APX100 or FP4+?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rduraoc, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    My main film so far has been Ilford's HP5+. But I am thinking about trying out a slower, finer grained film. I normally shoot street scenes, so I am aware that this may not be a wise choice, but I want to give it a try. My choices are narrowed down to Agfa's APX100 and Ilford's FP4+, altough I'm taking other suggestions. I'm more inclined to APX100, mainly because it's cheaper and I don´t feel so guilty by shooting away like crazy. But I know that FP4+ is better/more widely known than APX100. Has anyone tried these two (in 35mm), and can give some help?

    TIA,

    Rui Durão
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    APX100 is excellent in Rodinal 1:50 also it tends to give fuller film speeds (better shadow detail) than FP4 or Tmax 100.
     
  3. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I would go with FP4+. APX 100 is ok, but I find it a PITA to handle as it curls and bends like hell when drying. FP4+ is easier to handle.
    Image quality is better with FP4+ and I find it more forgiving, so if you needs a little more speed in a situation then do it. It can still be printed good. I find APX losing a lot shadow detail when underexposed just a little.

    Other films you might consider are Ilford Delta 100, Kodak T-Max 100, Fuji Acros and Foma 100 or Foma 200.

    Morten
     
  4. rjr

    rjr Member

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    APX.

    Cheaper, better availability, lower variation - Ilford tends to change film base on a daily base, I´ve noticed large changes from batch to batch.

    APX is a very versatily and strong film, it´s very hard to scratch or ruin, very forgiving and you can turn it into a bw slide film.

    It responds nicely to different developers in terms of grain, contrast, sharpness and film speed - APX100 in XTOL, D76 or Rodinal look so different that it´s hard to believe it is the same film you used.

    APX100 is my choice of film for 120 next to Efke R50.
     
  5. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Morten,

    sounds like you have a problem with your drying setup. Do you use hot air? If so, don´t. Let the film dry cold until it looks dry, only then turn on the heater and it will dry absolutely flat.
     
  6. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Hm...I use & like both of your options (APX 100 & FP4+) but I've also used a couple of Doc Morten's suggested films, too... Delta 100 & Acros (also a 100 speed film).

    Delta is easy to manipulate, but has a more pronounced grain which, if you've been shooting faster film, you may like. Acros & APX are both incredibly 'fine grained' and (for me) seem to have a wide range of shadow & highlight. FP4+ is a good film and I just recently have been experimenting with shooting it at speeds other than 125. So far so good!

    I think you would do yourself a great favor by checking out a couple of rolls of each. You know the types of subjects you like to shoot and you will be able to decide which works best for your application. So... give them each a go! Try them at different speeds (I have no idea how either of them push...I like slower speeds for my application).
    Good Luck!!! :D
     
  7. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    I usually use FP4 but got a few rolls of apx100 and acros just out on interest.

    What are the main differences between these film with regard to contrast, tonality, and accutance with pyro devs? People here seem to have good results with acros in pyro. Sorry if this is kinda hijacking the thread a bit!

    With regard to the original question, I think 100/125 speed if OK for street scenes if you use fast lenses and shoot near the middle of the day.
     
  8. rjr

    rjr Member

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    M,

    "What are the main differences between these film with regard to contrast, tonality, and accutance with pyro devs? People here seem to have good results with acros in pyro. Sorry if this is kinda hijacking the thread a bit!"

    I´d expect the two to behave similarly, they are quite close in their behaviour.

    Two weeks ago I dev´d APX100 in PcatHD - not that much stain, but it works in masking the grain. Acutance is en par with Rodinal 1+50 but film speed is higher with Pcat - as you´d expect it.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    I'll probably do a test of both. Anyone with an EI and dev. times for Rodinal 1+50, to use as my starting numbers?

    Thanks again,
    Rui Durão
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Thanks. My hot air system works perfectly with all other films than Agfa films...and I like Delta 100 so much that I don't want to switch at the moment.
     
  11. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    Surprised no one's mentioned Fuji ACROS yet; I'm just beginning with it, but already like it very much--extremely fine grain, very sharp, and lovely tonality.
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I did in my first post...
     
  13. skahde

    skahde Member

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    I've shot quite a lot of Delta 100 as well as APX in fine grain as well accutance developers (D76, Stoeckler's, Rodinal, PCat, DS10). Delta reacts with a marked increase in grain and reduced sharpness to overdevelopment in accutance developers - especially Rodinal - and tends to look downright ugly this way. I have 6x6 negatives which I do not dare to print bigger than 7.5x7.5" as the fine detail falls apart otherwise. APX is much more forgiving when used with developers of high pH and developed for longer than optimal.
    When developed to a moderate CI or using developers of moderate pH, there is no contest: Delta is finer.

    best

    Stefan
     
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  15. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Funny, re curl: just the opposite is true with me. Perhaps the water?
     
  16. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    FP4 is an excellent film but in my neck of the woods it is twice the price of APX 100. I also know from experience with Agfa films ( I still have IFF) that it will outlast me in storage.
    I recently took APX 100 to Barbados. It had 3 doses of X-ray with no ill effect I can see (in fairness the TX also survived).
    I developed in Xtol as I wanted to see how the grain would be. In an 11x14 print it is hard to find grain to focus on and the tonality is lovely even in clouds. Rodinal has higher apparent sharpness but more grain.
    The secret with these films is not to expose highlights up on the film shoulder so far that they go pasty
    Mark
     
