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secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:15
Hi All - Newbie here.

I have a question I thought some of you might be able to help me with.

I am trying to do some still life shots in very low directional light. In other words lighting the subject only, say an apple or a shell or something.

I did some test shots on my Nikon digital camera at f 29 @ 120 seconds @ 100 ISO. Shots came out well lit, could see what the object was and even the background was well lit and clear.

I then tried to translate those settings to my new Toyo 45A which I currently have loaded with Fomapan 100. After reading about Fomapan 100 I am using it as ISO 80.

So my translated settings (using my handy android ev pairs app) for f 32 came to:

f 32 @ 3.2 minutes = 3.12 minutes @ ISO 80

After developing the shot, for example of the shell, the film was almost totally clear. I could just see a few details from the lines of the shell. In other words very very underexposed.

So the question is why is there so much difference between the digital and film results?

And how can I accurately determine long exposure shots when using my Toyo / Fomapan 100 if I cannot simply translate the settings from my digital camera meter?

I guess its worth pointing out that on faster shots in well lit situations the results are fine and I can meter with my digital without the vast difference in results.

Thanks

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 09:19
Sounds like you're not accounting for "reciprocity failure" which of all films fomapan is the WORST, if you want a good film, Fuji Acros100 has the best reciprocity for long exposures, no adjustments need to be made up to 2 minutes.

In contrast Foma needs adjustment after 1/2 second.

This will be abstract until you read up on reciprocity failure with film. Google and read and you'll hopefully have your answer. Welcome to the fold and don't give up!

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:24
This will be abstract until you read up on reciprocity failure with film. Google and read and you'll hopefully have your answer. Welcome to the fold and don't give up!

Thanks, reading up now.

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:32
Okay I understand now..


Schwarzschild effect - reciproke failure (non-linearity of exposure)
Exposure (seconds) 1/1000–1/2 1 10 100
Lengthening of exposure 1x 2x 8x 16x
Correction of aperture number 0 -1 -3 -4

So will try:

f 25 @ ISO 80 = 100 seconds x 16 = 1600 seconds = 26.6 minutes

Fair bit longer than the 3.2 minutes I tried first.. :p

Thanks again

ghostcount
19-Jun-2015, 09:32
Reciprocity failure. Foma is awful for this. Their data sheet (www.fomausa.com/pdf/Fomapan_100.pdf) only states compensation for up to 100 seconds - I'm sure you can extrapolate for 3.12 minutes but it could be tedious.

Don't forget about bellows factor - you didn't mention that.

DannL
19-Jun-2015, 09:37
Is there a particular reason why you can not increase the available light, in order to reduce your exposure time? Just curious.

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 09:37
Okay I understand now..



So will try:

f 25 @ ISO 80 = 100 seconds x 16 = 1600 seconds = 26.6 minutes

Fair bit longer than the 3.2 minutes I tried first.. :p

Thanks again

Each film has its own characteristics so check foma's chart on this. It isn't the same for all films.

BUT you've got the idea now :)

Many people also suggest that you shoot one stop longer then suggested and then develop 10% less time, in order to reduce the contrast of the image, as long exposures can be high in contrast.

There are many techniques and you have to find your own way, definitely takes more time than digital, but also very rewarding.

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:47
Reciprocity failure. Foma is awful for this. Their data sheet (www.fomausa.com/pdf/Fomapan_100.pdf) only states compensation for up to 100 seconds - I'm sure you can extrapolate for 3.12 minutes but it could be tedious.

Don't forget about bellows factor - you didn't mention that.

Yes, the datasheet does not give a simple formula to apply to times over 100 seconds, thats why I calculated the original conversion back down to 100 seconds.

Haven't heard of 'bellows factor', back to Google I guess. :)

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:49
Is there a particular reason why you can not increase the available light, in order to reduce your exposure time? Just curious.

One reason is I only have limited lighting to choose from, ie. household lamps etc.

Second reason is I was playing with using low light to keep the background illumination low - or ultimately black. Kind of worked on my digital tests. One step at a time though at this stage.

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 09:52
Yes, the datasheet does not give a simple formula to apply to times over 100 seconds, thats why I calculated the original conversion back down to 100 seconds.

