Good film for my daughter to learn on?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jedidiah Smith, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    I don't want to sound too cheap, but she's only 8 ... and wants to do the "real" photography thing. :whistling: So...I haven't bought any B&W film for a while. Anyone have a good suggestion to start her on? I don't want something so cheap there will be QC issues (like Lucky film or something) but I don't want to break the bank while she learns, so I'm not buying her ADOX CMS 20 or the like either. :D haha... fairly fine grain would be good (35mm) and I'm thinking something that develops well in D76 or Xtol or some other easy to use developer. That she could soon be doing with only a little of my help (the more she steps she can do on her own, the better she's going to like it!) :cool:

    Thanks for any current suggestions, I'm not exactly sure what is still being made in the "inexpensive but good" category these days.
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Rollei films are cheap and good - so Rollei 400 would be my choice.
     
  3. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    ....arista premium 400...versatile, cheap and great quality....some say it's rebranded Tri-x. I can't tell the difference if there is one.
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Acros.
     
  5. alex66

    alex66 Member

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    I have had no problems with either Rollei or Foma films, but have heard others say they have, not sure about the developers you say though as I used an RO9 type. Are you going to set up a darkroom for her to try or will she have access? I showed my children how to print they found it exciting at the time, they knew how to develop and print mono before they could read!
     
  6. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    The Kentmere films are Ilford's budget range.

    From the same factory as FP4plus and HP5plus so quality control and consistency should be excellent - but the price is a little lower.

    But as you've already said - as long as you avoid the weird, specialist or low quality stuff - whatever film is cheapest that you can find locally from the remainder should do the trick as well as any other.

    As for developer - if she's 8 maybe avoid Metol and Hydroquinine? I'm sure she's not daft enough to drink it - but kids do tend to get chemicals all over themselves and everywhere else.

    Mind you, come to think about it, so do I...

    XTOL might be one of the safest?
     
  7. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Another vote for arista premium 400 / Tri X.
     
  8. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    This could be a good chance for buying a brick of expired films.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Given your location, I would buy the cheapest 400 speed film Freestyle is offering. This will help keep blurred shots to a minimum. You may want to consider a bulk loader to spool short rolls to keep her interest up. Kids get bored waiting for 24 or especially 36 exposure rolls to get used up, they want to see results fairly quickly. My daughters would pop off 10 or 12 shots and run to the DR to process them, I souped for them at first and they do their own now.
     
  10. swittmann

    swittmann Member

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    I feed the Olympus Stylus of my son (3 yrs.) with Rollei Retro 100, which I bought cheap in a pack of 50 films :smile: The film has just expired a few months ago and is still fine.
     
  11. Necator

    Necator Member

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    Rollei Retro 100, or buy a bulk roll of Hp5+ and share it with her :smile:
     
  12. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Arista premium 400 made in the USA.
     
  13. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Freestyle still has some Arista Premium 100 in 24 shot rolls. this is Plus-X or close. I wonder if a shorter roll will be better for an 8 year old? Quicker to move through the camera, easier to load on a reel. And it's a nice-looking film.
     
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  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ilford FP4+. Very forgiving, easy to work with, not so grainy that you can't make a decent enlargement off of 35mm with it. Develops well in just about anything.
     
  16. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I vote for Arista either 100 or 400. It is carried by Freestyle which is close to you and also does a big mail order business.
     
  17. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    A second on the bulk HP5 route: daughter gets to use some quality material at a reasonable price (with the requisite oversight, of course), and Dad gets to do some black and white shooting with the "leftovers" (hopefully).
     
  18. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    I feed my 6 year old son's Pentax point and shoot with ORWO UN54 that I cassette for him. This way he might only get 12 or 15 shots instead of 36 of the ants traveling over the pavement. We develop the film and paper in Caffenol which he loves helping to make by the spoonfull. This combination works well for us.

    The smaller films also mean faster end results with less waste. Though I have noticed the more my boy uses the camera the more care he takes in taking the picture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2012
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    At that age does it really matter what film she uses?
     
  20. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys! Looks like there are still quite a lot being made! This is a good thing in my mind...not sure what I would find. :smile:
    I think I'll start with some of that Arista - that would be cool if it really was Kodak film still - I didn't know with the shake up at Kodak if they would be offering films to Freestyle anymore or what. That will probably be the best bet, because they are pretty close. Hollywood is a bit of a drive, but I think Kat would really enjoy going down there to see a "real" camera store! Might make for a fun Dad/daughter trip one of these weekends here. :D
     
  21. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  22. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Acros 100. But you say she is aged 8? So Acros 100 with Parental Guidance. :tongue:

    Lucky films certainly will give you QC issues for your (or her) money; they've received a bit of a sour rap in Australia for the peculiar 120 format film. Good for moody, grainy, gritty Robert Capa-style doco shooting with a pinhole, but not for anything serious.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2012
  23. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    While looking over Freestyle, either on-line or in the store, check for printing out paper and other alternative ways of making prints. Simply contact printing one of her own negatives should be pretty exciting. I have no idea what the Freestyle store is like, if there is much for her to see, etc. They might do in-store demos or classes? Well, a trip there, a roll of film and some printing out paper, shoot on the way home, develop, print the next morning.... a pinhole camera for larger negatives, a Hasselblad for her ninth birthday.... an 8x10 for her tenth..... If there are actual salesclerks and such at Freestyle, I bet they'll treat her well.
     
  24. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    x 1,000% !!

    They sell it at a very low cost. You will not get a better black & white film for less, (or even for more)!
     
  25. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Yeah It does.

    I gave a roll of Tri X to my 10 year old nephew, we loaded it, he shot a couple frames, explained to him for a few minutes, and left the room.

    I came back the room minutes later, he was sitting on my bed, with the camera back open.

    Me: "What are you doing? I explained to you you can not open the back until its re-winded and done, its light sensitive!"

    Him: "Oh I thought you can look at them one by one"

    So i gave him a roll of cheap Lucky SHD Reload instead!

    :D
     
  26. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Firstly congratulations to all those who are teaching their kids the origins of photography through film use

    I have not read what format your daughter is using, too many "my fave'" film statements to wade through

    My suggestion is to let her, and any other young person with an interest, have a look through a TLR - My observation is that kids have a sense of wonder at looking at a TLR screen and a 6x6 neg is the smallest size that contact prints to a pic that can be shown around

    On another tack is WPPD (Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day should there be anyone who does not know and are rightly too embarrassed to ask) - You make a pinhole camera with her, process and scan as soon as possible on the 29th of April and she can see a picture made by her on an international online gallyery

    2012poster.jpg

    Another possibility, and something Rae has shown the kids in Quinninup is the use of cyanotype for making photograms - She goes there with a box of pre-coated cyanotype paper and lets the kids find bits of stuff in the bush to place on the paper

    I do not allow kids into my darkroom on H&S grounds - A long and distant thought is when I have enough money for a new big shed to include a small teaching darkroom in it with simple enlargers - Rae can do the work in there, I don't have that kind of patience any more