Ilford FP4 Plus – a lot of it!

A very dangerous time to surf eBay is after a gin and tonic on a hot day, luckily I never follow my own advice and ended up winning some FP4 Plus. It’s 23 years out of date, and 410 ft long!!

FP4 Plus – Movie Time!

As you can see from the tin it is indeed 23 years past it’s expiry date, and of course being movie film, is 410 ft long. This might sound very long but if you were shooting a movie it’s about 4.5 minutes of screen time – as standard. I suspect I might be 23 years expired by the time the film is used up – however I thought it worth a gamble and a test.

I’ve seen some amazing results from even older film over on Mike Connelly’s blog, (If you haven’t visited his blog I really recommend you do – he does incredible work with vintage cameras – link here ) so the age didn’t worry me too much. The fact that it is movie film didn’t worry me either, it’s exactly the same with the exception that the sprocket holes are slightly rounded compared to regular stock, no problems there. Storage is the only variable, but the seller mentioned that her father had worked for Ilford on the motion picture development side, so I assumed he would know how to store film sensibly.

I wound off a couple of feet into a bulk load cassette and spent 10 minutes in the garden as a test with the ME Super. I rated it a 64 asa (iso) to give an extra stop of exposure, and at the shooting side that’s all I did. Development was in my usual Ilfosol 1+9 at 20 degrees. This was during our recent heat wave and I had to put the dev in the freezer to cool to 20 – never had to do that before! The results are ok!

The negatives are a little flat. Not badly so, just a little lacking in contrast. I should explain perhaps that Ilfosol is supposed to be a one shot developer meaning you use it once and then discard. I always wait until I have a few films to dev, and have a “session” and pretty much always use the dev twice, before discarding – after a bit of experimentation I can’t see any difference, but it is reused right away not kept. On this couple of feet I used it a third time, and got these results, and so am confident next time will be even better, sticking to my double use only!

4 thoughts on “Ilford FP4 Plus – a lot of it!

  1. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I’ve seldom shot anything as old as your FP4, but have gotten ok results by just giving the the expired film a couple extra stops of exposure. The lower iso films seem especially resistant to aging. I’m certainly impressed by what you got in this instance. Nice to have such a good supply so you can experiment a bit with exposure and development.


    1. Hi Mike, I’m always impressed with the results that you achieve! I often say to myself I should not buy any more cameras, just use the ones I have already – more, and not buy any more film until I’ve used up my supply – then of course something tempts me! I have used a bit of out-dated film before, and found like you, that the slower black and white films often still perform well with an adjustment downward in speed. I think I will try next, sticking with 64 iso rating, but using a yellow filter and using fresh dev – there’s another post! Thanks for commenting and stay well! best regards Andy


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