Haven't heard of 'bellows factor', back to Google I guess. :)

Good job searching, you'll do well here, glad to see you soaking it all in :)

There's an app I use on my iPhone to get all the calculations without error so I can focus on taking the image, SOME people call it being lazy I just view it as being efficient with my time.

The app is appropriately named the "Reciprocity Timer" app, the creator is a member, it's not cheap (and the upgrade isn't necessary just the base app will do fine) but totally worth it. A version 3.0 is due out soon, but the 2.0 version is excellent and has many films listed.

Hope that helps.

PS it looks like this in the App Store

135693

Unfortunately if you're not an iPhone user, you're out of luck. :/

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 09:54
Each film has its own characteristics so check foma's chart on this. It isn't the same for all films.

BUT you've got the idea now :)



The table I posted above was from the Fomapan 100 classic data sheet, I believe.




Many people also suggest that you shoot one stop longer then suggested and then develop 10% less time, in order to reduce the contrast of the image, as long exposures can be high in contrast.

There are many techniques and you have to find your own way, definitely takes more time than digital, but also very rewarding.


Thanks, will keep that tip in mind for the next experiments.

Certainly a lot to keep in mind and it does take much more time than digital, but from my very limited experience with LF so far well worth the effort.

Richard Johnson
19-Jun-2015, 10:02
If you are working close then you also need to account for the bellows extension factor, which is widely published as well.

Between the that and reciprocity you could easily be many stops off.

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 11:00
If you are working close then you also need to account for the bellows extension factor, which is widely published as well.

Between the that and reciprocity you could easily be many stops off.

Yes, I just learnt about the bellows extension factor.

Not sure if I completely understand how to calculate it but just tried the following and the resulting negative looks, to my amateur eye, fantastic.

210mm = total belows length

lens = 135mm

diff = 210 - 135 = 75

75/135 = 0.56

0.56 + 1 = 1.56 **2 = 2.4336 Bellows FACTOR

Recalculated original settings (in OP) using EV pairs app down to f 8:

f 8 @ ISO 80 = 10 seconds
10 x 8 = 80 seconds
80 x 2.43 = 195 seconds

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 13:04
Yes, I just learnt about the bellows extension factor.

Not sure if I completely understand how to calculate it but just tried the following and the resulting negative looks, to my amateur eye, fantastic.

210mm = total belows length

lens = 135mm

diff = 210 - 135 = 75

75/135 = 0.56

0.56 + 1 = 1.56 **2 = 2.4336 Bellows FACTOR

Recalculated original settings (in OP) using EV pairs app down to f 8:

f 8 @ ISO 80 = 10 seconds
10 x 8 = 80 seconds
80 x 2.43 = 195 seconds

There's a simpler way in most cases (not telephoto lenses but normal ones, telephoto almost always have a T in their designation and are usually huge, so don't worry about mixing them up, you won't).

At infinity focus, your bellows distance should roughly equal your focal length.

So, 135mm lens should have 135mm bellows extension at infinity (focused on a far away mountain :)

Every time you double the bellows, you add two stops of light loss, SO

Assume you are shooting the 135mm and your meter says 1/60th if a second, then you're focussing close so your bellows are at 270mm, your exposure would be 1/15th of a second. That's double = 2 stops.

Get it? So say your bellows are at 200mm that's about half MORE bellows than infinity, so that would be 1 stop, so 1/30th of a second.

It's much easier to think about it that way (think) than making crazy equations, but I'm not a math guy, some people find my way crazy, it's really very individual, everyone has their own method that works easiest for them.

EDIT: also remember to calculate in the RIGHT ORDER, that order being in the path of light, so star with the aperture and shutter speed (light traveling through the lens) THEN the bellows compensation (light traveling through the bellows) THEN the reciprocity (light hitting the film).

If you do reciprocity first and then bellows extension, you'll get it wrong.

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 13:47
There's a simpler way in most cases (not telephoto lenses but normal ones, telephoto almost always have a T in their designation and are usually huge, so don't worry about mixing them up, you won't).

At infinity focus, your bellows distance should roughly equal your focal length.

