Film choice for large portrait project.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by fastw, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. fastw

    fastw Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    After going back to film I'm about to do a portrait project. Am planing to print digitally from flat bed scans sizes around A1. Got a P67, so the negs will be fairly big, hopefully big enough. Have been using T-max 400 but find it almost too bland, for lack of a better word, too clean perhaps and not grainy enough. I think that I basically want a more traditional film look, not a digital-like perfection.
    Would Tri-x 400 be a better choice? As I will develop myself, it may also be more forgiving to inconsistencies in processing.

    Cheers, Wojtek.
     
  2. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

    Messages:
    568
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Durban, Sout
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes, Tri-X (or Ilford HP5+) will give you a more traditional film look. I'm not sure about the processing, but I find traditional grain films to have somewhat more exposure latitude than the Tmax/Delta films.

    Andrew
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would probably do HP5. I love it, precious.

    However, are you married to ISO 400? FP4 would be a good choice, too.
     
  4. fastw

    fastw Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format


    I think I have to use ISO 400 as the Pentax 67 with 135 macro lens has so little DOF that even at f11 at close distance your subject's nose will be out of focus. Plus handheld you don't want it below 1/250th.

    Cheers, Wojtek.
     
  5. Aron

    Aron Subscriber

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Location:
    Hungary
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With a hybrid workflow and 6x7 I don't think film choice is overly critical as you can bend the curve at your will after scanning and grain will still be very fine. Whatever film you choose, you really owe yourself to get your negs scanned on a drum scanner so that the final print will have a chance of coming close to a good darkroom print.
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,097
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Vote for HP5+ or FP4+ too (I would favor the latter). But keep in mind that grain on scanned negs can look much coarser than it would be in a print. I´ve made good experience with scanning FP4+.
     
  7. thegman

    thegman Member

    Messages:
    623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    What about Delta 3200 or something? Very grainy.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use both Tmax400 and TriX. Why don't you try a roll of TriX and see if that's what you are looking for? I use both of these film and they certainly have a different look from each other. Tmax looks clinical to me sometimes where as TriX has an organic look. Delta3200 may be too grainy.... I used it on 645 frame camera and printed on 8x10 and I wanted very obvious grain on that particular shot. I got it. Worth a try if that's what you are after.
     
  9. fastw

    fastw Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I will try the Tri-x. They sell it only in 5packs though.
     
  10. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

    Messages:
    326
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Staten Islan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tri X is a great film. I've done lots of medium and large format portraits with it. Recently I've been shooting T-Max 400 however, and I have been developing it in a formula, FX 37. It's a high acutance developer that is said to work well with tabular grain films. I'm not sure this developer works as advertised in The Film Developing Cookbook. The negs aren't smooth, and the grain is more noticeable than say, T-Max developer or HC-110B, but I like the results. I'm shooting 4.5 x 6 cm negs, flatbed scanning, and producing Pt/Pd prints using hybrid methods. This is a mix-it-yourself developer and you may not want to bother, but if you do, I'll gladly send you the formula. A few of my hybrid photos made with the above techniques can be seen om DPUG.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,658
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a big portrait project I would think this would be OK. I know you'll be happy with Tri-X... classic; there should be no doubts. But if you decide you want to try a for a fine grainless look also try FP4+.
     
  12. MartinP

    MartinP Member

    Messages:
    1,458
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you are not going to print the film then you could do worse than consider using Ilford XP2. It is a ISO400 C41 film, black-and-white but with a clear base. You can get the benefit of the dye-image in your scanning, while still having the option of very smooth and flattering darkroom prints in the future in case you get the opportunity.

    For a very 'filmy' look Delta3200 in 120 (at for example EI1600) looks great, but you might be better off making prints and then scanning those, in order to retain the 'atmosphere' if you really want the hybrid workflow.

    Also, try some sample shots with and without a tripod. You may notice a difference, especially with that camera.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,972
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    if you process your tmy in a different developer
    you will find the grain.
    i process it in coffee, and for years before that
    i processed it in a print developer called ansco 130
    beautiful grain ...
    xxx is a great film too,
    buy lots of it cause it is a real drag having to scavenge film and cobble together
    another mother lode to finish a project after you start with one thing, and can't get it anymore...


    have fun !
    john
     
  14. dnjl

    dnjl Member

    Messages:
    376
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you shoot HP5+ or TX400 at ISO 320 and develop in Rodinal 1:50, you'll get nice grain and a very pleasing range of tones.