Kodak 400 Tmax compared to? also kodak polycontrast RC compared to?

Discussion in 'Kodak' started by Lenny, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Lenny

    Lenny Guest

    My son just got started in a photography course at his college. He was
    told that he will need to purchase 10 rolls of 400 speed black and
    white film and 100 sheets of 8X10 paper, either Kodak polycontrast RC
    or Illford Multigrade RC. The film he was told must not need to be
    processed in C41 chemistry. On the film he says he has a choice
    between Kodak, Illford, and Agfa. From what he told me the Kodak Tmax
    400 apparently has a much less strict tolerance on processing
    temperature than the other two. If this is correct, are there any
    drawbacks with using that film over the other two? For the paper he's
    found a box of Kodak 100 for 24.00 plus 9.00 shipping on Ebay from a
    guy in Vermont, and so he's considering going with that. For the Tmax
    400 he's found that for 2.50 a roll plus 10.00 shipping form WB Hunt
    in Melrose Mass. I would sincerely appreciate any and all comments
    about the products, and the prices we've found. Thanks very much.
    Lenny Stein.
    Please note: You may respond here in this forum, however if you would
    prefer you may also email me at:
     
    Lenny, Feb 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. Lenny

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : My son just got started in a photography course at his college. He was
    : told that he will need to purchase 10 rolls of 400 speed black and
    : white film and 100 sheets of 8X10 paper, either Kodak polycontrast RC
    : or Illford Multigrade RC. The film he was told must not need to be
    : processed in C41 chemistry. On the film he says he has a choice
    : between Kodak, Illford, and Agfa. From what he told me the Kodak Tmax
    : 400 apparently has a much less strict tolerance on processing
    : temperature than the other two. If this is correct, are there any
    : drawbacks with using that film over the other two? For the paper he's
    : found a box of Kodak 100 for 24.00 plus 9.00 shipping on Ebay from a
    : guy in Vermont, and so he's considering going with that. For the Tmax
    : 400 he's found that for 2.50 a roll plus 10.00 shipping form WB Hunt
    : in Melrose Mass. I would sincerely appreciate any and all comments
    : about the products, and the prices we've found. Thanks very much.
    : Lenny Stein.
    : Please note: You may respond here in this forum, however if you would
    : prefer you may also email me at:

    Actually the Tmax films are very sensitive to processing and in my never
    humble opinion not a good choice for a beginner. I would suggest starting
    with Ilford's HP5 or Kodak's Tri-x. They are very forgiving films and
    when developed with d76 (more then likely what he'll be using at school)
    it'll be hard to not get something printable.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Feb 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. Lenny

    Nick Zentena Guest


    I'm not sure where the comment on temperture tolerance is coming from.
    It's not like the film will be processed at colour temps. 68F is pretty
    standard. Some will push that temp up to 75F to get quicker processing
    times. I can't beleive any modern film would have any problems with normal
    processing temps. Now by modern I don't mean stuff from the last decade.
    It's more like stuff released the last 100 years. Personally I'd lean
    towards Ilfords HP5+ but that's just me. I wouldn't let processing be a big
    hang up. If the goal is to get lower priced film then buy a bulk loader and
    100 feet of film. A used bulk loader and the 100 feet of film won't be much
    more then what you are currently looking at for film but 100 feet of film is
    closer to 18 rolls of 36 exposures.

    I'd avoid buying paper from some guy on Ebay. If I'm right your son
    won't be able to tell problems with the paper from any problems his
    processing creates. You want to use the best freshest stuff you can when you
    are just starting out. Later when you know what you're doing then buying
    riskier stuff may be just the ticket for artistic looking prints.

    Instead of buying film and paper from two different sellers and then
    paying shipping for both surf over to either B&H or Adorama. Both have
    fairly reasonable prices on paper and film.


    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

    or

    http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl


    You might want to also ask in the rec.photo.darkroom newsgroup.

    Nick
     
    Nick Zentena, Feb 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Lenny

    Nikkorguy Guest


    TMAX films can be processed over a very wide range of temperatures. They are
    not very tolerant over time variances, or variances in the temperature for a
    given time. A lot of students will use the time for 75 degrees, but won't be
    terribly precise and will use chemicals at 75ish degrees, and this will cause
    problems with TMAX. I think this is what they were refering to when they were
    talking about temperature tolerances.

    Frank
     
    Nikkorguy, Feb 7, 2004
    #4
  5. Lenny

    The Wogster Guest

    T-Max is a New Technology film, which tends to have tighter exposure
    tolerances. I used to soup my own Ilford HP-5, and pretty much any know
    temperature from 60F to about 90F will work, you just need the technical
    data sheet to know how long to cook it at a given temperature. It's
    also very forgiving exposure wise, which for someone who isn't as
    experienced can be helpful.
    Ilford Multigrade papers help, if the exposure is a little off, contrast
    often gets crappy, so being able to print harder or softer can help get
    an acceptable print. The ideal is combine a wide latitude film like
    HP-5 with the Multigrade papers, allows you to pull a usable print out
    of a dogs regurgitated breakfast that sometimes happens especially if he
    isn't experienced at photography.