So, 135mm lens should have 135mm bellows extension at infinity (focused on a far away mountain :)

Every time you double the bellows, you add two stops of light loss, SO

Assume you are shooting the 135mm and your meter says 1/60th if a second, then you're focussing close so your bellows are at 270mm, your exposure would be 1/15th of a second. That's double = 2 stops.

Get it? So say your bellows are at 200mm that's about half MORE bellows than infinity, so that would be 1 stop, so 1/30th of a second.

It's much easier to think about it that way (think) than making crazy equations, but I'm not a math guy, some people find my way crazy, it's really very individual, everyone has their own method that works easiest for them.



Got it. That does make it a bit easier to figure out without a calculator handy. :D




EDIT: also remember to calculate in the RIGHT ORDER, that order being in the path of light, so star with the aperture and shutter speed (light traveling through the lens) THEN the bellows compensation (light traveling through the bellows) THEN the reciprocity (light hitting the film).

If you do reciprocity first and then bellows extension, you'll get it wrong.

Hmmm, good point and good way to think about it. But, I thought for basic multiplication, if only using multiplication, the order does not matter. As in:

10 x 2.43 x 8 = 194.4

10 x 8 x 2.43 = 194.4

Anyway, had a fun night of shooting, best results so far thanks to yours and others' advice - really appreciate it. Much to learn yet though.

StoneNYC
19-Jun-2015, 14:02
Got it. That does make it a bit easier to figure out without a calculator handy. :D



Hmmm, good point and good way to think about it. But, I thought for basic multiplication, if only using multiplication, the order does not matter. As in:

10 x 2.43 x 8 = 194.4

10 x 8 x 2.43 = 194.4

Anyway, had a fun night of shooting, best results so far thanks to yours and others' advice - really appreciate it. Much to learn yet though.

On the math.

PEMDAS, math order does matter.

Light is also directional, order matters :)

Dinesh
19-Jun-2015, 14:22
On the math.

PEMDAS, math order does matter.

Light is also directional, order matters :)

For strictly multiplication, the order does not matter.

Nodda Duma
19-Jun-2015, 14:30
You might also want to try Fuji Acros 100. Really good reciprocity characteristics.

Michael W
19-Jun-2015, 16:26
Yes, I just learnt about the bellows extension factor.

Not sure if I completely understand how to calculate it but just tried the following and the resulting negative looks, to my amateur eye, fantastic.

210mm = total belows length

lens = 135mm

diff = 210 - 135 = 75

75/135 = 0.56

0.56 + 1 = 1.56 **2 = 2.4336 Bellows FACTOR

Recalculated original settings (in OP) using EV pairs app down to f 8:

f 8 @ ISO 80 = 10 seconds
10 x 8 = 80 seconds
80 x 2.43 = 195 seconds

The Reciprocity Timer app makes these calculations simple.
135mm lens at 210mm means you add 1.33 stops.
For Foma 100 with a metered exposure of 3 mins and 20 secs (the closest the app has to your time) the recommended exposure time is pretty much 4 hours.
For Fuji Acros 100 the exposure time would be 13 minutes.

DannL
19-Jun-2015, 17:27
I think I'd crank the lights up a little brighter. Ha!

Reducing the reflected light behind the subject can be accomplished by not having anything behind the subject that reflects light. Hint, hint. ;-)

secondhandrobot
19-Jun-2015, 23:36
The Reciprocity Timer app makes these calculations simple.
135mm lens at 210mm means you add 1.33 stops.
For Foma 100 with a metered exposure of 3 mins and 20 secs (the closest the app has to your time) the recommended exposure time is pretty much 4 hours.
For Fuji Acros 100 the exposure time would be 13 minutes.

Wow. 4 hours vs 13 minutes. That illustrates the point pretty well I would say. I guess that is one reason why Fomapan is so cheap.

As a beginner I was just trying to find the cheapest possible film to start with.

Will definitely try the Fuji Acros 100 in the future.

pdh
20-Jun-2015, 01:11
There are a lot of back of the envelope arithmetic on show in this thread, but not so much personal experience.

Forum member IanG uses Fomapan 100 a lot, and I have seen many posts by him (mostly at APUG) suggesting that reciprocity failure is nowhere near as bad for Foma 100 as is suggested even by Foma's own data sheet.

