HP5 is Ilford's most acclaimed film emulsion. The box speed of 400 makes it a film suitable for most situation, but the film also reacts well to pushing and pulling. The grain sizes are generally small, but still visible to retain the analog feeling. In a similar fashion, contrast and exposure lattitude are also well balanced. Ilford HP5 is often compared to Kokak TriX, among which HP5 features less grain and more exposure lattitude.
Ilford is a traditional manufacturer that was founded in the early years of photography and experienced a number bankruptcies and acquisitions during the decline of analog photography in the 2000s. The company was founded in 1879 by Alfred Hugh Harman in the English town of Ilford in the East of London . In 1928, the company acquired a factory in Mobberley near Manchester airport where manufacturing resides until today . During the 1960s, the Swiss Ciba company acquired stocks in Ilford until they became the sole owner in 1969. Ciba also set up a second manufacturing site in Marly near Bern .
Once being part of a multi-national corporation, multiple acquisitions followed over the next decades. In 2004, both the British and Swiss parts of Ilford had to file for bankrupcy and were divided in the process. After finding a Japanese investor, the Swiss Ilford branch had to file for a second bankrupcy in 2013 during which parts of the site in Marly were acquired by the German manufacturer Adox . The British branch was bought out by a group of former managers who formed Harman technology in remembrance of the company founder . Manufacturing remaines in Mobberley, but now also produces film for other brands.