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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    ISO 100 B&W film advice (advice)

    OK so I mostly shoot ISO 400 and I'm interested in shooting some ISO 100 film. This is for 35mm. I usually go freestyle tri-x but since I'm unsure about the quality of foma/arista edu, I'm thinking of just going with ilford and bulk loading myself.

    I'm thinking traditional emulsions because I much prefer the grain of Plus-X (RIP) to Tmax 100. Well Plus-X is history so this leaves me too FP4+ and Pan F. My developer of choice is Xtol and Rodinal; the former when I need the speed.

    1. I don't always finish my rolls but I haven't experienced much problems with Tri-X, but I read that it's super big deal with Pan F, is this true also for FP4+? I hear that the latent image degrades...if so, what is the time-span? Days, weeks, months? I don't leave a roll in for more than 2 weeks ... This has never been a problem but I don't want this to deter me as I can probably start loading short rolls.

    2. How is FP4+'s grain in comparison to Plus-X? maybe it was bad development but Tri-X seemed a lot smoother than HP5+, would I expect the same with FP4+? as in FP4+ exhibiting larger grain than Plus-X?

    3. How is the tonality and latitude between the two: FP4+ and Pan F. From Flickr Pan F seems to show darker tones but it's really difficult to judge from flickr because everyone has different exposure/development/post-processing styles.

    4. Plastic or metal film cartridges for bulk loading? Which do you prefer?

    Honestly, I think I'm just going to order both, lol. FP4+ seems like a safer bet but Pan F is tempting...

  2. #2

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    It would be hard to recommend a film since you don't mention your usual subject matter and lighting conditions. In general the slower a film the less latitude that it has. I think that you would find FP4+ to very very similar to Plus-X.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3

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    Mostly portraits in the normal-low contrast lighting.

  4. #4

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    In the past, I've always used FP4+ for low iso B&W film. I have always had good results with it. I think you'll find it's a bit higher contrast than Tri-X, but I think that's generally true of iso 100 films vs. iso 400 films. Of course you control the contrast somewhat by adjusting your development time.
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;None but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

  5. #5

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    I would not recommend a slow film like PanF+ since it will show every skin blemish. This film tends to build contrast very quickly and should not be overdeveloped.

    As for degradation of the latent image you are speaking of months. Still if it is a concern then shoot 24-exposure rolls or bulk load a small number of exposures.

    As far as grain, Pan-X and FP4+ are comparable. Your comment about HP5+ has been expressed by others on APUG. As far as using Rodinal this developer will produce coaser grain than Xtol.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    I've kept an exposed roll of Pan F+ 120 for about six weeks before developing with no problem at all. I develop Pan F+ in Diafine. It does tend to build contrast quickly and the speed is suited for bright lighting which tends to be contrasty. Diafine handles this well and gets an effective extra 1/3 - 2/3s stop out of it. I mostly shoot this combo at EI 64.

    FP4+ is a great film. Other than a shorter toe, which won't matter if you don't expose shadow detail on the toe, you won't notice that much different about it from Plus-X. It's my go-to medium speed film, especially in 120, but then I seldom shoot 35mm black and white anymore since getting a couple of medium format cameras unless I really need speed, and even then I have f/2.8 for my Mamiya and Delta 3200 at 3200. But I do like FP4+ a lot in 120.

    Oh yeah, I load bulk loads (got a 100' roll of the Arista branded Tri-X when it was way cheaper than now) in plastic because that's what I've used for years. Years ago I had metal film cartridges pop open when dropped and have light leaks, and I don't get either, so far, with plastic. But consider carefully the actual savings. I just don't find bulk loading to be worth it any more.

  7. #7
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    Why do you want a slow film?

    If you are after finer grain, I would suggest using TMY. It has grain as fine as plus-X, with the benefit of speed.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #8
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    I would not bother too much about the latent image. Once I developed a roll of FP4+ 2 years after I had exposed it and it still came out pretty fine. I was not able to distinguish it from a fresh roll in fact.

  9. #9
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    FP4+, yes. Pan F+ however is known for poor latent image keeping. (So is Delta 3200 and I've run into this myself if not refrigerated or frozen after exposure. I know you're not supposed to freeze it once you unwrap it. I cheerfully do anyway. Never had a problem with that.)

    Can't speak for the OP but I shoot TMY-2 in 4x5 but I personally don't like it in 35mm and 120. I could try to explain why but some folks would argue and they'd no doubt be right, as would I, for our own purposes. I just find conventional films a lot easier to shoot and expose well enough when I'm not working slowly and deliberately.

  10. #10
    MDR
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    Fp4+ is not a direct substitute for PX125 but it is a great film. Pan F has a bit more inherent contrast but can look extremely good if used under the right light conditions (not too contrasty). Grain wise FP4 and PX125 are about the same PX creates smoother tones in my opinion but that's about it. Since you use 35mm film another option would be APX100 which is a bit more grainy but has a very special look especially in the midtones. For convenience sake just get the FP4 and develop it in ID11/D76 or X-tol.

    Dominik

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