Suggest a 400 film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by steelneck, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. steelneck

    steelneck Member

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    I want to find me a favorite 400 35mm film to stick to and learn. A condition is that it should work well together with Rodinal (I have no issue with grain), another condition is that i do not want Kodak. I have tried Foma 400, with that i get a tonality that i like at EI 200, but it is more like a 200 iso film with large grain, at EI 400 i have not got results that i like.

    What about Kentmere, Ilford Hp5+, Fuji Neopan 400 or Rollei 400S/RPX400? (have i missed any?)

    It would be a + if the film is avail. as rollfilm too.

    I want to hear from people with experience with the film souped in Rodinal.
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    HP5+
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    HP5 is a superb film, I use it in LF but have been very happy with Delta 400 for smaller formats, it's available 35mm &. 120.

    Ian
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    HP5 also!

    Jeff
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Tri-X is probably the finest ISO 400 film on the market. Why are you prejudiced against Kodak?
     
  6. Sureshot68

    Sureshot68 Member

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    I've recently used XP2 and developed it in Diafine. The results came out better than expected. It's the only roll of film I had at the time and wanted to test a camera I had just received via eBay. There was a 14 day return period and I wanted to test right away. I read somewhere that XP2 can be developed in Diafine (or any other b/w developer) in addition to regular C41 processing.
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    HP5.
     
  8. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Neopan 400, best there is :smile:
     
  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I beg to differ, Tmax, Delta400, Neopan400 are all finer grained than Tri-X in addition HP5+ is comparable grain wise than Tri-X, if developed with the right developer like DD-X it's actually finer IMHO.

    Anyway the OP said he doesn't want grain... So my suggestion...

    Assuming you are shooting 120, HP5+ will be fine grained enough for you.

    If shooing 35mm, either HP5+ or Delta400.

    Tmax personally I find very fine but "boring" looking.

    Just buy a roll of each, soup them all in DD-X FIRST, see which two you like best, then shoot those two against each other and soup that in Rodinal and you'll probably have the best choice.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Well, there's a lot more to a film than granularity/graininess. OP specifically said he's ok with grain (obviously if he's using Rodinal).

    I would recommend OP decide on some basic characteristics first, narrow the list down and try one or two films. Trying them all is pointless unless you're going to spend a year shooting many, many rolls of each and refining each one.

    Yes, Tri-X is a wonderful film. So is TMY-2. But OP doesn't want to use Kodak. End of story. He's left with HP5+, Delta 400 and Fuji. Delta is a tabular grained film which will look different than HP5+. So maybe a good try would be HP5+ and Delta 400. Start with those two. They are both superb films as Ian Grant noted above. If Rodinal is your developer, use Rodinal.
     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I certainly agree with your comment on the TMax films. They are also rather fussy to develop.

    I think the OP said that grain was not important. Which is good because HP5+ is grainy. While FP4+ is good I don't like the look of HP5+.

    Kodak reformulated Tri-X a few years ago and it is finer grained now. It has a certain look that other fast films do not have. It is certainly a favorite with professionals.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013
  12. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I think this quote about covers it. There are a few other alternatives (all I can think of are the ones mentioned by the OP: Kentmere, Foma, Rollei), but the Ilford offerings seem like the natural place to start. I kind of like Fomapan 400, but it seems like Rodinal would emphasize all its weakest characteristics, especially in 35mm.

    To my eye, HP5+ and TX are more similar than different in normal usage. I mean, obviously there *are* differences---they behave very differently in Diafine, for instance---but at box speed, normal lighting and contrast, no special effects, those differences aren't that big (certainly as compared to T-grain vs. conventional-grain films, e.g.). I don't think TX is automatically a reason to reconsider the OP's desire not to use Kodak.

    -NT
     
  13. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    What Michael R says, good advice. HP5 with Rodinal will give a fair bit of grain, Delta much less...test it to see what you like. I use Tri-X in Pyrocat which gives fine grain, I'm sure that HP5 in Pyrocat will deliver similar results.
     
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  15. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've never done Neopan 400 in rodianl, but many folks on the net say it's great. The OP says it would be nice to have both 35 & 120 formats available, but Neopan is NLA in 120.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've been very surprised by the fine grain I'm getting with HP5 in Pyrocat it's a superb combination, I've made quite a few large exhibition prints.

    For 20 years I was using Rodinal for everything except the odd fast films but Pyrocat is like Rodinal on steroids with even finer grain.


    Ian
     
  17. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Hmmm... I'm usually in agreement with you, Gerald. But I'm rather surprised to see someone with your knowledge and experience jump in on the "TMax films are boring" business. They are different, but boring? How, specifically is TMax boring? I also dispute the notion they are fussy to develop. They are a little more sensitive, but not much, and contrary to what has become the conventional wisdom regarding TMax, they are not prone to hot highlights or anything like that.

    As for Tri-X, it is certainly an excellent film. But I'd wager many of the people who use it think they are using "Tri-X", not the latest version of a film that has undergone several changes since their heroes used it. There is also the difference between Tri-X 400 and 320 (which is not available in 35mm). So, what specifically makes Tri-X 400 the finest 400 speed film?
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    tmax films are weird ...
    i shot a boatload of 100 and 400
    when i did newspaper work. 100 blocked up like mad with flash
    400 was sweet.
    they aren't fussy, i just don't like the uv layer in the 400 speed, it takes forever to contact print.
    they both look beautifully grainy when souped to max density in coffee.

    if xxx isn't an option, i'd go for neopan its very nice

    YMMV
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    HP5+ at EI 800 in normal lighting, Rodinal 1+50 = great. HP5+ has a tendency to look a little flatter than most other films, not sure why. By giving it less exposure and developing longer, it really comes alive.
     
  20. nicholai

    nicholai Member

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    I dont understand the Kodak hate, i'd use Tri-X. If you're stubborn, use HP5+, its good, yes, but i still love tri-x.
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Perhaps "boring" doesn't describe my feeling, but I just don't like the TMax films. Don't like their look, and they exhaust fixer more rapidly than other films among other things. I don't mind grain and prefer older film formulations.
     
  22. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    My "goto film" is Fomapan 400 @EI 320 but instead of R09 I use the Fomadon LQN with great results.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Yea I somehow misread the grain comment, so now my answer is HP5+ all the way.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    The hate isn't hate, it's reality, Kodak will soon be gone. Someone will probably buy the Tri-x formulation, but knowing the age and size of the machines that coat the film, it might not make financial sense to re-design smaller machines and the larger machines are too big for demand.

    So it's a high likelihood it won't be around long, so why learn a films characteristics and then have to start over when it goes away, I think that's the OP's thought process.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I find Tmax doesn't have a shine that I like, the highlights are diminished and the the fine grain is there but the details aren't defined, I've ONLY souped it in DD-X but the point of buying it is for the grain characteristics and the bland look just doesn't wow me. I'm going to try over exposing it and see if that changes. But I just wasn't impressed.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  26. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Start out with Tri-X, its what everyone starts out on. If you shoot film, and you have not shot a fair amount of Tri-x it is very odd. Practically everything is compared to tri-x in d76, its like a baseline for testing almost. Anyway its a classic and should at least be experienced before it is one day gone.

    I also like tmax 400 as well, its very nice to use and enlarge. And I cannot disagree with the recommendations for HP5+ it is a very good performer as well. Every once in a while Ilford does promotion packs where you get 2for1 or buy 2 get 1 package deals of HP5+, that is a nice opportunity to buy it in bulk.

    If you are in the US, try the arista premium from freestyle, it is tri-x, or atleast the last of it that Kodak is selling to them to repackage.