I have Ilford HP5 Plus 400, I believe this is one of the standard B&W films. I've developed this myself, but I'm not sure what to look for or ask a lab tech to make sure that they develop this properly. C-41 is the standard color equivalent to what B&W process?

  • Do they just call it D-76 like the developer?
    – dpollitt
    Aug 19, 2011 at 1:32
  • 1
    I don't think there was a process designator, just various different developers. I used Microdol a bunch way back when, but numerous other options exist. I think that rather than asking for a specific process, ask for an expected outcome like "fine grain" or "high contrast".
    – Steve Ross
    Aug 19, 2011 at 5:50

2 Answers 2


Most labs I've seen that do black and white processing call it generally D-76 processing, but they could use any number of other chemicals. HP5 is about a standard a b&w film as you'll find, so if the lab claims they do black and white processing, they'll be able to do HP5.

Ilford's site has a PDF for all the development solutions and times that they recommend if you need something specific to ask about.

If you want to shoot black and white film but can only find places that do color processing (for example, most drug store labs only do color film now), you might want to look into chromogenic films like Ilford XP2 or Kodak T400CN. Those are b&w films but they're designed to be developed with the chemicals for color film.

  • Very useful answer! Exactly what I was looking for!
    – dpollitt
    Aug 19, 2011 at 15:47
  • Note: If you use chromogenic films (which I loved), they are C-41 process and the results are typically a kind of sepia base color. You have to scan them and neutralize the sepia unless you like it.
    – Steve Ross
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:48

If you are using Ilford film, like HP5, it's better use Ilford developer like Ilfosol or Id11. I recommend ID11: it results in fine grain and better contrast, and if you are doing color, use Ilford XP2

  • Also, if you check a couple sources (the film box, the massive dev chart website) you'll find about a dozen or more B&W developers that work with HP5, with corresponding times. Jun 6, 2014 at 12:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.