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  1. #1
    arigram's Avatar
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    BW "Tripod" 120 Film

    Good day to you ladies and gentlemen.
    Once more I require your assistance.
    Rest assured its always much appreciated and not taken
    for granted.

    I have reduced my BW 120 film needs in two categories:
    The "tripod" film and the "handheld" film.
    I have settled in the handheld department to either FP4+ or Tri-X which
    serve me well, used at different lighting situations.
    Unfortunately I have yet to choose my "slow", "tripod" film, that one
    which rated as slow as possible and with the use of a tripod, cable
    release and mirror lock-up will give me the most of my Hasselblad.
    I have been trying out FP4+ rated at 64asa and developed with either
    D-76 or Rodinal and I am kinda dissapointed at the results. Consindering
    the film is used mostly for representational purposes its tonallity and grain
    is not what I expected even at moderate enlargements such as 20x25cm (8x10") and it starts to break up at 30x40cm (12x16").
    It rocks at 13x18cm (5x7") but I want to be able to go to 30x40cm(12x16") without noticable grain and breakup of details (loss of acutance due to enlargement).
    Living in the second and a half world country of Greece makes my choices difficult. That because there is no film in country bellow 100asa.
    So I can:
    - Keep using the FP4+ with a different developer. I would probably have to mix it myself as even D76 and Rodinal I have to order and Perceptol or Microphen come in small quantities in Greece. Never tried pyro and looks like lots of trouble.
    - Try Delta 100 or TMX 100 rated at 50 and developed with D-76. I believe DDX and TMAX are simular liquid versions of it?
    - Order PanF or Efke 25 from Germany. The trouble is I will have to make a large order to justify the shipping costs (even the 10euros of fotoimpex) which rules out getting a couple of each to test them.
    - Make my own film.

    What do wise photographers suggest I do?
    Last edited by arigram; 01-20-2005 at 02:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  2. #2

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    APX 100. It's only about 64 EI with D-23 according to my film test. With 6x4.5 I can see grain in the grain focusser but not in the print. With bigger formats you'll see less at the same print size.

    Have to say I'm a little surprised grain is an issue with any MF film at 8x10.

  3. #3

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    You've got me worried now, I've just sent off my first FP4 negs for 16x12's! They are 6x7 in exactol lux so maybe they'll be ok :-)

    You might want to try fuji acros since that it meant to have really fine grain. I've just got a few rolls of 35mm and 120 to try out, I haven't read a bad thing about it yet. Seems to do especially well in pyro devs though.

    I'm sure more experianced people will give you better advice!

  4. #4
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    Ari, I guess some scans would be great to see what you mean.
    From your words all i can say is that maybe you just need to switch developers. Xtol, DDX can give you better results regarding graininess and maybe tonality.

    I understand your problkems with availability but I think you'll just have to bite the bullet in that sense.
    If you have a friend or relative going to the continent thay maybe able to sneak film at least for your tests, if not some powdered developers.

    Best regards
    Mama took my APX away.....

  5. #5
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    It is not just the film - it is that developer-film combo. For handheld I generally push TRI-X or TMAX 400 to ASA 1600 in Xtol or PC-TEA - For MF with a 80-110mm lens, even at sunny 16, there is a need for speed somewhere on the roll. I generally try not to shoot handheld less than 250th/sec and of course there is the DOF issue sometimes requiring both a small aperature and a high shutter speed. With these two developers and a 2X push these films both make nice fine grain 16x20 prints in 6x6 format or better. There is a boost in contrast to consider; much of the time it is an advantage. I usually shoot in the evening and morning or indoors - many or these scenes benefit from the contrast kick. The contrast is usually only N+1 at best - so I don't usually have a contrast problem. For non hand held use, I am shooting LF - If I am going to set up a tripod - it is going to be just as easy to make a 4x5 or 8x10 negative. Again, Tri-x - but now pyrocatHD at asa200. I can get a lot of compensation for scenes with large SBR - 8 - 12 stops. The pyrocat is grainless for enlargements up to 20x24. I can expand contrast as well without any difficulty. If I am shooting portraits in MF, I shoot APX100 or FP4 and develop in Xtol or PC-TEA. I can get full film speed and the grain in Xtol is as fine as it would be in Microdol X. PC-TEA is only very slightly grainier - (just barely noticeable) The grain in MicrodolX or D23 is kind of mushy (except on TRI-X) and the grain in Xtol or PC-TEA is very sharp - high accutance. PyrocatHD is higher accutance but is a little grainier than PC-TEA.

    Of course the ultimate in fine grain is TechPan but then - without any accutance benefits. I use this film in 35mm and sometimes in LF for certain effects. ASA50 in TD3. 35mm cameras have really fast lenses and it is easier to make a good negative with slower film. All this is less needed with the larger formats.

    BTW - one nice comprimise is the monopod. I very frequently use one when shooting an event where I am moving around a lot. Both for MF and for 35mm, it steadys down for very sharp 60th sec shots - maybe even 30th. I hate un-intended motion blur.

  6. #6
    Ole
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    Ari, I have 30x40cm prints from HP5+ which you have to rub your nose in to see grain. I have consistent problems using a grain focuser with 6x4.5 FP4+, as I can find no grain to focus on.

    So I simply cannot understand your problem!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
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    Ilford makes a 50 ISO called PAN F that I have read a few people here have used and liked. Never tried it myself but might be a consideration if you can order it online.

  8. #8
    gma
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    My vote is for EFKE 25 or 50 ( AKA Adox RB14 and RB17 ). Almost grainless and I like the orthopanchromatic emulsion that renders red darker than a true panchromatic film. A really beautiful film IMO.

  9. #9

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    Delta 100 at 64. I developed in ilfosol and d76. Both made 11x14 inch prints off 35mm negs.

    The expansion capability of Efke 100 is proving really nice, but I have been finding anomolies in the emulsion. I am on my way to try TMX
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rogueish
    Ilford makes a 50 ISO called PAN F that I have read a few people here have used and liked. Never tried it myself but might be a consideration if you can order it online.
    I have done a lot of Pan F+ in rodinal with virtually no grain present on 18x24 print made a 35mm neg (that shold be approx. the same as 120 film enlarged to 30x40).
    Also Delta 100 in Rodinal 1+50 is great and only a little grain will show. Just be careful with development. I find it great to develop a 10% less than recommended with these films.

    Some data:

    • Pan F+ rated ISO 50 developed for 10-11 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 (20C)
    • Delta 100 rated ISO 100 developed for 12-13 minutes in Rodinal 1+50 (20C)


    Morten

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