One thing I notice is that the OP seem to be using artificial lighting, and this is will have an effect too. The spectral response of Fomapan 100 might be a poor match to the output from his lighting.

All films have different characteristics, and Acros is very unusual in its even reciprocity over long exposures. Foma make excellent films, and the fact that they don't match Acros in their reciprocity characteristics doesn't make them poor, it simply makes them a less good choice if reciprocity at long exposures is important.

StoneNYC
20-Jun-2015, 08:08
There are a lot of back of the envelope arithmetic on show in this thread, but not so much personal experience.

Forum member IanG uses Fomapan 100 a lot, and I have seen many posts by him (mostly at APUG) suggesting that reciprocity failure is nowhere near as bad for Foma 100 as is suggested even by Foma's own data sheet.

One thing I notice is that the OP seem to be using artificial lighting, and this is will have an effect too. The spectral response of Fomapan 100 might be a poor match to the output from his lighting.

All films have different characteristics, and Acros is very unusual in its even reciprocity over long exposures. Foma make excellent films, and the fact that they don't match Acros in their reciprocity characteristics doesn't make them poor, it simply makes them a less good choice if reciprocity at long exposures is important.

Yes Foma has its place, it's not a BAD film, just poor reciprocity.

However I would disagree with the statement that the times aren't as bad as Foma lists, I think they are worse.

I've had to do 2+ hour exposures and actually done them, and the negatives were very thin, I checked my exposure times along the way to make sure I didn't have to adjust further, and so the exposure should have been correct but the negative was super thin.

So maybe Ian is only shooting 10 minute exposures but for hour long exposures I would give a full stop MORE exposure because in my experience foma needs it.

Again, everyone's methods are different.

I do agree with the spectral response comment, artificial non-Tungsten light will give probably poorer results, especially on Foma, which I believe is made for daylight situations.

I personally promote Fuji Acros100 because I wanted to stick around, I shoot it in 4 x 5 and 8 x 10, and I think the more people that use it the longer it will be around, it's also the best for reciprocity in terms of ease-of-use even on short term exposures like one minute or 30 seconds etc.

However there are other excellent feelings and you also have to take into account the speed of the film.

Another great film for long exposures is TMY-2 (Kodak Tmax400) which is a 400 speed film versus Acros100 which is a 100 speed film, even though TMY-2 has to be adjusted after one second in terms of reciprocity, the adjustment is small, and because it's TWO STOPS faster than Acros100, you are starting your adjustments from "farther down" in the timeframe so to speak.

A 2 second exposure with Acros100 is only a 1/2 exposure with TMY-2 no exposure adjustment needed.

A 1 minute exposure on Acros100 is a 15 second exposure with TMY-2 (plus adjustments for reciprocity probably 20 seconds ... I didn't look just guessing) so in that case TMY-2 is actually better.

However as you get to the 2, 3, 5, 10 minute range, they even out and are pretty much the same give or take.

Ilford HP5+ is also a 400 speed film, more grain, but a lot cheaper in the USA than either of the other films. Not as good reciprocity as TMY-2, but much better than FOMA, so it's a good compromise.

In Europe I believe the price of Ilford films is higher and Foma is lower.

Many options to choose from, but personally I try to stick to Acros100 whenever possible :)

secondhandrobot
20-Jun-2015, 12:53
Yes Foma has its place, it's not a BAD film, just poor reciprocity.

The Fomapan is the first box of new large format film I have ever bought. Up until then I had been using old Ilford FP4 that I think expired mid 1980s.

Compared to that old Ilford the Fomapan seems like premium deluxe film. :D

Bob Sawin
22-Jun-2015, 22:36
Recording an image on a sensor is akin to recording an image on color transparency film. And you are using b+w film.

Lenny Eiger
23-Jun-2015, 09:13
Compared to that old Ilford the Fomapan seems like premium deluxe film. :D

If you want to look at a real premium film, try Ilford's Delta 100. Soup it in some Pyrocat HD.... you'll be amazed.

It takes good materials to learn. Better to use a premium film and premium developer and tune your development times to exactly what you need. The amount of extra cost is minimal over time, and you will have an experience of what's possible.

StoneNYC
23-Jun-2015, 09:15
If you want to look at a real premium film, try Ilford's Delta 100. Soup it in some Pyrocat HD.... you'll be amazed.

