My new film collection!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Andrew McCall, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Hi Folks,

    After a little reading, I decided to go out and purchase a whole load of
    black and white film to see how each film reacts to different light, and
    what I like about each film.

    The films I bought are:

    Kodak TMAX 100 Pro
    Ilford FP4 Plus 125
    Ilford HP5 Plus 400
    Kodak TMAX 400
    Kodak Tri-X 400 Pro

    Does anyone have any exerience of these different films? Any tips with them?

    I also wanted to get a Fujifilm Neopan 400CN, but the sales assistant at
    Jessops gave me a Neopan 400 and I didn't notice until I got home.

    I took the film back to the shop and asked them to relace it with a
    400CN, and he said Fuji didn't make a 400CN and said I wanted the Kodak
    one! I explained I really wanted the Fuji so he bought me back some
    Neopan 400's and 1600's, I ended up asking him to double check that Fuji
    didn't make a 400CN and he came back rather red faced saying they did,
    they hadn't stocked it yet and would be getting it in a few weeks :)

    The above story brings me onto the question - why would you want to
    develop a black and white film in colour chemicals? The Neopan 400CN
    looks like it gives really nice results, but I am not sure if I will be
    able to develop this at college. I am sure they do have a colour
    darkroom (do you need a *dark*room to develop colour film?) as they also
    teach the BA(Hons) Photoraphy, but I don't think I have access to the
    colour darkroom on the course I am on.


    Andrew McCall
    Andrew McCall, Feb 1, 2004
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  2. Andrew McCall

    Mike Guest

    You bought too many films. Stick with a couple and fine-tune your process.
    Only then should you experiment with different films.

    The variations in your development/exposure/etc will dominate the
    differences in emulsions and this may lead you to false conclusions. I took
    the same approach first roll was TMax 400 and it came out like
    crap. I foolishly denounced the film. On a whim, I tried it again recently
    and the results were beautiful this time around.
    Mike, Feb 1, 2004
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  3. Andrew McCall

    Peter Irwin Guest

    - Very fine grained high resolution modern technology film.
    Requires more care in development than the older style of
    films like plus-X and Tri-X. Also despite its very high
    resolution it may not look as subjectively sharp as Plus-X.
    Ilford Delta 100 and Fuji Acros 100 are in the same class.
    - Old technology film. Very easy to work with. High accutance
    (subjective sharpness) though not quite as pronounced in that
    respect as Plus-x and very wide latitude.
    The film I use more than any other. Wide latitude and
    reasonably fine grained with normal development. Pushing
    the film makes it very grainy, but with mildly extended
    development in a speed developer like Microphen, it is
    really nice for available light work.
    Never tried it.
    Not quite the same thing as HP5, but I'm not sure how
    to describe the somewhat different look.
    Pick one of them, buy at least 10 rolls and learn how to
    use that film by trial and error. Try exposing at a lower
    exposure index than the manufacturer says and develop slightly
    less. D76 (or ID 11) is probably still the best general purpose
    film developer. Trying lots of films is fun, but it is really
    a good idea to standardize on one film which you get to know
    very well. My standard film for 35mm is HP5+, yours could be
    any of the above.
    Neopan 400 is a lot like Kodak Tri-X, The 400CN is supposed to
    be a lot like Ilford XP2, but I've never seen it.
    1) C-41 black and white film can be developed by common

    2) C-41 film dye clouds look different from grain on regular
    film. This is often seen as less graininess for the speed,
    but given the different look this is largely a subjective

    3) C-41 films respond differently to under and over exposure
    than regular film. Regular B&W film gets grainier with
    overexposure, C-41 film appears less grainy when overexposed.

    Peter Irwin, Feb 1, 2004
  4. Very true.... very true.
    Joseph Meehan, Feb 1, 2004
  5. Andrew McCall

    Alan Browne Guest

    What Mike said.

    In fact one film only. For that matter use the cheapest one.

    When you reach the limits of that film and decide on what you want to do
    next, you will be able to choose the one that best matches your desires.
    So select one, and throw the others into a baggie and into the freezer.

