Ilford Black and White Film Buying Guide

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Black and white photographs often look better than their colour counterparts because they carry a certain aura of elegance. You can create truly beautiful artwork if you use a vintage camera and a black and white film. You can find Ilford Photo black and white films for different uses and cameras, so choosing carefully is important.


Black and White Film ISO

The ISO value of the black and white film is its speed index. The higher the number is, the more sensitive the film is to light. People also use the term 'faster' to describe more sensitive films. Ilford black and white films range from slow ISO 50 to fast ISO 400 films. The range also includes films with ISO values of 100, 125, 200, and 400. Faster films allow you to take photos in low light conditions, but you also get more grain on your images. Slower films generate less grain but also call for longer shutter speeds, which could be a problem indoors as well as when you are trying to capture things that move quickly. For a middle option, consider ISO 125 films, which are medium-speed films suitable for a variety of light conditions.


Ilford Film Gauge

The film gauge is the width of the film and this value is in millimetres. Ilford black and white films are mainly 35mm films available as negative and positive films, although they also come as 120 films that are 60 millimetres wide. The latter are colour reversal films that turn the colour scheme of a photograph completely upside down.


Comparison of Ilford Films

Ilford black and white films differ from one another by their ISO number and features, and each film works well for different types of photographs.


Ilford Film



FP4 Plus


Medium speed, very fine grain

Good sharpness for capturing fine details

Suitable for most subjects and all light conditions

Pan F Plus


Slowest, but provides fine grain

Good range of tone and detail

HP5 Plus


High speed with medium contrast

Suitable for press and action photos

Good for general purpose photography

Wide exposure latitude

Delta 100 Professional


Medium speed with precise rendition

Good image quality

Features core-shell crystal technology

Delta 400 Professional


High speed with good detail and sharpness

Features core-shell crystal technology

Good tonal range

Suitable for low light conditions

Delta 3200 Professional



Suitable for low light photography and fast action

Features core-shell crystal technology

XP2 Super


High speed

High contrast

Wide exposure latitude

SFX 200


Medium speed

Extended red sensitivity

Improved results with SFX filters


Choose the film according to your needs and the light conditions. Also, make sure it fits your camera.

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