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  1. #1
    haziz's Avatar
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    Acros vs Tmax100 vs FP4+ for a Southwestern US trip and film management.

    I am planning a trip to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah in May, places to visit are the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and Monument Valley. This is my first visit to all locations. I would have loved to cram in more but time is constrained, there is more to see on future trips.

    I shoot mainly 4x5 and 5x7 (leaning toward 5x7 more recently), less frequently 4x10 and 8x10. I will likely take my Canham 5x7/4x5. I will also likely have my Mamiya 7 and (dont tell anyone ) my Canon 20D as backup and for quickie shots. I will do some color (mainly 120/220 but will also have Velvia/Velvia 100/possibly Astia quickloads), but the bulk of my shooting will be in B&W.

    My usual film is FP4+ which I usually develop in Sprint developer though I have recently been also using Xtol 1:1. I still prefer the Sprint slightly (less contrasty and easier to print, I may need to finetune my Xtol times further). Since I won't have access to a darkroom I may lean more towards 4x5 likely in Quickloads/Readyloads, though I will probably have around 10 5x7 Holders and a changing tent just in case. I may even carry some regular 4x5 holders.

    So which do people recommend. Acros or Tmax 100? I have used both in the past and still do when convenience trumps cost. I have not formed a definite opinion regarding preference, though I have had slightly better luck following the Sexton method/dilutions with Tmax 100 In Tmax RS. I have also used Xtol 1:1 also for Tmax 100 using Kodak's published times. I develop Acros shot at EI 64-80 in Xtol 1:1 and in Rodinal 1:50. Today I tested Acros coming up with a film speed of EI 80 in Rodinal 1:50 in a Combi tank for 9 1/2 min with 20 sec initial agitation followed by one inversion every 30 sec. I have also shot a film speed test for Acros in Xtol but have yet to develop the film. I hate the infamous Acros "hole" but do love it's reciprocity characteristics. To complicate things further I have acquired a Jobo recently but have yet to set it up. Hopefully it would be set up by the time I make the trip.

    I know, I should simplify my life and photography but I invariably break down and have both fun and infinite frustration with the technicalities. I also invariably try to take too much gear on a photo trip.

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.
    Last edited by haziz; 02-25-2006 at 06:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    garysamson's Avatar
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    I would suggest that you stay with FP4+ in all formats and process the negatives using Pyrocat HD. Since you have a Jobo I can provide you with some processing time suggestions once I know what kind of prints you want to make.
    Gary

  3. #3

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    What the infamous Acros hole?

    Pentaxuser

  4. #4
    haziz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser
    What the infamous Acros hole?

    Pentaxuser
    The sheets literally have a hole in the corner that as best as anyone can figure out Fuji thinks people will use to hang the sheets to dry. This is guesswork but whatever the rationale behind it, it actually is in the image area. I may have leaned towards the Acros except for the impression that it is in fact slightly slower than Tmax 100. This is however compensated for by the films incredible reciprocity charcateristics. I don't think the Grand Canyon will move during any of my photos. I was actually surprised by the film speed test of Acros in Rodinal 1:50 yielding an EI of 80 today.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.

  5. #5

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    The canyon won't move but the trees most likely will. Early May is pretty windy around here, with it dying down some at the end of may. Though this is a really dry and strange year, who knows what will be happening.

    Make sure you pack your yellow/green filter and orange filter.

    Drop me a line when you plan to be at Canyon De Chelly.
    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

  6. #6

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    Hany, The first thing I noticed is that you are taking a huge amount of gear and film formats. Sometimes having too much gear can really get in the way. Plus you have to leave all that gear in the car when you go to eat and take it all in and out of the motel with you. I would not take 4x5 AND 5x7 film. They are close enough to be interchangeable. As you will have to reload in changing bags, and therefore be increasing the liklihood of dust in the holders, and also for the reduction of overall weight and gear, I would recommend the 4x5 readyloads.

