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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,299
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


For christmas, I bought myself B&W film development toys. It's been a decade since I've developed my own film, and want to spend a significant amount of time this year doing so. Going back to the basics and such.

For 35mm... what films should I pick up?

I ordered a few rolls of Ilford Delta 100 as well as one each of FP4+ and FP5+ I'll likely stay indoors, in studio for the first little bit... it's cold out. What would you recommend in the 400 and slower?

Also, I just picked up D-76, any other developers to try out? It's just going to be a year of experimentation.
Jan 02 13 01:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


-JAY- wrote:
I ordered a few rolls of Ilford Delta 100 as well as one each of FP4+ and FP5+ I'll likely stay indoors, in studio for the first little bit... it's cold out. What would you recommend in the 400 and slower?

100ft rolls? wink

I'm quite partial to some FP4+, although I'm loving Agfa APX/Rollei Retro 100 recently. Shame they quit making it, but fortunately I managed to pick up a 100ft bulk roll of Retro 100 on eBay a couple of weeks ago (first I've seen for sale anywhere in at least 6 months).

For faster stuff, I go with Tri-X or HP5 depending on the look I want and how contrasty the scene is, and push it to whatever I need to push it to.

For slower, PANF.

Most stuff I develop in Ilfotec LC29.

Jan 02 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-The Dave-
Posts: 8,590
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Tri-X
Jan 02 13 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,299
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


-The Dave- wrote:
Tri-X

It's #1 on my amazon wishlist. waiting until i have a few on there, then ordering it all.

Jan 02 13 01:09 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,299
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Oh, and faster = more contrasty/less DR in general, yes? so if I want to shoot dramatic art nude type stuff, with solid blacks and sharp falloff, 400/800 would be considered first?
Jan 02 13 01:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


-JAY- wrote:
It's #1 on my amazon wishlist. waiting until i have a few on there, then ordering it all.

I'd just hit up eBay, or your local camera store (if there's any still left) and get a 100ft roll.  Bulk loaders are dirt cheap these days.

Jan 02 13 01:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
r T p
Posts: 2,849
Los Angeles, California, US


Jan 02 13 01:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


-JAY- wrote:
Oh, and faster = more contrasty/less DR in general, yes? so if I want to shoot dramatic art nude type stuff, with solid blacks and sharp falloff, 400/800 would be considered first?

Personally I like to shoot with the most DR I can, and then I can make the decision about contrast during the printing/scanning stage.

Are you going to be doing your own wet prints?  If you are, have a look at split grade printing.

http://www.lesmcleanphotography.com/art … article=21

Jan 02 13 01:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-The Dave-
Posts: 8,590
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Kaouthia wrote:

I'd just hit up eBay, or your local camera store (if there's any still left) and get a 100ft roll.  Bulk loaders are dirt cheap these days.

Cheap? I have one he can have for free if he wants it.

I'm too lazy to load my own, or roll my own for that matter... smile

Jan 02 13 01:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
robbie
Posts: 324
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


Definitely a niche market, but I absolutely loved Ilford Delta 3200.
Beautiful tones and grain quality that seemed to actually add to the image.
Jan 02 13 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


-The Dave- wrote:
Cheap? I have one he can have for free if he wants it.

See, can't get much cheaper than that. wink

-The Dave- wrote:
I'm too lazy to load my own, or roll my own for that matter... smile

I bought about 200 empty cans from the local camera shop, so I just put a 100ft roll in the bulk loader, load up all the cans I can out of it, label them, and store them til I need 'em.

Jan 02 13 01:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,196
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


-JAY- wrote:
Also, I just picked up D-76, any other developers to try out? It's just going to be a year of experimentation.

The oft-told wisdom that almost nobody ever follows (to their benefit or detriment, depending on whom you ask big_smile ) is one film + one developer for a year. Push it, pull it, shoot in contrasty light, flat light, no light. Regular dilution, more dilute, really dilute and semi-stand process it. Basically beat the heck out of that combo until there's (almost) nothing new to learn with it, and you've pushed the limits to discover all the things you can and can't do with it. Then change one and only one variable.

The Massive Development Chart (http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php) offers a dizzying matrix of film and development starting points. You want to avoid that kind of confusion because it's extremely difficult (I think) to learn or relearn with consistency and confidence if you're bouncing around with different combos.

As I said, nobody does it, present company included. Everyone rambles* around the long way (ooooh, if I bought some X, I could make my negatives look like Y!) and eventually stumbles upon something that they swear is the best for them. They're lying. wink

If you take your classic D-76 and rock it with any of the films that you mentioned, you'll make printable or scannable negatives. Creamy tones, hard light falloff, gritty grain, deep blacks, piercing whites, all possible.


