BW "Tripod" 120 Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by arigram, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Good day to you ladies and gentlemen.
    Once more I require your assistance.
    Rest assured its always much appreciated and not taken
    for granted.

    I have reduced my BW 120 film needs in two categories:
    The "tripod" film and the "handheld" film.
    I have settled in the handheld department to either FP4+ or Tri-X which
    serve me well, used at different lighting situations.
    Unfortunately I have yet to choose my "slow", "tripod" film, that one
    which rated as slow as possible and with the use of a tripod, cable
    release and mirror lock-up will give me the most of my Hasselblad.
    I have been trying out FP4+ rated at 64asa and developed with either
    D-76 or Rodinal and I am kinda dissapointed at the results. Consindering
    the film is used mostly for representational purposes its tonallity and grain
    is not what I expected even at moderate enlargements such as 20x25cm (8x10") and it starts to break up at 30x40cm (12x16").
    It rocks at 13x18cm (5x7") but I want to be able to go to 30x40cm(12x16") without noticable grain and breakup of details (loss of acutance due to enlargement).
    Living in the second and a half world country of Greece makes my choices difficult. That because there is no film in country bellow 100asa.
    So I can:
    - Keep using the FP4+ with a different developer. I would probably have to mix it myself as even D76 and Rodinal I have to order and Perceptol or Microphen come in small quantities in Greece. Never tried pyro and looks like lots of trouble.
    - Try Delta 100 or TMX 100 rated at 50 and developed with D-76. I believe DDX and TMAX are simular liquid versions of it?
    - Order PanF or Efke 25 from Germany. The trouble is I will have to make a large order to justify the shipping costs (even the 10euros of fotoimpex) which rules out getting a couple of each to test them.
    - Make my own film. :wink:

    What do wise photographers suggest I do?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2005
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    APX 100. It's only about 64 EI with D-23 according to my film test. With 6x4.5 I can see grain in the grain focusser but not in the print. With bigger formats you'll see less at the same print size.

    Have to say I'm a little surprised grain is an issue with any MF film at 8x10.
     
  3. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    You've got me worried now, I've just sent off my first FP4 negs for 16x12's! They are 6x7 in exactol lux so maybe they'll be ok :smile:

    You might want to try fuji acros since that it meant to have really fine grain. I've just got a few rolls of 35mm and 120 to try out, I haven't read a bad thing about it yet. Seems to do especially well in pyro devs though.

    I'm sure more experianced people will give you better advice!
     
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Ari, I guess some scans would be great to see what you mean.
    From your words all i can say is that maybe you just need to switch developers. Xtol, DDX can give you better results regarding graininess and maybe tonality.

    I understand your problkems with availability but I think you'll just have to bite the bullet in that sense.
    If you have a friend or relative going to the continent thay maybe able to sneak film at least for your tests, if not some powdered developers.

    Best regards
     
  5. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    It is not just the film - it is that developer-film combo. For handheld I generally push TRI-X or TMAX 400 to ASA 1600 in Xtol or PC-TEA - For MF with a 80-110mm lens, even at sunny 16, there is a need for speed somewhere on the roll. I generally try not to shoot handheld less than 250th/sec and of course there is the DOF issue sometimes requiring both a small aperature and a high shutter speed. With these two developers and a 2X push these films both make nice fine grain 16x20 prints in 6x6 format or better. There is a boost in contrast to consider; much of the time it is an advantage. I usually shoot in the evening and morning or indoors - many or these scenes benefit from the contrast kick. The contrast is usually only N+1 at best - so I don't usually have a contrast problem. For non hand held use, I am shooting LF - If I am going to set up a tripod - it is going to be just as easy to make a 4x5 or 8x10 negative. Again, Tri-x - but now pyrocatHD at asa200. I can get a lot of compensation for scenes with large SBR - 8 - 12 stops. The pyrocat is grainless for enlargements up to 20x24. I can expand contrast as well without any difficulty. If I am shooting portraits in MF, I shoot APX100 or FP4 and develop in Xtol or PC-TEA. I can get full film speed and the grain in Xtol is as fine as it would be in Microdol X. PC-TEA is only very slightly grainier - (just barely noticeable) The grain in MicrodolX or D23 is kind of mushy (except on TRI-X) and the grain in Xtol or PC-TEA is very sharp - high accutance. PyrocatHD is higher accutance but is a little grainier than PC-TEA.

    Of course the ultimate in fine grain is TechPan but then - without any accutance benefits. I use this film in 35mm and sometimes in LF for certain effects. ASA50 in TD3. 35mm cameras have really fast lenses and it is easier to make a good negative with slower film. All this is less needed with the larger formats.

