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Thread: 5x7 sheet film

  1. #1

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    5x7 sheet film

    I posted this in the film forum, but thought it couldn't hurt to post here, too. I just got a B&J 5x7 and I'm so jacked about finally making the contact prints I've always wanted to. Thing is, I don't trust manufacturers anymore to keep up making "odd" sizes like 5x7, and I like to settle in with one film and developer combination. So if anyone has ideas about what companies have longevity, i.e., are committed to making 5x7 for a while . . .
    I'll most likely be developing in pyro, and might experiment with Azo, but I've had nice results with other FB papers over the years. (Is that ok to confess in this forum? I get the feeling everybody here contacts onto Azo!)
    Thanks for your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
    I posted this in the film forum, but thought it couldn't hurt to post here, too. I just got a B&J 5x7 and I'm so jacked about finally making the contact prints I've always wanted to. Thing is, I don't trust manufacturers anymore to keep up making "odd" sizes like 5x7, and I like to settle in with one film and developer combination. So if anyone has ideas about what companies have longevity, i.e., are committed to making 5x7 for a while . . .
    I'll most likely be developing in pyro, and might experiment with Azo, but I've had nice results with other FB papers over the years. (Is that ok to confess in this forum? I get the feeling everybody here contacts onto Azo!)
    Thanks for your help.
    If you are planning on contact printing on Azo then you will need a film that is capable of developing a high density range. The film that I have found to work very well is Efke PL 100. I like Pyrocat as a developer with this film. I have found that ABC Pyro while somewhat more active then Pyrocat suffers from greater apparent grain if you would ever want to enlarge your negatives. Tmax 400 is another film that is capable of producing a high DR but I don't know if it is still available in 5X7.

    Efke film is available from JandC Photo. (one of the site sponsors)

    If you keep your negative density range in the 1.30 range, your negatives will print on grade three Azo and also on variable contrast paper. If you plan on Grade two Azo it will require a negative density range of 1.65 and probably won't print very well on conventional VC paper.

  3. #3
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Good question. TMAX 400 is not available in 5x7 any longer as a stock item. You may be able to special order an entire run but it will be in the thousands of dollars.

    Tmax 100 is still available but who knows for how long. But, about a year ago Kodak started incorporating some sort of UV blocker in the film base which has rendered the film a very poor choice for alternative process contact printing. If you are going to ever want to contact your negatives as cyanotypes, Pt/Pd, van dyke browns, kallitypes, etc., I would strongly suggest a different film.

    I've settled on Ilford HP5+ and hopefully given Ilford's very strong and promising press release yesterday, their products will remain for a long time and they will be the last manufacturer standing as they have stated.

    Otherwise, I think Efke & Berrger might be choices to consider, but I do think Ilford has the best shot at surviving.

    Joe

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    I would again second Ilford. The news just keeps getting better (thankfully). I have settled on FP4 and HP5 and will support them all the way. Such films are their core business and so it makes sense.

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    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    HP5+ gets my vote. Ilford has supported odd sizes in the past.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

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    Yeah, I read the press release just after posting this question. Sounds like Ilford is going to carry the torch, and that's great news.

    Um, Loose Gravel, are those rocks by any chance on the San Marcos Pass? I lived in SB for 28 years, and have seen my share of rockslides there.

  7. #7
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    I think you can rely on Ilford. Also, 8x10 can be cut down to 2 5x7 sheets, and I'm sure that will be around forever. Don't sweat not being able to get 5x7 film.

    -Mike

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    James Bleifus's Avatar
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    I haven't heard about Efke being in trouble. Has anyone one else? Personally, when I bought my 5X7 I ordered a number of different films for testing in the field and picked the one that pleased me the best. It seems to me that the best approach is to pick the film that you like the best (whichever that one is) and hope that they don't go out of business instead of vice versa.

    Cheers,

    James

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    Considering the possibility of contact printing on Azo I would definitely not use HP5...the only time would be in situations of high SBR or in Zone Speak N minus development. HP5 will not develop the high negative density range required in printing on Azo especially in low SBR situations.

    The preferable alternative would be FP4. That film will develop the density range required...perhaps not to the extent of Efke PL100 but certainly much better then HP5.

    I would also recommend the 125 ISO film that Photo Warehouse will cut to 5X7 size. That is reported to be private label FP4.

    While HP5 will work somewhat better with conventional VC paper...it definitely is not the best choice when negatives with high density ranges are mandated by the printing paper or alternative process.

    Bergger is even worse the HP5...it is probably one of the worst film choices for Azo or alternative process.

  10. #10
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhphoto
    Um, Loose Gravel, are those rocks by any chance on the San Marcos Pass? I lived in SB for 28 years, and have seen my share of rockslides there.
    Rhphoto

    Those rocks are about 1 mile off the pass on East Camino Cielo, not far from Painted Cave. We had 25 inches in 5 days right around new year and the rocks did tumble. You sure moved a long way away.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

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