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Thread: I give up!

  1. #1

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    I give up!

    I've been using Foma films and other products since 2003 when they became readily available in the United States. I was suspicious of the Soviet Bloc quality control, or lack thereof, but the rock bottom price and more so the beautiful "look" of their film kept me hooked. Quality control issues did arise in 120 size rolls and their packaging, and leaky chemical packs, but the 35mm film was just fine. I figured that with their having to compete on the free market now, the quality control issues would be worked out. It's 2011 and my confidence was shattered when I recently developed a roll of Fomapan/Arista 400 in 35mm size and part of the roll was fogged, almost black! Subsequent and previous rolls of other brands and other Foma films run through the same camera and processing tank showed no evidence of fog. The other roll of the same exact film type in the tank came out fine. The fog was about 10 shots into the roll so it doesn't look like loading error. Seeing that the fog also showed the images of sprocket holes from somewhere (but not the same roll because only one end of the roll showed any fog) I suppose some other unlucky photographers out there got the rest of that batch. I'd note the batch number but I tossed the box when I was shooting.

    I would still use Foma, until I went photo supply shopping a short while ago. Foma products now cost the same and sometimes even more than such "bulletproof" brands as Ilford and Kodak! (B and H and Freestyle prices) That's it, no more Foma for me. They've got some nerve...If I have to pay first class prices, I'll go for the first class product. I've shot Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, and Agfa (R.I.P.) for 30 years and everything was perfect right down to the printing on the box. I'll miss the luscious tonal range of Foma which I've not been able to get with other brands of film, but at least I'll have pictures!

  2. #2
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    I never really liked Foma's tonality compared to Kodak, but I do love Efke. I am dismayed at their prices now too, they used to charge a little over $2 a roll, now its about the same as Kodak film. Since Freestyle sells Kodak Tri-X in the Arista name for $2.50, I just buy it. I still have 70 rolls of Frestyle's Tri-X left!
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  3. #3
    cmacd123's Avatar
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    Suggest contacting the factory. The batch number on the edge print is only part of the number on the box, but It might be a start.

    Were the images of the perfs inline with the other perfs, or across the film? No chance that someone may have opened the camera back when you were not looking?
    Charles MacDonald
    aa508@ncf.ca
    I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville

  4. #4

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    With the present state of the US economy and the loss of jobs in this country lets start supporting Kodak. They are an American company; Ilford, Foma and all the others are not. We lost Kodak papers awhile back and I really miss them. Now Plus-X in 120 size was discontinued recently. Pay a few cents more and buy American.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Never liked Foma films, thin, scratched easy, and sometimes would get bad krinkles/wrinkles when mishandled by rougher hands.

    Tri-X and Neopan were much better alternatives. Never a problem there.

    I always try and order Kodak when I put in orders for the darkroom I teach at, film(kodak or arista rebranded kodak) and chemicals (d76, Dektol, indicator stop, fixer, and hypoclear). Its competitively priced and are high quality.

  6. #6
    Pfiltz's Avatar
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    I'm a new RB67 owner. Matter fact, I've never shot film. Been shooting digi in the studio for 11 years now.

    My first purchase was for 50 rolls of Kodak Tri-X 400 iso

    Long live big gold/black.

  7. #7
    mrred's Avatar
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    Wow. I have never had problems with foma like discussed here. I shoot 35 and 120. Yes it's lower dr and a little soft, but I shoot and process accordingly. It's price is a good magic point for me to keep shooting and high enough quality to trust it. I get consistent results.

    Gerald: As far as North American offerings, I don't see why TX fetches such a high price. I often see it listed near or above TMY. I think it should get listed at about 1/2 as much as TMY is much higher quality and a fair price for what it is. Then I would make my general purpose switch. As of the time of writing a 100' of TX is 59.99 (B&H) and 100' of TMY is 59.95 (B&H). Go figure.

    As far as buying their product just because: A good $$ investment is an investment toward problems that only money can cure. IE: You need to buy some raw material for a sale of product on a deal already closed. If it was an investment because of bad management, only a purge of the bad management can really cure it. We would not be supporting a company from a downturn in the economy, but a falure to address their problems as they arose. I don't see a change in Kodak as of yet. Me buying / not buying a roll of film is not going to save them.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrred View Post
    I don't see why TX fetches such a high price. I often see it listed near or above TMY. I think it should get listed at about 1/2 as much as TMY is much higher quality and a fair price for what it is. Then I would make my general purpose switch. As of the time of writing a 100' of TX is 59.99 (B&H) and 100' of TMY is 59.95 (B&H). Go figure.
    TX has long been a favorite of professional phorographers who like its tonality. As to the price I would say that TX and TMY cost about the same for Kodak to produce. Maybe a bit more for TX as it contains more silver. Which one to use is a matter of personal preference. I don't like any of the T-grain films. I find them a bit fussy.

    Jerry
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    With the present state of the US economy and the loss of jobs in this country lets start supporting Kodak. They are an American company; Ilford, Foma and all the others are not. We lost Kodak papers awhile back and I really miss them. Now Plus-X in 120 size was discontinued recently. Pay a few cents more and buy American.
    I'm in Australia & we don't have any film manufacturers.
    So I suppose I can buy from whoever I like.

  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I've never had any defects show up in any of my Foma or other European films (yet). That doesn't mean some defects don't occur, just I have not had any. Half a roll fogged quite possibly reaks of user malfunction, inadvertant exposure to light, camera defect, whatever, but does not sound like a manufacturing defect, tho I suppose anything IS possible.
    As for supporting the stupid yellow company, I did, used their stuff exclusivly for many years. They stopped supporting me, and for that, they deserve to suffer for the mistakes their leaders make, which they obviously do on a daily basis, make them and suffer for them. Thank you to Ilford, and Simon who are commited to our pursuits, and the other companies that struggle to stay afloat in this severe economy, that endeavor to supply us with basic materials. I will support as many as I can, and am committed to stop being short sighted by overlooking them.
    Last edited by Rick A; 12-04-2011 at 07:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

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