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Thread: Foma film

  1. #1
    John cox's Avatar
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    Foma film

    I'm sure this has been asked alot but I can't find anything on it. I'd like to try out Foma and want to know how their film behaves before buying the film. I've heard the 400 is more of a 200 and the same type of things about the 200 and 100. I'd also like to know what to expect for contrast, latitude, grain, etc.
    Also is there one of the three that would be recommended over the others? I would prefer to buy 20 or 30 boxes of one of the three to get a feel for it and get good results. I will be shooting 120 or 35mm.

    Thanks in advance,
    John

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    Two23's Avatar
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    It has a more vintage look, which I like. What I don't like is the film seems to be very curly and scratches a little easier than most.


    Kent in SD

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    I'm surprised you didn't find a bunch of results. Searching for "fomapan" might work better than just "foma".

    Basically, the films are grainy for their speed and many people downrate them by a stop; some people really like their spectral response. Fomapan 200 is something of an oddball, with a different grain structure---some people really love it. The 120 films are coated on a blue base, which startles people the first time they see it.

    To my taste, Fomapan 100 is pretty grainy for routine use in 35mm, but fine in larger formats. Your taste may vary. I didn't find that Fomapan 400 had anything extremely special about it, but it was a perfectly good faster film, and I found it came out pretty close to box speed in HC-110.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
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    Try search for Arista EDU, it's the same stuff rebranded. Lots of discussion.
    A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.

    Oscar Levant

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    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    I've wondered the same thing, mostly about 4x5 and mostly because it's half the price of everything else (or, a foma100 50 sheet box is the same price as a 25 sheet box of FP4).
    What do you mean by "vintage look", is it just larger grain? Or some unmeasurable 'look'? If I go a box of 4x5 100 I'd be devving in Rodinal, would that help with whatever 'vintageness' it has?
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

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    I'm not sure I know what a "vintage" look is, really; there are so many variables attributable to so many different aspects of the process. Grain itself looks "vintage" to some people, as contrasted with the grainless look for which a lot of t-grain users strive. So do empty shadows, sometimes. But if you really want viewers to go "OMG V1NT4G3!!1!" about a photo, sepia-tone it and put it in a gilt frame...

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    I'm not sure I know what a "vintage" look is, really; there are so many variables attributable to so many different aspects of the process. Grain itself looks "vintage" to some people, as contrasted with the grainless look for which a lot of t-grain users strive. So do empty shadows, sometimes. But if you really want viewers to go "OMG V1NT4G3!!1!" about a photo, sepia-tone it and put it in a gilt frame...

    -NT
    I like the Foma 200 look, developed in PMK Pyro, semi-stand, 30 minutes:Click image for larger version. 

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    Two23's Avatar
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    What I mean by vintage is there is more pronounced grain, and there seems to be less contrast.
    I use it in my 1942 Leica, 1928 Bergheil, 1914 Kodak Special No. 1. It does not look the same as modern films such as TMax and Delta, and for me that's a good thing. My "standard" films are FP4, HP5.


    Kent in SD

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    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John cox View Post
    I'm sure this has been asked alot but I can't find anything on it. I'd like to try out Foma and want to know how their film behaves before buying the film. I've heard the 400 is more of a 200 and the same type of things about the 200 and 100. I'd also like to know what to expect for contrast, latitude, grain, etc.
    Also is there one of the three that would be recommended over the others? I would prefer to buy 20 or 30 boxes of one of the three to get a feel for it and get good results. I will be shooting 120 or 35mm.

    Thanks in advance,
    John
    A good way to see images shot on a particular film is to search that film on Flickr.

  10. #10
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John cox View Post
    I'm sure this has been asked alot but I can't find anything on it. I'd like to try out Foma and want to know how their film behaves before buying the film. I've heard the 400 is more of a 200 and the same type of things about the 200 and 100. I'd also like to know what to expect for contrast, latitude, grain, etc.
    Also is there one of the three that would be recommended over the others? I would prefer to buy 20 or 30 boxes of one of the three to get a feel for it and get good results. I will be shooting 120 or 35mm.

    Thanks in advance,
    John

    FOMAPAN 100 is best in the larger formats, where grain is not really a problem very often. In the UK in 8x10 it costs £99.95 for 50 sheets, compared with £124.15 for a box of Ilford FP4 Plus with only 25 sheets in it. It has a distinctive grain but it also has a wide tonal range. It responds very nicely to being developed in a compensating developer such as DiXactol, 510-PYRO, Caffenol, or OBSIDIAN AQUA. If you use roll film then a compensating developer used with a semi-stand regime is almost a must if you want to preserve texture in the highlights.

    FOMAPAN 200 is weird. It is never in this world a 200 ISO film. Reciprocity is a source of amazement too. You would be wise to use 100 ISO in your meter... However, it is a film capable of rendering very pleasing tones and again responds very well to compensating developers to preserve highlight texture.

    Someone else will have to tell you about FOMAPAN 400 as I haven't used it (yet).

    If you really do want to start with one film from the range and you are happy with 120 then FOMAPAN 100, rated at 80 ISO and developed in OBSIDIAN AQUA would be a good choice (and not heavy on your pocket as OBSIDIAN AQUA is diluted 1:500 as standard and is dirt cheap to make up anyway).

    The 120 roll film versions are lively and don't lay flat as easily as Ilford film does. If you intend to scan the negatives you ought to make sure you use a holder that has Anti-Newton Ring glasses to lay on top of the negatives in the holder...




    RR

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