What film to try first

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pesphoto, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    So I just bought my first medium format camera. Mamiya 654 1000s.
    Im contemplating what b/w film and devel combo to try first. From your experience, what would you do in my shoes to get the most out of medium format?
     
  2. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Try something simple like an old technology film and standard developer. Tri-X, Plus-X, HP5+, FP4+ for film. D76 or Rodinal developer.

    Or, if you're using 35mm and like your results, just use the same film in medium format with the same developer.
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Pick a popular, reliable, proven stock. Something from The Great Yellow Father, or dos-guyz-from-England.

    Pick a popular, reliable, proven developer. Something from The Great Yellow Father, or dos-guyz-from-England.

    This will help to keep things consistent, and give you a base to build on, that has the maximum of information, comparisons, and experience to draw on.

    Getting the most out of medium format is mostly a function of you, so keep it simple at first. When you are comfortable and feel in total control, go off on th Pyro stuff, less common films, etc. You will have the base line of "normal" to work from, and mastering the variables of new things will be much easier.

    JMO

    J
     
  4. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Thanks guys, Ive been a Trix and Rodinal or D76 guy for years so maybe starting with this combo makes sense to compare it to 35mm.
    But then I do want to branch out, slower speed films and different developers to really see what medium format can do.
    Should be fun...still waitng for the camera to arrive.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sound really good. Starting with something you are already very familiar with will really show you what's different. Since you already have good experience, I think you could start experimenting pretty quickly, but shoot and process a few rolls of your tried and true first.
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    If you want to try some slow films later on, consider Pan F+ and Efke 25. Both can produce beautiful prints and both look really good in D76 1:1 but you have to experiment to control the contrast.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ilford FP4+ or TMX in Rodinal. Both are beautiful in their own rights.
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Efke PL 50 is a gorgeous film also.
     
  9. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    For a slower film, Efke 25 in Rodinal (1+100) is well worth a try. Using 1+100 dilution and reducing the agitation helps tame the contrast, and gives a really nice "rich" tonality. The only thing I don't care for with this film is its tendency to curl.

    For something slightly faster, give Fuji Acros a try, also in Rodinal 1+100. Sharp, lovely tonality, and since it's MF, very little grain.

    I know you've asked about B+W, but if this is your first time using a camera larger than 35mm, you should also shoot a roll of slide film. You'll find yourself wondering if 6x4.5 is this good, what would the larger sizes be like. And thus begins the slide.... :wink:
     
  10. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    120 Tri-X can look reaaaally smooth when properly processed. I suggest you try transferring your 35mm experience to 120; within 2-3 rolls you should have nailed your exposure/dev time properly. Then you know you have a safe haven should you face an uncertain situation.

    After that, go crazy, and pick any exotic film you like from those already recommended. Be consistent, take notes, and only change one variable at a time.
     
  11. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas, the camera is due to land on Jan 2nd.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    This may not be relevant for pesphoto, given that s/he uses Tri-X, but some films do differ between formats. Foma films, for instance, have poor anti-halation characteristics and a clear-to-gray base in 35mm, but better anti-halation with a distinctly blue base in MF.
     
  13. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Im a he. Hey I work in Woonsocket!
     
  14. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    TX/D76 will set you up nicely, but I'd definitely try a tanning/staining dev some time, as the tonality from these is seriously smooth and good enough to eat!
     
  15. elekm

    elekm Member

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    TMax gets slammed a lot, but I like TMax 100 + Rodinal (1:75). Great combination.

    Ilford FP4+ is a wonderful film. If you're going to give the camera a try, just get something inexpensive but reliable. Tri-X will give you enough speed that you can hand hold most of your shots.

    Check those foam seals. On almost any Japanese camera more than 15 years old, those will need to be replaced. It's not a difficult job, but it's one that should be done.
     
  16. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Thanks, Ive changed many a light seal on my fixed lens rangefinders so I will check em out when it arrives.
     
  17. cahayapemburu

    cahayapemburu Member

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    TMY2. Brilliant in anything.

    Cheers!
     
  18. k8do

    k8do Member

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    Are you still on here Pesphoto?
    How did the 1000S work out?

    denny - 1000S
     
  19. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    um...well......I guess I realized I prefer my 35mm and sold it soon after I tried it.
    But if you want to try 645 its a nice camera, not too huge.
     
  20. robridge

    robridge Member

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    FP4+ and Ilford Ilfotec LC29 (1+19) at 8 minutes - consistent and predictable

    Roger
     
  21. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Decide on one film/developer combination then stick with it for one full year.