Availability of 4x5 Ilford XP-2?

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Was Ilford's XP-2 ever available in cut film sizes, namely 4x5? Is there an alternative film with similar qualities - i.e. long tonal range with "highlights that go on forever" (Ctein 2000)

-- E Rothman (erothman@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001


I called NJ at one time and was told-very unlikely. Too bad for it's a versatile, quality film-but the marketing dollars and maybe market aren't there. Kodak new Portra B&W is being produced in 4x5.

-- David Stein (DFStein@aol.com), August 27, 2001.

What accounts for the "highlights that go on forever" effect? Is it because XP-2 has a shoulder? If so, this can be reproduced with conventional films.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001.

Yes, it was available in 4x5. In fact the local store here was selling boxes of Ilford XP2 (not SUPER) 100 sheets for $30.00 a piece. Of course, it was horribly outdated (2 years I believe) and unrefrigerated.

Let me know if you want some and I'll go check.

-- edward kang (ekang@cse.nd.edu), August 27, 2001.

The 'shoulder' of XP2super starts at the toe of its curve! XP2's characteristic curve doesn't have a straight section at all, and this would be quite difficult to duplicate with a normal silver image film. You'd have to use an extreme compensating development technique to come even close to that 's' shaped curve.
Kodak's T400CN (and the hideous Portra that Kodak are trying to push) simply duplicates a colour negative's 'curve' with an extremely long straight line.

Hmmm. I wonder if a super-proportional reducer could be combined with a developer? The loss of film speed would probably be horrendous, but it just might be worth an experiment.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), August 28, 2001.

I have gotten mine at www.wbhunts.com for the longest time (until I broke my leg this summer). Email Will or Lisa.

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), August 28, 2001.

I get an "S" shaped curve with HP-5+ developed in D-23. I ran tests with it using a step tap and developed in Jobo rotary drums. Both straight and diluted D-23 produced such a curve. You might try D-23 if you like the look of XP-2.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), August 29, 2001.

Ilford did do xp2 in 5x4 but discontinued it in the last year, i think. Kodak make another chromogenic film called T400 cn, which is available in 5x4, but i dont know what it is like

-- david Ivison (david_ivison@yahoo.co.uk), September 06, 2001.

As far as I know, T400CN has been in rolls only, I don't think it's ever been in any size larger than 120. XP2 in 4x5 was discontinued over a year ago. Again, this is just what I've been told by an Ilford vendor, but the XP2 in 4x5 was always the old XP1 emulsion...even when the newer emulsion came out. We shot a few boxes here that were samples a long time ago, shooting interiors of our new building, and the film was very nice. In 4x5 it had an incredibly smooth, long tonal range. It worked great with the contrasty interiors of an empty 3 story building with a skylight overhead. It was like using a 2-bath developer almost...expose for the shadows & let the highlights fall in place. The main drawback for us was the fact that it was a chromogenic film...compared to b&w this has a relatively short lifespan. XP2 has two emulsions, a fast & a slow. Sometimes they can fade over time at different rates, and the neg can change in contrast. I still have an unopened box in the back dated exp:2000...

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), September 06, 2001.

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