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  1. #1

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    Fomapan 200 Creative

    Hi,
    Has anyone used this film ?. What little posts by a few people on the web
    stated a "true" ISO 200, look of old Tri-x. It's supposed to be a T-Grain film.
    I wonder if its process sensitive like T-max. Also perhaps Foma might be a shining light in the current darkness of the film industry, as I haven't seen any negative comments about the company or it's products.

    Jennifer

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It doesn't look anything like Tri-X of any vintage. It is said to be a T-grain film, but it's fairly grainy. It looks like a film from the 1930s. Think of Alvin Langdon Coburn and films by Fritz Lang. Lots of action in the midtones rather than at the ends of the scale. I've processed it in D-76 (1+1), 8.5 min at 68 deg. F., agitating every minute. I think I'll test it in ABC pyro, which I've been using more an more lately.

    One good thing about Foma rollfilms is that they don't seem to have been as prone to light leakage as some of the other East European 120 films.

    Here's a test shot, which I think I took with the Voigtlander Perkeo II. It was a foggy day, so the "flat" quality (not necessarily in a bad sense) of the film is somewhat exaggerated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails t200.jpg  
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    Mongo's Avatar
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    One of my favorite films. I shoot it at 160 and develop it with both Pyrocat-HD and with Rodinal. Two very different looks from one film. With Rodinal it looks more like a traditional grainy B&W film; with Pyrocat at 2:2:100 the grain is well hidden by the stain and I get much smoother tonalities.

    As David said, it has the look of an old film; almost like the old thick emulsion films. I've found it to be much more forgiving than any of the specialty grain films on the market (T-Max, Delta, Acros). It's a very easy film to open up the midtones with, and I especially like it for low contrast situations. In high contrast, it's still a very good film but so are many others. I do find that it's not as forgiving of expansion development as some films; you can block up the highlights if you're not careful. It's definately a film that you'll want to do some testing with if you intend to make it part of your regular rotation. But with proper handling it will reward you with some amazing images.

    If you like the mid-20th-century "Industrial" look, this is a film that makes it very easy to achieve.

    The blue dye is difficult to remove. Not as bad as the magenta dye on Forte, but still not as easy as some films. Fomapan curls a bit, but again not as badly as other Eastern European films. Given that the price of this stuff is so low, I do have fears that it will fall victim to the same problems that plagued Ilford and Forte when they were re-selling their film in bulk for re-packaging. I intend to fill a freezer with Fomapan 200 this year, as it's one of my two very favorite films. (The other is Efke 100, and it's being sold at a price point that I believe will be sustainable over the long term.)
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I find a 2-minute presoak helps with the blue dye.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    titrisol's Avatar
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    a 2 changes of water presoak or a post-fix wash with Na-Sulfite help removing all those dyes IMHO
    Mama took my APX away.....

  6. #6
    Mongo's Avatar
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    I always pre-soak for at least two minutes with every film, and the remains of the dye is still present with Fomapan. I'm going to try a different fix. Luckily the stain isn't too bad and hasn't caused any problems with printing, but I'd like to get rid of it if I can.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  7. #7

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    Good Morning, Jennifer,

    I've tried Fomapan 200 with generally good results. I've used HC-110B and T-Max as developers; I think I'll go with HC-110 just because it's cheaper. I concur with most of the comments above; regarding the bluish tinge: even after using a pre-soak and doing a fairly lengthy wash, I can't get rid of it. The good news is that it seems to cause abolutely no problems when printing, so I don't worry about it.

    I would note that my only experience using Fomapan 200 comes from some 120 rolls. I did not notice the graininess that David refers to, but that may be because I shot 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 negatives enlarged to no more than 11 x 14. There are two things which annoy me about Fomapan 200. The first is the curling tendency, which is significant enough that I have temporarily reverse-curled the processed film for a day or two before trying to contact it. The second is that the film base is so tough that it takes more effort than usual to get the center spike on a Kinderman reel to puncture it (ditto a film clip) and the film base is also much more flexible than my usual Kodak and Ilford choices, so getting the film started on a SS reel is a little trickier than I'm used to.

    I'm not about to give up T-Max 100, but even with its quirks, Fomapan 200 is a decent film, especially considering the bargain price from J and C.

    Konical

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've shot it in 6x6 mainly. I think it's grainy compared to other T-grain films in the same format.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    Good Morning, David,

    I don't disagree that Fomapan is certainly grainier than, say, T-100; I just don't find it obtrusive in moderate size prints from MF. The subject matter I would use the Fomapan for is typically people (individually or in groups) in prints intended for fairly small-size reproduction. The bargain price for Fomapan makes it attractive for such short-term purposes. Someday, I will probably crank up the enlarger and see what a 16 x 20 from 6 x 7 looks like.

    Konical

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Konical
    I'm not about to give up T-Max 100, but even with its quirks, Fomapan 200 is a decent film, especially considering the bargain price from J and C.
    FWIW, Freestyle is selling Fomapan products now under their "Arista.EDU Ultra" house brand. (Note the ".EDU" and "Ultra" designations; those are important.) Prices on this are very low, such as $20 for a 100-foot bulk roll of 35mm ISO 200 or 400 film. (I bought such a roll of ISO 400 recently, but haven't yet shot much of it.) I can't promise that the emulsions are identical to what J&C sells, though. I don't know about the individually-packaged rolls, but the bulk 35mm roll I've got has no edge markings -- not even frame numbers.

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