5x7 sheet film

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by rhphoto, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    I posted this in the film forum, but thought it couldn't hurt to post here, too. I just got a B&J 5x7 and I'm so jacked about finally making the contact prints I've always wanted to. Thing is, I don't trust manufacturers anymore to keep up making "odd" sizes like 5x7, and I like to settle in with one film and developer combination. So if anyone has ideas about what companies have longevity, i.e., are committed to making 5x7 for a while . . .
    I'll most likely be developing in pyro, and might experiment with Azo, but I've had nice results with other FB papers over the years. (Is that ok to confess in this forum? I get the feeling everybody here contacts onto Azo!)
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    If you are planning on contact printing on Azo then you will need a film that is capable of developing a high density range. The film that I have found to work very well is Efke PL 100. I like Pyrocat as a developer with this film. I have found that ABC Pyro while somewhat more active then Pyrocat suffers from greater apparent grain if you would ever want to enlarge your negatives. Tmax 400 is another film that is capable of producing a high DR but I don't know if it is still available in 5X7.

    Efke film is available from JandC Photo. (one of the site sponsors)

    If you keep your negative density range in the 1.30 range, your negatives will print on grade three Azo and also on variable contrast paper. If you plan on Grade two Azo it will require a negative density range of 1.65 and probably won't print very well on conventional VC paper.
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Good question. TMAX 400 is not available in 5x7 any longer as a stock item. You may be able to special order an entire run but it will be in the thousands of dollars.

    Tmax 100 is still available but who knows for how long. But, about a year ago Kodak started incorporating some sort of UV blocker in the film base which has rendered the film a very poor choice for alternative process contact printing. If you are going to ever want to contact your negatives as cyanotypes, Pt/Pd, van dyke browns, kallitypes, etc., I would strongly suggest a different film.

    I've settled on Ilford HP5+ and hopefully given Ilford's very strong and promising press release yesterday, their products will remain for a long time and they will be the last manufacturer standing as they have stated.

    Otherwise, I think Efke & Berrger might be choices to consider, but I do think Ilford has the best shot at surviving.

    Joe
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I would again second Ilford. The news just keeps getting better (thankfully). I have settled on FP4 and HP5 and will support them all the way. Such films are their core business and so it makes sense.
     
  5. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    HP5+ gets my vote. Ilford has supported odd sizes in the past.
     
  6. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    Yeah, I read the press release just after posting this question. Sounds like Ilford is going to carry the torch, and that's great news.

    Um, Loose Gravel, are those rocks by any chance on the San Marcos Pass? I lived in SB for 28 years, and have seen my share of rockslides there.
     
  7. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    I think you can rely on Ilford. Also, 8x10 can be cut down to 2 5x7 sheets, and I'm sure that will be around forever. Don't sweat not being able to get 5x7 film.

    -Mike
     
  8. James Bleifus

    James Bleifus Member

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    I haven't heard about Efke being in trouble. Has anyone one else? Personally, when I bought my 5X7 I ordered a number of different films for testing in the field and picked the one that pleased me the best. It seems to me that the best approach is to pick the film that you like the best (whichever that one is) and hope that they don't go out of business instead of vice versa.

    Cheers,

    James
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Considering the possibility of contact printing on Azo I would definitely not use HP5...the only time would be in situations of high SBR or in Zone Speak N minus development. HP5 will not develop the high negative density range required in printing on Azo especially in low SBR situations.

    The preferable alternative would be FP4. That film will develop the density range required...perhaps not to the extent of Efke PL100 but certainly much better then HP5.

    I would also recommend the 125 ISO film that Photo Warehouse will cut to 5X7 size. That is reported to be private label FP4.

    While HP5 will work somewhat better with conventional VC paper...it definitely is not the best choice when negatives with high density ranges are mandated by the printing paper or alternative process.

    Bergger is even worse the HP5...it is probably one of the worst film choices for Azo or alternative process.
     
  10. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    Rhphoto

    Those rocks are about 1 mile off the pass on East Camino Cielo, not far from Painted Cave. We had 25 inches in 5 days right around new year and the rocks did tumble. You sure moved a long way away.
     
  11. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

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    My favorite film that is available in both 8x10 and 5x7 is Tri-x. I have used it for many years. After using HC-110, I now develop it in Pyrocat-HD and print it on Azo. It is wonderful stuff, giving a great feeling of depth and space.

    Alan Davenport
     
  12. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    Interesting about the Bergger . . . there's a quote from Gordon Hutchings that he thought it was great for his PMK. And Alan, I would be perfectly fine with Tri-x, but I just don't trust Kodak. However, another post suggested I just work with the film I really prefer and hope it stays around, and that might be the best approach. I know the Tri-x emulsion well from 15 years of using it on 4x5. I think they came out with some "new and improved" emulsion recently . . . don't know why they have to mess with one of the most widely used films in history.
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The last story I heard was that Freestyle was replacing Forte in the EDU brand with Efke. I thought EFKE was in relatively good shape.
     
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  15. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Another vote for Efke films in 5x7. It seems they continue to capture market share, which others are allowing to decline. It really is great stuff and if the 100 isn't fine enough for enlarging at some point, the 25 certainly is.

    I think Efke is poised to become a major player in the world market as others fall by the wayside. They have a great product which has held up well for the last 50 years and it continues to acquire a following. Hats off to John at J&C and the folks in eastern europe who have kept this wondeful film alive and well.

