Recommendation needed - 'best' B&W roll film/developer combo :-)

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by fatso, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. fatso

    fatso Member

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    Wrong forum - I reposted in B&W, please ignore this post :smile:


    I realize this is a very subjective question but I haven't shot film in several years and hope someone can bring me up to speed on modern day emulsions and developers :smile:

    I shoot medium format rollfilm mostly with a SWC, and looking back at some of my old negatives (Ilford Delta 100/D76) they seem a bit grainy...

    I'm looking for a low speed / high resolution / fine grained film with rich tonality that I can drum scan to make 40" x 40" carbon pigment prints. Does anyone have a magic combination they are willing to share ?

    I've attached a sample of my work to give an idea of what I do.

    PLACE JC.jpg



    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2012
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    As to your headline, "no".

    For resolution/smoothness, there is nothing finer than TMX unless you get into document films like CMS20. Some don't like the look of it; I personally prefer Acros or Pan-F. Pan-F is harder to shoot in contrasty light, Acros is cheaper but has less red-sensitivity; I tend to use Acros 90% of the time.

    Use XTOL 1+1 if you want a good combination of smoothness & resolution; it looks a bit like D76 but performs a tiny bit better in all ways (speed, resolution, smoothness). Use Rodinal if you want max resolution but no smoothing of the grain. Tonality of the two is different and a matter of personal preference.

    40x40" from 6x6 is pushing your luck with any film though as that's an 18x enlargement; since you're doing it hybrid I would suggest that some interpolation, denoising and USM is in order to reach that scale.
     
  3. wogster

    wogster Member

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    If you want 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 opinions, try posting in the B&W forum:whistling:

    Best for low resolution and fine grain, get a couple of rolls of Pan-F, pull it to 25ASA, soup it in ID-11 or D76 you don't need anything special here.
    Best all round film I find with a nice balance between speed and grain, you can't really beat FP4 again you don't need an exotic developer, it works nicely in ID11 or D76.

    I can't comment on the Kodak B&W films, I have not used any of them since I discovered Ilford in 1980.

    If your scanning, then try Ilford's XP2 Super, it's probably the best to scan with, Ilford says it's okay to pull it, as low as 50 and push to 800, with a standard C41 process. ICE and other stuff, that normally pukes on standard B&W should be fine with it.
     
  4. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I agree with the above guys but I would use Diafine or Acufine. Seems to me to have bett er grain and gradation. Just an opinion. try it out
    Logan
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Have you given Ilfsol 3 a try with Pan F+? Also, you mention shooing at 25ASA and pulling it, are you saying its finer that way or just looks better somehow? Interested, it's my favorite B&W these days but I haven't pulled it. Thanks.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I seem to get a bit more straight-line dynamic range from the Pan-F at 25 than 50. Haven't measured that though.

    Reduced development gives reduced grain for a given print grade, but you will need a higher print grade to achieve the same contrast you would have got at EI50 and full development so it's not much of an improvement. As ever, EI+dev should match scene dynamic range for best results.
     
  7. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Sadly I'm a scanner not an optic printer, so do you know how this would change the end result for me if I were to pull the film?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Scanning gives so much flexibility that you can make anything look like nearly anything else, tonally. Pulling it will record more information on the film (more scene dynamic range) and you can get the contrast back in post.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    In general:

    Pulling does not put more info on the film, it just allows more of the info the film catches to fall "straight" onto a given grade of paper, or within the limits of the next step.

    The same info, from 3 given frames of the same scene at the same exposure, is on the film at -1, N, or +1 development. The steepness of the curve simply changes.

    Exposure choices control how much info is caught.