    BTW - one nice comprimise is the monopod. I very frequently use one when shooting an event where I am moving around a lot. Both for MF and for 35mm, it steadys down for very sharp 60th sec shots - maybe even 30th. I hate un-intended motion blur.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Ari, I have 30x40cm prints from HP5+ which you have to rub your nose in to see grain. I have consistent problems using a grain focuser with 6x4.5 FP4+, as I can find no grain to focus on.

    So I simply cannot understand your problem!
     
  7. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Ilford makes a 50 ISO called PAN F that I have read a few people here have used and liked. Never tried it myself but might be a consideration if you can order it online.
     
  8. gma

    gma Member

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    My vote is for EFKE 25 or 50 ( AKA Adox RB14 and RB17 ). Almost grainless and I like the orthopanchromatic emulsion that renders red darker than a true panchromatic film. A really beautiful film IMO.
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    Delta 100 at 64. I developed in ilfosol and d76. Both made 11x14 inch prints off 35mm negs.

    The expansion capability of Efke 100 is proving really nice, but I have been finding anomolies in the emulsion. I am on my way to try TMX
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I have done a lot of Pan F+ in rodinal with virtually no grain present on 18x24 print made a 35mm neg (that shold be approx. the same as 120 film enlarged to 30x40).
    Also Delta 100 in Rodinal 1+50 is great and only a little grain will show. Just be careful with development. I find it great to develop a 10% less than recommended with these films.

    Some data:

    • Pan F+ rated ISO 50 developed for 10-11 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 (20C)
    • Delta 100 rated ISO 100 developed for 12-13 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 (20C)

    Morten
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I think you have 2 choices:

    A tubular film TMax 100 (or other brand) and testing to find which developer and development technique will provide you with the best result or

    Take a vacation to Coratia and buy as much EFKE 25 or 50 as you can afford.
     
  12. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Ilford Pan F Plus. Order it and pay the shipping. It's worth it. I've been in love with it since the early 1970's, had a few years of separation and recently had a reunion. It can be overly contrasty, so give it plenty of exposure and cut back on the development time--cut back a lot if you're using a condenser enlarger.

    It's my "tripod" 120 film. I use HP5 Plus as my handheld 120 film.
     
  13. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I just looked at Ari's pictures made with FP4. They look right on the screen.
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=5208

    I just can't seem to figure out what the problem maybe, can you post a small section of a 30x40 cm enlargement? You cam enlarge your pic and print in 5x7 pieces to save paper
    Is it grain that bugs you?
    Can it be a problem with the enlarger/lens?
     
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  15. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    My only concern with Pan F is the long term (or even short term) availability. It seems that the large film manufactures which have tubular products are dropping their slow films, Kodak Panatomic X, Techo Pan, Agfa 25, I have used Pan F in the past both 35 and 120 and liked it a lot.
     
  16. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    "My only concern with Pan F is the long term (or even short term) availability. It seems that the large film manufactures which have tubular products are dropping their slow films, Kodak Panatomic X, Techo Pan, Agfa 25, I have used Pan F in the past both 35 and 120 and liked it a lot."

    But if we don't buy the great traditional films that are available, they will surely disappear for lack of a market. I know a lot of people like TMax and Delta but I really hated all the tab grain films I've tried and would hate to only be left with that option.
     
  17. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I concur with the recommendations of Pan F as your "tripod" film, where you're looking for extremely fine grain and some creamy character. If you want fine grain and an austere, technical look, try Fuji Acros 100 in a fine-grain developer.

    I'm unclear on your impression of FP4+ not giving you the "fidelity" you're looking for. FP4+ is my "standard" film for 35mm, and I've found it to provide what I'd call a hi-fi representation of everything I've photographed with it. Assuming proper exposure and development, of course.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. gma

    gma Member

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    I agree with rbarker. I think Ilford FP4+ is the best all around film for handheld photos in daylight, but since we are discussing a "tripod film" here, I believe that EFKE 25 or 50 are the very best if you do not care how slow a shutter you will need to use. Ilford PanF+ is a very close second. Agfa 25 would be #1 if it were still available.

    I would be interested to hear more about the anomolies in the EFKE 100 emulsion.
     
  19. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    As previously stated, I think PanF+ in Rodinal 1:50 11min is really great. And my fav. APX100 in Rodinal 1:50 15min. The problem I had with Efke 25 was that it was really really contrasty, a lot more than any roll of PanF+ I've developed. But if you can tame it the tones that I did get were very nice. I need to try it again though.
    -Grant
     
  20. Kayus

    Kayus Member

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    This i dont understand, MF only good for 5x7"? Used to use TMY120 / D-76 1:1, no problem up to 40x40cm. But maybe personal taste is different. Been using 4x5 lately because I need the S/T from the LF not grain (besides it's more fun!). Have had good experience with APX100-120/Rodinal while in school, but both not available where i live (3rd world country, Indonesia! So i beat your country world by 0.5!:D). Have to order everything from B&H, Calumet, Photographers Formulary you name it. (Somebody mentioned: How far are you willing to suffer for your art?)
     
