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  1. #11
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    My favorite medium speed film. Use it both in 35mm and 120. Develop in Ilfosol 3. I rate it at 100 and add 10-15% to the developing chart on the bottle. That's just what works for me.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  2. #12
    Luseboy's Avatar
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    I love love love fp4+. I shoot it at iso 125, and process in d76 1:1. Ive had great results in 4x5 and 35mm. You'll be happy with it, thats for sure. great all around film.

  3. #13
    alroldan12's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your answers. It is funny, I've used my film/paper/developer combination for some time now (about 3 years) and even though I like the results, I felt I was missing something that a slow speed film could give me. I just ordered a couple of rolls and I should be able to report back pretty soon.

    Thanks again,

    Axel

  4. #14
    Luseboy's Avatar
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    Axel-
    you'll notice a finer grain with this over the 400tx. it will be a little tighter and it will make larger prints less grainy. make sure you set your camera to the right iso!
    -Austin

  5. #15

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    Hi,

    FP4 is my main medium-speed b/w film.

    One reason it often looks muddy is that it does not maintain its tonal relationships very well when either underexposed or overexposed. Quite frankly, most people underexpose and overexpose everything they shoot most of the time (and this does not even get into the variables encountered with processing), because they use reflected light meters that read the composition, as opposed to either tonal placement or a measurement of the light source (incident metering). Another reason is that most people aren't very good printers, so don't know how to best recover from poor exposure and contrast issues. Another reason is that when you are looking on line at photos, you are seeing photos from any old Joe Blow, and there are also some technical issues that have to do with how photos are viewed on computer screens (digitization, calibration, etc.).

    FP4 is somewhat "old school" in that it will readily compress highlights, which some people love and some people hate. I really like it for most things I shoot. However, this feature means that perfect exposure is more important than with some films. If you overexpose, you noticeably (with the naked eye) lose contrast with FP4. This is not the case with HP5, and certainly not with Delta 100 and 400, T-Max, etc. These films can capture high-end detail till the cows come home. Not so with FP4. As I said, depending on the shot, this is either a good thing or a bad thing.

    On the low end, where you might expect the same to apply (except it is called toe instead of shoulder), you actually get up onto the straight line of the curve relatively quickly for a traditionally-grained emulsion. FP4 has plenty of "bite" in the low tones, and handles underexposure better than it handles overexposure IME.

    I like the film because it is naturally punchy and dramatic in the low tones, yet delicate and gentle in the high tones. However, the high end can also be given a little kick with overdevelopment.

    IME, HP5 is almost exactly the opposite. It is the low tones and mids that are soft and can easily become compressed ("mushy") or lost, and the high tones that bite.

    I rate FP4 at 200 for use with the Zone System (one of the only films that I rate higher than box speed when doing tonal placement), and at box speed for standard exposure (incident or sunny 16/exposure chart). I use HC-110 dilution B for normal and harsh negs, and dilution H for softer negs. I have also used it with Rodinal and D-23, but I like HC-110 best for general purposes.

    The film can get grainy. It is not like Delta or T-Max, with which you need to try to find the grain. It is there, and can readily be brought out even more by either sloppy exposure and processing or purposeful manipulation.

    I think it is a great all-around medium-speed b/w film. If I had to pick one, FP4 would be it. However, I supplement it with T-Max 100 for certain applications (flat light, long exposures, when I want extreme sharpness and/or lack of visible grain, etc.).
    2F/2F

    "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)

  6. #16
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    2F/2F,

    I read your post with interest regarding compression in highlights. It seems that there is a contradiction in that FP4 "will readily compress highlights" and "the high end can also be given a little kick with overdevelopment" - doesn't that mean the same thing - compression in the higher values? Am I drinking too little coffee?
    Last edited by Jerevan; 10-25-2010 at 05:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #17

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    Hi, Jerevan.

    I should have been more clear. By compressed highlights, I am speaking mostly of something you see in printing (usually when burning in). I meant things that are beyond the point of detail and texture – paper base white and just before it, and things that land on the negative much beyond this. When they are burned down, there is not nearly as much tonal separation and detail as there is with a film like T-max.

    As for giving the high end a "kick" with development, I am talking about a method to raise contrast by raising the values of the high mids and high tones on the print. Even though the film shoulders off relatively quickly, overdevelopment still increases contrast in the areas that are not on the shoulder. This is something you'd likely do with a neg that you think needs more contrast, not one you think you might have to significantly burn through, though theses two cases are one and the same sometimes (when you want more local contrast or mid tone separation, for instance, and will pay the price of having to burn in the higher tones to get it).

    My main points were that the film is aesthetically full of character, but it can be hard to work with technically, compared to newer-style emulsions, which can handle quite a lot of technical slop.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 10-25-2010 at 04:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "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)

  8. #18
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    2F/2F,

    thanks for the clarifications. I think I understand what you mean, although I am not able to put it down in words.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  9. #19

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    High tone compression on a print generally happens when you print from the areas of the negative with densities above those densities that will print to white in a normal print from a normally exposed negative. You do not see major compression in the print unless you actually place the densities from the high part of the shoulder of the negative onto the print. You must sometimes do this to darken an overexposed negative, and you may often do it when burning in.

    Because the compression is above the densities that would print to maximum paper white, bumping up the contrast can still be accomplished with development, even though the tones on the upper part of the shoulder would become more compressed. However, as I said, usually when you are bumping up contrast, you don't have many, if any, tones that are landing on the shoulder anyhow, though sometimes you might.

    Personally, I find highlight compression to be extremely aesthetically pleasing in many cases, and I like having that shoulder close by to work with when using FP4. It always depends on what you want for the shot. Nothing a film does is good or bad in and of itself. It just is what it is, and you learn what this is so you can decide whether or not to use it.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 10-25-2010 at 06:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "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)

  10. #20

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    Its taken me a while to find a development approach that works well for me with this film. My first few rolls were... poor. Muddy pictures with excessively high contrast. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure these shots were underexposed by about 1 to 1.5 stops and slightly pushed. The negatives became very contrasty quickly.

    A semi-stand development example. I haven't verified this development approach is reproducible - I got this the first time I tried this approach - but this is my favorite so far:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5097931503/
    Shot at 100
    Rodinal, 1:100
    Developed in a 120 tank with an empty 35mm reel on the bottom
    60 minutes, 15 seconds initial agitation, 2 slow agitations every 10 minutes

    A more traditional development example. Not a fantastic shot but it gives a sense of the look:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/5014466987/
    Shot at 100
    Rodinal, 1:50
    15 minutes, 21 degrees
    8 slow initial agitations, 2 slow agitations every 2 minutes

    An example of my earlier attempt with the film. I was trying to keep a bit of detail in the sky but underexposed the scene by about a stop as a result. Compared to my later development this was probably pushed a bit. The look works for some shots where I want higher contrast but that is less common.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4781476369/
    Shot at 125
    Rodinal, 1:62 (4ml of 250ml)
    20 minutes
    8 slow initial agitations, 2 slow agitations every 5 minutes after

    A shot were this contrast and look worked well for me:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4522330865/

    I want to get to the point where I can map what i like and don't like to proper terminology along the lines of what 2F/2F said. I'm a ways off.

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