12x20 for part of the summer...I'm excited!
So my professor is loaning me his F&S 12x20 with a couple of lenses (14 inch and 30 inch) for May/June. I figure it's time to get serious with buying some film now.
I've never used Ilford or Bergger or anything other than TMax, but plan on making some alt-prints with these negs.
I'm looking for suggestions on films and speeds and even locations to buy the stuff. I have the usual suspects lined up, but am maybe looking for some other advice not easily found in a quick search.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Tmax 400, get it at JandC......none better... You can also try the JandC 400 film if you dont need to do much expansion as well as the Ilford FP4 and HP5...my personal favorite is Tmx 400 in Pyrocat for alt printing.
Originally Posted by Michael Slade
give me a call.
I've never had much luck shooting TMax for getting much expansion. I have heard that Ilford films expand much better. (not to get on a tangent...).
Also I will not have access to any Pyro, so I figure I'll do a more 'traditional' developer.
I'd be afraid I'd be biting off more than I can chew tackling the 12x20 *and* Pyro. Whew!
Pyro isn't a big deal to tackle. If you go with the times/temps of the Massive Dev Chart, you'll be close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades and government work. Typically, you rate film developed in Pyro developers about 1 stop slower than manufacturer recommended ISO - so in other words, best results from FP4+ are obtained at ISO 64, not 125. HP5+ is about 200, and so on.
Why won't you have access to Pyro? all it takes is $25 and a phonecall to Photographers Formulary or B&H. Get Pyrocat HD - trust me, it's cheap, lasts forever, and you won't regret it, especially when doing alt process printing. I'd say go for platinum/palladium if you want to alt print your 12x20s. You can still coax good prints with silver papers out of the negs you make for pt/pd if you use VC paper, and print around grade 1/2 to grade 1. If you go for some of the other alt processes, like albumen, not only is the learning curve steeper, but so is the density curve on your film, and they'll be unprintable in another medium.
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Originally Posted by Michael Slade
I second and third Jorge's suggestion about TMAX 400. Used with Pyrocat you should get full film speed.
Purchase a box of 4x5 and make some tests. It will really pay off in the long run.
Maybe a more accurate thing to say is 'I don't have access to Pyro *intellectually*'. I tried Pyro years ago and failed miserably and after about 4-5 attempts at ruining what I thought were pretty good negatives, I switched back.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
I would hate to start messing around with too many variables all at once. Maybe I'm under estimating myself in this regard, but I am feeling like baby steps are a good thing for me right now.
You probably don't know this, but I haven't shot film in about 8 years, and the last large format I shot was my V8 'Dorff. The jump up to 12x20 will be, for me, a bit of a learning curve I think.
Lets see. Its the middle of April and you want 12x20 film for May and June. That could be tough. You may have to shoot what you can get, not your first choice. Most of the time 12xi20 is special order.
I would call J&C and find out what they have in stock. They list on their web site that they have some Ilford in stock in 12x20. They just did a big order of Kodak T-max film, and may have some of that. But, I would CALL them.
As for developers, I use d-76, d-23 split and pyro for alt work. If you have never used pyro, then I would suggest you wait on trying it until you have time to really play with it. You have a lot of new things going on shooting the big camera, developing the big negs, etc. Keep the variables to a minimum.
Which ever film you get, order some 4x5 or 5x7 of the same film and do your testing on the small film. You should be able to have it fully tested before the ULF film arrives.
All of the films you mention can work with alt processes. You might also consider J&C Classic 400. It reminds me of Tri-x. If you are going to do platinum, dick Arentz's book has pretty good development times for several films in the back of the book. His time for J&C Classic was spot on with my testing. His times provide a great place to start.
Michael, this discussion is timely as I've been working on my 12X20 most of the week. It's also a Folmer so maybe some of what I've learned will be of value to you. I'll assume the person you're borrowing it from will also provide the lenses? 30" would be un-useable on mine as max bellow is 24" and I can just get a 600mm APO Skopar focused if I tilt the lens out a bit. 19" seems a nice length for a 1220. I've done a few shots previous with mine but un-successfully. I installed a new SatinSnow ground glass last weekend as the one it came to me with was some piece of junk made with a sand blaster. That done, I started measuring my 4 holders. All 4 are different. I have 1 original folmer holder, 1 folmer glass plate holder with film sheathes, one Korona type holder (I modified the camera for this) and one Brubaker holder. I found the original Folmer holder to be the worst of any for registration. It has a 3mm difference between film plane and GG plane. The Brubaker holder has about a 1mm difference, and surprisingly the Korona and the Folmer plate holder were pretty much dead on. Once I had these "knowns" I went outdoors 2 nights ago in bright afternoon sun and set up worse case scenarios where the sun was looking at a straight angle against the light trap and dark slide light trap. Lots of leaks to fix. At least all of the problems are knowns now and I feel pretty confident that the camera will be useable this weekend for a late trip into Death Valley. Hey, the cheap film (I got some Efke 100 that J&C was offloading because it was getting near expiration) is 6 bucks a sheet.
Robert is bailing me out on the short-time film order. Thanks Robert.
I was thinking that I'd kind of go through the camera a bit, but really I don't want to do too much to it. The gentelman I'm borrowing it from is quite the wood-worker and I figure if he needed/wanted anything done to it, it's probably already done, or I'd screw it up.
A new ground-glass might be a nice way to pay him back for the offer to borrow the camera though. Might have to think about that.
I thought for leaks on both holders and camera I'd put in some RC paper and take it outside for a few hours and see what happens.
Jim, DV should be very nice right now. I miss that part of living in Vegas (but the rest I could leave behind...and did).
I don't know which holders he has, but he didn't mention any probs with the bellows and using the 30 inch lens (red-dot). He did say that my 24 inch red dot would be pretty much normal on the camera, so I'll try it out and see. I also have this MASSIVE Reis tripod from the 30's that will come in handy. Glad I held onto it now.
I have heard stories of a magical developing process that someone here knows about. If they'd like to share technique and ideas I would be very glad to hear them.