120 Fortepan 400 from Freestyle; Emulsion Defects!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Phillip P. Dimor, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I guess it's nothing new to some people but unfortunately I had purchased 35 rolls of the stuff back in mid-December. Just got around to developing two rolls, both rolls have random clear pits.. One roll has an odd grey-purple splattering of density, looks like someone poured juice on the negative.
    I've sent an email to Freestyle but since it's been much longer than 30 days i'm probably stuck with it. I buy my film once to twice a year and now i'm screwed. Any experiences returning stuff like this? The batch number is 5831.

    PS- I loved Fortepan in the past.
     
  2. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Within 10 minutes of emailing customer service, I had a reply stating that I could send the unused unopened film back in order to exchange for new film.
    I'm happy! I like Freestyle. I'm probably going to go with some Neopan, or maybe even more Arista.edu/foma.

    Good customer service from Freestyle!
     
  3. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    That's great customer service!!

    Mike
     
  4. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    Freestyle always gives great customer service! I'd switch for the new Arista/Foma. Forte was always a crap shoot for myself and others I've heard from. While Foma is absolutely brilliant.
     
  5. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    This has been my experience as well . The Fortepan.edu -by now-is pretty old but even 2 years back was giving me similar problems. The Foma.edu is alot more reliable (I did have some rolls with problems about a year ago ) but very delicate. Freestyle is a great operation and will always make good on materials they sell.

    Be Well

    Victor
     
  6. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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    I had a bad batch of APX 25 from Freestyle last year and it was replaced immediately. In fact I got the replacement before they even got the film back from me. Great customer service.
     
  7. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Both the 35mm and the 120 Fortepan 400 I recently bought from Freestyle is sh*t. I just developed some 35mm and the same 'line of light' that I had running end to end in some of my 120 just ruined a roll of 35mm that is pretty special to me. Don't buy it-too much of a crapshoot.
     
  8. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I had a batch of efke 25 in 8x10 w/o notches. It took quite a bit of bickering on my part to get a replacement. I do quite a bit of shopping there as its in my neighborhood. I wasn't happy.
     
  9. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    The Holga/LOMO folks may want some of that defective Forte film, as it may give them some images they find very interesting. Just a thought. And, Yes, Freestyle sure sounds like an A-1 operation with excellent customer support & service.

    paulie
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Re: Freestyle. I have dealt with them since the 1960s. Freestyle is first rate. Like Phillip I usually order once or twice a year; and prefer to buy film and paper ahead of time so it makes its cross-country trip in the cooler months of the year.
     
  11. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I've used Forte films in 120 quite a bit recently and must say after 10-15 rolls I have no problems.
    I originally just wanted some cheap film to put in my Bessa folder, but I've been so impressed I've bulk ordered some 400 speed.
    Some samples and test here:
    Fortepan 100 test
     
  12. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    For years, now, every couple of months someone writes a thread about some crappy, third world film, coated on machines made in the 1950's and the attendant quality control problems. I guess my question is, given all the things that can go wrong with the whole camera, film, development chain, isn't your investment in time worth using Kodak, Fuji or Ilford film?
     
  13. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Tom thats a little harsh, Hungary is hardly a 'Third world' (sic) country. I think the correct term is now 'developing country'.
    Emulsions like Adox/Efke, Forte and Foma all have nice qualities some of those companies make films that the big three don't bother with and so can be useful.
    I'm not defending poor production quality, and indeed Kodak and Fuji have always been exceptional WRT batch consistency, just sometimes I quite like the 'retro' look of some of the former Soviet Bloc manufacturers and so far after over a dozen Forte films I have no problems.
    It could be me but I actually like 'crappy third world film'
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=34043&ppuser=19618
     
  14. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Thanks for your responsible response to my retrospectively impolite post, which was written tongue in cheek, but I didn't indicate that.

    If you search the archives, though, you'll find a constant litany of complaints about these films, everything from "When I hold the film up to the light I see wavy blotches on the emulsion side", to "the paper backing doesn't stay on the film" to "the paper ring to seal the roll on the exposed film doesn't have any glue on it." These recurrent threads on the common theme have become comical.

    I understand your feelings though. I've never seen a better tonal rendition in high contrast than the Bergger BPF 200 developed in pyro and printed on AZO. I do wish that a major film manufacturer would still make a "romantic" black and white film in sheet sizes. I still hold out hope that Iford will someday make Delta 3200 in 4x5. I'd buy a freezer full.

    My main point is that we spend a lot of time and money getting to the point of pressing the shutter, why go to all that trouble to use a problematic film. Maybe for the same reason that people use Holgas. Maybe the answer is to carry a camera with two backs, shoot the romantic film but also shoot it on Tri-x just to be safe.

    Take care,
    Tom
     
  15. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Tom, i'm a poor art student :smile: If I could afford Tri-X, that's all I would eat.
    I guess i'm going to replace the fortepan with some fuji neopan. Still half the price of Tri-X. As much as I love tri-x, I honestly can not afford it. I hate myself for not buying it all the time and it's never going to get cheaper (just like gasoline)...

    Ergh. I've yet to send the film off to be replaced though. I'm too poor to afford packing tape and return shipping. Times is tough!
     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    What is worrying me is that I have more than two cases of 120 ACROS on hand and the last two rolls I processed were covered in the pin holes. Somehow I don't think it is the films problem.. though it might be with the Forte. Pin holes seems to be a problem that no one knows for sure what it is. I have to find out or I'm looking at a lot of dodgy film.
    Dennis
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If it is in the film before you process it, the liquifiled emulsion probably had bubbles in it just prior to coating. If you find it after processing, it may be due to poor or no hardener.

    But there can be a lot of reasons such as not enough surfactant, bad subbing on the film support and on and on. The point is that inspection will show most of these before the film leaves the factory.

    PE
     
  18. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Tom I didn't really take offence, I have been cautious with the use I my Fortepan, I really bought it as a cheap food for my Bessa folder.
    After a few rolls I found I quite like the tonal scale, and tried it (non critical work) in my 6x7.
    I have only used the 100 in MF and recently ordered 20 rolls of the 400 which should arrive any day.
    I think at a quid a roll I can use it for camera tests, pictures of the kids, and in the Bessa without too much fear, not sure I'd do any mission critical stuff on anything but Ilford/Fuji/Kodak.
    You're right about the Delta 3200- wonderful film, I use it in my Fuji RF 6x7 in low light.
    Ilford Delta 3200

    Regards Mark
     
  19. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I'm pulling trouble free Kodak 400TX out of the same tank as this troubled Fortepan 400 35mm and 120 so it's not the processing.
    I've not had THIS problem with Fortepan before and even considering the savings and how much I like this film , it's just not worth it.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The films you mention all have good qualities, but as far as good quality goes it appears to be a crap shoot. Read the posts, and you find some good and some bad film. I refer to these companies 2nd or 3rd Tier. They are not from 3rd world countries and I would object to that method of phraseology. A bad company could be in the US for that matter.

    So, I have to say that if you use an economy film, it may be wonderful.... or not.... Goo luck.

    PE