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  1. #1

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    Best B&W Film to use with strobes?

    Hi all--

    I am *just* now setting up studio space (actually, two days ago), and am trying to learn my way around lighting. My partner has a digital camera, and this has been useful for getting some instant feedback on how shadows fall, etc., but I am dying to get in and start shooting with *my* camera, and I'm a die-hard analog user.

    In the past (and it has been a long time--I am only now getting back into my photography), I pretty much used Tri-X for everything. What is a recommended film for use in a studio situation? How fast or slow a film do I need for best results and minimum grain? My camera, until I can afford an MF one, is my trusty ol' 35mm Nikon F2.

    Thanks!

    Mike in Alaska
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout![/FONT]

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    I can't say there is a best, as black and white depends on the shadows and toneality of the scene, I have used T-Max in most situations with great results, and have used HP-5 as well, going into a new studio situation, I would recommend getting a few rolls of different ones and play with exposure and light to see what works best in your style of shooting as well as your particular lighting set up. I really like working with T-Max 100 for in the studio.

    Dave

    PS, I posted some information on your co-op thread about a couple of things we ran into with the co-op studio.

  3. #3
    bmac's Avatar
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    I would go with one oftwo films depending on if you are doing your own processing.

    1) Tmax 100 if you process youself. It has great tonality, is consistant from batch to batch and is easy to find.

    2) If having a lab process it, I would use Ilford XP2 Super shot at 200 for pretty much the same reasons as #1
    hi!

  4. #4

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    Okay, then--T-Max 100 it is, then! Thanks. I intend to process all my own film and prints, except for color (I guess I'll teach myself to do color eventually, but I'm in *love* with black and white).

    Mike in Alaska
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout![/FONT]

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    For 35mm T-Max 100 is a good choice.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6

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    Good Evening, Mike,

    Another vote for T-100, but I think you'll get good results with a number of different films.

    Konical

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGates
    Hi all--

    I am *just* now setting up studio space (actually, two days ago), and am trying to learn my way around lighting. My partner has a digital camera, and this has been useful for getting some instant feedback on how shadows fall, etc., but I am dying to get in and start shooting with *my* camera, and I'm a die-hard analog user.

    In the past (and it has been a long time--I am only now getting back into my photography), I pretty much used Tri-X for everything. What is a recommended film for use in a studio situation? How fast or slow a film do I need for best results and minimum grain? My camera, until I can afford an MF one, is my trusty ol' 35mm Nikon F2.

    Thanks!

    Mike in Alaska
    Most modern films will work just fine if you expose and develop them correctly, be carefull and avoid hot highlights.

    Your choice of film though will be influenced by the power output of your strobes. The lighting for my home studio is provided by two Norman LH 2 heads bounced into umbrellas. Using a 150mm f4.0 lens I really need a 400 speed film to get the depth of field I need for a good head and shoulders shot. If you have access to a flash meter you might want to check to see what your working apertures are going to be for different film speeds.

    Hope this helps

    - Mike

  8. #8
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    [size=2]For portraits, you may want to avoid the new-technology films such as Tmax and Delta and you may find you prefer the look of FP4+ etc. Many people seem to prefer older technology films for portraits. There are no rules of course, for everyone who sucessfully uses Tmax, there will be another one that snorts in derision and insists on using HP5+... Have a look in the galleries here and elsewhere for shots you admire and see what film & developer was used.

    [/size]Cheers, Bob.

  9. #9
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Since when is T-Max considered new tech? That confuses me a bit, as I have used it for several years now.....Kodak introduced the T-Max emulsion many years ago...Have I missed something?

    Dave

  10. #10
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinsnow
    Since when is T-Max considered new tech? That confuses me a bit, as I have used it for several years now.....Kodak introduced the T-Max emulsion many years ago...Have I missed something?

    Dave
    Tabular grain emulsions as used in Tmax and Delta are generally referred to as "new technology" emulsions, as opposed to "conventional" films of the Tri-X, FP4+ etc type - despite the fact that TMax must have been around for over 10 years now.

    Cheers, Bob.

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