It takes good materials to learn. Better to use a premium film and premium developer and tune your development times to exactly what you need. The amount of extra cost is minimal over time, and you will have an experience of what's possible.

They also mean old Ilford, the "non-plussed" version ;)

Lenny Eiger
23-Jun-2015, 09:47
They also mean old Ilford, the "non-plussed" version ;)

Yes, I did catch that... old and expired. I actually liked FP4 not plus much better than the plus. I used a lot of it and had great results. Never tried it expired for however many years, tho'.

Film has definitely changed over the years, but TMax, TMY2, Acros and Delta are all excellent. I have always liked Ilford and Delta is every bit as good was TMax, its a little less expensive, so that's what I have been using lately. The more I use it, the better I get.

My real point was while it may be fine to learn how to develop film with cheap stuff, that once you have learned its better to use good materials so that if you actually do take a good photograph you have something you can use rather than some image on some cheap, junky film that you have to struggle to get a decent print out of....

Lenny

Drew Wiley
23-Jun-2015, 10:34
I recommend learning with a good versatile film you might stick with in the long run, at least once you're beyond the basics of focus, movements, lens selection etc. It takes awhile to readjust. And you never know... you might just bag an interesting shot early on that you wished you had gotten on better film. ACROS is
certainly the most versatile with respect to reciprocity characteristics at long exposure, followed by TMax films. I'm in the "don't like" camp with respect to Delta
sheet film, though I will admit the quality is high. I personally find FP4+ to be way more versatile among Ilford choices, or HP5 when you need speed. TMax films are more fussy with respect to exposure and a bit pricey, but quite rewarding. I shoot a lot of TMY400 in 8x10; but ACROS is probably my favorite 4x5 film at the moment. Everybody has their own specific reasons for favorites, due to their own subject matter and desired look. There are a lot of good choices out there at the moment. But one axiom I have learned over time the hard way is that the most economical film is the one which does the job right the first time,
and not necessarily the once whith the cheapest price tag on the box.

miltonkeynes86
23-Jun-2015, 16:11
Hi All - Newbie here.

I have a question I thought some of you might be able to help me with.

I am trying to do some still life shots in very low directional light. In other words lighting the subject only, say an apple or a shell or something.

I did some test shots on my Nikon digital camera at f 29 @ 120 seconds @ 100 ISO. Shots came out well lit, could see what the object was and even the background was well lit and clear.

I then tried to translate those settings to my new Toyo 45A which I currently have loaded with Fomapan 100. After reading about Fomapan 100 I am using it as ISO 80.

So my translated settings (using my handy android ev pairs app) for f 32 came to:

f 32 @ 3.2 minutes = 3.12 minutes @ ISO 80

After developing the shot, for example of the shell, the film was almost totally clear. I could just see a few details from the lines of the shell. In other words very very underexposed.

So the question is why is there so much difference between the digital and film results?

And how can I accurately determine long exposure shots when using my Toyo / Fomapan 100 if I cannot simply translate the settings from my digital camera meter?

I guess its worth pointing out that on faster shots in well lit situations the results are fine and I can meter with my digital without the vast difference in results.

Thanks
This will be abstract until you read up on reciprocity failure with film.
http://aaswall.tk/32/o.png

Lenny Eiger
23-Jun-2015, 18:15
I recommend learning with a good versatile film you might stick with in the long run, at least once you're beyond the basics of focus, movements, lens selection etc. It takes awhile to readjust. And you never know... you might just bag an interesting shot early on that you wished you had gotten on better film. ACROS is
certainly the most versatile with respect to reciprocity characteristics at long exposure, followed by TMax films. I'm in the "don't like" camp with respect to Delta
sheet film, though I will admit the quality is high. I personally find FP4+ to be way more versatile among Ilford choices, or HP5 when you need speed. TMax films are more fussy with respect to exposure and a bit pricey, but quite rewarding. I shoot a lot of TMY400 in 8x10; but ACROS is probably my favorite 4x5 film at the moment. Everybody has their own specific reasons for favorites, due to their own subject matter and desired look. There are a lot of good choices out there at the moment. But one axiom I have learned over time the hard way is that the most economical film is the one which does the job right the first time,
and not necessarily the once whith the cheapest price tag on the box.


