Expired HP5+

stronger contrast and stronger grain from expired HP5+

Last summer I was visiting home and happened across a garage sale. My eyes were instantly drawn to the words ‘Ilford’ plastered on a package of photographic paper. At this point I hadn’t been doing much with film, had yet to try developing my own film, and didn’t quite know when I would ever need photographic paper. But I bought it anyway, it was maybe five dollars, couldn’t hurt. The pack came with two rolls of H5+, very nice. But it would still be over six months before I use them.

my expired HP5 Plus

Last month I worked through one of the rolls in my Ricoh 500G and developed it in Ilfosol 3 (same concentration and timing as my previous roll of HP5+). These rolls expired in  September 2006, so it’s not that old, but the grain sure is a lot heavier than in a fresh roll. Compared to some photos I’ve seen around taken on expired HP5, mine seemed to have a stronger contrast too. One interesting quirk is that the first few frames showed some wide vertical strips of over exposure, too neat for light leak. Where this occurred the ‘fogging’ extended to the sprocket holes as well. Curious…

one of my favorites from this roll, despite the heavy grain

Overall I’m pleased with the end result. The grain becomes a strong part of the image, which isn’t always a bad thing. I still have the second roll, now to figure out what to use it for.


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