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  1. #1
    optique's Avatar
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    What 4x5 400 ISO film for newbie landscape photographer?

    What would you recommend for the typical contrasty Southwest US landscape?

    I would like to constrain it to Ilford and Kodak, though I have a feeling that TXP requires extra care to prevent blown shadows and highlights. This is mostly from reading.

    I am just starting my 4x5 experience and I want to start on the right foot.

    Thanks and have a great day.
    Steve.

  2. #2

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    I recently gave Kodak TMAX 400 "improved" a try and it is amazing!! I'm shooting it at 250 and developing it in ID-11 1:1 68 degrees for 7.5 minutes in a rotary processor. For contrasty light, pulling the development would probably work well.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    That only leaves HP5 and Tmax400, both are excellent films, I'm currently using HP5 for my hand-held 5x4 work it's great in all lighting conditions.

    Ian

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    optique's Avatar
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    I had my eye on hp5 but was unsure of tmax? Maybe tmax is less forgiving in the development tank?

  5. #5
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Why not try something inexpensive like foma 200. Shoot lots. Shoot every shot twice for starters; develop the first and inspect. Then develop the second if dev time or contrast changes are necessary. You can learn much this way, and very quickly.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Why not try something inexpensive like foma 200. Shoot lots. Shoot every shot twice for starters; develop the first and inspect. Then develop the second if dev time or contrast changes are necessary. You can learn much this way, and very quickly.
    Damn. I wish I'd have thought of that.

    That'd work in 35mm, too (within a small margin of error for shutter speeds on differing cameras) as long as I use the same meter all the time.

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Just a warning Fomapan 200 is a god film and will give excellent results but it requires much shorter dev times than other films usually 2/3rds the times and also has a true speed of around 100 EI.

    Ian

  8. #8

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    Keiths advice is very good. I think e.g. Freestyle sells Foma under their own label. Anyhow, even though the film may cost half or even less in some cases, it doesn't mean that you can get excellent pictures with this film once you've learnt how to handle and process the film correctly. Once you start to get results and good pictures, there is no reason to regret using the Foma film. It is very likely that noone can tell if that nice print was made from a Foma negative or a Kodak one.

    //Bj÷rn

  9. #9
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optique View Post
    I had my eye on hp5 but was unsure of tmax? Maybe tmax is less forgiving in the development tank?
    Tmax-2 is highly forgiving in development, at least with Pyrocat-HD. Go with it, shoot many sheets, learn its development, and never look back.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  10. #10
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Let me just say something that may seem counterintuitive at first. I do not intend to contradict anyone, but rather just to give you my own opinion, for what it's worth.

    For learning exposure and such, you do not want a forgiving film. Actually the foma is perhaps a bit too kind to beginners You want a film that kicks your ass for every little mistake you make. Pardon my language.

    When teaching students totally new to sheet film (and even film in general), I had them use.... polaroid. And the fuji equivalent. Why? It has slide-like very narrow exposure latitude. It is very unforgiving. If your metering is off a half stop or so, you see it for sure. if you can expose correctly for pola/fujiroid then you can shoot just about anything, including techpan and slide. Then you are a master

    Now, instant film is rather pricey, so a lot of folks don't want to spend a lot of money on it. Fine, I understand. But just bear in mind that what makes a film optimal for a professional is not the same thing that makes it optimal for a student. A student wants/needs an unforgiving film that teaches hard lessons, that forces the student to really sweat the little details like bellows factor and reciprocity and falloff. And above all... use a cheap film for starters because you will want to shoot a lot and try several variables.

    N.b. we can tell you what variables will turn out to matter and which will not, but that is not what a teacher is supposed to do! You have to flounder a little bit on your own Otherwise it's just a matter of following recipes rather than optimizing your own approach.

    If you don't want to use a lot of film but want to learn how dev times and such affect the result, let me recommend shooting a fairly monotonous scene, and then cut your neg into strips and develop those for different times. In ~10 mins you learn everything there is to learn about how dev time affects the tone curve of your neg.

    P.S. haha, yes zenrhino, indeed you can do this with roll film too! Even the superexperts resort to clip tests now and then.
    Last edited by keithwms; 11-11-2008 at 03:55 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: sp
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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