Looking for a sharp film.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by samuelingram, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. samuelingram

    samuelingram Member

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    I'm looking for a sharp, fine grain film, with good detail in the blacks. One that will get good results with basic processing methods.

    I'm looking at Ilford HP5 Plus 125, but have no experience with Ilford films so I'm reluctant to buy some.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    You might try Ilford Pan F (50asa/ifo).

    Jeff
     
  3. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    What format? Pan F is not made in sheet film.
     
  4. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    T-Max 100

    Kodak T-Max 100 is one of the sharpest films around. I’ve experimented with new films as they come into the market. This has the best combination of speed, sharpness, smooth tonal scale and great enlargability. It has become the only B&W film I use in 35mm, 120, 4" x 5", and 8" x 10".

    It can be processed in any B&W developer, but is particularly suitable for development in Kodak T-Max developer. That’s a good combination because T-Max Developer is a liquid concentrate making it particularly easy to use. You can easily mix just enough to develop a small number of films. There’s not need to mix the entire bottle of concentrate.
     
  5. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    HP5 Plus is an ISO 400 film. FP4 Plus is Ilford's ISO 125 film and it is very good as are most films in the ISO 100-125 speed group.
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    For 35mm or 120 I would have to vote for Pan F+.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Another vote for Tmax-100. It's a film with fine grain, sharp, and good contrast.
     
  8. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Irresponsible Suggestion: If you really need to go to the wall, look for some B/W duplicating film. Really slow, most varieties not panchromatic, but astounding. Last year I was shooting often with some Eastman Intermediate film (it was pan), and I enlarged 35mm to 16x20 with no visible grain. I developed it in both D-76 and Technidol, but any differences were lost on me, so I'm sure just about any developer would work.
     
  9. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Fuji 100 Acros, T-Max 100, Pan-F+, Ilford Delta 100. All sharp and fine-grained. HP5+, Tri-X, faster, not so fine-grained. T-Max 400, Ilford Delta 400, both fast, sharp, finer grain than the older-technology HP5+ and Tri-X. All are influenced by developer choice, development method and exposure. Take your pick!

    Peter Gomena
     
  10. totalamateur

    totalamateur Member

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    Try a broken dry plate.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    It will also depend on the sharpness of one's technique and equipment...:wink:

    Vaughn
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    You can't really go wrong with most of Kodak's flavors. I would give Plus-X 125 a try. Great, great film
     
  13. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    I like the Adox CHS25 and ORT25 for sharpness and detail. I also like the Ilford PanF.
     
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  15. Роберт

    Роберт Member

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    Any Ortho 25 film in a high acutance developer like Rodinal, Efke 25 in Beutler A+B or FX-1 or a Copex (Agfa Gevaert) micro film (like Rollei ATP-1.1) in a suitable micro film developer like ATP-DC or SPUR Modular UR.

    You will have the finest grain and when having a suitable exposure with these developers extreme high sharpness and acutance. All above films are available in 35mm and 120 roll film.

    Not one iso 100 film will give you these features.
     
  16. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    All things being equal in developer choice, processing etc, in 35mm TMAX 100 will give you the best balance of tonal scale, contrast manageability, speed, grain and sharpness. And I say that without a bias toward Kodak (although I am equally biased toward Kodak, Ilford and Fuji over other brands). TMAX is finer grained than all the 50, 100 or 125 speed films out there at this point, the closest matches in graininess being Pan F+ and Fuji Acros. It is only marginally less sharp than Pan F+, but faster, and with an easier tonal scale to manage, particularly with long scale subjects.
     
  17. JCJackson

    JCJackson Member

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    Although it is a special animal, nothing touches ADOX CMS 20 for grainless sharpness. To achieve best tonal scale, acutance and full emulsion speed, you should use their proprietary developer. It is still stupendously slow. But I have enlarged these negatives to 16 x 20 and have had a hard time seeing any grain in the grain magnifier. It is simply astonishing in what you can get in a 35mm negative, but you will need a tripod and a very sharp lens to realize the full potential of this stuff.
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Sharpness: Kodak TMax 100 / Fuji Neopan Acros / Ilford Delta 100

    They are capable of about 100 - 120 line pairs per millimeter of resolution at an exposure index of 100.

    400 speed film: Ilford Delta 400 and Kodak TMax 400 are in a league of their own with about 70-80 lp/mm. That's actually better than Plus-X and FP4+.

    When you start to make larger prints from these films, at about 16x or more, you will discover that all of the fabricated grain films have more detail. I actually get more sharp detail with 35mm Ilford Delta 3200 developed in Rodinal, at 16x20" print size, than I get from Ilford FP4+. Believe it or not, I am seeing just that.


    - Thomas
     
  19. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    No film will give you good detail in the shadows if it is under-exposed. You will not have the finest detail w/o grain if your development is not correct.
    Don't rely on the manufacturer, or asking people on this or any other forum. Whichever film you choose, and you have received some very good suggestions, do your own testing for exposure index and development time in your chosen developer.
     
  20. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Kodak T Max100 for the same reasons stated above. I use D76 1:1 that I mix from raw chemicals a liter at a time. Xtol is also good. T Max is a push developer that gave me grainny but sharp results with really high midtone contrast. Works well in Rodinal like all low speed films. I just find D76 is a nice balanced developer, speed, grain, sharpness. Most developers give up two in favor of one.

    My second choice would be Ilford Delta 100. Never used Across, but Fuji may be exiting film and I will not hitch my wagon to them.
     
  21. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    I love this stuff, but since the OP requested no special chemistry I left it off my recommendation. I find it also works very well in Formulary TD3.
     
  22. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I prefer Ilford Delta 100 to 100 T-Max for 35mm as it appears to me to have less tendency to curl across the width after drying.Here is a technical comparison of the two, likely the relation would be similar if developed in D-76 or Xtol:
    www.imx.nl/photo/Film/page123/page123.html
     
  23. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    T-Max 100.

    Develop it in Microdol-X for Tech-Pan like grain. M-X is no longer made, but Ilford has an equivelant, name escapes me.

    Tech-Pan / Technidol will do better, but you can only get it on ebay.

    But if you really want no grain then you need to go to MF or LF. Even an inexpensive Zeiss Nettar folder loaded with T-Max will have finer grain and better resolution when resolving low-contrast detail.

    Nothing beats square inches.
     
  24. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    For the first two requirements, just about any modern B&W film qualifies. Good shadow detail is on you -- you have to get the right exposure for that. But certainly any film from Kodak, Fuji, or Harmon will work for you.
     
  25. A Sabai

    A Sabai Member

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    I love Pan F+ in 120 or 35mm, but now I am shooting Delta 100 because I can shoot both 120 and 4x5 with the same emulsion and it makes my processing easier.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    T-Max 100 is my suggestion. It is sharp, fine grained, and holds a bit more detail and bite in the low tones than many films. It is highly controllable with processing variations, and has excellent exposure latitude. It looks great in any developer.

    You can get finer grain and more resolution from a few other specialty films, but you will have to really work to get low-enough contrast out of them, and they will be much slower. They definitely do not meet your "basic processing" criterion.

    If not T-Max, then try Ilford Delta 100 or Fuji Neopan Acros (which is ISO 100 speed).

    HP5 is a 400 film. FP4 is a 125 film. HP = high-speed panchromatic, and FP = fine-grained panchromatic, I believe. Neither are flat-grained/t-grained/tabular-grained films like T-Max, Delta, or Acros. They are Ilford's competitors to Kodak Tri-X 400 and Plus-X 125.