Worst Film / Film + Developer

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by steve, May 30, 2003.

  1. steve

    steve Member

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    Everyone likes to talk about the "best" or their "favorite" film, or film and developer combination.

    Just for fun, so that others can avoid making the same mistake, what's your experience and opinion of the worst film or film and developer combo - and most importantly - why?

    This is sort of like staying away from certain foods - my nomination for worst food - frozen spinach on a stick.

    My nomination for worst film - Velvia. Why? I had to do job for a client and was talked into using Velvia (given 5 rolls as free samples). I shot one roll as a test and it looked okay in that Velvia hyper-color sort of way. I figured that since the shot I had to do was at dawn, that it would maybe increase color saturation of the reds in the sky.

    Oooooh. Big Mistake. I shot three rolls of 120. Not one usable frame despite careful bracketing. It is the only film I think I've ever shot that had blocked shadows and blown-out highlights within the same frame. And that was the best exposure. The rest were either totally blocked or totally blown out. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

    I know, my fault. High contrast situation + high contrast film. Don't do this.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Classic/Fortepan 400. Consider this a film that maxes out with a density range suitable for N-1, good down to N-4 at least. Flat, flat, flat. Also the base is thin, edges rough, and the emulsion is very prone to scratches. I tested about 2/3 of a box of 8x10" and tossed the rest, figuring I could use the freezer space more than the film.

    Some films that are kind of off-the-scale "bad" can produce interesting effects. Fomapan T200 has a kind of 1930s steely grey kind of A. L. Coburn kind of Fritz Lang look. Not what I'd want to use every day, but it's interesting for atmospheric kinds of effects.

    I also have about 350 feet of 35mm Double-X movie stock that must be at least 25 years old that I keep around for effects. Very heavy base fog and grainy, but it's kind of interesting in Dektol--a very long scale film.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    I too had 4 boxes of 8x10 Forte 400 and never used and then some fool offered to pay more than I paid and now it is taking up space at his house.

    lee\c
     
  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Not to mention the absolutely bilious color balance. I wholeheartedly second your nomination.

    Try EPY with an 85B filter. You'll never use any other chrome film.
     
  5. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Short answer: Tmax in anything.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also don't have much of a taste for the supersaturated films like Velvia or E100VS, and such.

    T-Max 100 has its place. It really produces a sharp smooth look for certain things. T-Max 400 has never appealed to me, though.
     
  7. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Hey! I shoot TMax 100! :smile:

    But only for my MF and 35mm and even then once in a while.

    Hmmmmmmmm.........worst film....

    I have a couple. I had bad luck with Fuji Neopan. It just seemed to have no contrast. Sort of turned me off.

    I also gotta say that I LOATHE Portra B+W film! What a dog! I got a pro-pack of the 120 just to play with it. I so far have had some good experiences with XP2.

    Well I forgot that not everyone thinks like Ilford. The Portra comes back with a HIDEOUS orange base to it! Now why the hell would I want that? Ick.
     
  8. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I can't stand Tmax 3200, Delta blows it out of the H2o. Portra BW is designed to print on color paper on the same chanel as the portra color films. Great for event shooters, not great for artsy types :wink:. As far as chemicals go, I really dislike lauder chemicals. Something about selling working strength chemicals in gallon bottles scares me.
     
  9. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I have a couple of film developer combinations I do not like, by starting with a developer I just cannot get decent results with TMAX developer no matter what film I use. I hate the results.

    OK for films, Agfapan 400 developed in D76 or Rodinal...ecch but Agfapan 100 is a different story. Kodak D3200 developed in anything. And last but no least 2 films from China called Shanghai GP3 and SHD-100. These are aold thick emulsion films taht work great in Pyro but the quality control is terrible and actually has dust and stuff stuck to the emulsion :sad:

    Thats it from me

    Mike
     
  10. docholliday

    docholliday Member

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    For me, anything NOT Kodak is good. Actually, for product/commercial and landscape work, Velvia is my favourite. For anything else, Provia 100F.

    For B&W, Panatomic-X is my favourite, but since it's discontinued, Polaroid 55 or 665 (it's Panatomic-X). Next would be Ilford FP-4, then HP5, Then PanF, in Ilfotec-DD-X.

    For colour neg, Fuji NPC, then NPH (the NEW NPH), then NPZ.

    My overall favourite portrait film...Ilford SFX in DD-X.

    Kodak colour film is too "pastel-ly" and has an easter-egg-like palette, even when printed on Portra. Since I run my own RA-4, Ilford Colors is my favourite paper.
     
