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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Something without much of a "scoop" in the lower tones of the characteristic curve would give you the most shadow density at a given exposure. In all practicality, the shape of the curve in this region is more important to how much density you get in the lower tones than is the exact 0.10 over FB+F speed.
    For that very reason, I'll second Keith's recommendation of Neopan 400. I'm using it in 6x7 (Pentax) and what quickly jumped out at me is how nicely it opens up shadows. Using it at 400, I'm not really seeing grain on 8x10 prints (using most of the frame.)

  2. #12
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I use Neopan 400 at EI 400 and develop in Xtol 1:1 and get great shadow detail...

  3. #13

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    I use Neopan 400 at EI 400 in Diafine. This places zone 1 at 0.1 log D.

    There's a plot of the results of my measurements here: http://www.leser.ruhr.de/foto/filmtesting/#vergleich

    Regards,
    Philipp

  4. #14

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    I find neopan 400, HP5+, delta 400 etc all pretty close. TriX is perhaps a hair behind. In Xtol diluted or DDX they all produce box speed easily and under flat conditions I can rate them at up to about 640 (without it being a real push).

  5. #15

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    I think the only answer to this question is for you to buy a few samples and test them.

    For me Tri-x tests to 400, but HP5 to only 200. I've read others that are just the opposite. Water, chemical mixing, meters, development method, and shutters may all be a little different and require a different EI for you than what I have found that works for me.

    No harm in asking, but as you can see you're getting a pile of different opinions. To find the best answer for you, you'll have to test or guess.

    Mike

  6. #16

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    As Mike said, it is time for me to go experiment. I didn't expect "one perfect answer", there are too many personal variables. I've spent so long in the studio dealing with getting film to stretch to the density needed for alt process work. For this project I wanted (and, thank-you, have gotten) some starting point suggestions. Xtol seems a common suggestion for getting highest speed out of a film, Neopan seems often suggested and I didn't know that Ilford 3200 existed. All of those will be bought and explored next week.

    Personally, I'm "hoping" the comments here and elsewhere on the web about Xtol work for me. If I could get films I already "know",Tmax400 or HP5, to give me an EI of 320, 400 or 500 with normal contrast..... I would be a very happy fellow.

    Thanks to one and all!

  7. #17

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    I know you've all been waiting for me to report back?!?!

    Again, thanks to everyone for the suggestions. If "my solution" wasn't your suggestion, well that is the joy of having so many good options!

    What worked best for "me" was my existing film (Tmax400) in a new developer (suggested by many of you), Xtol. As (I think) DF suggested, I got my best results diluting the Xtol and giving a long development without too much agitation. My numbers came out to EI of 320 developed in Xtol 1:3 for 16:30 at 70 degree F with agitation every 3 minutes. I know 68 degree is "normal", but I often can't get 68 degree tap water during the Los Angeles summer!

    That gives me a 2/3 stop speed increase, nice :-)

    Highly diluted HC-110 gave "me" less speed and more mottled midtones (not awful, just not as good as Xtol). Neopan gave "me" slightly less speed and less highlight separation. Strictly personal preference, I like the tonal values in TMax400 better than Neopan. The Ilford 3200 film was a tad grainy for 11x14 prints, but will be added to the camera bag and used on occasion.

    Tom

  8. #18

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    Thanks for reporting back Tom.

    I do like to read what others are actually testing and using.

    Mike

  9. #19

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    Why not try Tri-X? It has very nice tonality and is probably the easiest 400 speed fim to use.

  10. #20

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    Why didn't it test Tri-X? Habit really. I never liked Tri-X for my alt work, so I didn't think of it for this project. By most/all reports it isn't any faster and is perhaps a tad slower than the newer t-grain type films. Thanks for the thought, I think I'm going to be very happy with my old film / new developer combo :-)

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