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  1. #1
    snegron's Avatar
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    B&W Film Suggestions for 120?

    I dusted off my old Mamiya RB67 and 645 this weekend. I'm planning on ordering some B&W film this week. For many years I used Tri X for 35mm; I can't remember ever using Tri X for 120 though. I do remember the very visible amount of grain with 35mm Tri X. While it was a nice effect with 35mm, I would like to achieve a cleaner image with 120 B&W; less grain, medium contrast, more defined tones.

    I plan on shooting a mix of portraits and landscapes. Any suggestions?

    Looks like my ISO 400 choices at B&H are:

    - Rollei/Agfa Retro 400S

    - Fomapan Action 400

    - Tri X

    P.S. I don't plan on developing the rolls myself; I will be sending the negatives out for developing and I will scan them once I get them Or have them scanned during developing).

  2. #2
    Rolfe Tessem's Avatar
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    I would recommend TMAX-400 (TMY). Definitely available at B&H and will deliver full box speed in most developers. For 100 speed, a lot of people like Fuji Acros.

  3. #3
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe Tessem View Post
    I would recommend TMAX-400 (TMY). Definitely available at B&H and will deliver full box speed in most developers. For 100 speed, a lot of people like Fuji Acros.


    Thanks Rolfe! I have never used TMAX-400. How does it compare to Tri-X in terms of grain/tonality? Any major differences/advantages over Tri-X?

  4. #4
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe Tessem View Post
    I would recommend TMAX-400 (TMY). Definitely available at B&H and will deliver full box speed in most developers. For 100 speed, a lot of people like Fuji Acros.
    If you want cleaner grain than TriX (I love,especially in 120) I'll agree with both of these.
    I'm not a huge fan of Tgrain but considering you dissed Tri X (lol j/k)

  5. #5
    cliveh's Avatar
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    FP4

    “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

  6. #6
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    If you want cleaner grain than TriX (I love,especially in 120) I'll agree with both of these.
    I'm not a huge fan of Tgrain but considering you dissed Tri X (lol j/k)

    I'm shooting for the closest "Ansel Adams" look without having to go large format...

  7. #7
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Heres a 645 TMY neg that shows the grain structure a bit. Flat light this day was overcast
    Click image for larger version. 

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    D76 1+1

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    If you really liked Tri-X 35mm and just wished for less grain... then stepping up to 120 will give you less grain on the same film.

    I have grown fond of certain TMAX-400 characteristics. I like the fine grain, sharpness and the fact I don't really need a yellow filter to get detail in the skies. There's a different reciprocity failure curve too.

    None of this is earth-shattering. But those are differences that you might expect to see when you change film.

    If you just move to 120 size then everything you remember still holds true.

    p.s. I work for Kodak but the opinions and positions I take are my own and not necessarily those of EKC.

  9. #9
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    Heres a 645 TMY neg that shows the grain structure a bit. Flat light this day was overcast
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	web_-06.jpg 
Views:	131 
Size:	137.1 KB 
ID:	62569

    D76 1+1


    Thanks! Very cool image! Looks like the grain is less noticeable than with Tri-X.

  10. #10

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    How long ago was it that you used Tri-X in 35mm? I recall in 80s when I used Tri-X, there was a quite visible level of grain. But, when I use it today, and I do it regularly, I don't find the grain objectionable even when I enlarge it to 11x14 with small amount of cropping. If you must stick with ISO 400, I find Tmax 400 to be as grainless as it can get for ISO 400 film.

    But, if it was quite a while ago you used Tri-X, I recommend you'd try again because the formulation has changed. It's quite nice.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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