  11. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    My all time favourite is FP4, developed in either DD-X or D76.
    Next in line is Technichal Pan in Technidol, lovely film!
    I use both films for landscape images and details in nature.
    Have recently tried my hand at Scala B/W slide film. If you get the exposure exactly right (very essential with this film), it is the "fibre print" quality in slide films. Lovely for landscapes!
     
  12. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I was thinking of this ... Some of the early Kodak Color Negative films were pretty harsh...

    However, my all-time chioce fo BAD films are *most* of the Polaroid "amateur" films - and their 66* - 67* and "Polapan" "proofing" films. To me. there is nothing of much value in *any* of them as "savable" image film.
    I use them a lot in the Polaroid back for the Hasselblads .. because that is the only choice I have. Still ... the "reliablity" of the system is not the best. One *must* clean those damned rollers every time, or suffer the potential loss of the entrie remaining film pack. They are also unresonably expensive.

    Every time I use them, I mumble the mantra: "I HATE Polaroid film, I HATE Polaroid film...
     
  13. Phil Handforth

    Phil Handforth Member

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    For me, 'instant' film is just a tool and essential for location shooting. However, I prefer Fuji 100FPC for proofing purposes, far more stable and constant than Polaroid materials in my experience.
     
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  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ddoes anyone remember the Polaroid "instant" 35mm films? They didn't have grain, they had lines...

    I've never got good results with any "advanced grain shape technology" film. Whether its Ilford or Kodak or someone else, they just don't behave like I'm used to.

    For an all time high, try Delta 400 in monobath developer...
     
  16. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I dont get it, everybody dumps on the TMX films and for me they are the best I have ever used. People complained that "new films" had no latitude like the old super xx etc, that you could not change the curve etc, etc. So Kodak goes and makes a film that you can change to fit your requirements, high contrast, low contrast...etc etc...and what do people do? they complain, ah is too hard to use, to finicky, I get too much contrast, I dont get enough contrast.....lol..go figure.

    For me the worst film goes back to my 35 mm days and it is tech pan....sure I got fine grain, but those grays where among the ugliest I have ever seen. The highlights and the shadows were fine, but them middle tones...ugh! the ugliest I have ever seen, looked like mud seen through a dirty glass.....
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Jorge,
    I would almost agree on Tech pan. Except that my photos don't tend to have a lot of mid tones anyway, just bright and dark... But the few TP negatives I have that actually have greys in them - yes.
     
  18. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...well yes I guess I forgot to mention if you could get the &·$·" thing to give you middle grays....
     
  19. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    Once you get the "hang" of Tech Pan, it is actually a lovely film. I do agree that it takes some doing, and lots of trial and error, to understand how to work that film. Once I figured it out, I fell in love with it.
     
  20. roy

    roy Member

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    On the few occasions I have used TechPan I have used a very highly diluted Rodinal with vigorous agitation. I believe Barry Thornton has formulated a new developer for this film.
    roy
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I went through a Tech Pan phase, almost 20 years ago. I processed in Technidol, and I still have a few favorites among those negatives, but eventually I came to the realization that for fine grain it's better and easier just to use a bigger camera.
     
  22. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I agree with David. I worked long and hard with the 35mm version, got some great negatives, then tried the 120 version (645) again got some great negatives. Then I tried the 4x5 sheet film version and what a pain. Loading the film into the holders was a challenge due to the thin base and coupled with the slow speed was not worth the effort.

    Mike
     
  23. lee

    lee Member

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    I don't see anything to gain with very slow film in 4x5 and larger. Where I live wind is something to deal with. I like the 400 speed films for that task. Grain is not a problem at the sizes I project to.

    lee\c
     
  24. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Having just moved house and my darkroom I've finally got round to sorting out the film stock in the fridge in the darkroom. I've found rolls of obscure film that I've been given to try over the years, perhaps it would be fun to carry out a few tests to see which give the worst results. Of those that I've tried Fortepan, in both 120 roll film and 4 x 5 developed in just about any developer produced awful results. Of the tried and tested recognised combinations, any of the Tmax range in HC110 are awful IMO and I don't blame the developer.
     
  25. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    TMX and HC110 at the dilutions recommended by Kodak produces just about the worst results. When I was in a bind here with no developer and the only thing available was hc110 I bought a bottle and used dilution B at half strenght (1:30 instead of 1:15) and got wonderful results, very sharp negs with great shadows! I tried this because I always used TMX on TMX RS developer at half strenght (1:9 instead of 1:4) and always got consistent results.
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like TMX in D-76 (1+1), particularly when I want crisp, clean results with 35mm or medium format. I've never come to terms with TMY.

    My favorite combinations of late are Tri-X/PMK for enlargement or in ABC for contact printing or in Acufine for speed. I like Delta 400 in Perceptol quite a lot, but it doesn't come in sheet sizes. If it did, I would use it more.