*Edit: Nobody ever said this rambling isn't a heck of a lot of fun, that's why we do it. smile I just wouldn't recommend it as the fastest route to consistency.

Jan 02 13 01:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
STAHLWERK
Posts: 814
Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany


-JAY- wrote:
For christmas, I bought myself B&W film development toys. It's been a decade since I've developed my own film, and want to spend a significant amount of time this year doing so. Going back to the basics and such.

For 35mm... what films should I pick up?

I ordered a few rolls of Ilford Delta 100 as well as one each of FP4+ and FP5+ I'll likely stay indoors, in studio for the first little bit... it's cold out. What would you recommend in the 400 and slower?

Also, I just picked up D-76, any other developers to try out? It's just going to be a year of experimentation.

1.) My alltime favourite Ilford Hp5+. This film will blow you away. For me the best b&w film at the moment. Sharp and very fine grain. Very good for portraits and full bodies in available light. This film cover almost all situations for the things I shoot. Development in D-76

If I can't get a HP5+ I use the films below.

2.) Ilford Delta 400. Fantastic film and simple to use. Very sharp with smooth tones and little grain. Developed in D-76 1+1 give me the best results out of this film.

3.) T-MAX (TMY) 400. Developed in Xtol. TMY it is enormously sharper and finer grained than Tri-X. But I can only speak for 120 Rollfilm.

Delta and TMY are "T" films and these are a little harder to process. Developement must be handled with good care. Always have an eye on the temperature. If you bring the films to a lab, make sure they know how to handle it.

Jan 02 13 01:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,196
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Kaouthia wrote:

-The Dave- wrote:
Cheap? I have one he can have for free if he wants it.

See, can't get much cheaper than that. wink


I bought about 200 empty cans from the local camera shop, so I just put a 100ft roll in the bulk loader, load up all the cans I can out of it, label them, and store them til I need 'em.

Buying 100ft rolls and bulk loading was one way I helped to curb my wandering film eye.

Jan 02 13 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
STAHLWERK
Posts: 814
Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany


AgX wrote:

The oft-told wisdom that almost nobody ever follows (to their benefit or detriment, depending on who you ask big_smile ) is one film + one developer for a year. Push it, pull it, shoot in contrasty light, flat light, no light. Regular dilution, more dilute, really dilute and semi-stand process it. Basically beat the heck out of that combo until there's (almost) nothing new to learn with it, and you've pushed the limits to discover all the things you can and can't do with it. Then change one and only one variable.

The Massive Development Chart (http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php) offers a dizzying matrix of film and development starting points. You want to avoid that kind of confusion because it's extremely difficult (I think) to learn or relearn with consistency and confidence if you're bouncing around with different combos.

As I said, nobody does it, present company included. Everyone rambles around the long way (ooooh, if I bought some X, I could make my negatives look like Y!) and eventually stumbles upon something that they swear is the best for them. They're lying. wink

If you take your classic D-76 and rock it with any of the films that you mentioned, you'll make printable or scannable negatives. Creamy tones, hard light falloff, gritty grain, deep blacks, piercing whites, all possible.

Very good advice wink

Jan 02 13 01:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


AgX wrote:
Buying 100ft rolls and bulk loading was one way I helped to curb my wandering film eye.

Helps with what you said above about sticking to one film & developer for a while and shooting it in a bunch of different conditions before moving on to the next.

I quit shooting film for about 10 years until last January, and I'd never shot black & white when I used to shoot film, so when I started over, just getting a couple of rolls of this, and a couple of rolls of that, my results were all over the place, no consistency at all.

Now, I'm getting a bit better and starting to know what film I want to use for what conditions and how I want to develop it before I've even loaded the camera. smile

Jan 02 13 02:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Commercial Works Photo
Posts: 243
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, US


As a person who used bulk film for years, I got tired of buying re-usable canisters all the time.  I replaced them with used film cartriges that are the by product of others having their film developed.  When the film goes through the machine, it gets cut near the end.  There is enough left that you can butt the end sticking out of the cannister to the end of your film and tape them together with Scotch tape.  The piece of tape was long enough to go across the top and wrap around the bottom.  I always used the same ISO cannister as my film type so the camera would automatically set the correct ISO (I could change it later manually)  At first I would load rolls of 24 or 36, but later on as I learned more about photography and processing,  I would load short rolls of 5-7 exposures treating each short roll as I would a sheet of 4x5 and processing with those exposures  (N, N+1, N-1, etc...)in mind.  I never had an issue reusing a container, certainly got less scratches and dust, the film never came loose from the roll, and I got the cannisters for free.


P.S.  Tri-X?  Why not just go back to cave painting?
Jan 02 13 02:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 873
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Commercial Works Photo wrote:
P.S.  Tri-X?  Why not just go back to cave painting?