    I wouldn't buy either off the Internet, it may be old crap that hasn't
    been stored properly. Try and find a brick of film, that is all from
    the same lot, that has a good long off expiry date. Then you know that
    you can expect some consistancy roll to roll. Same for the paper, a
    nice big box all from the same lot, is helpful for consistancy....

    W
     
    The Wogster, Feb 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Lenny

    brougham5 Guest

    I realize that you're just trying to help, but these are questions your son
    should be asking. Most probably, he should be asking his instructor and/or
    teaching assistants.

    It really doesn't matter what kind of film or paper he buys, as long as it's
    regular black & white and not C41. If I were him, I'd buy what others in
    the class are buying so they can sort through their problems together.
     
    brougham5, Feb 7, 2004
    #6
  7. Lenny

    leicaddict Guest

    I'd seriously think about buying from b&H. for paper, kodak 8x10
    poycontrast (II) is very decent, but will he also need kodak
    polycontrast filters? As far as film, I'd go with Kodak Tri-X 400(
    this is a very easy and forgiving film to develope, and prints from it
    can run the gamlet from decent to the "WoW factor,also from b&H;
    sometimes the imported stuff can be 50 cents of so cheaper, but is it
    worth it for for only 10 rolls?
     
    leicaddict, Feb 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Lenny

    M&M Guest

    Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5+ are good films for beginners because they are
    very forgiving. T-max 400 gives better results (finer grain) but is
    slightly more sensitive to processing.

    Most people believe that paper, outdated by a few years, if stored properly
    is just as good as new stuff. E-bay is always a risk though...
     
    M&M, Feb 8, 2004
    #8
  9. Lenny

    The Wogster Guest

    Great place to store sizes you don't use a lot, is the deep freeze, the
    date could be 5 years ago and it's like fresh. Problem is you never
    know how the seller stores it. Store rooms are often cold in the winter
    and boiling in the summer, so if the stuff has been sitting around for a
    while then your taking a chance. Best places to buy are places that
    turn it over fairly quickly and rotate their stock regularily, then even
    if not stored properly it's probably going to be ok.

    W
     
    The Wogster, Feb 8, 2004
    #9
  10. I think your son should work with TMax 400 film and Kodak paper; I
    prefer luster finish to glossy, but that's a personal choice. Tri-X
    (which is my favorite film) is more forgiving of time and temperature
    variances during processing, but using TMax will develop (pun
    partially intended) excellent processing skills. Then, if he later
    decides to try a different film, his processing will be habitually
    impeccable. Also, avoid purchasing film and paper from private
    sellers not known to you. The price for these items at B&H
    www.bhphotovideo.com eliminates the need to shop around. Their prices
    are great and they usually have everything you need in stock and ready
    for delivery, and they're quite reputable. Also, I'd recommend a
    stainless steel processing tank with Hewes/King Concepts film reels
    instead of the plastic tanks. Don't forget the Print File negative
    preserver pages. Best of luck and success to your son in his studies
    and photographic pursuits.

    Michael
     
    street shooter, Feb 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Lenny

    Bob Hickey Guest

    The T-Max films are very unforgiving of processing deviations, which becomes
    a real problem in the summer. Tri-X has changed theit times radically for
    the "New" Tri-X. Very easy to get the old and new mixed. That leaves HP-5
    which in D-76 is about as fool proof as it gets. Especially w/ Ilford RC MG.
    Making and correcting mistakes is what learning is about, but you have to
    get them to come out in the first place to do that. As a matter of fact, I
    find the whole Ilford line about as fool proof as can be.
    Bob Hickey
     
    Bob Hickey, Feb 8, 2004
    #11
  12. Lenny

    DM Guest

    I've found Kodak TMax specially fussy with processing times and temperatures.
    It's quite easy to mess up. Ilford's HP5+ or even the new Delta 400 has
    given me excellent results even in adverse processing conditions, and HP5+
    is very easy to handle. I'd go with HP5+. Agfa's APX 400 is a nice film
    too but I don't find it at my local store often so I switched to Ilford.
    As for paper, I'd recommend Agfa or Ilford. I've found their behavior
    extremely consistent. My personal preference is Agfa paper. Their RC
    papers are very easy to wash, and they even tone very well for an RC paper.
    Agfa's fiber based papers are excellent too.
     
    DM, Feb 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Lenny

    Lenny Guest

    Thanks very much to all the people who responded. Your suggestions
    were very helpful. We placed the order with B&H on Sunday. Lenny
    Stein.
     
    Lenny, Feb 11, 2004
    #13
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