Best MF film to start

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stark_674, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi all,

    can someone suggest to me which is the better choice in MF film to start?
    I will develop in darkroom my pictures and I use Agfa APX100 usually with 35mm films.
    I use Rodinal developer and Tetenal fixer.
    Let me know something: Rollei Retro (Ex Agfa APX) or Kodak?
    Is there any important difference on results between 100 and 400 Asa (for 35mm photography too).
    Thanks to all
    Bye
    Stark
     
  2. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Staunton VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can find a development chart for any film and any developer from either Freestyle Photo or Digitaltruth Photo web site. I would try D76 or HC110 for general use. When you want to play around, try one of the Pyro developers like Formulary WD2D+. Be very careful with Pyro and always wear latex gloves. If you get any on your skin it will kill your skin cells. I learned the hard way. My finger tips on my left hand are just now healing up from developing sheet film in a dip and dunk about 8 months ago. In short, any film you like for 35mm will work for you with medium format. Rollie Retro is fun stuff, so is Fuji Acros. If you like to shoot wide open with fast shutter speeds and lots of light, 100 ISO is pretty much standard, 400 ISO is what you might want for less light...basic rules for the "Sunny16" style of shooting.
     
  3. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

    Messages:
    286
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Staunton VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Stark ,

    Kodak Tri X , I think that is the finest film and I am not rich to try cheaper or newer films. Its 400 ASA and better suited to your winter photography.

    Umut
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,206
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Unfortunately, your questions will yield as many replies as asking what color underwear you should buy. :smile: Everybody has favorites.

    In your case I would choose a film from a company that is likely to continue making the same film for a long time. And then continue using it. Consistency is the most important thing, especially in the beginning. If you switch films and/or developers a lot, you will not see the effects of changing your technique. And you can get much larger differences in your prints by changing your technique than by changing your materials.

    Just pick one film and one developer and run with it. There isn't one film that is better than any other. There are only films that suit somebody's taste better than others, and that is an individual choice.

    Good luck. Shoot lots of film. Overexpose, underexpose, overdevelop, underdevelop - on purpose! Learn from it, and gain from it. Learn to use both strengths and limitations of your materials to your advantage. But please please please focus on technique. Focus on composition. Focus on understanding light. Do NOT focus on materials, just learn how to use them.

    - Thomas
     
  6. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thank you so much!!
    Good suggestions... I was thinking to continue in the way I start with 35 mm:
    So, Rodinal and APX 100 Agfa.
    My step to MF will be Rollei Retro 100 and Ilford HP5 Plus 400 (just to learn the differences)
    I found all the charts related to my developer and those films, so I will start by there...
    Thank you
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, it's hard to make an argument against using Tri-X film and D-76 developer. I see that you are using Rodinal developer and that's OK, but I think D-76 is an all around better choice for faster films in general. There's not much you can not do with that combination, and it is very forgiving of moderately sloppy techniques. The only other film in that speed class that I prefer is Tmax 400
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Stark ,

    Flickr is a great database to see the lens and film combinations. I dont know what lens you are using , which enlarger lens you are using but flickr will give you a chance to bet.
    Yes , 40 years ago , magazines were 6 times thicker and they were printing excellent bw pictures with best possible lens , film , developer , photographer and magazine printing techniques.
    Tri X is around more than 50 years and I really find it excellent when looking back to my Popular Photography and other British Magazines.
    But I accept some of the characteristics are excellent with Ilford .
    Buy 5 different rolls from a distributor and make a several tests.
    From an observation , Some people uses Leica and say my Nikon is better !!!!
    If you are not blind , you will see the different qualities. Or this test will help you to recover from blindness.

    Welcome to APUG and We are ever your friends.

    Umut
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would go with Tri-X and D-76 myself.

    Jeff
     
  10. shnitz

    shnitz Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I will second (or third) that Tri-X and T-Max are great beginner films.
     
  11. pcyco

    pcyco Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    near vienna
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hallo

    any film you can get :wink:

    my favorit : hp5+ in d76.
    or diafine is the best all films one time :smile:

    thomas
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,538
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a medium speed film I'd go for Ilford FP4 in ID11 or D76 and for a fast film Ilford HP5 also in the same developers.
     
