FineGrain asa 400?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by zenrhino, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

    Messages:
    697
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is there such thing as a fine-grain 400 speed film?

    HP5+ sure ain't it. An 8x10 enlargement on it gave me grain the size of Volkswagens.

    I've got a can of Foma 400 (Freestyle arista.edu ultra, actually) and wouldn't mind buying some others to try, but if I'm completely barking up the wrong tree, no need to bother.

    Ultimately, I'd like to find something with the creamy smooth grain of PanF+ in a higher speed film.
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Neopan 400 in DDX is as fine grained as Efke 100

    Me guesses that it'll be the same in Xtol or Tmax
     
  3. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Larger format is one solution. FP4 or another slower film is another.

    That said, I know of several Master's thesis shows where people used HP5 and enlarged to 20x24 without serious grain problems. I have often gone to 11x14 without grain issues.

    Mike
     
  4. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

    Messages:
    697
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excellent. What developer are you using? I've been using Sprint lately, but am very comfortable using Ilfosol-S or D76 1:1, too. I haven't had much luck with Rodinal.
     
  5. derevaun

    derevaun Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Oly, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have neither expertise nor experience on this subject, but what about a 200 speed film in a compensating developer like Diafine?
     
  6. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Pennines
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    How about some of the C-41 dev films like Kodak t400cn and XP-2 and the Fuji one. I'm impressed with Kodak's, its very smooth, and tonally a bit like a pyro neg. Rated at around 320 its a no-grainer.
     
  7. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Usually Ilfosol-S. 7minutes maybe 7.5

    What developer are you currently using?

    Mike
     
  8. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you want finest grain then you have to use a fine grain developer. Look at Ilford's recommended developers for fine grain with HP5+: DDX & Perceptol.

    Rodinal & Ilfosol S are sharp but inevitably grainy. Developers such as D-76 at 1+1 are neither one nor t'other.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  9. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have found the latest iteration of Tri-X developed in Rodinal to be remarkably fine grained. 10x15's look like my medium format prints from 20 years ago. It's cheap and easy, two of my favorite adjectives.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'll second Richard Littlewood's suggestion; the chromogenic B&W films produce finer grain than the conventional ISO 400 B&W films, at least in my subjective judgment. Kodak's has an orange color mask that will definitely increase exposure times when printing conventionally and may require some odd filtrations if you print on VC paper. Ilford's lacks this orange color mask, although the negatives have a bit of a purple cast to them (much like some conventional B&W films when they're slightly under-fixed). I believe Konica's also has an orange mask, but I've never used it myself. I have no idea about Fuji's.

    If chromogenic films are unacceptable for some reason, you might try Fomapan 200. This is reportedly a T-grain film, and is less grainy than any ISO 400 film I've tried, but of course it's also not as fast. Fomapan 400 is reportedly NOT a T-grain film, so don't judge the 200 based on what you see when you develop the 400.
     
  11. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,247
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Port Hueneme
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The finest 400 grain I have ever seen is from TMAX 400 in Xtol. This is for nice sharp grain but small. If you want mushy fine grain, you can use HP5 in MicrodolX but you take a hit on film speed and sharpness. TMY is amazingly good film - it has great recipricosity characteristics and more contrast than TRI-X or HP5. It pushes easily. It will not capture the big brightness range that TRI-X will but for spans of 8 stops or so it is great.
     
  12. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've been using HP5+ (at 250) and developing it in ID-11 1+1 with very fine results. The grain is apparent but not objection by any means. I've even enlarged to 5.75 x 14 and have been very pleased with the results.
     
  13. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll also say that my favorite for sharpness and fine grain is Delta 400 in FX-39. But Tri-X in that same developer does have the ability to retain some shadow detail if slightly underexposed where Delta 400 just dumps it. No perfect combination.
     
  14. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

    Messages:
    697
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hrm

    I checked with prof (Im taking classes at MCAD this year while Im waiting for grad school to start up) and he thinks it might be because I had the lens of the enlarger too close to the paper.

    Does that make any sense?

    Since its a portrait I was working on, I also thought about just de-focusing a touch.
     
  15. jmdavis

    jmdavis Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    Shooter:
    Large Format

    80mm or larger lens with 35mm film?

    I'm not sure I get the correlation, grain gets enlarged as the negative is enlarged. What developer were you using for the film?

    Mike
     
  16. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, it doesn't. A statement like that makes me question the credentials of your instructor. It could also be that he's pulling your leg, busting chops, or being a jerk. Pick one.

    But to answer your original question, and to add my $.02 to what's already been written here, your choice of developer will have some influence on the appearance of grain in your prints. Tri-X and TMax 400 are my 2 favorite 400 speed B&W films in the 35mm format, with HP5+ pulling up a close third. My usual developer for these films is dilute XTOL. Microdol-X, when used full strength, will lessen the apparent grain of these films but will cost you some speed and sharpness. Maybe there's still some reason for using it, but if you're going to lose speed why not just use a slower film straight away?
     
  17. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Delta 400 in DD-X?

    Cheers

    André