B+W Films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jonathan Brooke, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Jonathan Brooke

    Jonathan Brooke Member

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    As a beginner in B+W (i.e. got my first non point and shoot in june and haveonly shot 2 B+W films so far with it) I have no idea which films have what characteristics, except of course that faster means grainier. My two films so far have been a Jessops Pan 100s (I didn't want to waste a good film on my first go) and an Ilford FP4 Plus. Since my subject matters are different on each film and the FP4 unfortunately got printed at the shop on high gloss I haven't even got anything I can use as comparison. Currently I'm putting an Ilford Pan 100 through.

    When I get back to university this autumn, I'll be able to start printing my own stuff; I don't however want to waste too much time figuring out which type of film I like best.

    ISO 100 will probably be my standard fare but since I don't have fast lenses or access to a tripod all the time I'll have to use 400 sometimes. When I do have a tripod to hand I'll use 50 possibly.

    Any advice?

    Cheers, Jonathan.

    P.S. I got pleasing results on both, but I have no idea if they would have been better on the other film type.
     
  2. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    Well, FP4 and id11 and you have a good starter. I recommend to overexpose: use iso 80 or iso 64 to register more detail in the shadows. Delta100 is a very good film to start with too. Have fun and experiment.
     
  3. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Jonathan, try one film for a while and see how it goes. If you spend too much time hopping from film to film, it is more difficult to get a feel for any one type. Try a few months with one to become more familiar, then move to see how the next film responds. Just keep shooting! tim
     
  4. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    The general advice is to stick with one or two films and developers for a while until you get some idea of how they look with your kind of subject etc. I'd suggest keeping it simple, so FP4+ and HP5+ developed in ID-11 or ILFOTEC HC if you don't want to mix up ID-11 from powder (these are all Ilford products) and you must check out Rodinal for a different look (sorry, but it's a APUG requirement: everyone must at least try Rodinal once - it's a law, or an old charter, or something... :wink: ) .

    Have fun, Bob.
     
  6. abeku

    abeku Subscriber

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    I was thinking in the same terms! Go for FP4 and HP5 for a while. I usually expose FP4 at 125 iso and develop in D-76 (ID-11) 1+1 for 9 minutes. HP5 is exposed at iso 320 and developed in D-76 1+1 for 8.5 minutes. I have found Chris Johnson's development time charts as a good starting point. There, you'll also find some suggestions for Rodinal and FP4/HP5...
    Have fun!
     
  7. Jonathan Brooke

    Jonathan Brooke Member

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    Thanks for replying everybody, your comments are valued. I'm sure I'll find out about Rodinal at some point! As to chemicals I'm not sure what my Uni's Photographic Club stocks yet, as I have yet to join.

    Unfortunately my Nikon F75 doesn't have a manual adjustment for film speed and I presume the DX strip gives FP4's speed as 100. What would be the appropriate exp. compensation from 100->125 and from 400->320?

    Thanks again, Jonathan
     
  8. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    the DX strip will make it 125 so it think a compensation of 2/3 stop overexposure wil yield at ISO 80. M/
     
  9. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Alternately, you can buy DX labels from Jessops that you stick over the film can's own DX strips - unfortunately, they do not have 80ASA, but do have 50 and 100. Another trick is to gaffer tape over the film can's DX strips and see what the camera gives you (usually 100ASA I think by default). If the camera lets you set compensation easily then that will obviously be the most flexible method and will allow you to set the best compensation (if any) for your way of shooting and developing.

    Or... some Blue Peter skills, kitchen foil, glue and this (http://www.bythom.com/dxcodes.htm) website and away you go (and no sticky-back-plastic needed)...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  10. Jonathan Brooke

    Jonathan Brooke Member

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    Thankfully exp. compensation is very easy on this camera. Given people's advice, I'm going to start off with FP4s and HP5s. I'll be selective about shots and bracket 2/3, 1/3 over and on the camera's recommendation. Good plan?

    With thanks again, Jonathan.
     
  11. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Yup, good plan. Your Ilford choices are excellent. Try them for awhile, see how you like them and maybe switch to another. APX 100 is a fave of mine. I've never tried Fuji's contributions to b/w, but they have many fans out there. There are also the Efke and Foma films to try.
     
  12. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Jonathan,
    Welcome to the club! I usually rate HP5 at 200 asa and develop in D76 (1+1) for 11 mins. Sorry if this sounds confusing; it's not meant to! It's just part of the fun of experimentation which will ultimately lead you to your preferred film/dev combo. Enjoy yourself! Regards, BLIGHTY.
     
  13. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes.... after seeing a few of your photographs in the gallery, you might find HP5 an excellent choice. I usually rate it at 200, spot expose it for the shadows and develop in D-76 (ID-11) at 1+3 for 13 minutes. It's a forgiving film when learning to develop, too, especially if your tempuratures are not always consistent.

    Good luck!
    (P.S. don't tell Morten, but I've never tried Rodinal! Shhhhh!)
     
