I was told early on in my experience to avoid the new films like Delta and Tmax, so I think I will stick with the traditional films now, without a good reason otherwise. Plus, I don't want to leave D76 and dev times of 9min plus or minus. Thanks BR549.
Sounds like if money were no object, I could pick HP5. Then, as Keith advises, shoot a lot. I guess I will have to buy another film holder so I can have two. Joke Joke.
With 120, I was at the stage with 400tx where I was shooting well exposed negatives, requiring mostly grade 2 contrast. So, if I could built on that experience with 4x5, it would be great. I think HP5 is similar to 400TX also, right? I can graduate to altering development to adjust contrast like mentioned.
Foma sounds like a good idea, too. And, the idea of a beginner using a film without much latitude to prove out exposure does sound valid. I do have a slight interest in shooting some E6 so that may tell the same story on exposure. (Is the usual procedure to have a lab drum scan and print them?)
Very good advice.
Photography is an experimental science - I mean art!
I liked your gallery work, esp Moon flower in the first row of your flora under More Photographs.
I carefully read your tips and appreciate the time you took to respond.
I've used quite a bit of Foma 200 in rollfilm formats and I don't find it to be a very forgiving film. It is inexpensive though, and that can be an important consideration for someone just starting out with 4x5. You will make mistakes - lots of them, and they won't necessarily be exposure goofs. You will mess up handling the film when loading and unloading the holders. You will mess up when processing the film. You will make double exposures. You will forget to pull the dark slide before you make the exposure. You will forget to replace the darkslide before removing the holder from the camera. Don't you think it would be better to get all this messing up out of the way with inexpensive film before you start with the expensive stuff? And by the way, Foma 200 is capable of delivering some very fine results. I can usually get an EI or 125 or 160 from it in XTOL.
I find HP5 and FP4 to be perfectly able to manage typical contrasty Southwest light if carefully tested, metered, and developed. HP5 seems to inherently keep shadow detail better, while FP4 seems to inherently keep highlight detail better. Looking at the characteristic curves on the data sheets, you can see why this is. If I need to pull, I prefer HP5. If I need to push, I prefer FP4, as the highlights don't seem to block up as severely as HP5. However, either one is perfectly tweakable if you are willing to put the time into it. Tri-X 320 is a great sheet film as well. I used to use it almost exclusively, but switched to HP5 instead. IMO, the biggest difference between Tri-X 320 and HP5 is that they have different color responses. Tri-X has a very even response across the spectrum, while HP5 is a bit less responsive to the cooler colors.
Since you want a 400 film, I would pick between Tri-X and HP5 (although I would probably be tempted to use FP4 instead if retaining highlight detail was going to be a bigger issue than retaining shadow detail). If you like your pix to seem like they are slightly warm filtered, go for the HP5. If you want a more even color response, go for the Tri-X. Another benefit of this characteristic of Tri-X is that since shadows are cool in tone, they are opened up a little bit compared to HP5. An interesting experiment might be to get a pack of each, put one in one side of the holder and the other in the other side, double your shots onto each side, and develop them together. Either one will give you nice shots, but you will be able to see the slight differences, and decide which one you like better.
I really don't know much about Deltas and T-maxes except that I used them for a while on a suggestion, but ended up disliking the general look. I did not do any testing, but something about them seemed a bit off to me. Personal opinion, of course. I am sure if I took the time to test them, I would see that they have many good uses.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-11-2008 at 07:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
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I would say initialy go with a forgiving film like HP5 or Tri-X as there are enough other things to think about when starting out with 5x4.
Originally Posted by optique
That way you will get some results with your first efforts - despite all the many pitfalls that come with learning LF.
However, Keith has a very good point, if you need to master metering and exposure, after you have mastered the basics of a View Camera, an intolerant film (Delta 100 ?) is a very good way to learn exposure.
TMY-2 without question. I made the switch from 4x5 Tri-X to TMY-2 this spring and I've been kicking myself for sticking with Tri-X for so long.
I Develop in XTOL 1:3 (rotary, using a Jobo 3010 tank), but with any dilution of XTOL this film just sings.
All that, and I'm getting about 2/3 stop more real film speed to boot. What's not to like?
Ok guys, I ordered a box of that inexpensive foma 200 from freestyle, and some HP5+.
My three camera mistakes so far with my Crown: 1. did not reverse the darkside after taking a shot. 2. scratched film while [un]loading holder, 3. shadow self portraits too many times 4. too embarrased to say. <face turns red>
Developing has been relatively fine, but I had a lot of roll film experience. Did a 4 negative contact print on one 8x10 sheet, 3 came out looking good but one was severely underexposed, compared to other three.
You all have a good day.
When doing contact sheets you can tell which negatives are relatively under-exposed. With experience, you can tell if the "overexposed" negative needs 1/2 stop, 1 stop, 2 stops more light and adjust the exposure of the contact sheet accordingly. Make some 4x5 pieces of mat board and simply pause the timer, cover the less exposed negative, resume the exposure, etc. Alternatively, use a larger piece of matboard and do a "hard burn" on 1/4 or 1/2 of the sheet if you arrange the negatives properly.
Originally Posted by optique
my poor attempt
Here is my poor attempt at LF photography, printing and scanning! Dirty, passed around print too. Exposure was what I cared about.
I made slight adjustment to levels and sharpness to match print.
Top left photo was not focused.
I am going to find some less contrasty, much closer subjects Saturday.
I know they are bad but how bad? (fyi Crown Graphic 135mm Optar txp320)
Last edited by optique; 11-15-2008 at 12:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.