    Further, while the film is a key element, the paper you print on and
    your darkroom skills/techniques will have a much greater impact on the
    final result than the choice of neg. film alone... so eliminate that
    variable by sticking to one film only for the time being.

    At B&H the Ilfords are a bit cheaper than the K's.

    Alan Browne, Feb 1, 2004
  6. As you're in the UK you should be able to get your hands on "Photography" magazine. This months
    issue carries a test of all the widely available B&W film.
    Also, may be a cheaper source for your film in future.


    : Hi Folks,
    : After a little reading, I decided to go out and purchase a whole load of
    : black and white film to see how each film reacts to different light, and
    : what I like about each film.
    : The films I bought are:
    : Kodak TMAX 100 Pro
    : Ilford FP4 Plus 125
    : Ilford HP5 Plus 400
    : Kodak TMAX 400
    : Kodak Tri-X 400 Pro
    : Does anyone have any exerience of these different films? Any tips with them?
    Colm Gallagher, Feb 1, 2004
  7. This was the exact magazine I used to choose the films I bought.

    In retrospect, unless I actually used the same shot, and developed using
    exactly the same process, I wouldn't really be able to see the difference.

    From the magazine, I quite like the look of the Kodak TMAX 100 so I
    might stick with that unless I need a faster film, in which case I like
    the look of the Kodak Tri-X 400.


    Andrew McCall
    Andrew McCall, Feb 1, 2004
  8. Andrew McCall

    Jim Waggener Guest

    well well, welocme back Alan. Got a tan? lol
    Jim Waggener, Feb 1, 2004
  9. Andrew McCall

    The Wogster Guest

    The C-41 black and whites, are handy if you also do a lot of colour
    work, and want to stick to a single set of chemistries, or your using a
    1hr lab to produce your negatives. You lose some flexability though....

    B&W films that use B&W chemistries tend to have more processing
    flexability, in that you can use a different developer for different
    subject matter, for example take HP5 for example, it's and old
    technology film, use a standard developer for 400 ASA and typical grain,
    a high speed developer for 800 or even 1600 ASA, where you want lots
    of grain, or have very low light conditions, or a fine grain developer
    at 200ASA where you want less grain.

    You don't need a dark room, simply a changing bag, a film developing
    tank, a couple of graduated cylinders, some dark bottles and a
    temperature adjustable water supply. A changing bag looks like a black
    T-shirt, with a zipper at the bottom, and elastic arms, you put
    everything you want inside the bag, zip it closed, stick your arms in
    and do everything inside the bag. Changing bags were originally used to
    allow LF photographers to change film in 2 sided film packs, in the
    field. I keep one in my 35mm kit, a camera with a jammed or broken film
    can simply be put into the bag, opened the film extracted, put into a
    light proof container which is then sealed.

    A film developing tank and reel, I like the plastic ones with the two
    piece adjustable reels. Load the tank dry in the changing bag, use kids
    scissors for cutting off the leader, they have less chance of damaging
    the bag. Mix up some developer and fixer, and process your films, in
    the kitchen or bathroom. I like the kitchen, because I can use the
    clock on the Microwave to time the development and fixing.

    Although you can mix and match, I like to use Ilford chemistries, for
    Ilford films, simply because I expect they would be designed to work

    The Wogster, Feb 2, 2004
  10. Andrew McCall

    brougham5 Guest

    Good advice.

    I'd suggest picking a 400 speed film and using it exclusively for the next
    few months.
    brougham5, Feb 2, 2004
  11. Andrew McCall

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Somewhat more contrast than my favourite ISO 100 B/W film, which is AGFA
    APX100. If the AGFA film ever disappears, I might consider using the Kodak.
    Never liked the first few rolls of this. In ISO 125, I have a preference for
    Kodak Plus-X, but this is so close to the AGFA APX100, that I usually use the
    AGFA, and skip ISO 125 films entirely.
    Just shot a bunch of this on a job. I had an order in with B&H for some TMX 400
    and some TriX (also ISO 400), which unfortunately got delayed. Being short on
    supply, I quickly went and bought what the camera store had in stock, which was
    this film. I was very surprised how good the results were, and I would gladly
    use it again. if you are curious about the results, check out:

