what's a good 35mm film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bobby L., Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Bobby L.

    Bobby L. Member

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    like the title says.

    checking out freestyle, I wqs curious what would be a good film out of these to use.

    Arista
    Efke
    Fortepan
    Foma Fomapan
    Ilford
    Kodak
    Fuji Neopan

    I like to shoot allot outdoors, and some indoors. I've been using kodak 400TX. 400 is the iso i mostly shoot at, because around here thats what I can find.

    When it comes to ISO film I'm not sure what speed to use in certain condition like anything that is below 400 ISO or above 400 ISO.
     
  2. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Try Neopan 1600! Beautiful film with the right light!
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Stick with TX. It's a great all around film, and when you feel you know one film inside and out, then you can begin to appreciate the attractions of other films.

    If you like the Tri-X look, a slower film of a similar ilk would be Ilford FP4+ or Efke/Adox 100. FP4+ will have greater consistency, but the tonality of Efke/Adox 100 is similarly attractive.

    Fortepan is no longer in production, so I wouldn't recommend starting out with it at this point, though it's not a bad film.
     
  4. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    400TX is one of the best you will ever find, But you might want to explore some slower films, too.
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    If all other film went away and Tri-x remained, I'd still be happy. If you want some over the top grain, the Neopan 1600 is nice. If you want a slower film that looks a lot like Tri-x, FP-4 would be a good one to try. I have had poor luck with Eastern Eurpean films (pinholes) so I try to stick to the big 3 for film Paper is another story.
     
  6. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Same for me. I really tried to get Efke 25 to work for me, but it always seemed that my favorite frames had pinholes in them. So now I stick with Tri-X 400 and Fuji ACROS 100. Nothing against Ilford, I just happen to like these two films best.
     
  7. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    02 April 2008

    I think 400TX is one of the best all-around films you will find. If you like the look, and results, you are getting keep on using it. If you have the occasion to shoot a slower film, with the same or similar look, I would recommend 125PX or FP4+.

    If you do your own processing it is hard to beat the "forgiveness" of 400TX souped in D76 either stock or (1:1).

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  8. Bobby L.

    Bobby L. Member

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    I do my own processing with D76 1:1, right now just using kodak chemicals, I know eventually I'll start experimenting with the other chemicals. with a local event coming up derby week, I'm hoping to get enough film to shoot plenty, and planning on picking some 1600 for the balloon glow, since this is at night, but what speed should i use, without a flash for night time shots. Because I don't have a flash for my canon EOS 3.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Arista: There are a couple of films bearing the Arista name. Most of the available stock, and the only ones currently in production are the films in the "Arista.EDU Ultra" line. These are repackaged Foma Fomapan films. The 100 speed stuff is nice. The 200 speed film is really nice, but don't expect to get a true 200 speed from it. For me, it likes to be rated at 160 to 125 depending upon lighting conditions. The 400 speed stuff doesn't hold a candle to Tri-X in terms of grain or speed, but has it's charms. I like the stuff for daylight use because it's not too fast and gives what I like to call and "old school" look. I rate it at anywhere from 250 to 320 and develop conservatively to keep the contrast from getting out of control.

    Efke: I don't use it. Can't help you with personal experience. I personally know one fellow who uses it once in a while for grins, but never for anything where quality control and consistency are important considerations.

    Fortepan: Out of production. Anything you can buy now is old stock. There won't be any more, and it was never that great to begin with, IMO. I do miss that company's warmtone papers though.

    Foma Fomapan: See my comments on Arista.EDU Ultra.

    Ilford: Spectacularly good films, all of them. In the same league with Kodak for quality control. FP4+ and HP5+ are analogs for Kodak's Plus-X and Tri-X. Delta 100 and Delta 400 are competition for Kodak's TMX and TMY.

    Kodak: My personal favorites. If all the other brands went away and the only B&W films left were Plus-X, Tri-X, TMX, TMY, and to a lesser extent TMZ; I wouldn't be at a loss.

    Fuji Neopan: Good stuff. Right up there with Kodak and Ilford on quality control and consistency. Neopan 400 is very similar to Tri-X at nominal speeds, though I think Tri-X behaves a little better when pushed. The Neopan 100 is nice too, and ACROS is supposed to be the bomb.

