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  1. #21
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    To each their own. I have shown people prints made with TMax400 and Tri-X400 side by side; experienced photographers and printers who can't spot a difference.
    Yes, to each their own. Perhaps I have just never gotten T-max to behave or perhaps most of the examples I have seen (from the local community college with the same instructor) have just been overly done. I know lots of people like these films but not for me.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  2. #22
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I should add too that you can have both in a film like TMax 400 or Delta 400. TMax is finer grained than Delta, and has sharpness that exceeds FP4+ and grain that is equal to it. Delta 400 is about as sharp but has grain somewhere in between FP4 and HP5.

    Both films are very nice alternatives to HP5 and/or FP4.
    +1 on this. Both are great films, a little more touchy in processing but otherwise not difficult to handle. "Touchy in processing" has its advantages too - one reason TMY-2 is my standard in 4x5 is the ease of zone system expansion and, to a lesser extent, contraction. (Not that it won't work, I just don't like the effect on local contrast of contraction beyond N-1 and if I need more will either rely on printing manipulation, going to a two bath developer, or both rather than conventional N-2 or more.) If you can be reasonably careful you'll have no problems with either TMY-2 or Delta 400. I think they look fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Ilford XPII
    Another excellent choice, if you don't mind having someone do C41 or doing it yourself. Rate it anywhere from 50 to 400 with excellent results, 800 with pretty good results. Exposing more just makes it finer grained (and slightly flatter but that's easily bumped back up in printing.)

    Someone mentioned pushing FP4+. I occasionally run it in Diafine at EI 200-250. One of the things I liked better about Plus-X was that it responded with more speed in Diafine, but it does still get a useful additional stop out or so out of FP4 (in practical terms, spare me the densitometery in this case.) Good for contrasty light, not so good for flat light regardless if it's dim enough to need the speed bump or not.

    Better yet, just get a medium format camera. I'm at least half serious. Since I got my two medium format cameras I really only shoot 35mm in low light where I need a very fast lens AND fast film, and even that may decline once I get the 80mm 1/9 for my Mamiya. HP5+ will not show grain worth noticing in your 12x16 prints from a medium format negative, even a 645 one. Used equipment nowadays is pretty affordable.

  3. #23

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    I do use medium format as well, an RB67. I have two types of photography. My 'serious' mode when I'm out on my own. In this case I take the RB67 and tripod and can take all the time I want. The other, more common, scenario is that I'm out with the family and have to fit in what I can get. This usually means no tripod or the children start moaning about how long I'm taking, hence the 'no tripod, camera shake, use HP5' situation! This is when I take the 35mm kit. I've tended to gravitate to printing at 7"x5" onto a 10"x8" paper, for which HP5 is fine, it's only now that I've started printing bigger that the grain is starting to creep in, but then so is the camera shake as well! Perhaps I just need steadier hands and then all the issues will disappear.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtolsniffer View Post
    thought I'd mess around with what I know a little about first before a total change, and HP5 in XTOL is what I know best.
    If you do consider using HP5, try comparing two rolls taken of the same subject under similar lighting conditions. Develop one in XTOL stock and the other in XTOL 1+2.
    The former dilution will have finer grain but less acutance, and vica versa. When having to trade off grain against acutance, I prefer more accutance. My current combo is HP5 with XTOL 1+2. My Normal ASA is 320 (by comprehensive testing).

    Barry Thornton in his book "Edge of Darkness" spends a great many pages explaining and showing why achieving high acutance is more appealing than the sole pursuit of ultra fine/low grain.
    Last edited by PeterB; 05-26-2012 at 08:54 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  5. #25
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB View Post
    If you do consider using HP5, try comparing two rolls taken of the same subject under similar lighting conditions. Develop one in XTOL stock and the other in XTOL 1+2.
    The former dilution will have finer grain but less acutance, and vica versa. When having to trade off grain against acutance, I prefer more accutance. My current combo is HP5 with XTOL 1+2. My Normal ASA is 320 (by comprehensive testing).

    Barry Thornton in his book "Edge of Darkness" spends a great many pages explaining and showing why achieving high acutance is more appealing than the sole pursuit of ultra fine/low grain.
    My favorite use of Xtol was replenished. Got both the advantages of straight and dilute at once.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    You don't need a tripod to steady a camera there are several other methods.

    o lean against a wall
    o use a beanbag on a horizontal surface
    o use an easy to carry monopod
    o use a 1/4 inch coarse thread eyelet screw in tropod hole and a length of cord under your foot to steady camera
    o tuck your elbows into your body and hold your breath
    None of these are as effective as a tripod. They are last resorts.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by xtolsniffer View Post
    I do use medium format as well, an RB67. I have two types of photography. My 'serious' mode when I'm out on my own. In this case I take the RB67 and tripod and can take all the time I want. The other, more common, scenario is that I'm out with the family and have to fit in what I can get. This usually means no tripod or the children start moaning about how long I'm taking, hence the 'no tripod, camera shake, use HP5' situation! This is when I take the 35mm kit. I've tended to gravitate to printing at 7"x5" onto a 10"x8" paper, for which HP5 is fine, it's only now that I've started printing bigger that the grain is starting to creep in, but then so is the camera shake as well! Perhaps I just need steadier hands and then all the issues will disappear.
    Based on the information you're giving, TMY-2 would be a pretty easy choice if you want finer grain than HP5. XTOL 1+1 would be great with it. Grain will be significantly finer than HP5, with good sharpness. If you want slightly higher sharpness, with a very small increase in grain 1+3 works well, but highlight contrast will be a little lower (not necessarily good or bad). You can of course alter these characteristics by changing exposure index, development times and agitation. Lots of flexibility.

  8. #28
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    None of these are as effective as a tripod.
    True

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    They are last resorts.
    False
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #29
    cliveh's Avatar
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    The theory behind tabular grain technology sounds great, but if some of the grains (even a few) are not pointing in the right direction it destroys the integrity of the entire grain placement. I just don't like it.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #30

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    The only 3 films from Ilford i like are: HP5+, Pan F+ and FP4+.

    I prefer Tmax 400 over HP5 but i prefer Pan F or FP4 over TMAX 100, my favorite ASA 100 film is Acros 100.

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