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  1. #1

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    Best MF film to start

    Hi all,

    can someone suggest to me which is the better choice in MF film to start?
    I will develop in darkroom my pictures and I use Agfa APX100 usually with 35mm films.
    I use Rodinal developer and Tetenal fixer.
    Let me know something: Rollei Retro (Ex Agfa APX) or Kodak?
    Is there any important difference on results between 100 and 400 Asa (for 35mm photography too).
    Thanks to all
    Bye
    Stark

  2. #2
    RPippin's Avatar
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    You can find a development chart for any film and any developer from either Freestyle Photo or Digitaltruth Photo web site. I would try D76 or HC110 for general use. When you want to play around, try one of the Pyro developers like Formulary WD2D+. Be very careful with Pyro and always wear latex gloves. If you get any on your skin it will kill your skin cells. I learned the hard way. My finger tips on my left hand are just now healing up from developing sheet film in a dip and dunk about 8 months ago. In short, any film you like for 35mm will work for you with medium format. Rollie Retro is fun stuff, so is Fuji Acros. If you like to shoot wide open with fast shutter speeds and lots of light, 100 ISO is pretty much standard, 400 ISO is what you might want for less light...basic rules for the "Sunny16" style of shooting.

  3. #3
    RPippin's Avatar
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    Stark, try this site for film developing. just plug in your film and developer. http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php

  4. #4
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Stark ,

    Kodak Tri X , I think that is the finest film and I am not rich to try cheaper or newer films. Its 400 ASA and better suited to your winter photography.

    Umut

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, your questions will yield as many replies as asking what color underwear you should buy. Everybody has favorites.

    In your case I would choose a film from a company that is likely to continue making the same film for a long time. And then continue using it. Consistency is the most important thing, especially in the beginning. If you switch films and/or developers a lot, you will not see the effects of changing your technique. And you can get much larger differences in your prints by changing your technique than by changing your materials.

    Just pick one film and one developer and run with it. There isn't one film that is better than any other. There are only films that suit somebody's taste better than others, and that is an individual choice.

    Good luck. Shoot lots of film. Overexpose, underexpose, overdevelop, underdevelop - on purpose! Learn from it, and gain from it. Learn to use both strengths and limitations of your materials to your advantage. But please please please focus on technique. Focus on composition. Focus on understanding light. Do NOT focus on materials, just learn how to use them.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6

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    Thank you so much!!
    Good suggestions... I was thinking to continue in the way I start with 35 mm:
    So, Rodinal and APX 100 Agfa.
    My step to MF will be Rollei Retro 100 and Ilford HP5 Plus 400 (just to learn the differences)
    I found all the charts related to my developer and those films, so I will start by there...
    Thank you

  7. #7

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    Well, it's hard to make an argument against using Tri-X film and D-76 developer. I see that you are using Rodinal developer and that's OK, but I think D-76 is an all around better choice for faster films in general. There's not much you can not do with that combination, and it is very forgiving of moderately sloppy techniques. The only other film in that speed class that I prefer is Tmax 400
    Frank Schifano

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Stark ,

    Flickr is a great database to see the lens and film combinations. I dont know what lens you are using , which enlarger lens you are using but flickr will give you a chance to bet.
    Yes , 40 years ago , magazines were 6 times thicker and they were printing excellent bw pictures with best possible lens , film , developer , photographer and magazine printing techniques.
    Tri X is around more than 50 years and I really find it excellent when looking back to my Popular Photography and other British Magazines.
    But I accept some of the characteristics are excellent with Ilford .
    Buy 5 different rolls from a distributor and make a several tests.
    From an observation , Some people uses Leica and say my Nikon is better !!!!
    If you are not blind , you will see the different qualities. Or this test will help you to recover from blindness.

    Welcome to APUG and We are ever your friends.

    Umut

  9. #9

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    I would go with Tri-X and D-76 myself.

    Jeff

  10. #10
    shnitz's Avatar
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    I will second (or third) that Tri-X and T-Max are great beginner films.

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