Thinking of trying J&C film - quirks?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Digidurst, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hi all! I'm thinking of trying J&C film in the 35mm, 120 & 4x5 formats. I read on their website that the ISO 100 speed variety does well with D76. What about the 200 or 400? And I don't remember which forum I read it in but is it true that the roll film isn't numbered? What about the sheet film; How are you guys finding the quality? Happy?

    I know there have been numerous posts on this subject but I didn't find much info on the higher speed films so I will appreciate the input.

    Thanks in advance :smile:
     
  2. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I like the Pro 100 (120 size) in Microdol-X 1:3. I soup it for 16.5 minutes at 68F. This image was done with that combo.

    The Classic 200 is also a great film. I've had excellent results in a number of developers - HC-110, Microdol-X, Rodinal, Ilfosol-S, and Folgernol. This image was processed in Ilfosol-S 1:9 in a Unidrum (5X7 film size).

    I drum processed this Classic 200 image in Diafine. I'm still working out the kinks with that soup.

    This image shot on 5X7 Classic 200 and was souped in Folgernol. The day was quite foggy, so this probably isn't the best example of that film/developer combination.

    I'll be shooting some 8X10 Pro 100 soon (tonight, I hope) and will have some examples up in my gallery shortly.
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    JC Pro 100 is a very good film
    Works well in Rodinal, DDX, Clayton F76+

    The only problem I've found is that the emulsion is a softy, has to be treated very carefully when wet.
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    classic 200 does well in Pyrocat-HD but has little ability to expand. In the right lighting conditions, hubba-hubba.
     
  5. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    The 100 doesn't come in 35mm, but I use it in 120 and find it to be very good in Rodinal, D76 1+1 and PC-TEA. It is a soft emulsion, and you have to be really careful with it when it's wet. I get an occasional pinhole with it, even though I use no chems above 68 deg and a water stop with TF4 fix.

    The 400 is a good all around film, slightly low in contrast, which works well with my condenser enlargers. Developed in D76 or A49 it delivers what I would call medium sized good looking grain. Stick to around 9x enlargements in 35mm and it looks good. In 120 you can go pretty big before the grain really gets in your face.

    The 200 is my favorite of the bunch, and as far as I am concerned can hold it's own against any film on the market. Rodinal 1+100 looks great to me with this film, and in D76 it shows almost no grain. I don't think it's a 200 film though, not in Rodinal at least. More like 125 for my way of doing things. It'll get close to 200 in D76 1+1 though.

    There are no frame numbers on the 120 film. 35mm has 'em. I use a Sharpie to number the frames on the 120, (after the film is dry, of course).

    Oh yeah..the 100 curls a lot. The other two curl some, but will flatten out a bit after they've been sleeved for a while.
     
  6. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    Check out Freestyle Photo. Their Arista EDU line is cheaper and much more reliable (sheet film). I bought a pack of Arista EDU 200 4x5 - 100 sheets, for only $29.99. At J&C, they want $9.99 for 25 sheets.

    Tell me what you will, but these films are nothing like Tri-x, Tmax, HP5, etc. Especially in terms of consistancy. They both are "okay" films. So personally, I'm inclined to pick the cheapest one! With these films, its not worth the time to do testings just to see which one performs better. The more important thing is that you get your film tested and tuned in for optimum results..

    I first tried out J&C 100 where I ended up spending more than a month figuring out why theres a scratch on the emulsion. I learned the lesson the hard way and just ended up tossing the suspected bad batch. So how valuable is your time to you? Either way, when I buy these bargain films, I anticipate shooting unimportant images. If it were a paid portrait sitting/assignment - never!

    Andy
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like the J&C Classic 400. It was the same film as Arista.EDU 400, but I think that's changed. Classic 400 is FortePan 400. If you go to my APUG gallery you can find a few 5x7" shots with it (some might be listed as Arista.EDU, but at the time, they were still the same film).

    The main quirk I've found is the softness of the emulsion, so handle it carefully, and you will want to be particularly cautious if you process sheet film in open trays.
     
  8. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    The problem with Arista.EDU is that the current Forte-manufactured stuff isn't long for this world.

    Forte seems to show signs of continuing, but Freestyle's own sales reps will tell you that the present Arista.EDU line is going away. There is some talk that Foma-manufactured film and paper will eventually replace it, but this is some ways off in the future.

    I just visited their website, however, and it appears Arista.EDU sheet film is still in stock. The same cannot be said for Arista.EDU 100 in 135, sadly.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I'm happy enough with the J&C Pro 100 that I just the other day placed an order for my second increment of ten rolls of 120; along with it, I ordered a box of Classic 200 in 3x4 size and a couple rolls of the Lucky SHD 400 (120) to try.

