ISO 100 B&W film advice (advice)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by msbarnes, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    OK so I mostly shoot ISO 400 and I'm interested in shooting some ISO 100 film. This is for 35mm. I usually go freestyle tri-x but since I'm unsure about the quality of foma/arista edu, I'm thinking of just going with ilford and bulk loading myself.

    I'm thinking traditional emulsions because I much prefer the grain of Plus-X (RIP) to Tmax 100. Well Plus-X is history so this leaves me too FP4+ and Pan F. My developer of choice is Xtol and Rodinal; the former when I need the speed.

    1. I don't always finish my rolls but I haven't experienced much problems with Tri-X, but I read that it's super big deal with Pan F, is this true also for FP4+? I hear that the latent image degrades...if so, what is the time-span? Days, weeks, months? I don't leave a roll in for more than 2 weeks ... This has never been a problem but I don't want this to deter me as I can probably start loading short rolls.

    2. How is FP4+'s grain in comparison to Plus-X? maybe it was bad development but Tri-X seemed a lot smoother than HP5+, would I expect the same with FP4+? as in FP4+ exhibiting larger grain than Plus-X?

    3. How is the tonality and latitude between the two: FP4+ and Pan F. From Flickr Pan F seems to show darker tones but it's really difficult to judge from flickr because everyone has different exposure/development/post-processing styles.

    4. Plastic or metal film cartridges for bulk loading? Which do you prefer?

    Honestly, I think I'm just going to order both, lol. FP4+ seems like a safer bet but Pan F is tempting...
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    It would be hard to recommend a film since you don't mention your usual subject matter and lighting conditions. In general the slower a film the less latitude that it has. I think that you would find FP4+ to very very similar to Plus-X.
     
  3. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Mostly portraits in the normal-low contrast lighting.
     
  4. dslater

    dslater Subscriber

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    In the past, I've always used FP4+ for low iso B&W film. I have always had good results with it. I think you'll find it's a bit higher contrast than Tri-X, but I think that's generally true of iso 100 films vs. iso 400 films. Of course you control the contrast somewhat by adjusting your development time.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I would not recommend a slow film like PanF+ since it will show every skin blemish. This film tends to build contrast very quickly and should not be overdeveloped.

    As for degradation of the latent image you are speaking of months. Still if it is a concern then shoot 24-exposure rolls or bulk load a small number of exposures.

    As far as grain, Pan-X and FP4+ are comparable. Your comment about HP5+ has been expressed by others on APUG. As far as using Rodinal this developer will produce coaser grain than Xtol.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I've kept an exposed roll of Pan F+ 120 for about six weeks before developing with no problem at all. I develop Pan F+ in Diafine. It does tend to build contrast quickly and the speed is suited for bright lighting which tends to be contrasty. Diafine handles this well and gets an effective extra 1/3 - 2/3s stop out of it. I mostly shoot this combo at EI 64.

    FP4+ is a great film. Other than a shorter toe, which won't matter if you don't expose shadow detail on the toe, you won't notice that much different about it from Plus-X. It's my go-to medium speed film, especially in 120, but then I seldom shoot 35mm black and white anymore since getting a couple of medium format cameras unless I really need speed, and even then I have f/2.8 for my Mamiya and Delta 3200 at 3200. But I do like FP4+ a lot in 120.

    Oh yeah, I load bulk loads (got a 100' roll of the Arista branded Tri-X when it was way cheaper than now) in plastic because that's what I've used for years. Years ago I had metal film cartridges pop open when dropped and have light leaks, and I don't get either, so far, with plastic. But consider carefully the actual savings. I just don't find bulk loading to be worth it any more.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Why do you want a slow film?

    If you are after finer grain, I would suggest using TMY. It has grain as fine as plus-X, with the benefit of speed.
     
  8. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I would not bother too much about the latent image. Once I developed a roll of FP4+ 2 years after I had exposed it and it still came out pretty fine. I was not able to distinguish it from a fresh roll in fact.
     
  9. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    FP4+, yes. Pan F+ however is known for poor latent image keeping. (So is Delta 3200 and I've run into this myself if not refrigerated or frozen after exposure. I know you're not supposed to freeze it once you unwrap it. I cheerfully do anyway. Never had a problem with that.)

