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  1. #1

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    400 speed film with fastest real EI

    What 120 film or film/developer combo will get me the fastest real shadow value speed? I'm calibrated using the standard AA routine of 0.1 over FB+F for zone 1.

    I've primarily been a larger/ultralarge format still life shooter. Subjects didn't move and camera was on a tripod. Nice!

    Now I'm working on a project carrying my "small" camera (Pentax67) around a crowded downtown. Usually too crowded and too fast moving for a tripod. Shooting Tmax400 developed in HC110 at an EI of 200. I could really use a bit more speed!

    The combo is what I like in large format for alternative process prints. This project is being printed in silver. So I'm very open to changing film and/or developer. In fact, a bit softer shoulder than Tmax400 would be nice.

    Any sugestions on good combinations to try?

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Hmm, how about neopan 400?
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #3

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    Iford 3200, can be rated at 800 I believe.

  4. #4
    E76
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    I have had great results with Ilford HP5+ at 400, developing for the recommended time in D-76 too! Ilford films are the only films I've ever used that deliver near perfect results the first time with little or no testing, but, of course, YMMV.

  5. #5

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    Wow, that was a fast bunch of replies! Thanks.

    I shoot HP5 a fair bit, because I can get it in 11x14. In HC-110 it isn't any faster than Tmax400. Perhaps being a studio shooter has "spoiled" me for shadow detail!

    Neopan is certainly softer in the shoulder. But, is it any faster?

    I had no idea that Ilford 3200 was available in medium format. I will buy a roll or two.

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomf2468 View Post
    Neopan is certainly softer in the shoulder. But, is it any faster?
    Yes. Well, at the very least it certainly isn't slower. How much faster you call it will of course depend on where you place your exposure on the curve.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  7. #7
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    If you want to stay with HC-110,
    use 1+63 (Dilution H) and reduce your agitation to 10 seconds every third minute. You will probably
    be able to develop long enough to get EI 400 without moving your highlights to N+1.

    Cool, huh ?

    Xtol will probably give you EI640 - 800, diluted 1+1 or 1+2: with reduced agitation you'll be N, or not quite N+1.

    Softening your print developer from Dektol to LPD will give you a full Ansel scale, but will help print highlights from an over-scaled subject.

    TMY is a real pussycat in the field if you pick the right developer and give it half a chance.

  8. #8
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    You really need to go with Xtol or D-76 if you want "full" speed---as has been said. You could also consider Delta 3200 at 1250-1600 in Xtol straight; or Tri-X in Diafine at about 1000-1250.
    Michael Sebastian
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  9. #9

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    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. It doesn't do you much good to calibrate to a zone I if by doing so you make zone II placements fall too low. T-max or something similar in a developer that is advertised as maintaining or increasing box speed would be a good choice of what to use to start your testing. Manufacturer's data sheets will give you factory curves so you have a starting point for picking a film to use. Kodak's data sheets are very detailed, and often give curves for different developers and/or different times.

    I would be tempted to outright suggest T-max 400 in its purpose-made developer, or barring that, in X-Tol, but I hate just giving opinions without explanation.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-21-2009 at 01:25 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."

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  10. #10
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    I usually tend to give film more light rather than less e.g. I usually use HP5+ at EI 200. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I used Delta 400 at EI 800 and I think it would have held up well with an extra stop of pushing too.

    I would like to see comparisons between Delta 400 pushed to EI 1600 and Delta 3200 at EI 1600 as I'm not sure how they would differ.



    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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