There must be a reason why this film is the only old time Kodak BW film still in production...

I have been using it for more than 20 years and going, and believe me, I have tried others. ;-)

Jan 02 13 02:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Schlake
Posts: 2,243
Socorro, New Mexico, US


I say you need a hundred cases of AGFA-25.  You'll also need a time machine, though.  sad
Jan 02 13 02:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Commercial Works Photo
Posts: 243
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, US


Carioca wrote:
There must be a reason why this film is the only old time Kodak BW film still in production...

I have been using it for more than 20 years and going, and believe me, I have tried others. ;-)

You are probably a caveman hehe

I also started with Tri-X but went to TMax for finer grain.  Many say TMax is too finicky, but once I learned to expose correctly then process correctly, I was able to get 10 stops of range on the negative.

Jan 02 13 02:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Commercial Works Photo wrote:
I got tired of buying re-usable canisters all the time.

Why buy 'em all the time?  They're re-usable! smile

I use the plastic ones, I have found them to be more more durable than metal ones.

Jan 02 13 02:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PANHEAD PHOTOGRAPHY
Posts: 1,618
San Francisco, California, US


tri x is the best for restarting, very forgiving and makes great prints
Jan 02 13 03:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Commercial Works Photo
Posts: 243
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, US


Kaouthia wrote:
Why buy 'em all the time?  They're re-usable! smile

I use the plastic ones, I have found them to be more more durable than metal ones.

After you use them for a while they get dusty and will scratch your film.  I would not use them more than 3 times before discarding them.  After switching to the free cartiges, I never had another issue.

Jan 02 13 03:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,238
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Schlake wrote:
I say you need a hundred cases of AGFA-25.  You'll also need a time machine, though.  sad

Agfa 25 was one of my favourites, although exposure was extremely critical. The results with this film and a Tamron 90 lens were unbelievably sharp for 35mm. Unfortunately it was replaced with the "improved" APX 25 which lost all of its character.

Jan 02 13 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Schlake
Posts: 2,243
Socorro, New Mexico, US


WMcK wrote:

Agfa 25 was one of my favourites, although exposure was extremely critical. The results with this film and a Tamron 90 lens were unbelievably sharp for 35mm. Unfortunately it was replaced with the "improved" APX 25 which lost all of its character.

The only thing AGFA 25 was bad at was people.  The lack of grain somehow made them look plastic straight out of the enlarger.

Jan 02 13 03:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


Schlake wrote:
The lack of grain somehow made them look plastic straight out of the enlarger.

Didn't you know?  That's called "the fashion look" now. wink

Jan 02 13 03:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
End of the Road Studio
Posts: 159
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Many of my old favorite films are now history.  i have settled on ILFORD FP4 and HP5.  I like the films and believe that they will continue with production.  They are now the only company offering films larger than 8x10.
Jan 02 13 03:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
steve_ess
Posts: 7
San Francisco, California, US


Try out Efke, Croatian film made in the former Agfa factory. Haven't used it in a while, but I recall you get great midtones. Single-layer emulsion can be tricky to handle vis-a-vis curling, but you may like it.
Jan 02 13 03:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hugh Alison
Posts: 2,080
Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom


AgX wrote:

The oft-told wisdom that almost nobody ever follows (to their benefit or detriment, depending on who you ask big_smile ) is one film + one developer for a year.

HP5+ and Perceptol 1:1, 200 ASA - probably all I used for 10 years.

Jan 02 13 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AgX
Posts: 1,196
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US


Schlake wrote:
I say you need a hundred cases of AGFA-25.  You'll also need a time machine, though.  sad

I have a half dozen rolls of 120 in the freezer saved for a special subject. I'm not sure what that special subject is going to be that will be so worthy of such precious silver. smile

Kind of like my "special" bottles of wine similarly saved for some unknown future momentous occasion.

Silliness.

Jan 02 13 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Section 008
Posts: 98
Chicago, Illinois, US


ilford
Jan 02 13 04:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
sidney_k
Posts: 873
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Commercial Works Photo wrote:

You are probably a caveman hehe

I also started with Tri-X but went to TMax for finer grain.  Many say TMax is too finicky, but once I learned to expose correctly then process correctly, I was able to get 10 stops of range on the negative.

I'm a caveman, you are right wink
Regarding the grain...to me, it adds texture to the skin, something I miss with those 10 billion pixel digital cameras that show you every detail (or imperfection, take it as you like!)  that no one wants to see.