    Really nice medium to high contrast film, with very nice whites (depending upon
    developers used). What I like about this film is that is pushes nicely up to
    ISO 3200. Despite my earlier comments about HP5+, I still stock some of this
    when I need to push a little under low light.
    I thought the Pro was the 320 version . . . anyway, I guess that TriX is the
    traditional favourite choice of many, and probably the best known of B/W films.
    It really is nice, and pulling down to ISO 200 can give some nice softening to
    the images. I will gladly continue to buy and use this film for as long as it
    is available.
    I found that Ilfotech DDX is a really great developer. Originally, I tried this
    with Ilford Delta 3200 and then with Ilford SFX, but I found it works great
    with nearly every B/W film I have tried so far. Get a copy of the Massive
    Developer Chart, and see how this fits.
    Honestly, I never tried Fuji B/W films, so I have no comments about them.
    A similar named product is Kodak T400CN, which is a C-41 developed film that
    results in B.W final images. While I like that film in medium format, I did not
    like the results from 35 mm.
    If you have a B/W darkroom, then stick to true B/W film. Also, if all you have
    is D-76 developer, then perhaps sticking to films that work well with that
    would be a good idea.

    If I could recommend three films to try that are not on your list, try out AGFA
    APX100, Ilford Pan F 50, and Ilford SFX. If you try SFX, just shoot it
    normally, or with an Orange filter. I have several examples of these in the
    photography area of my site, including one spot dedicated to SFX images.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Feb 2, 2004
  12. Andrew McCall

    mr. chip Guest

    I'd also recommend Ilford Pan F and SFX.

    Pan F because of it's gorgeous satin smoothness and SFX because of it's
    potential for experimentation.
    SFX gives an interesting metallic look of used without filters and if you
    can get hold of the SFX filter that Ilford make (it's cheap!) you can get
    some nice infrared-like effects.

    But that maybe some way down the road if you're starting out.
    Definately give Pan F a go though.. It's just lovely

    mr. chip, Feb 2, 2004
  13. Andrew McCall

    Alan Browne Guest

    Pretty good tan, a bit 'red' toned ... I must have Velvia in my skin
    Alan Browne, Feb 2, 2004
  14. AnOvercomer02, Feb 2, 2004
  15. Andrew McCall

    Karl Winkler Guest

    I've tried this film a few times and not been terribly happy with it.
    The negatives seemed too thin, and I didn't seem to get the "depth" I
    was after. Fine grain, though.
    This is my main B&W film, now. I rate it at ISO100 and develop it
    I've used this film a few times, but found it a bit too grainy for my
    taste, and slightly "softer" than Tri-X.
    Haven't used it many years, and I forget what it does, exactly.
    Perhaps I should try it again???
    I've used this film recently also, and like it better than HP5Plus.
    More "snappy" and better contrast, IMO. Great, classic film. I
    understand Kodak just changed the formula, though? By the way, I rate
    it at 320 and develop normally.
    Another film to try: Ilford Delta 400. I liked this better than TMax,
    and the grain is tigher than Tri-X. Nice stuff.

    As they say, YMMV.

    Karl Winkler, Feb 3, 2004
  16. Andrew McCall

    Mike Elek Guest

    I think I recall reading that Ilford helped Fuji produce its C-41 b/w film.
    In fact, for all practical purposes, it's Ilford film.
    Mike Elek, Feb 3, 2004
  17. Exposure of TMX has to be right on... Try some clip tests at ASA 80 and
    then 64 and adjust the development time to control the highlights... A good
    TMX negative will look to be on the dense side, but will print like an
    Dennis O'Connor, Feb 3, 2004
  18. Andrew McCall

    Karl Winkler Guest

    If so, it's good stuff! I like the Ilford XP2 Super quite a bit. It's
    got a nice tonal range, grain comparable or even a little better than
    most standard B&W films, and it scans very nicely.

    Karl Winkler, Feb 3, 2004
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