I Shot a Roll of Ilford XP2 by Renars Matvejs

Mar 7, 2019
2 min read

Ilford XP2 is a unique black and white film that was meant to be developed with color film developers. For me this is perfect, because my local shop charges less for color film developing.

This film behaves very nicely in any condition and has a kind of look I would call NewsPaper, it’s super contrasty, no pun intended, at correct exposure, and has a nice grain pattern that gives it an old poster or newspaper photo vibe. The grain is noticeable, but doesn’t get in the way and gives the image nice sharpness, even if the focus is slightly off.

When exposing, keep in mind that slight over exposure might give both more or less contrast depending on light and the lab that scans the negatives (if more contrast is needed, overexpose around 1/3 of a stop and ask the lab to scan for highlights, that will make blacks deeper and increase the contrast) and slight under exposure brings contrast down no matter the conditions.

Because it’s relatively affordable and easy to get developed in all labs, XP2 keeps photography fresh and fun for me. This makes it one of my favourite black and white film and always find pleasure with the images I get from it. In my opinion this is the best film for casual and street photography.

One thing to keep in mind is that this film can not be pushed processed if your lab doesn’t support push processing for color film since it will most likely be developed with C-41 developer (color negative film developer). Most labs use automated machines to process color film, which won’t allow manual control of processing time so keep that in mind if you’re used to push black and white film.

Camera used: Olympus Om2 with 50mm f1.8 and Minolta Hi-matic G (mostly the ones where focus is missed, I cant get used to zone focusing!)

Renars Matvejs 

You can find more about my work my Instagram @spuktalion


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