My first J & C Pro 100 4x5 experience

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by SchwinnParamount, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    My 25 sheets of film arrived today from J&C. I was supposed to go to my son's swim meet tonight but instead I loaded a couple of film holders and set up the Crown Graphic. I used a Vivitar 285 into a white umbrella to give a sorta soft light and made a close up of a bicycle frame. The picture was no big deal but there was some nice chrome, shiny metallic paint on the tubes, black in the decal and stem plus a white wall behind the bicycle. I was getting f5.6 on the light setup so I set the shutter to 1/50th of a second and the aperture to 5.6. I exposed a sheet for this setup and a couple of others too.

    I don't have any fancy developer in the house except XTOL and a year old un-opened bottle of D-76 from Lauder Chemicals in So. Cal. On the J&C web site, they suggest giving 9.5 minutes at 68 degrees in a tray for the D-76. So I set my darkroom timer for 10.5 minutes which might have been a mistake except that I forgot that I had unplugged the timer the night before.

    I'm on the wet side of my darkroom busily agitating my negs by swapping the bottom of the stack for the top every 20 seconds or so. After an indeterminate length of time, I wonder "Hmmm, I'd have thought the buzzer would have gone off by now" At this point I knew I had lost a sorta critical control over my development process. So, I thought "How long have I been doing this?" It felt like about 8 or 9 minutes but coulda been longer. I had been daydreaming and time does have a habit of slipping by.

    I pulled the negs out of the soup and plunked them in the stop and on to the fixer. After 4 minutes, I held my breath and turned on the light. The negatives were very fine! But now since I have no idea how the hell long I developed them, I can't begin to guess what sorta speed this film really is.

    I printed one of the negatives and it was ever so easy to make a nice snappy print. I'm going to like this film.
     
  2. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    I'm falling head over heels for this film as well. I use it in 120 and have been dialing in a development time in WD2D+ (9.5 mins @ 68-70 degrees seems to do it for condenser enlarger). The first time I used it I was knocked out by the sharpness, comparing it to negatives of FP4 and Foma 100 shot on the same day/same scenes/same camera. And I like its contrast a lot - I print it on VC fiber without a filter and get images that seem just a tad softer than what grade 3 would look like. It stains well for me, and while the grain is a tiny bit more obvious than the Ilford film (which no doubt makes it seem sharper) the grain that is there is very pleasing to my eyes. It worked very well for some open shade portraits I did on Christmas - nice skin tones and just enough snap to keep everything from looking like a dirty milk glass filled with water. And it's a great match with the J&C Polywarmtone paper.

    Joe
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I tried some JandC 200 4x5, mainy because of the price. I developed it in Rodinal 1:50 rotary in Jobo reels. I was _very_ happy with the results.
     
  4. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Worthy of note that the J&C Pro 100 is a completely different emulsion family from the J&C 200 and 400 films. The latter are (I'm told) rebranded Bergger, pretty completely conventional if nice to work with. The Pro 100, at least in 120, is Lucky film, made in China in a factory partially owned by Kodak -- which has a lot to do with the very low price (the 4x5 may be yet another completely different emulsion). Everything I've read about this Lucky film strongly suggests it's one of the nicest ISO 100 films around. I just wish they'd cut it in 9x12 cm so I could use it in my plate cameras without recutting (assuming the 4x5 is the same stuff) -- sharpness better than Fomapan would be very welcome!
     
  5. eric

    eric Member

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    Its my favorite film now with Holgas + sunny days. I soup it up in PMK. I bought about 40 rolls just for the Holga -- hey, cheap cam, better use cheap film.

    I'll have to try it out on my 'real' cameras soon.
     
  6. david b

    david b Member

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    I bought some of it too, but the paper backing leaked so much that half of the negs are useless. This has happened on two rolls so far and I've only shot two rolls.

    This will just about kill using this film for me.
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    David, what camera are you using this film in? Paper backing leaks, in my experience, have more to do with the film being wound straight on the takeup and having adequate tension than with the film as such -- though they could certainly also occur if the backing weren't wide enough to contact the flange on both ends of the spool. The only time I've seen this in my own (antique) medium format cameras was with a roll I respooled onto 620 for use in a camera that wouldn't take a clipped 120 supply roll.
     
  8. david b

    david b Member

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  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Hmm. I haven't had a chance to try the Pro 100 yet, but it certainly seems as if there's a problem if you're getting edge fogging with a modern Mamiya 7II. I'd have to wonder if it's not just a case of the backing paper being half a millimeter too narrow, as well as shorter than it should be. Still, for under a buck and a quarter a roll if you buy 10 or more, and now packaged in the little film cans, I'd be tempted to just unload it into the film can in a changing bag...
     
  10. david b

    david b Member

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    Don,
    this is a little more then edge fog. Several of the negs are unusable. I can't chance which will be good and which won't be.
    It is nice film but not work going through a "special" handling process.