  13. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    HP5, and green underwear !!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You can't go far wrong with Ilford HP5 IMO. I use it almost exclusively in 35mm and extensively in 120 format, it's incredibly forgiving and produces sharp results with little grain. I use Ilfotec HC developer so I'm not sure how it would react with other solutions.
     
  16. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Neopan Acros 100 and Tri-X, in fact i love Acros and HP5+ the most.
     
  17. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    FP4 for slow stuff and HP5 or Tri-x for handheld stuff. Both in ID-11 1:1
     
  18. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good morning, Stark;

    Tom Bertilsson made a good point: Find a film and developer combination available from a company that is going to be making it for a while.

    I wish it was that easy. I thought I had done it. Eastman-Kodak Company's Panatomic-X in their Microdol-X. Then they dropped Panatomic-X, so I went to another high resolution film. Five years ago, they dropped that one. About a year later, they even stopped making Microdol-X. I do not want to go into the subject of papers for printing. At times it can be a challenge to be a loyal customer.

    Now I am still experimenting with other films from different companies and developers from Photographer's Formulary, Freestyle, Eastman-Kodak, and maybe a few others. I am not able yet to say that I am really learning anything about all of these films and chemicals. At times it is not easy to remember which one did what, and what I could use that charactersitic for, if I could remember which one did it.
     
  19. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak's been making tri-x and tmax 100/400 for a long time. Since tmax is the newest product and quite versatile, I wouldn't be suprised to see tri-x discontinued sort of like their color consolidation "Use this instead; it's better and more versatile". I bet they still sell a lot of tri-x and wouldn't do that anytime soon; it would be a bigger deal than kodachrome. Tmax100 effectively replaced tech pan for grainless copy work, so there was no need for tech pan and it was discontinued despite it differences. I use kodak because I like the product quality, and I like the results I get from 20 years of experience in using tmax400 and I can use it in all the formats I shoot; other people have got tri-x absolutely nailed in achieving the results they want. That's the benefit of sticking with one or two films and no more. Other people work best with ilford, fuji, foma, etc and they make some good stuff too.

    Paper is a much shorter feedback loop and I've adapted to different papers much more easily. Where film take a long time to shoot, transport, process, analyze, paper goes from being exposed to minutes later being washed. As soon as it's dry (perhaps an hour or less for RC stuff), you can see what it does. Compared to film, it's a simpler product with a narrower range of usage. I figure a handful of prints and I'm up to speed dealing with a new paper. Try out different contrasts, drydown, development times, etc...
     
  20. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, Tex
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak's Professional Tri-X 400TX is simply the best B&W film I have ever used. I develop it with D-76 and Kodak Professional Fixer. Great stuff.
     
  21. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Cheap!
    Expired!
    ... otherwise Tri-x baptized in D-76!
     
  22. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks

    Thanks to all....
    The threads you posted are very useful to me to understand the B&W world.
    Other threads are welcome.
    Bye

    Stark
     
  23. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,206
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    All we can do is our best when we choose. If you learn well enough how to use a particular film and developer combination, it will be easier to switch to something else when that day comes, because your technique will be sound.

    To be totally covered, I actually use two emulsions - TMax 400 and Acros. If one of them disappears I work to substitute it while using the other.
    I have a back-up developer that I use intermittently, in order to understand how I need to change my approach in case my main developer became obsolete.

    My money would be on using Ilford films, if longevity is sought. I just have a hunch that they will be the last man standing of the major three (Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji). Pan-F+, FP4+, HP5+ and the Delta films; they have all been around for a long time now.

    - Thomas

     
  24. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I think they all are great and have their qualities. Why shoot only one? That sounds very boring to me.

    As long as we have Fomapan, Ilford, ERA, Shanghai, Rollei, Adox, Fuji, Kodak, and more we will be ok.

    Hopefully they don't all disappear on the same day.
     
  25. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Member

    Messages:
    540
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Central Virg
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I shoot pan f+ 50, delta 3200 and across 100. In chrome I like velvia.

    If you r developing it yourself, shoot cheap stuff till u get the hang of developing.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  26. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Kodak Tri-X is a nice film. I'm not a fan of Ilford HP-5 at all, although I really like FP4 Plus and Pan F.

    I think Kodak has done a good job with its TMax films (100 and 400).