Alternative 35mm Films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by TPPhotog, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I know there are threads containing all sorts of information and suggestions in almost every forum, so I apologise for trying to get some idea's in one area. Like others here I must admit I've not slept too well since the combined news of Agfa and Ilford. I've now got my logical head screwed back on and know that preparation for the worst event at least will be a distraction until we know the real situation.

    Currently my films of choice which suit my work are all Ilford and in order of preference Pan F (rated at 50); FP4+ (rated at 100-125) and HP5+ (rated 200-1600). I intend to continue using Rodinal (optomistic) for up to 400 and DD-X for above 400.

    As I intend to stock up on loads of film over the next few days of not only Ilford but also alternatives to try, my question is what films would possibly provide me with the same qualities as my Ilford loves?

    I'm sure as the most civilised photography site on the web we can keep this a good clean "fight" :wink:

    Kind regards Tony
     
  2. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Many thanks for being brave and the first to reply. Hopefully (please folks) there will be no flames as all I'm asking is peoples considered preferences rather than a debate of "mine is better than yours" ... after all this is APUG and we are all friends here :smile: ... ooops sounds like I'm back in teaching at college.
     
  3. mark

    mark Member

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    Stock up on delta 100. Enlarged to 11x14 you have to smash your nose against it to see the grain. Kodak HIE, and T-Max.
     
  4. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    Last night I dreamt Agfa started making APX-25 again, continued with APX-100 and bought Ilford to replace APX-400 (worlds grainiest film?) with HP5 after renaming it APX-5+ :wink:
     
  5. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    Many do fine work with TMX and TMY, but they really are different from traditional emulsions, such as Pan-F+, FP4+, and HP5+. And while I wouldn't think of flaming anyone for liking them, they really aren't a good substitute--they are different, I am not saying they are bad, nor good, just different.

    Anchell & Troop in "The Film Developing Cookbook" explain it better than I can.

    With the Ilford & Agfa situation, I was reading my old Kodak technical publication on films this morning. I was a fan of Verichrome Pan and was trying to figure out why I liked it, based on the curve. The only thing I can figure out is that it was a combination of a short toe and a very long straightline section. It looks like FP4+ would share those similarities.

    In spite of what I said earlier, TMY has a similar curve, though all TMax films will tend to have highlight contrast that is too much for me.

    If we can't buy Ilford nor Agfa, and you choose not to go with Kodak, that leaves Efke, Bergger, and Foma. Try Efke. The Efke 25 curve looks promising.

    By the way, you can mix Rodinal from chemicals, so even if it ceases to be available pre-packaged, you can use it.

    Let's see what happens, though. If enough of us buy Ilford fearing it's demise, maybe the company will realize there is a market and that might help find a buyer for the company.

    I hope!
     
  6. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Mark - Yes I've tried Delta but can't quite make up my mind about it.

    Nige - Now that would be a dream I'd love to share!! :D

    Voceumana - Well I'll be buying fist (no arm) fulls of Ilford tomorrow but will add a few alternatives to play with just incase.

    Good news to hear I can make my own Rodinal if push comes to shove - I'm in love with the stuff almost as much as a good single malt wiskey :wink:

    Tony
     
  7. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Tony,
    Should -heaven forbid -Rodinal vanish into a thin haze, there's always Foma 09 or Calbe 09 which are practically the same.
    On the film front: there's this new Chinese film called Lucky. Has anybody tried this?
    Hans
     
  8. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hello Hans,
    Good to hear from you :smile: Those are all new to me so I'll have to do some digging for details. From all the reports I've read I am fearing the worst for Ilford (may the gods prove me wrong), but I suspect Agfa has more of a fighting chance as it has at least a management buyout that will hopefully give it some scope to fill the market which could be opening up. If we do lose Ilford there will be a big void in my life as I've used Ilford since 1976 :sad:
    Tony
     
  9. jim kirk jr.

    jim kirk jr. Member

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    There are the gigabit films,available from retrophotographic as well as Maco's 400 cube plus film which are "alternative" to standard BW film.
     
  10. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    For a nice, slow film with good acuity, contrast and tight grain I'm using Efke 25. It has a wonderful tonality but does take some getting used to for development and exposure. Test first.

    For a closer speed to FP4+ try Efke 100 with its push-pull characteristics there is no equal (see Francesco's images for information about its capabilities).

    Last, the new J&C 400 seems to be working well for some but I'm not sure how much speed you can actually squeeze out of it. Again, Francesco seems to be able to get good results so check his images in the gallery and the information he posts to get an idea of his findings.

