I certainly agree with your comment on the TMax films. They are also rather fussy to develop.
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by tony lockerbie
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
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?
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
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.
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.
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.