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Thread: How Many ISO'S?

  1. #1
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    How Many ISO'S?

    I would really like to simplify life, and photography's a big part of my life.
    So, I would like to be able to process films in batches, with similar times and dilutions in HC-110.
    Incredibly enough, I'm not as concerned about absolute quality as many are. I'd much rather have a decent negative of a good picture than a perfect negative of a lousy picture.
    I use 7 cameras, which include an AE-1 with a 50/1.4, a Konica Autoreflex with a 50/1.7, two OM-1's with a gaggle of glass, a Canon EOS500N with an adapter to use the same OM glass, an Olympus Trip 35, and a Rollei B35. So, two are pocketable, two have only good, fast 50mm lenses, and three can use an assortment from 24mm-135mm.
    I would like to stick with two films, three max, running from 100 ISO to at least 1600, so I can take interior shots. Probably a range like 100, (shot at 64), 400, (shot at 250), 400, (shot at 800), and maybe 3200, (shot at 1600). Right now, I have FP4, Foma 100, HP5, TRI-X, and Delta 3200 in the fridge.
    I am absolutely open to, and grateful for suggestions. But remember, I'm looking for simplicity.
    Is it possible?

  2. #2
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Why HC110?

    If you change to a compensating developer like DiXactol, 510-PYRO, OBSIDIAN AQUA, Caffenol... You can develop multiple films all at once with any mixture of ISO. Your negatives will be just as good as if you had developed the rolls singly.

    RR

  3. #3
    jp498's Avatar
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    Tmax400 is what I use for 90% of my B&W shooting. It's a little more expensive for LF, but it's average priced for MF propacks.
    I FP4+ for when I need a slower film for shooting wide apertures in bright summer light.

    I can use them in 8x10", 4x5", 120, and 35mm. I even have some 14x17" FP4+. I get box speed out of the films using pyrocat hd; available as liquid extract and almost as convenient as hc110.

  4. #4

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    why not use something like tri x with a 7 stop latitude
    you can pull it or push it all you want and only need 1 film.
    universal developers can be helpful too ...

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    If you're looking for simplicity, shoot nothing but TMax 400. It is as fine grained as regular 100-speed films, such as FP4+, and is an amazingly flexible emulsion.


    If you need slower shutter speeds, just employ a two stop ND filter, and you have a system that acts as if you were using 100-speed film. TMax 400 can also be used at 800 with minimal degradation in picture quality. Even at 1600 it looks pretty good. But at 1600 you have to start push processing to make up for lost ground and you lose shadow detail whether you like that or not.


    Like this you can also get away with using much fewer cameras.


    Unlike you I am also interested in picture quality, but never at the expense of content. I see in my future two 35mm and one medium format setup and one single emulsion.


    Quote Originally Posted by hdeyong View Post
    I would really like to simplify life, and photography's a big part of my life.
    So, I would like to be able to process films in batches, with similar times and dilutions in HC-110.
    Incredibly enough, I'm not as concerned about absolute quality as many are. I'd much rather have a decent negative of a good picture than a perfect negative of a lousy picture.
    I use 7 cameras, which include an AE-1 with a 50/1.4, a Konica Autoreflex with a 50/1.7, two OM-1's with a gaggle of glass, a Canon EOS500N with an adapter to use the same OM glass, an Olympus Trip 35, and a Rollei B35. So, two are pocketable, two have only good, fast 50mm lenses, and three can use an assortment from 24mm-135mm.
    I would like to stick with two films, three max, running from 100 ISO to at least 1600, so I can take interior shots. Probably a range like 100, (shot at 64), 400, (shot at 250), 400, (shot at 800), and maybe 3200, (shot at 1600). Right now, I have FP4, Foma 100, HP5, TRI-X, and Delta 3200 in the fridge.
    I am absolutely open to, and grateful for suggestions. But remember, I'm looking for simplicity.
    Is it possible?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    One iso 400 film: TriX or Tmax or HP5 plus - what you like best. If price is an issue - then buy box of 120 meters of Double X. HC110 or Rodinal. And that is it. Shoot this same film at iso 200, 400 or 1600 and develop it for that iso in same developer. It can not be more simple than that.

  7. #7

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    If you want to keep it simple, I'd essentially echo what Thomas said. TMax 400. You can easily shoot it at lower EIs if you want. It has a very long exposure scale. With respect to grain, it is finer grained than virtually anything except TMax 100. The only thing I'd add to what Thomas already said is to maybe also keep the Delta 3200 around for when you need more film speed. That may be more of a personal preference on my part because I don't believe in pushing film. Others may disagree and are happy to push TMax 400 to 800 or 1600. So I guess I'm recommending 2 films rather than 1, based on the needs you described. One developer is fine. HC-110 will work fine, as will virtually any other general purpose developer.

    Less cameras might be something to think about if you want to keep things simple.

  8. #8

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    mary ellen mark used (and perhaps still does?) nothing but tri-x. When she spoke here in Ogden a gazillion years ago she said that tri-x was a good solid all-around film and by using nothing but that she'd learned how to get the best out of it.

    The point is not to endorse tri-x, but to emphasize that specializing on one film is better than flailing around, trying all sorts of different combinations, seeking out that "best" result. I shoot nothing but fuji acros in my Rollei for this very reason.

    35mm? I like to use pan-f for some stuff, but the 40 rolls of Arista premium 400 that just showed up (tri-x relabeled) is a pretty solid commitment.

  9. #9

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    This week I printed a 6x7 negative shot with Tmax400, a BW400CN 35mm negative (onto Panalure), and an Orca 100 negative in 110 format. Each image is distinctly different and it would be difficult to get the same look and output from one film, one format. It's not simply about ISO. I eschew reductionism and simplicity in my photography and I love to experiment with new combinations.

    That said, if every B&W film on the planet except Tmax400 and Acros disappeared, I could still be happy. I like t-grain film. If I need more grain I use a 110 camera. Michael and Thomas are quite correct that Tmax400 is the most versatile B&W film in the world today.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  10. #10
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    OP is shooting 35mm only.

    For my purposes, TMY-2 is plenty good for all uses, even landscape. In the sense of keeping things simple, one film is better than two, for sure. But some feel they need more, and that's ok too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    This week I printed a 6x7 negative shot with Tmax400, a BW400CN 35mm negative (onto Panalure), and an Orca 100 negative in 110 format. Each image is distinctly different and it would be difficult to get the same look and output from one film, one format. It's not simply about ISO. I eschew reductionism and simplicity in my photography and I love to experiment with new combinations.

    That said, if every B&W film on the planet except Tmax400 and Acros disappeared, I could still be happy. I like t-grain film. If I need more grain I use a 110 camera. Michael and Thomas are quite correct that Tmax400 is the most versatile B&W film in the world today.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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