  21. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    If FP4 is your "fast" film... you've got some steady hands! :wink:

    I use the FP4 at 64EI in HC110B. But I have found that your grain will very much be affected by your agitation routine. Give it a try with 30sec initial, and then one inversion at the half-way mark in your time. I give the time an extra 30 seconds to make up for the compensating development in the highlights. Very fine grained.

    Alternatives: Pan F for sure, if you can find any to be bought. It seems to be one of the products getting the chop. Supreme above them all is Technical Pan though...
     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Aristotelis,

    I am using FP4 all the time, developed in Rodinal, and have had up to 16x16 inch prints made virtually without grain from 120 negs. I have even had APX400 negs printed in that size without any major grain.
    If you're looking for fine grain, try Kodak Tmax100, or Fuji Acros. They have very fine grain, and are both good films. Tmax 100 in Rodinal is a very good combination. I would also like to recommend Agfa APX100. Its grain is not as fine as the other two (marginal difference) but it has a beautiful scale of tones. It is also cheaper than the Kodak and Fuji.

    Hope that helps,

    - Thomas
     
  23. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've been using Efke R50 in a rollfilm back on my 4x5 for still lifes. I have been very impressed with the tone and smoothness. Luckily, I have a good supplier in APUG sponsor JandC.
     
  24. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Ari, just posted an image on EFKE 25 (35mm) and emailed you a detail of it, scanned @2400 dpi
     
  25. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you all for your responses.
    I have a bunch of undeveloped FP4+ shot at 64asa and have been testing them with Rodinal (1-100), D-76 (1-1), Ilfosol (1-9) and Perceptol (1-1).
    Also I have tried a roll of Delta 100 rated at 50asa and developed it with D-76 (1-1).
    What a difference a developer makes!
    So far the favorite combination seems to be the FP4+ with Ilfosol.
    This has been the only developer to be offered in my city and that's why I
    never took it seriously. The only reasons they stock it is because its liquid, comes in a small bottle and is very quick acting. Which is good for the amateur photographer. But I didn't know that it is also a very nice developer!
    All my tests where with an elargment at 30x40cm (12x16") with a 13x17cm(5x7") paper. Ilfosol showed absolutely no grain no matter how well I looked and had very nice shapness as well.
    D-76 looked just slightly sharper but the grain was distinct.
    Perceptol was very nice too but I also need to test a bit more.
    Furthermore I got the last two packs of it which where OLD (they were priced in drachmas).
    I need to try out Delta 100 more, but I fear that it will be hard to find in Greece anymore, if at all, so if I am going to order I might as well go with a slower film.
    I also bought a couple of Agfa APX 100 films but they where expensive (four euros in contrast to two and ninety for FP4+) so unless I fall in love with them and find a good source they will probably be the last. I haven't tried them out yet. I am thinking of trying Rodinal Special and Ilfosol with them.
    I also have a bottle of Rodinal Special whcih I can easily find but I find no times for slower than nominal speeds and their times are very small so I am afraid to try smaller. Unless I change the dillution or the temperature but that would be tricky to calculate precicely.

    I have some questions then:

    1) Should I make up my own chemicals? I have the book, I have the expert's help, I have the source, I am just thinking if it is practical to do it. I would like to be almost self-sufficient not relying on ordering all the time and also to mix something that I cannot find. Is there an Ilfosol-like recipe or something better? Should I bother with Pyro considering I am looking for a developer that gives fine grain and good sharpness. I am looking more at tonallity than sharpness. Mixing my own devs sounds like fun.
    2) If Ilfosol with FP4+@64asa seems to be fine for enlargments up to 30x40cm and considering I won't make any larger ones, would PanF or Efke give me more definition of detail?
    3) If I go with a slow Efke or PanF, how do I tame the contrast? What (non-exotic) developer or technique should I use? Would a film like that be good for the contrasty light of Greece?
    4) Does temperature variation between dev-stop-fix cause a noticable grain increase?

    And yes, during sunny days there is enough light to handheld FP4+ even at 64 asa with a good apperture smaller than F5.6 or even F8.

    The whole point of this research is to find the finest film for my MF camera. I don't need or want to go to LF, I just need a good film to use with a tripod.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2005
  26. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Seems you found your combo
    I'd stick to FP4-Ilfosol for the time being, use it, explore it and enjoy it.
    Concentrate in improving your images rather than testing.

    Temperature variations between dev-stop-fix-wash can produce reticulation, in which the gleatin swell and contracts too fast, producing a "fish-scale" like pattern. The temperature changes have to be drastic though. It is best to keep all the temperatures within 2-3 C