I've used Forte films in 120 quite a bit recently and must say after 10-15 rolls I have no problems.
I originally just wanted some cheap film to put in my Bessa folder, but I've been so impressed I've bulk ordered some 400 speed.
Some samples and test here:
Fortepan 100 test
For years, now, every couple of months someone writes a thread about some crappy, third world film, coated on machines made in the 1950's and the attendant quality control problems. I guess my question is, given all the things that can go wrong with the whole camera, film, development chain, isn't your investment in time worth using Kodak, Fuji or Ilford film?
Tom thats a little harsh, Hungary is hardly a 'Third world' (sic) country. I think the correct term is now 'developing country'.
Emulsions like Adox/Efke, Forte and Foma all have nice qualities some of those companies make films that the big three don't bother with and so can be useful.
I'm not defending poor production quality, and indeed Kodak and Fuji have always been exceptional WRT batch consistency, just sometimes I quite like the 'retro' look of some of the former Soviet Bloc manufacturers and so far after over a dozen Forte films I have no problems.
It could be me but I actually like 'crappy third world film'
Thanks for your responsible response to my retrospectively impolite post, which was written tongue in cheek, but I didn't indicate that.
Originally Posted by Mark Antony
If you search the archives, though, you'll find a constant litany of complaints about these films, everything from "When I hold the film up to the light I see wavy blotches on the emulsion side", to "the paper backing doesn't stay on the film" to "the paper ring to seal the roll on the exposed film doesn't have any glue on it." These recurrent threads on the common theme have become comical.
I understand your feelings though. I've never seen a better tonal rendition in high contrast than the Bergger BPF 200 developed in pyro and printed on AZO. I do wish that a major film manufacturer would still make a "romantic" black and white film in sheet sizes. I still hold out hope that Iford will someday make Delta 3200 in 4x5. I'd buy a freezer full.
My main point is that we spend a lot of time and money getting to the point of pressing the shutter, why go to all that trouble to use a problematic film. Maybe for the same reason that people use Holgas. Maybe the answer is to carry a camera with two backs, shoot the romantic film but also shoot it on Tri-x just to be safe.
Tom, i'm a poor art student If I could afford Tri-X, that's all I would eat.
I guess i'm going to replace the fortepan with some fuji neopan. Still half the price of Tri-X. As much as I love tri-x, I honestly can not afford it. I hate myself for not buying it all the time and it's never going to get cheaper (just like gasoline)...
Ergh. I've yet to send the film off to be replaced though. I'm too poor to afford packing tape and return shipping. Times is tough!
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
What is worrying me is that I have more than two cases of 120 ACROS on hand and the last two rolls I processed were covered in the pin holes. Somehow I don't think it is the films problem.. though it might be with the Forte. Pin holes seems to be a problem that no one knows for sure what it is. I have to find out or I'm looking at a lot of dodgy film.
If it is in the film before you process it, the liquifiled emulsion probably had bubbles in it just prior to coating. If you find it after processing, it may be due to poor or no hardener.
But there can be a lot of reasons such as not enough surfactant, bad subbing on the film support and on and on. The point is that inspection will show most of these before the film leaves the factory.
Tom I didn't really take offence, I have been cautious with the use I my Fortepan, I really bought it as a cheap food for my Bessa folder.
Originally Posted by Tom Duffy
After a few rolls I found I quite like the tonal scale, and tried it (non critical work) in my 6x7.
I have only used the 100 in MF and recently ordered 20 rolls of the 400 which should arrive any day.
I think at a quid a roll I can use it for camera tests, pictures of the kids, and in the Bessa without too much fear, not sure I'd do any mission critical stuff on anything but Ilford/Fuji/Kodak.
You're right about the Delta 3200- wonderful film, I use it in my Fuji RF 6x7 in low light.
Ilford Delta 3200
I'm pulling trouble free Kodak 400TX out of the same tank as this troubled Fortepan 400 35mm and 120 so it's not the processing.
I've not had THIS problem with Fortepan before and even considering the savings and how much I like this film , it's just not worth it.
Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.
The films you mention all have good qualities, but as far as good quality goes it appears to be a crap shoot. Read the posts, and you find some good and some bad film. I refer to these companies 2nd or 3rd Tier. They are not from 3rd world countries and I would object to that method of phraseology. A bad company could be in the US for that matter.
So, I have to say that if you use an economy film, it may be wonderful.... or not.... Goo luck.