    Hopefully, Ilford has been able to shift things around enough to tighten up profits and get a second wind for the next century. Their FP4 has excellent characteristics for contact printing and has pretty good latitude for expansion and contraction, but Efke 100 is still the winner in this respect.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    there's photowarehouse(.biz) too. they will cut and notch fp4 ( rebranded) to any size & its cheep.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    After a lot of experimenting with 8x10 films for contact printing with Azo, I am now using only Efke 100. The stuff is so good that I don't bother with any other film in 8x10. In Pyrocat it is simply amazing. It builds density better than any other film I've used, it's forgiving, it takes the stain well...I can't praise it enough.

    All of my 8x10 work is either landscape or macro, so 100 speed film is just fine for me. I've not seen any reason to search for a faster film in 8x10. I did experiment with HP5+; it's a very nice film, but I could never get the density range out of it that I want for my contact prints. I still use it in 4x5 for enlargements, but for contact printing on Azo I'm convinced that Efke 100 is the best film for me.
     
  18. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Donald,

    I have made some very nice van dyke brownprints as well as POP prints using HP5+ in situations where I've probably given N+2 development or thereabouts to the film (and using HC110 at that, but have not actually measured the SBR or density values). Intuitively I suspect both these processes would require a higher negative density range than AZO (but maybe not as it has been many years since I've used that paper), and certainly more than Pt/Pd. So my experience seems different than yours regarding HP5+.

    I'm not doubting that FP4+ might be a better choice for all these processes but since I have no experience using it in large format, I'm wondering if you could point me to some online comparisons of achieved density ranges between the two films given similar processing and exposure conditions? Thanks in advance for any info or pointers you can provide.

    Joe
     
  19. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    You might find the information that Sandy King posted on pyro developers on Unblinkingeye.com to be informative to your question. In that information, he gives some excellent film comparisons in differing CI applications. Additionally Clay Harmon has publically stated that he at one time used HP5 in high SBR situations and FP4 in low SBR situations. Sandy King's documentation in the information on Unblinkingeye seems to bear out what my experience with HP5 when used in high DR applications.

    The only film of a higher EI (400) that seems to have the ability to build higher DR with low SBR situations seems to be Tmax 400.
     
  20. James Bleifus

    James Bleifus Member

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    Bergger is great film, absolutely gorgeous. The problem is that it has very limited expansion. So if you need to do plus development Bergger isn't the best choice.
    OTOH, if you plan on carrying more than one type of film with (something I don't do because I like the KISS approach) then I'm sure you'll be pleased with Bergger 200.

    Cheers,

    James
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2005
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most of what I shoot is on 5x7" FP4+, with occasional MACO UP100+ in 18x24cm and APX100 in 9x12cm...

    Fp4+ is my main film, at leat when I've used up my remaining APX100.
     
  22. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

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    Donald,

    I've taken a quick look at Sandy's article again (having read it in some detail months ago) and don't interpret the results in quite the same way. It would appear that FP4+ achieves a higher CI quicker than HP5+ in the pyrocat developer (for example reaching a CI of .95 instead of .85 at 20 minutes development time at same dilution) but my take on the data is that the HP5+ curve remains steeper at the extended times while the FP4+ curves are beginning to flatten several minutes before that final 20 minute data point. This suggests to me that if the development times were extended, the CI of HP5+ would catch up and perhaps even exceed that of FP4+ in the same developer. At a quick glance, the charts seem to indicate a difference in the initial rate of development rather than the absolute density range/CI achievable using these films and pyro developers. (I'll have to put the data on a single CI chart to see any trend more clearly.)

    Perhaps Sandy could comment on this if he happens by.

    I'll also check my notes and see if I can figure out the CI of my film test for VDB using HP5+ and HC110.

    Thanks for the pointer to Sandy's data. Looks like I'll have to pick up some FP4+ and try it.

    Joe
     
  23. sanking

    sanking Member

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    OK, here are my thoughts.

    My original tests of HP5+, as seen in the article at unblinkingeye.com, were based on the *old* HP5+. I have done a lot of more recent testing with the newer HP5+, but have not as yet updated the article.

    My most recent tests show that a CI of 0.95 is possible with the new HP5+ and Pyrocat 2:2:100 with about 22 minutes of development, rotary at 72ºF. However, the CI chart at that point shows the CI to still be on a straight line, i.e. climbing. That is, more time *might* result in a higher CI. But I only tested to 22 minutes, so can not say for sure. But I do allow the possibility at least that the film is capable of a higher CI than .95.

    FP4+ is another bird. With the Pyrocat-HD 2:2:100 dilution a CI of about 1.15 is achieved with about 20-22 minutes of development. However, the CI appears to be leveling off at that point, so I don' t believe you can get much more contrast out of the film. But again, I don't know for *sure* because I did not test FP4+ in Pyrocat 2:2:100 for more than 22 minutes.

    I don't like to punt on questions, but punting is better than providing inaccurate information. Or so I believe.

    Sandy
     
  24. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

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    I was hesitant to try the new Tri-x when it came out but since I didn't have any more of the old stuff I bought it anyway. It seems every bit as good as the old emulsion.

    I believe that George Provost switched from Tri-x to Efke 25. This also he develops in Sandy's Pyrocat-HD.

    Alan
     
  25. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have several beautiful 8x10 Azo contact prints made by George Provost. A few of his negs were shot on Efke 25 and developed in Pyrocat-HD. Most of his negs were shot on Efke 100 and developed in Pyrocat-HD.

    For my own 8x10 Azo contact work, I shoot about 80% - 90% with Efke 100 and develop in Pyrocat-HD. The rest are either J&C Classic 400 plus or Efke 25 processed in Pyrocat-HD.
     
  26. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    Thanks again for all the replies. So now I think I'm just going to put all the suggested films in a hat and pick one. Or throw the I Ching.