Seeking Recommendation on 8X10 B&W film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Karchi, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Karchi

    Karchi Member

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    Hi All, I am new to the forum... so if this questions has been discussed please let me know -- I did a search but nothing came up...

    I am shooting an 8X10 Eastman View#2 next weekend for the first time (using the 8 1/2" eastman & 14" Cooke lenses). I am interested in recreating a look that is reminiscent of a Herell 1940s look and feel. I am seeking opinions on what films to consider that would get me close to the look and which I can get my hands on easily (I am test shooting next wednesday).

    Also, if anyone is familiar with labs in the LA area that you'd recommend and where I could collaborate with a seasoned developer/printer would be awesome.

    Many thanks,
    Karchi
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    If you are in LA then I would suggest swinging by Freestyle and trying their Arista edu ultra. I have tried a box of it in the 100 speed and it was fine. It is probably an old emulsion style film.. Otherwise I would try the Kodak TXP 320. Very flexible old traditional grain film.
    Dennis
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Ilford FP4+ is another unflappable mainstay.
     
  4. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    Efke PL25 - fantastic stuff, straight out of the 1940s
     
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Efke PL25, Efke PL100, Ilford FP4+, Kodak TXP 320 and my favorite, Kodak Tmax-400.
     
  6. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I recommend A&I if you can't process it yourself. They are charging a bundle for 8x10. As far as collaborating with them, i'm sure they could steer you in the right direction but i don't think they do nearly as much traditional b+w printing anymore from lf negs.

    vinny
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd recommend Tri-X for the Hollywood look, particularly if you are using hot lights like Hurrell. The spectral sensitivity of Efke PL25 is closer to ortho film (but isn't an ortho film--it's in between ortho and panchromatic), which is an older look than the 1940s, and of course it's really slow. Efke PL100 and Ilford FP4+ are in the right ballpark tonally, but on the slow side if you're not using strobes. T-Max 100 and 400 are very capable films, but the spectral sensitivity is very linear like B&W video, so the look is quite different from traditional films.

    Aside from the tonality of the film and the paper you're printing on, the look of the classic lenses, and the lighting (which is the most important thing), much of the classic Hollywood look comes from hand retouching of large negatives, so there's a whole range of skills and materials to master.
     
  8. RoBBo

    RoBBo Member

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    Arista Ultra 200.
    Absolutely wonderful film, and it's cheap as hell too.
    It's Foma 200 if you're interested in any data on the film, search for that.
    I use the 100 version for my work in that style, which is 11x14 (http://flickr.com/photos/falcon_awesome/sets/72157600211157086/) and it works wonders, though, the 200 seems to have a slight boost in red sensitivity, which, if you were shooting like I do (Dark dark makeup and dark red filters to minimize retouching, I do none beyond spotting.) would be very helpful.
    However, it's basically the exact opposite of what you want if you're looking for the early Hurrell look with the bronzed skin, that requires some heavy retouching to get the 'look' right though.
    I'd suggest the Efke 50 if that's what you're going for, it has the same spectral sensitivity that David mentioned of the 25, but a whole stop more speed, and much like the Foma/Arista, is pretty damn cheap.
     
  9. Karchi

    Karchi Member

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    Thanks guys for the quick responses. Great information! I can't seem to find anyone selling the Efke here in LA. The Arista I can can get my hands on quickly, so as the TriX. It is not important for me to match an exact look and period authentically. As a matter of fact it is going to have to be sort of a hybrid. I won't have the luxury of hot lights as I am setting up on a location and no budget for rentals -- my strobes will have to do. I'll take probably about 5 monolights with the toys to make sure I can play with the spot lighting style of Hurrell, but the 8 1/2" lens I am going to use seem as if the coating got damaged (did they have coating on lenses back then?) In other words, it looks hazed over on the front element, which I assume will give a sensibility from a much older period. When I am testing I'll have to make decision what aspect of the period I'll embrace more depending on the over all result I am getting. I suspect I'll have considerable light fall off. I wish I could use hot lights -- perhaps it is wiser to use strobes anyway as I have to do the work quickly and in an environment where people's spirits going to be high and jovial, so forget the sterile/calm sitting session.

    I am concerned about developing and printing though. I don't personally have the hands on skills and A&I is too big and commercial for the personal approach I was hoping for (at the end that maybe my only option). I was hoping I could find an old-timer/master around here who'd be willing to collaborate. I will need help with paper, spotting/retouching... all that good stuff.

    Thanks again, keep the thread going, it is very helpful to hear all your feedback.
    Thanks,
    Karchi
     
  10. Skorzen

    Skorzen Member

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    Isn't freestyle right around there? They have the best prices I have seen on Efke film.
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Efke 25 gives me the closest rendition as I remember it from the 30's. Its speed is similar, although a little slower. The pan/ortho emulsion also seems closer to the color interpretation of the 30's films.

    Tri-X did not come out until the end of the great Hollywood look period. My second choice is Efke 100 and then FP4+.
    For work other than portraits which is to be printed with any of the alt processes I don;t think anything touches FP4+.

    Freestyle Photo stocks all the Efke films.
     
  12. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The front element sounds hazy so that will cut your contrast and make your highlights glow. that is not necessarily a quality of old photos. they had nice clear lenses in the 40s and coatings. The hot light look you are talking about might acutally be a small light source look instead. There is no reason hot lights can't look just like strobes. And you can use round reflectors with difuse over them to have a hollywood look. Get the butterfly lighting going and put a bright light in the hair and a spot on the background. You might try using a green filter.
    Dennis
     
  13. Karchi

    Karchi Member

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    freestyle is here, but when i searched for efke in their catalogue nothing came up, i'll check again.
     
  14. Karchi

    Karchi Member

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    my bad, they do have them, that's very exciting! :smile:
     
  15. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    You could try Franks Photo Lab in Van Nuys. I used them several years ago before i had my own darkroom.
     
  16. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    Freestyle has the Efke films - and there used to be a custom lab in LA called "perfect exposure" or something like that, but I don't know if they're still around. There's always Cox, but that's quite a bit away (Sacramento, I think). Maybe someone at Freestyle could help out?
     
  17. Karchi

    Karchi Member

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    thanks guys for all the info. i did ask freestyle, but they really didn't have a lead for a lab, i'll figure something out. i couldn't find any info on frank's photo lab although i have not yet tried the yellow pages or call 411. there is a gallery called the perfect exposure in mid-wilshire area, i don't know if they turned into a gallery, i'll call them and find out. if all else fails A&I be it. it'd be great if i could do it all myself, but it is just not in the cards right now. :sad: the good news, however, is that i am dusting off this 8X10 baby. it has been sitting in a box for the past fifteen years. i never shot it before and have no idea when any one shot with it last. it was a staff camera at warner bros. back in the 40s & 50s. it is being revamped right now. it's going to be great to see light going through its lenses after all this time. also, i am dusting off my linhof 4X5 (i haven't shot that one for at least 3-4 years). i am really excited! :smile:
     
  18. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Grain isn't particularly critical. You should probably shoot what you're used to, if it's available. HP5, FP4, TMX, TMY, 320TX all work fine.