    Can't speak for the OP but I shoot TMY-2 in 4x5 but I personally don't like it in 35mm and 120. I could try to explain why but some folks would argue and they'd no doubt be right, as would I, for our own purposes. I just find conventional films a lot easier to shoot and expose well enough when I'm not working slowly and deliberately.
     
  10. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Fp4+ is not a direct substitute for PX125 but it is a great film. Pan F has a bit more inherent contrast but can look extremely good if used under the right light conditions (not too contrasty). Grain wise FP4 and PX125 are about the same PX creates smoother tones in my opinion but that's about it. Since you use 35mm film another option would be APX100 which is a bit more grainy but has a very special look especially in the midtones. For convenience sake just get the FP4 and develop it in ID11/D76 or X-tol.

    Dominik
     
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    FP4 is beautiful in tone and grain, easy to use and develop, and forgiving of foibles.

    I hand load it too, in short rolls, as I do with all my hand loading.
     
  12. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Why not Fuji Acros?

    Looks great in Rodinal 1:50. It's my standard 100-speed film in 35mm through 4x5. Wish I could get it in 8x10.

    It's almost unique in that you can't blow the highlights. There's no shoulder on the curve; it just keeps going up.

    - Leigh
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2012
  13. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Acros is phenomenal. Otherwise I agree you might try TMY.
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    What I do when I want to shoot at different apertures (wider in this case) I use a two stop neutral density filter.
    TMY-2 (TMax400) has similar grain, resolution, and curve to FP4+.
    Two films in one. Always know what to expect, and it prints/scans beautifully. Win-Win!
     
  16. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Member

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    I had a latent image of sheet film Ilford FP4+ once (a matter of one or two years) and it still turned out fine. That surprised me.
     
  17. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Quite right. This very high highlight contrast is a rather unique characteristic of Acros (along with reciprocity) in comparison to its TMX and Delta 100 comparables. Contrast actually increases around zone IX and remains at that maximum until around zone XIII with a fairly abrupt shoulder thereafter. TMX and Delta (as well as TMY, FP4 etc etc) exhibit more gradual shouldering and develop to significantly lower densities in extreme highlights (above zone X).
     
  18. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Acros for me, too. I also shoot Pan F+ at ISO 25 to get the shadows and process on Perceptol to tame the contrast.
     
  19. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I ordered a can of fp4+ and a few rolls of panf+. Those interests me the most because they're traditional and the most readily available (now and in the future). You can't buy APX100 (I don't think?) nor can you buy Acros in 100' rolls. I'd prefer to bulk load to economize. Truthfully, I don't like bulk loading, but it's something that I feel I should do for the sake of economy.

    fp4+ sounds like a safer bet but panf+ still interests me. I'll see how it goes.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    FP4 is my current fave, but I see a hundred feet of Pan F in my future.
     
  21. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    FP4+ is my backup for Acros, and it's the film I shoot in 8x10 since Acros is not available in that size here in the US.

    - Leigh
     
  22. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I don't think bulk loading saves that much these days, not enough to personally pay me for the agravation, anyway.

    The advantage, though, is that I find 36 exposure loads annoyingly long and you can load shorter - some waste, but not that much and still slightly cheaper than factory 36s. IF I shot very much black and white in 35mm I might do it for that reason but having two medium format cameras has almost completely eliminated my black and white 35mm.
     
  23. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I do like the fewer frames per roll option with bulk loading, but considering you lose five frames per roll it makes it difficult to do. I generally load 'em up with 36 frames and start shooting.

    It would be great if Acros were available in 100 foot rolls, though. It would save about 50% per roll.
     
  24. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I just added it up and I guess you're right - it does save about half. It seemed to me that it didn't because Tri-X is available cheap in the Arista brand and HP5+ in the three packs. But for FP4+ it does indeed.
     
  25. JPD

    JPD Member

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    You can try to shoot Pan F at 25 ASA and develop it in your Xtol or Rodinal (1+50 or 1+100) for 25-30% less time than recommended for 50 ASA. That should tame the contrast and you'll get more details in the shadows. It's a wonderful film.
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Shoot at box speed or 64 and develop in Diafine (or other two bath developer at appropriate speed) - works well too.

    This is from 6x6 Pan F+ in Diafine, EI 64:

    [​IMG]
    Apalachicola Beach 1 by Roger Cole, on Flickr