzi, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Hi,
    next friday I will go in Canada and US for a trip.
    As a result of the last terroristic events and of the obvious airport
    restrictions, now is very difficult to travel with film camera...
    So I have decided to use only one single film, to buy and to develop in Canada
    and US: Ilford XP2 Super (normally rated at 320 Iso).
    Anyone has never used the XP2 at 1600 Iso with push processing (how much? +2 or
    +3?) ? Any example?
    Thanks very much for your advice!


    sorry for my bad english!
  2. Yes, I've tried it with and without pushing. It doesn't work particularly well at that speed without pushing and only ok with a two stop push. Both tests were run through A&I, I didn't develop them myself. Without pushing the results are low contrast and high 'grain', really annoying. With pushing resolution seems to be dramatically reduced. It's an interesting effect but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it again. YMMV.
  3. The results will be disappointed. Don't use this film over E.I. 800. Best is indeed somewhere between E.I. 200-400 and a standard C41 development.
    I thought I can remember Ilford is not recommending this film for push processing.

    Here is the data sheet:

    Indeed: standard C41 development is recommended for the whole exposure range.

    Have a nice and safe trip.

    Best regards,

  4. I just flew to the U.S. from Europe. Had no problems bringing my film with me, and my few rolls for Delta 3200 where hand-checked instead of going through the X-ray machines.

    I've never tried having XP2 pushed, but I'm going to guess that it will look horrible, based on how it looks when underexposed. I use it at 200 or 250.
  5. You might consider easy-to-find Fuji Superia 800 and simply have it printed grayscale.
  6. Horses for courses. I found XP2 Super to be a nice film - I was surprised how nice it looked... IF it was properly exposed. I found the underexposed portions of any image to have that typical chromogenic "rash" when under exposed. Traditional B&W emulsions will be more grainy when underexposed and overdeveloped (pushed), but this stuff just looks ugly - just like an underexposed colour shot - perhaps a little better because not accentuated by the disgusting colour shift that happens.
    To me, trying to utilize this film for this purpose is pointless. There are many films that will yield better results when pushed, with a lot less trouble and a lot nicer final results - take your pick: either one of the super fast emulsions made to be pushed (Delta 3200, Tmax 3200, Neopan 1600), or even a traditional 400 like HP5+ (not my first choice) or TriX - probably the best behaved B&W film ever made.
  7. "Johnny Martyr pushes XP2 to 1600 and 3200 and gets great results"​
    According to his Flickr notes, he's not "pushing" XP2 Super to 1600. He's underexposing it, having it processed normally at Costco, scanning on an Epson V500 and presumably digging out the thin image and adjusting it in Photoshop.
    It's pretty good salvage work for extremely underexposed C-41 process film. I'm not sure I see the point, but I'm more inclined to push films like TMY, Tri-X and HP5+ than force XP2 Super to do something beyond its range.
    Also this thread has been dormant for over six years and it's unlikely any of the original participants are still following it.
  8. Thanks for the positive feedback stuart!
    Lex is correct, I do not push my XP2 at all. It doesn't need to be pushed. What Lex is incorrect about is that I'm "digging out the thin image and adjusting in Photoshop." While the negs are thin, nothing more than simple levels adjustment is required to get the images where I want them to be. There is, when properly done, however, PLENTY of image on the negative. I am not "force[ing[ XP2 Super to do something beyond its range" by any means.

    XP2 as well as Kodak Portra 400 do not require pushing when rated at 1600 and exposed in fairly contrasty lighting. I've found that shooting in flat/muddy light makes the negatives too thin and you start to see digital noise replacing the grain. In contrasty light however, you get negatives that are as robust as high speed film and, when exposure, processing and scanning are done optimally, there is no digital noise replacing the grain.
    To be clear, I have processed over-rated XP2 at numerous consumer grade and professional labs and have also used their scans. In the case cited, I rescanned at home because I was not happy with the lab's work. I am mentioning all this to point out that there was no special work done to get the results. These films are just rich in latitude and they over-rate perfectly well on their own!

    "I'm not sure I see the point"--The point is that XP2 is much finer grained than TMAX, Tri-X and HP5 in most developers due to it being an ink cloud film. Beyond grain, this film has much richer contrast when over-rated or pushed than the traditional b&w films. XP2 just looks different. You may or may not like it but if you do, there it is! Also, this is a great way to reach high ISO's without the added expense of using a pro lab and paying them per stop to push or processing at home. Is this method for everyone or every job? No. Is it another arrow in your quiver? YES!

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