Shanghai is one of my favourite films, for those recommending to stick to Kodak/Ilford, I would still buy Shanghai even if it was the same price (or even a little more expensive) than any other black and white film. It delivers truly wonderful tones and appears to be amazingly flexible.
Just to add to above (since it's not letting me edit). My GP3 (120) always game in black labelled boxes, in firecracker red paper that was nicely thick, easy to tear open and lined on the inside with foil. A+ packaging. Apart from the tape thing.
Never had blotches, spots, or other artefacts, except the time I tried pushing to 3200. Tonality was still good, weird pattern over it though.
My EI 800 semi-stand Rodinal 1:100 worked out great. Usually just shoot at 100 though.
Haven't shot anything in a while.. might order some new rolls.
Oh, also I prewashed my film every time with agitation. 'Violently' purple/blue dye came out every time.
I have a similar experience. Wonderful film to work with. Stand development using Rodinal gives me wonderful negatives. But then I bought a ten-pack and experienced to have the paper's negative numbers being imprinted on the negative itself. First, I thought it was due to warm storage (summer heat) of the film so I bought another brick and kept in the freezer until using it. However, it turned out to be just as worse as the previous batch. So I'm a bit reluctant for the moment using this film. It's a pity, because it has some great qualities and a good option when trying out old cameras and toycameras. By the way, the film I had problems with had the batchnumber 5156, good until 2013.
Originally Posted by mkillmer
Molli, I'm with you 100% on this.
Originally Posted by Molli
I have not yet tried Shanghai GP3 (planning to soon), but I shoot a lot of officially branded Fomapan and Freestyle's Arista rebrand. I also dabbled with LegacyPro and am a semi-regular shooter of Lucky SHD. Without those economical films, I might not still be shooting film today. Photographs don't make me any money, so the farther my cash can stretch, the more film I can shoot. The more I can shoot, the better I get, which encourages me keep going and continue to buy film. Not just the cheap stuff either. I have boxes and boxes of Tri-X in the freezer.
Economy aside though, I also reject the notion that a higher level of technical quality automatically equates to better photography. Lucky SHD 100 can objectively be called a POS when it comes to manufacturing standards, but I still love the look it gives and there's many photographs I shot with Lucky that I wouldn't go back to shoot on "better" films. Each film's unique visual aesthetic has its own value.
OK, so I thought I'd add my 2c to this thread. I bought 3 rolls of GP100 last year. I shot one roll on my Kiev60 (Ukranian camera, chinese film, east german glass, why not?), and gave it to my local lab to develop (i'm not sure what chemicals or process). It came out rather underexposed (ie very pale negatives), for which I was willing to blame my light-meter, but it also had the the problem of the dots all over it, they showed up worse in the paler areas.
So I did a bit of research back then, and thought the answer was that the circles and numbers were coming off the backing paper during the developing process (well, as far as i know the lab might have a machine that feeds it all in and doesn't deparate the backing paper).
So the other two rolls I thought I'd leave until I got the kit to process my own, which I do so I just did. Shot a roll in my Mamiya 645AF, which has a real ttl light meter so it should be accurate, rated it at ei64. In a paterson 3x135 tank, with the Shanghai and a 13-frame 35mm test roll of Rollei Retro 100, Rodinal 10+800 at 22C, spin-agitate at the beginning, big sloshing inversions at 10 and 20 minutes, a few gentle rolls at 45 minutes, otherwise stand until 60 minutes. Ilfostop 50+950 for a few minutes. Rapid Fixer 1+9 for a few minutes. Then wash, just take the lid off and let it flow in, grab the centre spindle and slosh up and down as it goes, once it's full of water tip it out and go again. Did that a few times, not counting or anything, but washed well enough, last time with a bit of Ilfotol, then hang up to dry.
It developed OK from what I've seen, but the circles are still there on the paler ones (I was doing some night-time long-exposures and sort of guessed the time so they're probably a bit underexposed), but the darker negatives look like they've got no visible circles. It's hanging to dry in the shower, I'll be able to tell better when I scan it and see. Also, it's a rather dull grey emulsion as others have said too. Nothing like the crystal-clear Ilfords i've had, the Rollei Retro in the same mix is perfectly clear too. That's nothing I can't fix once i've scanned it, but this does look like it would be a rather useless film in the darkroom with all that fog.
So for those who have and haven't had the circles, what do you do differently? It was washed well enough at the end. Maybe I should wash at the beginning? I've got one roll left to try out, otherwise I'm just going to stick to the pile of expired PanF50+ in the freezer, it cost about the same and I know it works great.
Or maybe It's just a QC problem, a bad batch? For people who have had the problem and then haven't, was it all film bought at once?
I have had good and bad luck with the Shanghai film, but I like it when it is good.
Originally Posted by Dr Croubie
What decided the backing paper print-through came from was poor ink on the paper affecting the emulsion. This assumes your "red window" isn't an issue, which was on an old Brownie I have. Black gaffer tape fixes that.
Obviously this isn't ever a problem with the sheet film.
The decision that it was the ink interacting with the emulsion - and I could be completely wrong - made me realize just how complex a boutique film plant would be to produce small runs of high quality film. The number of things that have to be "right" to make a first rate film is mind-numbing. OTOH it is completely possible to pour your own plates in your own darkroom.
I'd like to think that the manufacturer would monitor the reputation of its products, see these sorts of posts, and find ways to remedy these problems.
Then again, the number of people outside China using this film probably amounts to the population of a small town in China's countryside, while the major group of users are the Chinese themselves -- and maybe they're just happy to have some film, any film. IDK, it's just a bit odd that a factory would continue to produce a quasi-defective product.
I just had a thought, maybe they are fully aware that an old batch was defective, so they're flogging it off cheap via ebay. Us dumb westerners who are buying it are a tiny market compared to their home base, so they're not so concerned about the bad publicity...
Originally Posted by Trask