  17. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have used a fair amount of both FP4 plus and APX100. IMHO old tech films far better suit street and reportage. Less clinical looking and all things being equal, better mid tone seperation, which is important in an urban envoronment.......lots of Z4-6..... FP4 is finer grained and very good all round. It has a fairly straight upper curve and can be a bit like modern filoms in lacking much of a shoulder. APX is IMHO creamier and has better tonality. It is simply the most beautiful film I have ever used for portraits. It is however grainier and on a thinner base, which can be more prone to buckling on loading onto reels (in 120). Personally I would not go near Tmax, Acros (which I love for other things) for street but cannot comment on Delta 100 as I have not used that much. The modern films are also low on acutance which seriously screws up street images IMHO. TMAX, Acros and Delta are NOT sharp films as some have said! They have great resolution, but esp in the case of Tmax, their acutance is relatively poor and so apparent sharpness lags way behind the traditional films. Sharopness (acutance) and resolution are two very different things........Either FP4 or APX100 would allow either serious sharpness in Pyrocat/Pyro/FX39/Acutol and others or tonality and fine grain in Xtol/perceptol etc etc....or gritty sharp pronounced grain in rodinal/neofin etc. You would make a great succes from any of these. If you for for a Tgrain, don't be surprised when the shots lack easily apparrent bite, gritiness and that moodiness we normally associate with street. Just my opinion......

    Tom
     
  18. david b

    david b Member

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    If have been using APX 100 for about 3 years now on a very regular basis. Probably around 250 rolls. It is great in Rodinal, xtol, and d-76.

    My times are as follows:
    xtol 1+1 9 @68
    rodinal 1+25 8@68
    rodinal 1+50 13@68
    rodinal 1+100 20@68

    These times are all at iso/asa 100.

    I don't agree with the fine grain part but the tonality of this film is amazing.

    good luck.
     
  19. Jimi

    Jimi Member

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    Hello,

    I thought asking at this thread rather than putting this in its own.

    Well, I loaned few Elinchrome flashes to shoot with this weekend. Went and bought APX100 for shootings. My problem is that those flashes are bit too powerful (and my livingroom is a bit small in size) so ASA100 is one stop too fast. How APX100 handles ASA50 exposing? What could possible developing times be? Checked MassiveDevChart and it recommends 11,5 mins. Any experience? out there?

    Ps. Almost forgot, I'm developing in good old Rodinal and will shoot 35mm.
     
  20. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    APX100 has been my bread-and-butter film for over 8 years now.
    I really love it, and as it has been stated it reacts so differently in different developers that is amazing.

    Grain is small enough, tonality is very good and it is a tad more contrasty than FP4+
    I generally rate APDX100 as 100, for DDX and Rodinal, and it can be pushed 1 stop in DDX.

    David's times are about right. I'd have to add DDX 1+9 13 minutes 68F, agitating only onnce per minute
    And Rodinal 1+200, 2 hours in stand development (agoitate at start and then go eat a pizza)


    I use FP4+ every once and then, is a very good film as well, works best in caffenol.
     
  21. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    I don't think there is much better than APX100 and Rodinal 1:50. APX100 has been my favorite film for a few years now. I've shot a decent amount of FP4+ and wasn't as impressed by it as I am with APX100, but it is still a great film too. APX100 looks good in WD2D+ too (really nice tones).
    -Grant
     
  22. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Here's the times I use for the films. (these are all in 1:50 at 68deg F) -

    APX 100 @ ISO100 = 13 minutes
    (note here: another person I know uses 17 minutes, but I can only vouch for 13...besides...17 minutes is just too long for my attention span :wink: )

    FP4+ @ ISO 125 = 8 minutes
    FP4+ @ ISO 50 = 6 minutes

    Here's the same info for Acros (just in case) :smile:
    Acros 100 @ ISO 100 = 10 minutes

    Hope this helps some!
     
  23. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    APX100 EI 100 in Rodinal 1:50 is 15min for me (68 degrees).
    -Grant
     
  24. eric

    eric Member

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    Which ever one is cheaper at the time. With 35mm, its so hard to really have a opinion. So hard to tell with a smaller format. I used to process film, hand dunk, for a living. I've literally processed thousands and thousands of 35mm film. When the printers (these guys were so bad ass, we did a lot of printing for gallery shows), it was impossible to tell if it was plus-x, fp4, apx100 when it came from 35mm. Well, I lied, we could tell if it is from tech pan.
     
  25. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    No one has mentioned Plus-X. Exposed at 125 and developed in D76 1+1, it has the same fine grain as FP4+ with significantly more contrast. Now that Kodak has cut off the supply of grey market film it is about twice the price of FP4+ and APX100, however. I roll my own (35mm) so that I can afford it. I have tried to like FP4+, especially since the grey market Plus-X disappeared, but the look just does not suit my style and taste. When I shoot a roll of Plus-X the prints come out exactly the way I want them, usually on the first try. With FP4+ I have to fuss too much to get the look that I want. Perhaps I just do not have the patience to to try different meter settings, developers, contrast filters on the enlarge ... Perhaps it is because I have been shooting Plus-X since I was fifteen (I won't tell you how long ago that was) and because two of my all time favorite shots were taken with Plus-X.

    Another suggestion: APX100 exposed at 200, developed in Diafine. I use this combination in 120 format. It gives me enough speed for hand held shots with a Mockva-2. The contrast is a bit softer than Plus-X. When I finish my current 100 foot roll of Plus-X, I am going to try some of this in 35mm.
     
  26. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I agree with Ian Grant's observations as I really like APX 100 in Rodinal 1:50. Let it be said, however, that APX 100 is not paricularly fine-grained to begin with and Rodinal is not a fine-grain developer.

    I'd have to say that I found FP4+ to be the finest-grain "traditional" (non-tabular) grain film in the 100-125 speed segment.

    Eric - I don't understand your comments at all. If anything, I think the differences between films get accentuated at small negative sizes since we are enlarging them so much. Then again, if you use 4x5 everything from 35mm starts to look rough junk when its at 11x14 and larger I guess...