Black And White Film For Urban Images?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ricardo41, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Ricardo41

    Ricardo41 Member

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    I will be spending 2 months in Berlin, Germany. Any good recommendations for black and white film (and film speed) to shoot there, in an urban setting, that is.

    Would also like recommendations for film I could buy locally.

    Thanks
    Ricardo
     
  2. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I can only speak from experience but I am very happy with Delta-400 for my street photography developed in D-76 1+1. Then there is always Tri-X
     
  3. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    Depends on the look you want, and if you want to process localy. If you want traditional film then you should have no problem finding Ilford FP4 (125 asa) or HP5 (400 asa.) Agfa APX is another possibility. You will need to either process it yourself when you get home, or find a local lab that will do it.

    If you want to run it through a one hour lab, the c41 process stuff, like Ilford XP2, is an option.
     
  4. gma

    gma Member

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    Does Agfa still make APX 400 in 35mm? That is my recommendation for lower light levels at night or in historic areas. The very recent (post-unification) urban spaces in Berlin are very open and bright. For general daytime photos I would use Agfa APX 100, a good film that should be readily available. And of course EFKE 25 or Adox KB 14 if you want some really fine grain negatives. Do you plan to process all of your film while you are there?
     
  5. Ricardo41

    Ricardo41 Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies, guys. I'm planning to buy (and develop) my film in Berlin, in order to minimize TSA hassles.

    I'm looking for a kind of "Nosferatu/Berlin in the 20s/Klaus Kinski/DaDa" look (if that makes any sense). Will mostly be looking for images of urban development/urban decay, squares, subway stations at dusk, cloudy days at the lakes, with a pinch of Olympic Stadium grandeur thrown in for good measure.

    (Have been scouring the net for some good photo essays on Berlin to look at for inspiration, but haven't been able to find anything).

    Ricardo
     
  6. gma

    gma Member

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    If I understand the 1920's look you are after, does that mean that you are going to use old uncoated lenses and orthochromatic film? Have you considered using a classic Rollei or other TLR instead of 35mm? If 35mm you might want to purchase an old Exakta when you get there.

    Whatever you decide to use I hope you will post some photos when you return.
     
  7. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    Re APX 400, I think they do, I can buy it here in New Zealand, but it might be old stock.
     
  8. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    urban light is going to be somewhat contrasty and require a fairly versatile film, able to handle a range of exposures. Delta 400 will provide the least grain and most versatility for exposure in a fast film. TriX would be the classic choice, good exposure latitude and provide some nice edgy prints souped in Rodinal.

    Delta 100 is exceptional in either Xtol or Pyrocat-HD, but depending on your camera, you may run into trouble handholding in overcast or heavy shade.
     
  9. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    Fomapan, perhaps? Though I've never tried it, I hear it is handy for getting that sort of look.

    My personal favorites for city stuff are Tri-X and Neopan 1600.
     
  10. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Has to be TRI-X for me for this - Very large exposure range -very forgiving. I would rate it at 200 and I would be carful not to let the camera expose for the highlights. I just took a bunch of street photos in New Orleans using various films and the ones on TRI-X developed in Microdol were the best for tonal range, printability and smoothness of grain. Just my $.02
     
  11. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    The film brand is the least of your worries.

    Buy XP2 if you must and do it at the jiffy print. Xerox the results.
     
  12. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Personal preference is for Delta 400 in DDX. The dev can be hard to come by but when I needed it on a trip to Florida a quick email to Ilford produced a rapid reply with a recommended dealer.

    The data sheet for Delta 400 recommends ISO 500 and 9.5 mins (which I haven't tried) when using DDX, but ISO 400 at 8 mins looks good to me.
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ricardo, I suggest you drop by Monochrom - www.monochrom.com - when you get to Berlin. They have both an exhibition, and a wonderful selection of film. My first choise for the kind of look you want woud be MACO - either UP400+ or CUBE400c. The CUBE film is one of those traffic surveillance films with extended red sensitivity. Combine it with a red filter for daylight use, and you're right up against the border of IR photography.
     
  14. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Ricardo, Another tip: www.fotoimpex.de I think you can even rent a darkroom there. Also Efke, Foma, Classicpan, Ilford film.
     
  15. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Tri X developed in Rodinal would be my first choice. It can be rated from 200 ISO to 1600 ISO to deal with the changing lighting you will experience. I would also have a supply of Ilford Delta 3200 for those situations where the light levels are really low.
     
  16. Ricardo41

    Ricardo41 Member

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    That suggests an idea. Maybe I should pick up an old Voigtlaender from the flea markets?

    Ricardo
     
  17. gma

    gma Member

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    Absolutely, on the flea market camera idea. An old Leica would be great too, but very costly. An alternative to orthochromatic film is to use regular panchromatic film with a light blue filter. It approximates an ortho look.
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Or a FED Leica-copy? Try EFKE 25 and 50 flims with these, they have reduced red-sensitivity. Not quite ortho, but gives very dark lips :smile:
     
  19. david b

    david b Member

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    Assuming you are shooting 35mm, I would go for Tri-x 400TX and xtol. Or even tmax 400 rated at 800 and developed in xtol.
     
  20. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Just as a point of interest a very good commercial photographer named Mark Tucker has posted in his website a lot of pictures from Berlin you may want to look at.

    http://marktucker.com/index2.html


    Michael McBlane
     
  21. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have always found HP5 to be very sharp (acutance) and very forgiving of exposure. It also holds highights very well. In a staining dev it is VERY hard to blow highlights. Like TriX it has a gritty look that suits urban images. Like Trix it can be pushed to 1600 or so. Deevelop it in pretty much anything....perceptol @ISO 200 for surprisingly fine grain or ID11 1+1 for general use. The acid test is which prints just have that sparkle. Most of my HP5 prints do, though I am conservative on the degreee of enlargement.
     
  22. gma

    gma Member

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    Ole,

    EFKE 25 and 50 films are classified as "orthopanchromatic" due to the red sensitivity that stops well below modern panchromatic films. That is why it makes such good portraits and landscape pictures. I think EFKE 100 is more in the normal pan range. J&C Classic 200 and 400 have extended red sensitivity and are "superpanchromatic", but short of infrared.
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    EFKE 25 and 50 are "orthopanchromatic", 100 is panchromatic... And then there's MACO CUBE 400c, which extends barely into the infrared - about like Ilford SFX. While MACO UP100+ is reputed (by a good source) to be identical to EFKE PL100. Same source also claimed all Bergger emulsions are made by Fotokemika, which makes EFKE...
     
  24. gma

    gma Member

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    I love this website. When the manufacturers outsource their products someone in APUG is always there to tell who is really making them. Did I read someplace that MACO is out of business and thus the abundance of low cost "surplus" MACO film?