    As for the Mamiya 7, if you plan long hikes the Mamiya is advantageous. Also if you want to do "quickie" shots the mamiya and 120 film can work for you there as well. Unless you usually shoot with the dslr and produce the work you care about with it, I'd consider leaving it at home. If you want a camera for recording locations or snap shots a pocket sized digital point and shoot can save you the size and weight.

    As for films, that is an extremely subjective matter. For the stuff you shoot with the Mamiya I would go for the finst grain film assuming you will print to 16x20 or larger. For the 4x5, well readyloads limit you there to Tmax100 as well, although I think Acros is available in quick loads.



    Quote Originally Posted by haziz
    I am planning a trip to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah in May, places to visit are the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and Monument Valley. This is my first visit to all locations. I would have loved to cram in more but time is constrained, there is more to see on future trips.

    I shoot mainly 4x5 and 5x7 (leaning toward 5x7 more recently), less frequently 4x10 and 8x10. I will likely take my Canham 5x7/4x5. I will also likely have my Mamiya 7 and (dont tell anyone ) my Canon 20D as backup and for quickie shots. I will do some color (mainly 120/220 but will also have Velvia/Velvia 100/possibly Astia quickloads), but the bulk of my shooting will be in B&W.

    My usual film is FP4+ which I usually develop in Sprint developer though I have recently been also using Xtol 1:1. I still prefer the Sprint slightly (less contrasty and easier to print, I may need to finetune my Xtol times further). Since I won't have access to a darkroom I may lean more towards 4x5 likely in Quickloads/Readyloads, though I will probably have around 10 5x7 Holders and a changing tent just in case. I may even carry some regular 4x5 holders.

    So which do people recommend. Acros or Tmax 100? I have used both in the past and still do when convenience trumps cost. I have not formed a definite opinion regarding preference, though I have had slightly better luck following the Sexton method/dilutions with Tmax 100 In Tmax RS I have also used Xtol 1:1 also for Tmax 100 using Kodak's published times. I develop Acros shot at EI 64-80 in Xtol 1:1 and in Rodinal 1:50. Today I tested Acros coming up with a film speed of EI 80 in Rodinal 1:50 in a Combi tank for 9 1/2 min with 20 sec initial agitation followed by one inversion every 30 sec. I have aslo shot a film speed test for Acros in Xtol but have yet to develop the film. I hate the infamous Acros "hole" but do love it's reciprocity characteristics. To complicate things further I have acquired a Jobo recently but have yet to set it up. Hopefully it would be set up by the time I make the trip.

    I know, I should simplify my life and photography but I invariably break down and have both fun and infinite frustration with the technicalities. I also invariably try to take too much gear on a photo trip.

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.

  7. #7
    haziz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Early Riser
    I would not take 4x5 AND 5x7 film. They are close enough to be interchangeable.
    I am the first to admit that I always carry too much gear. I have the ability to enlarge 5x7 and will soon have the ability to enlarge 8x10. I however, rarely enlarge beyond 11x14 so the extra resolution of 5x7 is rarely needed. However 5x7 offers the added benefit of contact prints. 4x5 contacts are just too small.

    To the previous poster: I do realize that trees move and that is in the back of my mind and is one reason why I still hesitate between the Tmax and Acros. Acros when I first tested it gave me a true speed of 50 in Ilfotec DDX 1:9 but my dev time may have been too short. Dev time should however be theoretically be more critical with highlights than shadows. I actually stopped using it briefly because I felt it was too slow. My preconception of the trip involves geologic formations, Anasazi ruins and cliffs however this is my first trip to these locations.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.

  8. #8
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I'd stick with the FP4+ and developer with which you are fimiliar. Trying new film on a trip is usually a good path to disappointment.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    I'd stick with the FP4+ and developer with which you are fimiliar. Trying new film on a trip is usually a good path to disappointment.
    I agree. FP4+ is good stuff and I prefer it to Acros and Tmax. Shooting only one film means fewer variables. Use what you know.

    Tom

  10. #10
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    I'd stick with the FP4+ and developer with which you are fimiliar. Trying new film on a trip is usually a good path to disappointment.
    I'll second that. Good advice ....
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

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