B&W film

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Paul Giverin, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Paul Giverin

    Paul Giverin Guest

    As I mention in another thread, I'm trying to standardise on two types
    of 35mm B&W film. One will be APX 100 (or more likely the Rollei Retro

    For the second film I need something in 400 ISO. I've been using Tri-x
    400 for the last six months which is great but I've just shot four rolls
    of TMax 400 (TMY) and it looks really good. Also I'm told that TMY is
    good for pushing to 1600 or even 3200.

    I'm definitely leaning towards the TMY but what is the opinion of the
    learned panel?
    Paul Giverin, Feb 10, 2010
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  2. Paul Giverin

    Bruce Guest

    I'm far from learned. I am prejudiced, opinionated and biased.

    I'm also a heretic, because I am going to suggest that you use an ISO
    400 chromogenic B+W film for everything - either Ilford XP2 Super or
    Kodak BW400CN.

    Why? Because they both give excellent results at ISO settings from
    100 to 800, so you only need one type of film.
    Bruce, Feb 10, 2010
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  3. I liked it before moving over to digital. It's worth experimenting with
    different developers though - don't assume the obvious one is the best
    for you.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 11, 2010
  4. Paul Giverin

    Paul Giverin Guest

    Can you develop the likes of XP2 in b&w chemistry? I did try a couple of
    rolls and had them processed by my local photo shop and I was
    disappointed with the colour cast on the prints and it pushed me into
    setting up my own darkroom.
    Paul Giverin, Feb 11, 2010
  5. Paul Giverin

    Paul Giverin Guest

    Developers, yes that's another reason for standardising on a couple of

    I currently have Rodinal which is obviously fantastic with the APX 100.
    I have some Microphen mixed up at the moment. I used that for some Delta
    3200 I shot a while back. I'm keeping the rest of that for when I try
    out the TMY at 1600 and 3200.

    But for the Tri-X 400 and the TMY at 400, I use D76. Its fairly cheap
    and it seems to keep well and it works well.

    What developer would you suggest for TMY?
    Paul Giverin, Feb 11, 2010
  6. Paul Giverin

    Bruce Guest

    No, it's C-41 only. I'm not sure I would want to develop it at home,
    though C-41 kits are available.

    The problem with chromogenic B+W film and minilabs is never in the
    development of the film. It is always in the printing. The prints
    from minilabs tend to be very poor.

    I'm very lucky in that I use a minilab whose manager loves B+W
    developing and printing and he takes great care to give me near-true
    B+W prints from the Fuji Frontier. It's not easy, but he goes the
    extra mile. And the minilab is in a supermarket, so I get it done at
    high street prices.

    On the rare occasions I use colour film, he also uses the special
    settings on the Frontier for the particular film I have used. The
    result is some very professional-looking colour prints, once again at
    high street prices.

    The supermarket is 20 miles away so I don't go there all the time. I
    use a local minilab to develop the film and provide a low-res scan to
    CD. No prints. This costs me £2.50 + VAT. I then use the CD to
    select which negatives I want to scan at high res and print on the
    inkjet, or print in the darkroom.
    Bruce, Feb 11, 2010
  7. Gawd, that's really testing my memory. I know that after lots of
    testing, we standardised on T-max developer and Rodinal for all our B&W
    film processing. Rodinal was almost always sharper, but usually resulted
    in too much grain, whereas T-max dev gave reduced grain, but softer
    looking negs.

    I think we found that TMY was the only film that remained sharp in T-max
    dev (TMX definitely didn't and was one of the worst combinations we came
    up with!).

    IIRC, Ilford Delta 100 developed in Rodinal was the real surprise, with
    minimal grain on a par with APX50. It also had excellent highlight
    detail making it our standard copying film.

    Don't assume that sticking to the same make of film and developer, or
    following the manufacturers suggestions will give the best results. It
    ain't necessarily so.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Feb 11, 2010
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