Ilford HP5 Plus 120 Film – Holga Photography Review

If you’re new to film photography you’ve probably heard of or remember names like Kodak, Canon, Polaroid, and so on. But who is Ilford? And how does their Ilford HP5 Plus film stack up?

Ilford isn’t a newbie in the world of film. They’ve been around since 1879 – pretty much the dawn of photography! They’re based in England. They used to even make cameras, too. They’ve got a number of lines of film in both 35mm and 120 format. I, of course, use the 120 format for my Holga camera. I like the Ilford HP5 Plus, which is black and white, for its price and good quality. This competes with the Kodak Tri-X 400 film.

120 format film, for those who are new to film photography, is 60mm high. It is NOT the same as 35mm film :). It’s taller. It won’t fit in a 35mm camera – it’s made for 120-format cameras. A roll of 120 format film generally fits 12-16 images per film roll depending on whether you shoot square or tall-rectangular.

This film itself is marked as ILFORD HP5 PLUS and 4205 at the bottom. I took a rough image of a roll against my monitor to show this. I’m not sure what the 4205 stands for – I have written them to ask! It also has the exposure marks along the top but again this would depend if you’re choosing to shoot square or tall-rectangular images on it. The overlaps were my choice, based on how I wound the film.

I’ve used the film in a number of situations and always love it. For example, here’s an image I took on a cruise to Cozumel on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas. It’s the right-most image in the above image of the raw film. We were docked next to another ship here. I love how the slight overlaps on the left and right frame the balconies, and how they all have the same tables and chairs but in varying configurations. Then the white of the ship below adds another frame.

Again, to clarify, the overlaps came from me. I chose to overlap my images.

I love the gentle softness that I get with the Ilford HP-5 Plus. It’s just the right level of contrast. My Holga always gives images a moody feel to them and the Ilford plays right along with that.

Well recommended.

This image was taken with Ilford HP-5 Plus B&W 120 ISO 400 film.
Buy Ilford HP-5 Plus B&W 120 ISO 400 film from

This film was developed at

You can see more about the overlaps I did on this trip here –

Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas in Black and White Holga 120

Ask below with any questions and share your own experiences!