Photography Club

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by akitak9821, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. akitak9821

    akitak9821 Member

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    I'm going to start teaching a photography club soon, but I was wondering, since I'm going to buy my film in bulk, what type of film to use??

    When I started photography last year, I used Ilford FP4 125, the results were good as in perfect grayscale range.
    But When I started experimenting with the loads of film options out there, I saw that the Delta brands were good.

    So should I buy Delta 100, Delta 400, or FP4 125?
     
  2. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    I love Delta films, both 100 and 400. Good contrast and good grain, and I am in pig heaven!! Don
     
  3. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Depends on what you're after. The 400 speed allows easier use of filters, and people can shoot faster shutter speeds generally. However, there is more grain. That might be good or bad, depending on expectations. Delta 100 is very sharp and has low grain. I mostly shoot FP4 in 35mm because I am after a more retro look than the sharper Delta and TMax films. I only use prewar cameras though, and deliberately after a more vintage look.


    Kent in SD
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I would suggest you give them the choice of FP4 or HP5 and explain the difference. T grain films require about double the fixation time and standard B&W films are closer to real film during the history of film photography.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    T-max 400 is a good choice.

    Jeff
     
  6. erikg

    erikg Member

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    If it can only be one film I'd go with a 400 speed for this time of year. Go for the best value. More is better for students.
     
  7. spijker

    spijker Subscriber

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    In the end it probably all a matter of personal taste whether you prefer the modern T-grain films like Ilford's Delta 100/400/3200 or the more "vintage" types like FP4 and HP5 (or equivalent from other manufacturers). I'm a Delta 100 & 400 user as I don't care for a vintage look. I want fine grain and sharpness and the Delta 100 & 400 films in DD-X or Perceptol work for me. I haven't experimented with other films or developers. Since you'll likely be competing with digital, I think that you should probably aim for the latest (and greates?) in film technology instead of vintage. People can always back off a bit and pursue the vintage look. Maybe spend a bit of time showing the difference between the T-grain films and the "vintage" type films. Or see what's locally available (if any) and stick to that. That will give your club members a chance to continue with the materials that you teach with.

    Menno
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I find Delta 100 beautiful but more finicky than the other two.

    FP4 and Delta 400 are the 35mm b&w films I regularly buy at retail, both are easy to use and provide great results. (I do buy other films but typically its only when I find a bargain.)

    FP4 is truly a joy to use, beautiful and easy to work with as long as you have enough light.

    If I had to pick just one of these films though, it would be Delta 400 without question or hesitation; the 1-2/3 stops in speed difference and it's ability to cope with a larger range EI choices simply makes it much easier to shoot.

    I do try to meter well and shoot my Delta 400 accurately at 400-500 but I will happily shoot Delta 400 anywhere from EI 50 to EI 3200 if needed. Delta 400's flexibility/latitude means if I'm in a hurry I can just use aperture priority or if using a manual camera I can just skip readjusting exposure and shoot knowing I'll get a workable negative either way.
     
  9. Born2Late

    Born2Late Subscriber

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    Ditto for T-Max 400.
     
  10. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    That's the first time I have heard of films like FP4 and HP5 being of vintage look.
     
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Really? I'd say you expressed that exact idea just a few posts ago.

     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    True and I guess you are correct.
     
  13. miha

    miha Member

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    I see no contradiction in Clive's statements. Following tradition isn't inherently old-fashioned.
     
  14. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I think tmax400 is the best film in the world but it's probably not ideal for beginning classes. It's fussier to develop (more responsive to changes in development, easier to screw up), takes longer to fix, and longer to wash the pink out.

    FP4+ is great for outdoor use and HP5+ is more practical. Let the individuals settle on a film once they've got the basics down using one of these two.
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    If I were teaching, I'd pick one film and one developer and use the same idea on the printing side, keeps everybody on the same page; keeps the magic bullet talk to a minimum because there is a level playing field. Its tough to credit or blame the materials for success or failure when everybody is using the same tools.

    At the end of the class I might add a second film and make sure everybody got on that page at once too.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you are intending to purchase Ilford product (a good choice), you should add HP5 to your list, and then check on prices and local availability.

    Personally, I would lean toward FP4 or HP5 for beginner's use, because they are slightly more forgiving.