Ilford FP4 or Fuji Acros 100 ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jean Noire, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    I have not used Fuji film but have used FP4 exclusively for some time. Acros is now available in the UK at competitive cost to Ilford and I am curious if anyone has used both films and have a preference for one over the other. In other words would there be any advantages/ drawbacks to switching to Fuji?

    Regards,
    John Roberts.
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Advantageis that it is much finer grain than Fp4. I not only have used both as main films but have been processing and printing for another photographer who used Fp4 for years in a Hasselblad. When she switched to a 645 hasselblad the grain of the Fp4 became a problem so she switched to ACROS and the grain is no longer a problem and the end result of the print tones is not really distinguishable. They are both beautiful films. I like the Acros for it's lack of Reciprocity failure and the very clean look of it.

    I process both films in XTOL using the extended time chart instead of replinisher and both films don't follow Kodak's chart at all. They both get very resistant to developing in aged XTOL and I have to extend the times far more than I should have to.

    The ACROS is a great film and you will find a way to make it work. I love it in Beutlers.
    Dennis
     
  3. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    FP4 is a traditional film, and as Dennis states has slightly more grain than Acros which is a tabular grain type film.
    I have found that Acros is comparable to TMax 100 in its grain and sharpness and to me has a colder more clinical feel than conventional emulsions.
    I have a couple of tests if you want to look:
    Fuji Acros
    And
    Ilford FP4
    If you had to push me for my personal choice it's Acros for landscapes and FP4 for Portraits.
    Mark
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You can add Ilford Delta into the equation it's another excellent film. Closer to Tmax100 and Acros than FP4.

    Ian
     
  5. aparat

    aparat Member

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    Yes, I would also call it "clinical." What an ingenious way to put it!
     
  6. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    ACROS in Rodinal 1:50 is just outstanding. Grain is minimal, but then I don't mind the grain. I rate the film at around ISO 80 for contrasty full subject brightness ranges and develop to around 11:00 minutes to contract the range. For normal brightness ranges, I rate the film at box speed and process for 13 minutes. Great reciprocity characteristics.
     
  7. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Clinical!! now why do you guys have to lay such a negative concept on it. If exposed and processed properly it has beautiful detailed glowing highlights and a total lack of smudgy chalkiness. It is my primary studio portrait film because it is so flattering to skin.
    Dennis
     
  8. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Both excellent films, but not so related IMHO, I prefer FP4+ developed in DD-X for my work, it's my favourite film together with Delta 400. I'm with Ian on this, Delta 100 might be closer to ACROS than FP4+.


    André
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I was using Tmax 100 & 400 but because Kodak B&W films are far harder to find (where I live & travel) I've switched back to Ilford and Delta 100 & 400. I've found that in practical use there's very little between Tmax & Delta, and Acros and in fact FP4 is very close behind.

    Compared to 30+ years ago all the films are now far closer in qualities, before Tmax was released FP4 and then Agfa AP100 were probably the best medium speed B&W film on the market, and when Tmax100 & Agfa APX100 apperared they became the films some of us switched too. I've used Acros and it's OK but it's not for me.

    The most important thing is to settle on one film and stick with it, only with a good knowledge of it's abilities can yo get consistently good results.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2008
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Ilford FP4+ is my favorite film. It's got some great 'bite' and is very sharp. It has fine grain and is easy to work with.
    Acros is creamy smooth in my opinion, hardly clinical. It's got some of the finest grain out there, and works wonderfully in Rodinal.

    I have used Acros in low light photography recently, and it's got no compensation for reciprocity down to two minutes. That is just phenomenal compared to FP4 which tapers off at one second.

    Both are great films, but very different looks. Then again, you can work with these characteristics in the darkroom to achieve the results you want anyway, so either will probably work just spiffy for you.

    - Thomas
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have used both although I am not experienced in either. I was a little disappointed with FP4+ compared to HP5+ with which I have had more success. You'd think that as both are trad films my experience of both would be about the same but not so. It might just have been my lack of experience with FP4+. The negs looked rather "soft and grey".

    With Acros I have got very punchy, grainless negs and prints that are likewise. If it was my intention to produce bigger than 10x8 prints in 35mm then Acros would be the one to go for, I feel.

    I develop in DDX at 9 mins but feel that 8.5 mins may produce less contrasty negs unless the light conditions give a very low SBR.

    It seems that from another thread in APUG that someone has used Acros at EI 200 very successfully in DDX. If there is little or no loss of shadow detail then you have an almost ideal combo of a grainless film capable of goog negs at both 100 and 200. I am tempted next time to try EI 200 to see the effect especially as we move into autumn here and light levels become lower.

    pentaxuser
     
  12. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Ok by clinical I don't mean that as a 'negative' but rather a characteristic. If you process in Rodinal at 1:100 the tone is very nice smooth and grain free.
    So when I say clinical I mean accurate rather that euphonic, to me Acros is a much more modern emulsion than FP4, its difficult to express this in words so this is the type of shot I use Acros for
    [​IMG]
    I'd personally describe it as smooth but sharp, accurate, almost metallic I wouldn't describe it as warm fluffy or euphonic.
    But then we all see and process/print differently and one mans meat...
    Try both they're good.
    Mark
     
  13. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    My personal preference is for FP4, but that may just be because I have shot a lot more of it and am more used to it. One advantage that Acros has is that it is available in both separate sheets and as quickloads. If I could get Ilford films in quickload or readyload format, then it would be an easy decision.
     
