FP4+, Efke and Foma 100...
Am running down on the Ultrafine 125 (Ilford FP4+ cut by photowarehouse) and am looking to order film once again in 5x7, 4x10 and 8x10.
I like FP4+ and have used it for some time. Price now is way higher than before and in looking I see FOMA and EFKE both have a 100 speed film in sheet sizes.
Any comparisons of these with FP4+ as far as tonal distribution? Any problems with them in coating and defects? Somewhat soft emulsion isn't too much of a problem as I brush develop a sheet at a time but don't want to lose images due to coating defects.
Is the emulsion about as tough as the others once dry?
Do they work well with Sandy Kings Pyrocat HD developer?
Are they any slower with longer exposures... have to add more time for reciprocity failure?
I will stay with Ilford if the alternatives definately aren't up to snuff but a lower cost alternative would get me to try it if some who have used both have good results.
Since you like FP4, I would stick with that (and Pyrocat).
Originally Posted by WarEaglemtn
I shoot a lot of 8x10 Efke PL100 and develop it in Pyrocat- HD and/or Pyrocat MC. I fix it in TF-4 (no hardener). Pyrocat stains and tans the Efke emulsion and I have never had problem with emulsion damage. I did sacrifice several sheets of film to my personal film handling learning process. Thank you - Paula Chamlee!
Everything is analog - even digital :D
My all time favorite film is FP4($) but I can not longer afford it considering the amount of film I go thru (4x5). I have been using Efke PL100 (Adox 100) for about 2 years now and really love the stuff. I use PyroCat-HD for about 95% of what I shoot. Works very well. I have not had any problems with scratching.
I use Efke 25, 100 and Classic Pan 200/400 in sheet film. Recently I got a couple of boxes of Foma 100, and have to say I really like it. I develop in PC-TEA 1+50 in a Paterson Orbital.
When you consider its price too, it makes it even better! As far as tonal characteristics, that would depend a great deal on developer and other techniques, but the closest "other" film I can think of in appearance would be APX100.
Can't tell you anythng about longer exposure times, but I've not had any problems with emulsion defects or damage, at least not when applying a modicum of care.
I've shot hundres of sheets of Efke PL100 and developed them in the various Pyrocats. I liked it until I really got burned on a box of 8x10 that had very obvious coating defects. After seeing them, I realized that some problems I had with older negatives also were the result of less obvious coating unevenness and not due to poor processing on my part. These defects show up as uneven bands running across the film.
I've decided that I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy Ilford or Kodak. In my experience, they are cheaper in the long run because you are more assured of consistent results.
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Like other I use EFKE Pl25, Classic Pan 200, and Foma100 & 200, also occassionally FP4. I have been using predominantly Tmax 100 though since APX100 was discontinued as a sheet film, and it's a superb film, but I've switched recently to Delta 100 as I've been finding it more difficult to get Kodak B&W films.
All those films except Foma handle fairly similarly for me in Pyrocat HD, with only very minor differences in development time. Foma films I've found by testing needs significantly less development to achieve the same contrast & tonality, approx 2/3rds.
For 5x4 I tend to use Tmax (2 sheets left), and now Delta 100 but have started using HP5 for handheld work. In 10x8 I use the EFKE PL25 now, I much prefer it to Classic Pan. I'll do many more tests with 5x4 before perhaps contemplating using Foma 100 for 10x8.
Unfortunately film costs for larger formats have become exorbitant so shopping around for cheaper alternatives is one way to make considerable savings.
Ian, this is not addressed to you, I speak generally, your post was only a "trigger"
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Thing is, if we all do that, Ilford(Harman) could go down (I mean if we don't buy their products, they will stop making it), and then todays cheaper alternatives (EFKE, Adox, Foma...) will go higher price (less competition = higher prices), and we will then buy them less because they will be more expencve, and at the end we work at our damage....
I know, I know, my monthly income is about 500 EUROS (about 700USD) and I understand things, but maybe to buy majority of cheaper stuff and still some amount of Ilford, if one can not buy 100% of Ilford (or Kodak, or Fuji)?
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Actually Haris, I agree with you. I have switched almost entirely back to Ilford films again after 22 years, because they are the only B&W films I've been able to find easily in some countries during the past year. So I think it's worth supporting them, also their product have always been superb.
I still have a few hundred sheets of 10x8 film left, mainly EFKE, but I've not decided what to do when those stocks run low. But for 120 & 5x4 I've gone back to Ilford films, any difference in quality between Tmax100 & Delta 100 or FP4 isn't significant enough to have any importance in the final prints.
I've been trying to use pl100 in 8x10 sheets with pyrocat mc and have no luck with it...whether my problems are coating defects or me I just do not know and could care less...fact is I've developed thousands of sheets and have never had these issues with other films...i.e. kodak or ilford....going right back....
While not a large format user, I have used FP4, Efke 100 and Foma 100 in 35mm format processing in Rodinal and D76 with no problems at all. I love all three can shoot really well with FP4, Efke 100 and Foma 100 with ease.
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