Forte Fortepan 400 Good film or bad film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Karl K, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

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    What is your experience with Forte Fortepan 400? How does it compare to Tri-X and HP-5 with respect to grain, tonal range and accutance? What developer would you recommend for best results? I want to use it for street shooting under a wide variety of lighting conditions.
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Karl,

    Grainy, not very sharp, doesn't push outstandingly well, lovely tonality. Devs well in almost everything.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Not a favorite of mine
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Not a favorite, but tolerably ok. Worth it for the price if the work isn't too demanding of it.
     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Note that Forte has gone under. Although I'm sure there's Fortepan 400 still in the supply line, I don't know how long it'll last. I therefore wouldn't recommend getting too attached to the film. If you happen to acquire some at a good price, you might as well use it, but if you want to settle on a film for long-term use, I'd pick something else. If you fall in love with it, stock up.
     
  6. rusty71

    rusty71 Member

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    Wasn't it just repackaged AGFA APX 400? Not sure it it was actually a Forte emulsion.
     
  7. mabman

    mabman Member

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    No, Forte was independent and had their own emulsions. I believe the former "J&C Classic Pan" was rebadged Fortepan.

    The confusion might be because Freestyle has/had the "Arista II" line in 35mm, which says "Made in Germany", which probably is/was Agfa.

    Their Arista.EDU line (which they don't appear to have anymore in 35mm) says/said "Made in Hungary", which would have been Forte.

    Their Arista.EDU Ultra line, which is current, is rebadged Foma, who show no signs of going under yet :smile:

    Confused yet? :tongue:
     
  8. genecrumpler

    genecrumpler Member

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    Experience With Astra.edu 4x5 film

    I got a box of this film to see if I could reduce film costs in 4x5. Answer, don't even consider it if you value the quailty of your work:mad: It is awful!!
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I tried some in 35mm just for the hell of it. Pretty cheap from Freestyle. I second Roger's opinion.
    If you are doing street shooting under a wide range of lighting conditions I would use Tri-X & then move to Neopan 1600 for low light.
    I do plan to try Forte 400 in 120, also some Foma. Not because I think they will become my main films but just to discover what looks they have.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I added Forte Fortepan 400 to title...
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You might be thinking of Efke 400. I haven't seen anything definitive on that, but I've seen suggestions that it was an Agfa emulsion (although some claim it's not APX 400, but something similar from Agfa).
     
  12. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I like it well enough in Pyrocat HD, but as others have pointed out, there will not be any more of it.
    juan
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'll chime in an decloak that I like it a lot. But that just goes to prove how different people like different things.
    I second Roger's post. Great tonality, which is why I love it. I used it with Rodinal and Pyrocat-HD. I preferred the Pyrocat-HD, it seemed to control the highlights better. I used it in sheet film, and my 11x14 prints from those negatives are very sharp.
    - Thomas
     
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  15. sage

    sage Member

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    Is there something similar to the forte400 since they're gone now, or is that just tri-x?
     
  16. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    In large-format sizes, ISO 400 films are Tri-X, T-Max 400, Ilford HP-5+.

    T-Max 400 has just been improved.
     
  17. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    In roll film and 35mm film, in addition to above, you could add Fuji Neopan 400, which is a favorite of mine.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Forte 400 was most similar to Tri-X.
     
  19. Charlie-J

    Charlie-J Member

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  20. joneil

    joneil Member

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    I used to use it a lot before they stopped making it, in 4x5. My first box was a disaster, but a couple things about it.

    First, it is actually ASA or ISO 200, even though they call it 400. For best results, shoot it at 200 or even 100.

    It requires longer time in the developer than say Tri-x. For example, if I had a time fo 9 minutes in HC-110 for Tri-X (using a weak dilution) then Fortepan would take 10 min 30 sec.

    Fortepan had extended red sensitivity, very similar to the tonal range of tech-pan. In fact, think "grainy tech pan" at 200 ASA and you have Forte Pan almost. The red sensitivity, and if developed right, had a wonderful tonality. Sorry to see it gone. :sad:
    joe
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There was an old version of Fortepan 400 produced several years ago that was very flat with a relatively low Dmax. Eventually (around 2004, if I remember correctly) they improved the Dmax significantly, and it was a pretty decent film, also sold as J&C Classic 400, Classicpan 400, Europan 400, and there was probably a Freestyle version as well. It was similar to Tri-X with more controllable highlights. It was a softer emulsion that required a little more care in processing as well. I used quite a lot of it and still have a few boxes in the freezer.

    I rated it at 160 in ABC pyro for Azo prints, but could get 640 out of it in Acufine for prints on around grade 3 enlarging paper.

    You can use development times for TXP as a starting point, but for the same contrast as TXP, you might increase development time about 10-15%. In practice, I've sometimes shot it and processed it interchangeably with TXT (the previous version of Tri-X 320 sheet film) or TXP in mixed batches.

    This was was on J&C Classic 400--

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1876&cat=500&ppuser=60
     
  22. dxphoto

    dxphoto Member

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    I like foma 400 better. same price(?).. Foma soups well with d76 1+1
     
  23. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Loved the tonality!-grain wasn't too bad in Presycycol EF in 120 format and it was great with PMK in 4x5. 35mm was grainy but nice tones. Sad too see it go (and the 200-that was a big favourite for 4x5) but I'm going to buy a few more boxes while I can (Classicpan was rebadged Fortepan BTW).
     
  24. RoBBo

    RoBBo Member

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    Tonality is beautiful, grain, always visible, is also beautiful.
    Lowest speed 400 speed film I've ever used.
    Must be made for warmtone papers, not a very good film, technically, but god damn is it beautiful.
    D76 1:1, this is one of very few films I'll actually put in the stuff.
    This is really one of the most unique films I've seen as far as the tonality goes. I really loved the stuff in sheet film, Central Camera in Chicago has a bunch of it left over in 4x5, the 200 also.
     
  25. kapro

    kapro Member

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    Strange film, grainy but beautiful tonality as said above. I fell in love with this film developed in Prescysol. Going to buy some while available...
     
  26. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I liked this film in 4x5. It is grainy but I felt that it seemed to work well w/ alternative processes like van dyke brown. It only took me about 40 sheets to figure out how to work w/ it.