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  15. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Mark,

    The highlight tonality looks very good here, but the shadows seem slightly underexposed. How much information is present in the shadows on the film?

    Tom.
     
  16. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Acros is a very straight line film, so it will give good separation in the highlights, as Mark Antony's picture show. A film like FP4+ has a slight shoulder, which may compress the highlights, depending on exposure. The "metallic" or "clinical" look of Acros (a nice feature, I agree) is due in part to the modern grains and to the long straight line.
     
  17. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    Thank you all for the prompt replies so far.
    From your comments it may be worth trying the acros and make a comparison myself. I have not used Rodinal or most of the other developers mentioned and usually develop in D76 1:1.
    I use medium format and does anyone have a ball park developing time for this combo otherwise I will refer to the massive dev chart.
    Many thanks,
    John
     
  18. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    Tom yes there is more info on the negative; in fact a surprising amount of detail in the background, but I printed it down to make the dandelion stand out.
    The rear of the picture is in shadow where the trunk and foreground are in diffused sunlight.
    Mark
     
  19. weasel

    weasel Member

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    I have been playing a bit with 120 acros, and after some tribulations (learning curve), I am finally getting it nailed.
    This stuff is sharp, sharp, sharp, with basically no grain. It has recently caused me to rethink the whole bigger is better negative thing.
    As to the tonality- it has a very long, very straight curve, and gives great highlight separation. It does not like being underexposed, or the shadows drop off really rapidly. I find it to be an asa 50 film under my conditions.
    I have tried it in a number of developers- hc110, pc tea, rodinol, diafine, and pmk pyro.
    I did not like the diafine negatives for printing- I got very flat, long scale negatives that look muddy when printed. They scanned wonderfully however, which may be why some folks rave about this combo.
    The best negatives I have gotten so far have been with the PMK. It gives really nice edge effects and further exploits the highlight separation characteristics of the film. This is the combo I am going to stick with.
    It is a great film.
    Somewhere here Sandy King wrote something to the effect that acros 100 in his pyrocat developer, shot with a mamiya 7 gave him prints that could not be differentiated from 4x5, and my experience would verify that.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    IMO the best things about the Fuji are the longer maintenance of reciprocity and the fact that it is available in Quickloads. I absolutely love FP4, but for long exposures and/or the convenience of Quickloads, Fuji 100 is unmatched. I feel that in these situations, I will deal with the fact that I don't like the over all look of the film *as much* as FP4. I actually prefer getting a little grain with FP4 in small format and 645, so I find the Fuji a bit more smooth and bland. Not enough to overcome the advantages in those aforementioned situations, however. With 6x7, 6x9, and sheet film, no film has any visible grain in the size enlargements I do (usually 16x20 max., and rarely), except expired fast films will sometimes lose some sharpness and gain some grain. Others have called it "clinical", and I would agree that it is very modern looking and similar to Delta. Quite contrasty, quite sharp, and quite fine grained. I could deal with the reciprocity issue of FP4, but I try to always splurge for Quickloads when carrying my 4x5 out and about with the intent to shoot many pieces of film. It saves so much weight and all but eliminates the possibility of error or defect with film holders. I could hypothetically carry 100 pieces of film for a fraction of the size and weight of 50 film holders, and they would all be 100% dust free, light leak free, mechanical error free, and user error free. I wish Ilford would devise a similar system, because to me FP4 does look better overall.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2008
  21. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Acros is very fine grain. But I do find that Tmax 100 is finer in Xtol, Beutlers and Rodinal. Which are my main developers. Actually I find Agfa 100 to be finer grain in Beutlers than Acros. I don't get much edge affect at all with Acros in Beutlers even with the Potassium Iodide added... I think you need grainier and non tabular films to maximize that.
     
  22. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    acros

    to me acros is the tmax 100 that kodak never made....the japanese nailed this one down and it is truly a great film...very flexible
    Best, Peter
     
  23. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    Has anyone developed either of these films in something like Barry Thornton's 2-Bath, D23 or Stoekler 2-bath?

    thanks,

    HL
     
  24. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I recently developed some 4x5 Acros in Barry Thornton's 2- bath for, exposed at 64EI, and 5 minutes in both A&B and it's gorgeous. No grain of course, and a very smooth and rich tonality. It's a very nice combination.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  25. Marc .

    Marc . Member

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    HL,
    I have just done sensitometry tests on all the films discussed in this thread and several others, developed in Thornton's 2-bath (for those who do not know it, this is a Stoeckler variant evolved by Barry Thornton for "modern" films, i.e. thin emulsion).
    I'd be glad to write about all these films in Thornton's 2-bath and compare them, but for the moment I only have the H&D curves, and the raw data behind them.

    Richard,
    I confirm Acros exposed at EI 64 and developped 5 min in both A and B @ 24°C/75°F, but for a low contrast subject, i.e. 5 stops.
    For a 7 stops subject, I'd expose just below 64, and develop 2'45s in both A and B @ 24°C. (A continuous agitation, B no agitation)
    Sorry I don't have data @ 20°C/68°F...

    Marc
     
  26. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Thanks Marc,

    The scene I photographed was indeed low contrast. I haven't had the opportunity to try it with a higher contrast scene, but will try your suggestion.

    Richard Wasserman