    I like to use slower films when lighting conditions permit. ISO 100 films are perfectly useable in daylight conditions for a good part of the year, but are too slow for handheld photography on days when there is heavy overcast.
     
  10. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi Bobby,

    When it comes to films, there is so much choice that you'll get conflicting recommendations on the boards. Honestly, you won't find any of the Big 3's (Ilford, Kodak, Fuji) films wanting for quality control or consistency. That's also true of older Agfa stocks that are still being sold. I've never used them, but i understand, as pointed out above, the smaller European firms don't match up quality-wise.

    Generally speaking, faster films yield coarser grain, which you'll notice on 35mm enlargements.

    The higher the ISO / ASA Number, the more sensitive to light the film is.

    With a more sensitive 'fast' film, say 400 ISO and above, you'll need less exposure, meaning a faster shutter speed and / or a narrower aperture. You can hand-hold the camera at lower light levels and still have reasonable depth of field without getting subject blur.

    With slower, ie less light-sensitive films (under 400 ISO) you'll need more exposure, meaning slower shutter speed and / or wider aperture. In lower light, hand-held images will be more susceptible to subject blur or hand-shake blur. Depending on the results you want, you might need a tripod.

    For outdoor use, you could try a slower (100-ish ISO) film and see how results differ. Do you have a tripod? Try using a slow film for the balloon glow, with multi-second exposure at a narrow aperture. Alternatively, push the Tri-X to 1600 and hand-hold the camera. I've done that and had good results in low light. If you buy 1600 ISO film, you could push that to 3200 ISO.

    There are also the mono C-41 films like Ilford's XP-2 Super (400 ISO) and Kodak and Fuji's equivalents. These are very flexible films based on colour film technology; you can over- or under- expose and still get decent negatives. they can be processed at any mini-lab and you'll get proof prints, the downside is a loss of control over the processing.

    Don't be afraid to experiment with different films and techniques. Also, don't be afraid to make 'mistakes'; that's how we learn. Use the internet, books and magazines to research things like film speed, film choice and other issues you might come across. Also, there are lots of helpful threads here on APUG. But there's nothing like personal experience to teach you, so take pictures and have fun, IMO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2008
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It's a very "broad" question. I can only speak for the big three ( Ilford, Kodak and Fuji). The quality and consistency is good for all 3. The older technology films such as Ilford HP5+ and FP4, probably allow greater latitude on both exposure and developer to be used in terms of producing good results.

    Ilford HP5+ may not be particularly cheap or as available in the U.S as in the U.K. and some of the Ilford developers may be difficult to get but if Perceptol and HP5+ are available then for some loss of speed( anything between EI 320 and 250)from the box speed of 400 you'll get remarkably small grain, great latitude on exposure and a great tonal range.

    pentaxuser
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

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    If you learn how to expose and develop, you can't go wrong with any.
    They all have different properties and characteristics, so its about finding which ones suit your aesthetics and technique.
     
  13. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Another vote for TX400, you can't go wrong. It's one of the best and could do almost anything.
    If you want slow, FP4.
    If you want some character Efke25.
     
  14. Bobby L.

    Bobby L. Member

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    thanxs for the replies everyone. I develop 2 rolls of 400 tx and done the same thing while developing, and didn't realize what happen until after the second roll was hanging to dry. I was using the wrong time chart for D76 (oops) so my films was coming out under develop. think I'll start using d76 straight for 6 3/4 minutes because that was the time i was using for d76 1:1 which the time for it is 9 3/4 minutes.

    the second roll didn't look as bad as the first one did but it was still way to grainy. I'll have to pay allot more attention to developing time on the films I do use. I that would explain me being absent minded twice today when it came to developing these films, earlier today and this evening. I think for now I'll stick with TRI-X, and pick up a roll of ilford off and on.
     
  15. efreddi

    efreddi Member

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    I use almost only TriX, in my opinion one of the best all-around film you may find.
    Sometime I would like a little less evident grain and all the rumors around the new TMax 400 make it so attractive that in the near future I will try it. But until then no change: TriX.




    Elia