    Of course, now that I've ordered the 3x4 film and have film sheaths in hand, I can't seem to find my 3x4 adapter frames (to fit 3x4 film sheaths or plates in a 9x12 cm plate holder).
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I'm a regular user of all of the J&C films in 120, and the 100 and 200 in 4x5 and 8x10. The films are inexpensive and do have a few problems, but overall they're extremely capable films if you understand their strengths and weaknesses.

    For the 100 speed film, the greatest weakness is the paper backing on the 120 rolls. Plain and simple: It sucks. The paper's cheap, there's no tape at the end, it's not really reliable for use in "red window" cameras, and it tends to end up loose when you're done with the roll. But if you use it in a camera without a red window and load/unload in dim light, you'll be fine. They include a plastic holder for the film, so once you've got it in the holder it's light-tight.

    The other big issue with the 100 speed film is the softness of the emulsion. When it's wet, it's easily scratched by a fingernail or by the corner of a sheet of film. You must handle it gently, and using a hardening fixer isn't a bad idea.

    There have been numerous reports of pinholes and other emulsion imperfections with this film, but after shooting through a whole bunch of it I have yet to see these problems first hand. Perhaps I do something in my processing that's stopping the holes from forming, or perhaps I've just been lucky. Regardless, I've been quite satisfied with the film and it's dirt cheap. (I develop it exclusively in Pyrocat-HD these days, as the negatives are just amazing.)

    The 200 speed film is similar to a lot of other films on the market. Whether it's exactly the same as Forte 200 or a very close relative, it's got the same quirks as Forte film. The roll film base is very curly; make sure you weigh it down when you hang it to dry. Again, I've not had any emulsion imprefections with this film. I like the grain and tonality of this film a lot (I shoot it at 125), and the price is very good. It's not quite as soft as the J&C 100, but it still requires careful handling when wet.

    My favorite film remains Efke 100, but both of the films mentioned above have been very good for me and I do use them a lot. They're much cheaper than the Efke, and since I'm only shooting for myself I'm willing to take the chance that I might get a bad spot on a shot from time to time. (Anything that I consider important enough to keep, I'll shoot a 2nd frame.)

    Given the price, you might as well try them out. You never know if they're right for you without trying them.
     
  11. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    OK, Now I'm curious...

    Have any of you who have had problems with these films ever emailed John at J&C to try to work out the issues? I've found that he is very responsive to comments and questions and truely wants to deliver a quality product at a good price.

    I haven't had any problems with the J&C Classic Pan films (200 and 400), and the only issues I've had with the Pro 100 was excessive curling (solved that one) and two rolls where I had light leaks (also solved that problem).

    The curling issue was solved by changing the way I dry the film. By drying in a slightly higher humidity, the curling issue stopped being a problem. The light leak issue was my fault, I secured the rolls with rubber bands instead of tape. Now that the film is packaged in those nice 120 film cans, there really isn't any reason for light leaks. I will put a qualifier on this - Since I don't use any cameras or backs that use a red window for frame counting, so I can't speak for the effectiveness of the paper in that circumstance.

    I prefer the look of the J&C 200 and 400 films to Plus-X and Tri-X. The 100 reminds me a lot of my all time favorite B&W film, Verichrome. I hope that J&C makes it available in 5X7...
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Actually, Bob, there was a prolonged thread here someplace concerning the emulsion defects and pinholes in the Pro 100. The upshot was that a certain number of coating defects were unavoidable because of the WWII vintage equipment being used to coat the film, but pinholes and bubbles were related to the very soft emulsion (similar in that respect to Efke films), which require keeping process temperature no higher than 20C, avoiding acid stop bath even with developers for which it's not normally a problem, and handling with great care to avoid scratching while the emulsion is wet.

    At this point, I have a couple rolls in the tank waiting to be processed (putting it off until my taxes are done, and the taxes keep getting pushed back), two more exposed in their cans on my desk, and a couple more in the pipeline; I just received a box today with ten more rolls. My first two rolls had scratches (made by the camera, since corrected) and emulsion defects (not repeated with better temp control and water stop); the 3rd roll was perfect. I'm hooked.

    I don't think it's that much like Verichrome Pan, but I haven't shot any VP in about 30 years -- I was away from photography when it was discontinued and wasn't shooting MF during the short periods I was back between high school and 2003. I will say, however, that I've stopped looking for an ISO 100 film -- at this price and with the cans included, the only failing I see is the very soft backing paper. I haven't seen any fog-through or light leaks from red windows, the resolution and latitude are excellent, and the film speed seems closer to the ISO rating than most films.