Here is one resulting image from the processing of XP2 in Black & White chemistry.
It’s clearly very high constrast, which I quite like, and that may be due to the developing time of 21 minutes (this came from the Massive Dev app). I’m pretty happy with the results. There is very little grain, which is ok with me, and the negative seems sharp (I’ve cropped and added a little sharpening (+10) and clarity (+5) in lightroom).
The negatives have a mild magenta cast, but that has made little difference in B&W.
Nowadays, the benefit of C41 high street processing is long gone. There is nowhere in my town that could process and return the same day. I think they all have to send images off for developing. The only place I’ve found 1 hour or same day processing is Snappy Snaps, Byres Road in Glasgow and that’s too far for regular processing.
So, apart from an incredibly long processing time, I’d say that it’s worth processing XP2 at home in Black & White chemistry.
Before I knew the difference between film types I saw what looked like a good deal in a high street store.
I bought a handful of Ilford XP2 which appeared to be at a discounted rate. I’ve since discovered two facts which have made me regret the purchase.
1. Even at the discounted price, these films cost considerably more than they would have from an online specialist.
2. More importantly, XP2 is a C41 type film, meaning it can be processed with colour films. But it’s generally better to get C41 processed professionally, unless you’re feeling confident.
I had two XP2 film’s professionally processed. One turned out great but the other had a milky sheen across many images. I was told that these were under-exposed. But I read that this phenomenon possibly relates to insufficient fixing.
So I was left with the remaining film, which had quickly expired (hence the discount). I tried to swap it but to no avail. I then went to my local camera shop and asked if they collected expired film. They didn’t. But they did have an expert on hand who suggested processing the XP2 in Black & White chemicals.
I’d heard this suggestion before, but had been reluctant to try it. Ilford recommend not doing it and comments online report mixed results. However, given that my other option was to ditch the redundant film, I decided to try the Black & White approach.
I used the ‘Massive Dev’ app recipe for XP2 in Ilfosol 3. And so far so good. The image above shows that some sort of images have appeared. But I’ve still to scan the negatives. Once that’s done, I’ll provide an update.