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  1. #1
    fatso's Avatar
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    Recommendation needed - 'best' B&W roll film/developer combo :-)

    I realize this is a very subjective question but I haven't shot film in several years and hope someone can bring me up to speed on modern day emulsions and developers

    I shoot medium format rollfilm mostly with a SWC, and looking back at some of my old negatives (Ilford Delta 100/D76) they seem a bit grainy...

    I'm looking for a low speed / high resolution / fine grained film with rich tonality that I can drum scan to make 40" x 40" carbon pigment prints. Does anyone have a magic combination they are willing to share ?

    I've attached a sample of my work to give an idea of what I do.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Paul

  2. #2
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Prepare to get 1000 different opinions.

    Tri-X & Rodinal.
    Definitely won't give you the worlds finest grain, but will be something like the world's sharpest negatives
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #3
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    It's not going to get much finer grained than TMAX 100/Delta 100 in Xtol. That's your best bet. To be honest, Delta 100/D-76 isn't too far behind. I'd stick with it... Great work by the way!!

  4. #4

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    Tmax is probably the most available and finest grain film. With Tmax 100, you can get a nearly grainless image. I processed it with D76 and XTOL and didn't see much difference in results.

    I don't know how long ago your neg was made but if it was a long time ago, it is quite possible the formulation may have changed. You might want to try a new roll and if you still feel a need to change. With Tri-X, a roll from 30 years ago look nothing like one from today.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5

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    How long is a piece of string? I like Ilford FP4+ in Ilford ID-11 1:3. ID-11 is a good, all-round developer, my results are plenty sharp and detailed with unobtrusive grain. Mind you, I don't make 40" prints. Ilford Perceptol is supposed to give fine grain at the expense of film speed, though i can't quantify that. PAN F+ is a fine grain 50 ISO/ASA emulsion; I should think Pan F+ in Perceptol would give a very fine grain result, but I've never tried it. YMMV, of course.

    BTW, I see no grain in your example image, but then it's not a 40" print.

    Cheers,
    kevs
    testing...

  6. #6

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    Hi fatso:

    If you want finer grain than Delta 100 and want to maintain a long tonal scale you really have only two options - Fuji Acros and TMax 100, either one developed in XTOL (various dilutions). TMax 100 is slightly finer grained than Fuji Acros (they are both exceedingly fine grained), and has similar tonality to Delta 100 but with a slightly more gradual shoulder. Acros will look similar in the low and mid tones but has very high highlight contrast. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just a characteristic to be aware of. Personally I'd suggest TMax 100.

    By the way are you from Montreal?

    Michael

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    There is no best.

  8. #8

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    my favorite developer thus far is
    caffenol c, eyeball measured
    and then you spike it with about 10-15cc of
    ansco 130. stand develop your film in it, any film
    for about 25-30 mins and it turns out good ...

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I can't imagine finer medium format combination than a tabular grain 100 speed film.

    We haven't been offered a tabular grain 50 speed or 25 speed film so I don't know how you can do much better.

    I'd experiment at least a bit with same film but 4x5 or 8x10 see if that is more satisfying.

    Otherwise take some of the fine suggestions here.

    Your example shows adequate shadow detail without evidence that you rated the film at half speed. But I want to point out that for the finest results, I believe you need to absolutely give the minimum exposure that provides shadow detail (instead of the safer "half box speed" technique that guarantees results but with potential for overexposure... which would mean more grain).

  10. #10
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    There is no best.
    +1
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

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