    The supply of these film should not be a problem for some time to come as their market share is increasing now and will continue to grow as more large players drop out of the race. Hopefully their management is up to the challenge, but so far it looks promising. I'm using PMK for processing. Francesco uses Pyrocat. Both of these developers are one shot so consistency is good, costs are cheap and you can "roll your own" for very little money. I was concerned at first about toxicity, chemistry and mixing and initial costs, but results are much better than I would have hoped and I'm very comfortable now with the PMK. Film speed with PMK is about half of the manufacturers listed iso, so you may want to think along different lines. Pyrocat seems to give better results as far as film speed is concerned.

    As the market place changes, we must adapt to what is available. This is not a problem but an opportunity for change & growth (that or a major P.I.T.A.).
     
  11. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Thanks folks, It does indeed look like there are many alternatives and all I have to do is get my head around it. I'm very familiar with Francesco's images which are stunning (but he could get wonderful images with a cardboard box and sticky back tape :wink: )and as noseoil has said he does wonders with Efke which Ian Grant suggested to me before we heard of Ilfords troubles.

    Apologies for getting myself into rather a twist on this one. My major confession is that I am permanently bordering on clinical depression and shocks like we have had the last few days tend to take away my crutches.

    Kind regards Tony
     
  12. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I hope APX-100 doesn't go away yet.
    For 400, Neopan is fantastic.
    Fast spedd D3200 or neopan 1600

    I try to avoid chinese stuff.
     
  13. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Just a quick update on this one. I've now tried TMAX 100 and either by the grace of the gods or good metering the negatives do look to have full tonal range. I souped it in Rodinal 1+50 and have just got over the shock / surprise of a nice straw coloured Rodinal going into the tank but grape juice coming out. Once I get a chance to print I'll post the results if they are any good.

    Still have to try Delta 3200 in Rodinal once I can get my hands on a couple of rolls (might mean a visit to the bay) otherwise I'll have to try P3200 TMAX.
     
  14. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    As you probably know, the grape juice is due to the dyes in the TMX. Rodinal doesn't have enough sulfite to bleach them. To test my thesis, you could stir some sulfite into the used developer. Who knows, maybe you could work up a magic act with that.
     
  15. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Simple is best. TMX is good stuff, and bulk-rollable if you like that. Otherwise I'd recommend Acros.

    Switched from Delta a couple of years back to Neopan 400, started to realize how much it was like Tri-X so went back to the grace of the Great Yellow Father. $21/100' spool! And it's THE STUFF, even in Japan: see?

    If it's good enough for both Salgado and Moriyama, I'm there :smile:
     
  16. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Gainer - I realised it was the dye but was surprised by how strong in colour it was. The negatives have come out clear after a 3 minute fix in Ilford Rapid. Next roll I develop I'll try to remember not to throw the used Rodinal away and test it.

    Bjorke - I find for some unknown reason Delta doesn't seem to like me and fail to get consistent results. The TMAX100 seems to come out the way I suspected it would or is that hoped? LOL I need to do some more testing as I didn't nail the first roll as well as I could, but it's looking very promising.

    The attached neg scan (sorry everyone) shows I needed more DOF and the shot would benefit from a slightly different angle. My scanner has failed (as it quite often does) to pick out the shadow details, but wet printing would easily cope with the range of tones in the neg :smile: I think I was more interested in capturing the extreams of light than the aesthetics of the picture lol

    Thank you both for your comments they really are very appreciated!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2004
  17. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Developed J&C Pro 100 120mm roll in Rodinal 1:50 for 13 mins with good results - at least the negatives look good. Will try printing soon. It looks like a very good film & price is great. Just ordered couple of boxes of the sheet film today (& just received shipping notice - what service!!!)
     
  18. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Doug that is good service :smile:
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If I were shooting B&W in 35mm--which I don't do much anymore--I'd be using TMX in D-76 (1+1) or possibly Xtol, New Delta 400 in Perceptol at EI 200 or in D-76 at EI 400, and Delta 3200 for high speed. Maybe I'd try Efke 100 in PMK, which I like in larger formats, but haven't tried in 35mm.
     
  20. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    David,

    I intend to try the Efke 100 as soon as I have some time. I recently shot and souped a 14 year out of date roll of KB14 and was / am impressed by it. As far as possible I want to stick to developing in Rodinal now, but I have used D-76 and ID-11 in the past but I just love that Rodinal look though :smile:

    Tony
     
  21. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Hello Tony,
    If the worst case scenario should happen: use Foma 09 instead of Rodinal. This Foma 09 (also known as Calbe 09) is a sort of Ur-Rodinal. I think it is available at retrophotographic. www.retrophotographic.co.uk
    Regards
    Hans
     
  22. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Hello Hans,
    Thank you I'll add this to my list of alternatives in case the nightmare becomes a reality.
    Tony