LF ASA Film Speed

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bruce Osgood, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I'm strongly considering the move to LF from 35mm. I'm curious as to what ASA film speeds are being used with 4X5 cameras. My 35mm film (Ilford Pan F+, ASA 50) is shot at 32 or 40 EI and I can't imagine shooting that slow a film out of doors at f-32 and slower. Besides, it doesn't come in 4X5.
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My grip is that I can't get slow enough film - I generally use FP4+ or EFKE PL100. But you can now get PL25 - which I will try as soon as my current stock is reduced a bit.

    So what's the problem? I usually have my camera on a tripod, some of the huge shutters go no faster than 1/50th, and I like to be able to chose the aperture for pictorial reasons. With ISO 400 film in sunshine, that works out to 1/50th at f:45 (from "sunny 16")!

    That brings us far up into diffraction territory - and I really prefer to be able to open up to f:4.5... So I want slower film, not faster!
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    As Ole says, film speed isn’t really an issue unless you plan to do handheld available light stuff; but that will only make your arms ache! Ilford FP4+ rated at 100 EI is my current choice although I may change to Delta 100 when next I restock.
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

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    Hummmm, I seem to have lost a post. I like to shoot fast (400 speed B/W) film. The reasons are as follows:1. Wind is a big issue where I live. 2. I usually shoot the film rated at 200 3. Grain is not an issue with sheet film. 4. Did I mention wind? As Ole said I always have my rig on a tripod and I usually get into the f64 range and that usually gets me 1/8 @f64. I cannot remember when I last used 1/30 of a second.
    Your mileage may vary.

    lee\c
     
  5. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    I'm with Lee. I don't care about grain, but did I mention the wind. With many exposures in the half and quarter second range, I need all the speed I can get. I'm rating HP5+ at 260.

    Where are you getting all that sun, Ole?
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not a lot of sun here this time of year, but glaciers and waterfalls in midday sun tend to strain the limits of my shutters. In many places midday sun is the only light there is, we have some very deep and narrow valleys here...
     
  7. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    With 4x5 grain is really a non-issue with enlargements up 16x20 with any speed film. My older ektar lenses seem to have a sweet spot at about f16, so unless I am doing portraiture and want a larger aperature Ilford hp5 is the most flexible for me.

    The choice of devloper also should be considered. HC110, XTOL and PMK have been my choices for LF, but my recent tests show Pyrocat-HD to produce the best negatives at a full ei of 400. YMMV.
     
  8. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I agree with Lee. Wind is the single biggest issue to contend with. Not so much from a camera stability perspective (I use a nice, heavy monorail), but due to subject movement. I regularly shoot tri-x in 5X7 rated at 160. Since you use shadow based exposures more with sheet film rather than "average" exposures with 35mm, with a YG or Orange filter, I'm usually shooting at 1/2 sec at f 32 or 1/4 sec at f 22. I'd like to find an even faster film if I could.
     
  9. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Bruce

    I use TMax100 (EI 50) because I don't have Efke 25 available here. My std is low ASA, so this is not a problem for me, it is a pleasure.
     
  10. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I agree with the speed crowd. I like TRI-X - although I still keep and use FP4 for situations where I can use it. I agree that TRI X is good for 16x20 but for larger, I would prefer the FP4. My experience was at the beach - trying to capture the waves and being forced down to F22 and I lost DOF and was not happy with any of the negs. If I had film that was a few stops faster, it would have been ok. - Oh yeh - did I mention wind? So I use Tri x outside and inside (or when it is really still), I use FP4. Don't have too many - get really good with a (very few) couple of emulsions and spend your time in image conception and creation.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like Tri-X for the look and tonality of Tri-X, and because even if the various versions of Tri-X aren't quite the same, I think of them as being in the same tonal family. The speed is an advantage sometimes and a disadvantage at others. My normal mode is to shoot it at 200 in PMK (160 for N-1) or 160 in ABC, but if I'm doing 4x5" handheld, I'll can process in Acufine and shoot at 640.

    For slower films, I like Efke PL100 (around EI 50 in PMK) and for studio portraits Ektapan (until I run out, alas) in ABC pyro, also around EI 50.