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  1. #1

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    Which black and white film for studio portraiture?

    What is the best black and white film for studio portraiture photography?
    Thank.

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Over the years I've used Tmax100, APX100, FP4 and EFKE 25, all give excellent results. If using tungsten then I use Tmax400.

    Really it's a very personal choice.

    Ian

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    Ian, thank you for sharing.

    Can you recommend Ilford Pan F Plus ?

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    It is a personal choice, but TXP (the Tri-x 320) was engineered for just such use, and really loves the studio! Have fun finding your film!!!

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Evgeny, personally I wouldn't use PanF but there's nothing wrong with it. It's like SuzanneR say you have to find what suits you best. I've never liked Tri-X but it's a superb film used by many photographers.

    Try Pan F and see what you think.

    Ian

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    Thank.

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    I don't think there is a best film. It's the combination of film/developer and look influenced by the shooting style of the photographer that is a personal choice.
    W.A. Crider

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    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    personal choice

    Kind of wierd , and shows that i have chemical developer obsessions

    for females - plus x at 80 with microdol x

    for gents - kodalith ortho with dilute PMK

  9. #9
    arigram's Avatar
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    I love PanF+ and Ilfosol for studio portraits, that's all I use there.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  10. #10
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evgeny View Post
    What is the best black and white film for studio portraiture photography?
    Thank.
    Whatever you like. You can pick a film and developer to accomplish almost anything !

    In the broadest terms, Kodak offers 3) 400 speed films, each very different. Each fills a niche, and Kodak has done this for decades.

    The first, TXP, has what used to be called a portrait curve, intended for photographers who worked in flat light, like the North sky at the end of the afternoon, with the subject shielded from the direct light of the sun.
    TXP wants to compress the shadows, has higher contrast through the midtones. The effect, to emphasize the face, and reduce the importance of the shadows without making them turn black.

    If you were to shoot this picture with TMY, you would have brighter shadows and darker highlights. On the other hand, if you were to shoot by window light, with strong contrast, TMY will easily hold all the light, and TXP would make you choose between catching the highlights OR the shadows.

    In other words, TXP will try to brighten a dull day. TMY will try to soften a harsh, sunny day.

    With each film, developer choice has an effect. XTOL has the same personality as TMY. HC-110 has the same character as TXP.

    XTOL will make it easier to use TXP in direct sun, lifting the shadows relative to the highlights. HC-110 will help TMY give a brilliance in the whites. Using TXP with HC-110 gives you a very bold palette. TMY with XTOL, a pastel palette.

    In between are both D-76 and TX.

    I photograph both fair and dark complexions. My solution is to use TMY with Rodinal, a compromise which suits my particular needs. It tends to emphasize midtones over the dark and light.

    You can achieve the same type of results with Ilford products. DD-X is similar to XTOL, ID-11 is D76, and Microphen is similar to HC-110.

    If you have enough light, both PLus X and FP4 are wonderful portrait films, which balance lights and darks quite well.

    Pan F seems to be a radiant film, that can cause a face to glow. It can also give realistic images. It sees color in a very flattering way for faces.

    So, all this talk, and it is still up to you ! Every combination is perfect for SOME condition, so consider how you will be working: window light, outdoors, in a garden, or indoors with electronic flash, or constant burning light. Your choices HERE, will determine the best film to use.

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