I bought once a box of this film, 4x5" that is. After a short while I realized that it made not much sense in terms of grainlessness as 20x24" prints are also pretty much grainless with usual 100 asa film.
Ability to capture detail is astonishing (if you follow the rules of engagement as described on the gigabit website).
One of the few test-exposures I made:
Detail: 25x enlargement (print would have been 100"x125")
taking lens was a SK APO Symmar 150mm (at f8 or f11)
print lens was a SK Componon S 80mm (central area enlarged to get to 25x)
Originally Posted by EricR
the 35mm Film is indeed a technical application film from AGFA named "Copex". But this is not the case with sheet film. Gigabit 35mm and Gigabit Sheet Film are two different products. They differ in character and in the tech specs. While the sheet film is rated at 25 ASA and has virtually no grain at all (you can hardly recognize some with a microscope beyond 50x), the 35mm-Film is reated at 40 ASA and has got a little more grain than a Tech Pan in Technidol - but can still show a little more detail, especially when the contrast is low and the paper grade is high.
Maybe you can buy AGFA Copex cheaper, but you will also need a special developer for "pictural photography". The crux of Gigabitfilm lies within the developers. You can use these developers with Tech Pan, or Maco ORT 25 or any other high contrast document film as well. There do exist alternatives like SPUR Nanospeed. But nothing really compares to the Gigabit Developer I, which is a high temperature process that yields a gamma value of 0.5, independend of the development time (!)
Another perspective on the quest for ultra fine grain (from 5x4)....
In the search for improved enlargements I have film hopped, especially after falling in love with APX 100 at the exact moment the 5x4 was axed. I have used Acros 100 and TMAX100 quick and readyloads etc etc. I have found that getting the right pictorial effect is the tough bit, as it is all about balancing fine tonality and grain with apparrent sharpness (not the same as fine grain, but caused by grain). IMHO ultra fine grain does not do a print any favours at all unless you print really large from small negs (when grain would otherwise be large and potentially ugly if you dont want it!). I do the LF landscape thing and have found that fP4+ is great up to a max of 16 x 20 in ID11 1+1 for the look I am after and it is beautiful at 16 x 12 or so. Yes, the TMAX 100 and ACROS allow greater enlargements for a given tonality, but they lack the sparkle that the traditional films have for my eyes. I do use acros, but only when I need to travel light (or have no changing facilities)and use the quickloads or for greater than 16 x 20 enlargements (rare). I have found that at smaller sizes, the modern tech films produce images lacking in sparkle and apparrent sharpness. I have therefore concluded that as I prefer the look of tradtional films (Not a techie so cannot explain why I feel that they look so much better) and sometimes want 20 x 24 enlargements with no grain, sumptuous tonality and oodles of sparkle, that 8x 10 is the way ahead (for what I want). I will be using Efke 100, which is actually quite grainy, but truly beautiful on a print. I have used it in 5x4, and it is simply gorgeous. When I am doing lots of walking, It will be 5x4 and FP4. in 120 rollfilm, I am sticking to APX100 as this is in a league of its own for me (in ID11).
There you have it. Use film/dev/paper combos that produce beautiful images that you like the *look* of and if the grain is too much at the print size you require and tonality is breaking up, use a bigger piece of film. Alternatively ask if you treally do need a huge print. I truly believe that images 'want ' to be a certain size. Some want to be any size, some must be big, others small. Only a small proportion MUST be large to 'work'.
So, you may find, like I did, that chasing fine grain does your images more harm than good. I found that I lost the grain, but also the soul of the image. I have read this sort of verdict before and thought, "yeah right, these are sermons from Ansel Adams disciples, who would throw away a DDS contaminated by T Grain film. They MUST be irrational, bearded types who cant deal with progress." Beards or no beards, they were right.
By the way...........The best example I have found of a truly bitingly sharp, ultra fine grain combo with a look I like is 5x4 acros in Dixactol Ultra (similar to Pyrocat HD). However, even that looks soft and lacking in edge at less than 16 x 12. At 16 x 20/20x24 it is incredible!! (you can only now comfortably see grain under a focus finder)
All that I have said above applies to what I like the look of, but if you have seen LF images that you would like to emulate from small negs, you will be doing better than me if you manage it! I simply found that many modern films lack soul and try as I might, I could not make them pretty! The only exception so far is Delta 100, which is appears to have more potential for me (more grain than TMAX100, but sharper and has more soul).
You guessed it, beard growing now in progress.
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
I agree. I would even say, that grain is usually not an issue at all in LF. One even must make an effort to get some grain in certain cases.
Gigabitfilm is on the other hand a film that also looks different/interesting. You may like it or not - or not in all cases. So don't consider Gigabit Sheet Film for the lack of grain only.
Gigabitfilm is also convenient to process, esp. if you do color as well and already have a processor for that. 13 f-stops at a gamma of 0.5 is within the Standard of chemistry I. Different gamma values and "normal" B&W processing is availiable with chemitry IV.
The only thing I would aska bout a 20 x 30 print from 35mm is that this would be a 30X enlargement. Regardless of film, your lenses are going to really struggle here! If you are using a 35mm lens at f22 for a landcsape, diffraction will limit your resolution somewhat. Surely a 30 x enlargement of 40 lpmm will not give an exceedingly large print in real terms??!!!
I could see that gigabit, aside from any unique look that it has, would suit creamy subject matter to be blown up really large, such as foggy scenes, water scenes perhaps, where is enlarging big from 35mm would otherwise produce grain harming a dreamy effect.
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I have never seen a 35mm lens - we ARE talking about true focal length - not "retro" - that would stop down to f/22 ... that is a *very* small - in terms of physical aperture - diameter. Lens makers do not *WANT* to have their product subjected to the possibility of degradation by diffraction.... so f/16 is the lower limit.
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
Ed Sukach, FFP.
look at the new 35mm pancake lens voightlander put out
it seems it stops to f22
being an m mount lens, I doubt that it is retro focus...
I havent seen the other lenses yet, but I could swear I had seen a 35mm that stoped down that far.
it seems that their color skopar 35mm stops down to f22 as well
And I have a 21mm Zeiss Biogon (Contax G2) that stops down to f22. This thread seems to have wandered out into the weeds.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
The only way to resolve this would be an analysis of the lens design... noting the true aperture - to - film plane distance, and actual aperture diameter. I refuse to extrapolate - but I would *suspect* a retrofocus design.
Ed Sukach, FFP.