Jan 02 13 04:42 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,299
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Any particular difference between Ilford delta 100 and FP4+ ? (aside from 100/125)
Jan 02 13 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mcary
Posts: 1,803
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US


-JAY- wrote:
Any particular difference between Ilford delta 100 and FP4+ ? (aside from 100/125)

Here's a link to a discussion of traditional vs T-Grain films
http://photo.net/black-and-white-photo- … rum/009V0N
Traditional films include
FP4+
HP5+
PanF+
Tri-X

T-Grain films include
Delta 100, 400 and 3200
TMAX 100, 400 and 3200

T

Jan 02 13 06:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony-S
Posts: 1,312
Fort Collins, Colorado, US


-JAY- wrote:
For 35mm... what films should I pick up?

My personal favorites are Fuji Acros developed in Pyrocat HD and Ilford Pan F+  shot at ISO 25 and developed in Perceptol 1+2 for 11 min at 72F. Acros has the best reciprocity characteristics available. It is truly a superb film, particularly for people shots. Delta 100 is good, too, but I develop it in XTOL mostly.

Also, I just picked up D-76, any other developers to try out? It's just going to be a year of experimentation.

D-76 is a good general purpose film, but once you make it you have to use it or keep the air out. Devs like Rodinal and Pyrocat HD have shelf lives of years so they can be more cost effective.

steve_ess wrote:
Try out Efke, Croatian film made in the former Agfa factory.

Efke is long gone. I bought 150 sheets of 4x5 PL25 just after they announced they were out of the film business.

Jan 02 13 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
VonJake-O Foto
Posts: 760
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I like Fuji Acros for 100, Illford HP5 for 400/800.
Jan 02 13 07:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ybfoto
Posts: 642
Oakland, California, US


If you want grain

HP5 push the hell out of it and develop in xtol 1+1 or if you want lots of grain go with R09 One Shot

Fuji Neopan 400 or 1600 is also neato, works great with xtol as well.


No grain Fuji Acros 100
Jan 02 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,270
Glens Falls, New York, US


-JAY- wrote:
Any particular difference between Ilford delta 100 and FP4+ ? (aside from 100/125)

FP4 has a much longer tonal scale, but is also much lower contrast.  Also, traditional films can generally be overexposed well, but will not underexpose nearly as well as T-Grain films.  If you want to shoot above the box rating, FP4 and similar films do a fairly poor job.  Shooting Tri-X or HP5 above box speeds works fine, but if you're going to push it by more than two stops, you should think about a T-Grain film like Delta or TMax.

I work mostly in studio, and I shoot almost everything with FP4, both 4x5 and roll film.  The longer tonal scale gives me a lot more options with my lighting before I start blowing out highlights.  The lower contrast is a non-issue when using studio lights; if you want more contrast, then light for more contrast.  For instance, the Asian girl in my portfolio was shot with FP4.


Efke is still around, but it might say Agfa.  The 'high silver content' Agfa/Efke films are the same thing, from the same company under two different names, and both are the same old-school Efke/Agfa recipe.  Or so they claim.

Acros is a really nice film stock too, but I avoid it.  It's really clean and neat; great for your average modelling shot (I used it for my avatar image), but most of the time it looks a too pretty for my taste.  But for 35mm, it might be good.  With a smaller format, every little bit helps.

You could also try PanF.  It's contrasty as hell, and really only good on overcast days.  But it is really, REALLY good on overcast days smile

As far as developers, you've find that most of the time you have to pick between sharpness/fine grain, and long tonal scale/versatility.  I used Perceptol all the time when I was shooting 35mm in-studio, but now that I'm using larger films for studio work I don't bother anymore.  Perceptol is finer-grained and even sharper than D76, but the tradeoff is that it really doesn't like to work well with faster films.  Even 400 ISO is pushing it.  Once you hit 1600, it basically doesn't work at all.

Now I use Rodinal for the better tonal range, and ease of developing everything with a single developer.  The grain is a little worse, but I like the look of the negatives.  Regardless of camera, I know I'm shooting FP4 in studio, and I develop it for 14 minutes.  There's no math involved.

I threw out a lot on info there, but I really would take others' advice.  Do some research, see what's what, and buy lots and lots of the same thing.  D76 is a good place to start for developers, since it's totally standardized and will develop anything.  You might even try HC-110, as it's the liquid concentrate version of D76, and keeps much longer.  Buy lots of FP4 or HP5 (I actually prefer Tri-X, but HP5 is near as makes no difference) depending on what ISO you want to be at, and shoot like crazy.

Oh, and plan on exposing everything a little under box speeds.  If you agitate slowly and carefully, overexposing all your film by a full stop will probably give you the best results.

Jan 02 13 08:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art Silva
Posts: 8,947
Santa Barbara, California, US


Tri-X and HP5
Jan 02 13 08:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,147
New York, New York, US


+1 for Fuji Neopan.  Once you try it, you'll never buy the yellow box again.
Jan 03 13 04:28 am  Link  Quote 
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