Seeking Recommendation on 8X10 B&W film
Hi All, I am new to the forum... so if this questions has been discussed please let me know -- I did a search but nothing came up...
I am shooting an 8X10 Eastman View#2 next weekend for the first time (using the 8 1/2" eastman & 14" Cooke lenses). I am interested in recreating a look that is reminiscent of a Herell 1940s look and feel. I am seeking opinions on what films to consider that would get me close to the look and which I can get my hands on easily (I am test shooting next wednesday).
Also, if anyone is familiar with labs in the LA area that you'd recommend and where I could collaborate with a seasoned developer/printer would be awesome.
If you are in LA then I would suggest swinging by Freestyle and trying their Arista edu ultra. I have tried a box of it in the 100 speed and it was fine. It is probably an old emulsion style film.. Otherwise I would try the Kodak TXP 320. Very flexible old traditional grain film.
Ilford FP4+ is another unflappable mainstay.
Efke PL25 - fantastic stuff, straight out of the 1940s
Efke PL25, Efke PL100, Ilford FP4+, Kodak TXP 320 and my favorite, Kodak Tmax-400.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
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I recommend A&I if you can't process it yourself. They are charging a bundle for 8x10. As far as collaborating with them, i'm sure they could steer you in the right direction but i don't think they do nearly as much traditional b+w printing anymore from lf negs.
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
I'd recommend Tri-X for the Hollywood look, particularly if you are using hot lights like Hurrell. The spectral sensitivity of Efke PL25 is closer to ortho film (but isn't an ortho film--it's in between ortho and panchromatic), which is an older look than the 1940s, and of course it's really slow. Efke PL100 and Ilford FP4+ are in the right ballpark tonally, but on the slow side if you're not using strobes. T-Max 100 and 400 are very capable films, but the spectral sensitivity is very linear like B&W video, so the look is quite different from traditional films.
Aside from the tonality of the film and the paper you're printing on, the look of the classic lenses, and the lighting (which is the most important thing), much of the classic Hollywood look comes from hand retouching of large negatives, so there's a whole range of skills and materials to master.
Arista Ultra 200.
Absolutely wonderful film, and it's cheap as hell too.
It's Foma 200 if you're interested in any data on the film, search for that.
I use the 100 version for my work in that style, which is 11x14 (http://flickr.com/photos/falcon_awes...7600211157086/) and it works wonders, though, the 200 seems to have a slight boost in red sensitivity, which, if you were shooting like I do (Dark dark makeup and dark red filters to minimize retouching, I do none beyond spotting.) would be very helpful.
However, it's basically the exact opposite of what you want if you're looking for the early Hurrell look with the bronzed skin, that requires some heavy retouching to get the 'look' right though.
I'd suggest the Efke 50 if that's what you're going for, it has the same spectral sensitivity that David mentioned of the 25, but a whole stop more speed, and much like the Foma/Arista, is pretty damn cheap.
Thanks guys for the quick responses. Great information! I can't seem to find anyone selling the Efke here in LA. The Arista I can can get my hands on quickly, so as the TriX. It is not important for me to match an exact look and period authentically. As a matter of fact it is going to have to be sort of a hybrid. I won't have the luxury of hot lights as I am setting up on a location and no budget for rentals -- my strobes will have to do. I'll take probably about 5 monolights with the toys to make sure I can play with the spot lighting style of Hurrell, but the 8 1/2" lens I am going to use seem as if the coating got damaged (did they have coating on lenses back then?) In other words, it looks hazed over on the front element, which I assume will give a sensibility from a much older period. When I am testing I'll have to make decision what aspect of the period I'll embrace more depending on the over all result I am getting. I suspect I'll have considerable light fall off. I wish I could use hot lights -- perhaps it is wiser to use strobes anyway as I have to do the work quickly and in an environment where people's spirits going to be high and jovial, so forget the sterile/calm sitting session.
I am concerned about developing and printing though. I don't personally have the hands on skills and A&I is too big and commercial for the personal approach I was hoping for (at the end that maybe my only option). I was hoping I could find an old-timer/master around here who'd be willing to collaborate. I will need help with paper, spotting/retouching... all that good stuff.
Thanks again, keep the thread going, it is very helpful to hear all your feedback.
Isn't freestyle right around there? They have the best prices I have seen on Efke film.