  14. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Pick a 400 speed easily available and stick with it. Id11 or D76 mixed and put into small one time use glass bottles will serve you well. Skipping around will get you nowhere.

    At some point,after 50 rolls, you can try Fp4 or Delta 100 so you will have two films, one slow, one fast. Thats all you need.

    This is all about control and making a neg that is decent. Trying all kinds of different things will take too much away from the learning experience and getting to know one film well.
     
  15. Jonathan Brooke

    Jonathan Brooke Member

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    May I ask, politely of course, why you recommend HP5/400? My personal taste - so far - is for sharpness and fine grained photos and given that, I'd rather use slower film most of the time. Those photos are my preliminary snaps by the way, I haven't started telling the camera exactly what I want it to do yet; just switching it to apature priority, keeping an eye on the exposure time and letting the camera take the metering decisions. Subject matter will also settle down. Most of the time I'd rather to be occasionally saying to myself 'I needed a bit more speed there' or 'this shot would have benefitted from more grain' than more often (probably) wishing my pictures were finer grained.

    However, as always, my ears are open. I am after all a beginner.

    Jonathan
     
  16. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I think the suggestion for a 400 speed film is probably meant to make shooting easier. Faster shutter speed, better depth of field and no tripod makes learning a bit easier. If you enjoy working with the slower film, by all means, do it. I started B&W with Efke 25 as my film of choice (but I tend to be a masochist in some of my work) and had to learn to work with asa 12. Basically, no shot without a decent tripod. If you do go with the FP4, try to get a good tripod and learn how to use it well. It will do more for you in terms of composition and thought than just the point & shoot approach. tim
     
  17. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    2nd the tripod!!! Before you buy any lens, flash, etc. Get a tripod!
     
  18. hortense

    hortense Member

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    That's a Great site!
     
  19. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'd just like to add that every film has its fans. Put another way, no film is completely worthless -- every film is liked by somebody for some purpose. You can spend lots of time experimenting to find what you like best, but as others suggest, it's probably best to stick with just a couple of films at first.

    Also, store brands like Jessops are really just rebadged versions of some other manufacturer's films. In the past, many store brands were really Ilford, but I gather that Ilford's terminated such arrangements, so stores have switched to other suppliers. I don't know who Jessops uses offhand, but it's probably perfectly good film.
     
  20. abeku

    abeku Subscriber

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    LOL! Yes, it's tiresome to hear each and everyone having their preferred combination! I think this thread gives you some excellent starting points. Depending on which type of enlarger (or scanner) you will use for your negatives you will find your own preferred developing process for the film. I also recommend to have a standard procedure of developing film; same temperature, agitation and so forth. It helps a lot when trying to find the ideal combination for your needs.
    Hmm, iso 200 for 11', I'll give that a try...
     
  21. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    The idea was to provide a film for handheld shooting and one that could be used in any situation, but necessarily one that would be optimal.

    If you are always going to shoot in full sun, pick one of the slow films I recommended.
    I find D76 or Id 11 undiluted gives stunning negs with delta 100. You just can`t do better than this, but my preference is to be as close to the large format look as I can get. If you like, gritty sharp negs, dilute the developer 1:3, but use 4 oz of developer and 12 oz of water ( large tank). You need the full 4 oz. Diluting 1:1 gives an inbetween look.

    Delta 400 looks good in DDX, as does 100, undiluted ID 11, Xtol. Diluted ID 11 looks crummy with Id11.

    See, I spent a lot of time checking things out, time better spent photographing and printing.

    The advice about a tripod is good. My older Pentax cameras, Nikon, Cannon, all do better with tripods. Rangefinder cameras have less vibration problems.
    1f you want to shoot stage plags with available light, this is not the way to go.

    Mix the ID 11 or D76 , cool a couple hours with food wrap on the top, and put into 8 oz glass bottles for one time use and throw it away. Do not allow air to get to the developer in a half full bottle. If you have not stirred too much air into it mixing, it will last 6 months and give consistent results. Keep in the dark.

    Do some initial setting up by shooting 6 exposures on the roll, pull out just that much in the dark and develope that. When you are confident you know what you are doing, then shoot something of value.

    Plastic tanks require more than 8 oz, so you can add a little water to make up the volumn, but you will have to increase the time a little. Or store developer in 10 oz empty soda bottles.

    Agitate the film per instructions. People who agitate too little get marks on their films.
     
  22. Jonathan Brooke

    Jonathan Brooke Member

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    Thanks for the opinions guys. re: using a tripod, I have been a lot, but I just haven't shared any where I did. Given your advice, I will stick to FP4 as my standard and buy my own tripod. I do enjoy using them and think that I'll usually be wanting to photograph things that lend themselves to one. I'll keep freehand stuff for situations with plenty of light or for effect.

    Bear in mind that the photos you've seen were on family holidays not devoted to photography and single attemps because of that.

    Jonathan