Acros has a little more of a straight line response, which is a little strange to me. The reciprocity characteristics of Delta are just a tiny bit better than TMax in my tests. There is little difference, certainly not enough to choose one over the other.

All of the top films respond almost exactly when developed in the same developer. I have tested this extensively. There is no difference in "versatility", sensitivity, delicacy or anything like it. They all respond very well. The only thing you can do wrong is not use enough developer, or develop too long. Yes, the development times are slightly different. However, there is very little difference between TMax, TMY2, Acros and Delta in quality. If yo find this, you will be able to trace it back to something you messed up in your process.

Older films have more grain. HP5 is not something I would use at all... unless I was contact printing it. The development times are a bit different. They appear to be more versatile in some ways, but the grain makes them less desirable for scanning...

Lenny

StoneNYC
24-Jun-2015, 03:16
Acros has a little more of a straight line response, which is a little strange to me. The reciprocity characteristics of Delta are just a tiny bit better than TMax in my tests. There is little difference, certainly not enough to choose one over the other.

All of the top films respond almost exactly when developed in the same developer. I have tested this extensively. There is no difference in "versatility", sensitivity, delicacy or anything like it. They all respond very well. The only thing you can do wrong is not use enough developer, or develop too long. Yes, the development times are slightly different. However, there is very little difference between TMax, TMY2, Acros and Delta in quality. If yo find this, you will be able to trace it back to something you messed up in your process.

Older films have more grain. HP5 is not something I would use at all... unless I was contact printing it. The development times are a bit different. They appear to be more versatile in some ways, but the grain makes them less desirable for scanning...

Lenny

Lenny,

How long are your long exposures? TMY-2 and Delta100 behave VERY differently in 10 minute + situations, so to hear you say they are similar, seems strange to me. Curious thanks.

Lenny Eiger
24-Jun-2015, 08:55
Lenny,

How long are your long exposures? TMY-2 and Delta100 behave VERY differently in 10 minute + situations, so to hear you say they are similar, seems strange to me. Curious thanks.

In our tests, we didn't go into the hours... just up to a few minutes... It's possible you are correct...

Lenny

StoneNYC
24-Jun-2015, 09:37
In our tests, we didn't go into the hours... just up to a few minutes... It's possible you are correct...

Lenny

Ahh, yea that makes sense, thanks.

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 10:25
I absolutely did not "mess up" my process anywhere, Lenny. I just don't find Delta 100 particularly versatile for my style of shooting and printing and can articulate exactly why. But I can imagine why you like it. You scan, tweak the curve, and love to surf the midtones and highlights when you print. Delta is an excellent film for that kind of application. On the other hand, I'm often very concerned how deep shadows reproduce onto darkroom silver papers. I need films that separate way way down there, and still hold highlights in high contrast scenes. Therefore TMY is an excellent choice for me, at least in 8x10 where speed also helps with our windy coast conditions. But shots that are hell to print from Delta are easy with TMY, or even easier with FP4 or ACROS. Delta has just way too much toe for me. It might seem like a small difference to some people, but it transpires at a critical point on the curve for me.

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 10:41
Now per your HP5 comment, Lenny. I soup that in PMK, which gives HP5 that magical "watercolor grain" effect - crisp edge acutance with almost no perceptible
salt n' pepper grain. 20x24 prints from 8x10 film show no stereotypical grain at all. Analogous enlargements from 4x5 film come out a tad mushy with this developer rather than perceptibly grainy. That's why I rarely shoot it in anything but 8x10, though certain photojournalist types seem to love it even in 35mm.
It has a distinct toe too, so I find it wonderful for lower contrast scenes, like when the fog is in, or shaded conditions overall. I deliverately overdevelop it to expand the midtone microtonality which come out so wonderfully with this film. But that means that I might need to rein in the overall contrast with an unsharp
attached mask. Compensating or minus development does just the opposite and compresses tones, so I don't go there. And VC papers aren't a total cure. I have
done some odd tricks with it, like developing off only the pyro stain with no visible silver image through a deep blue filter onto VC papers. Comes out wonderfully, but a bit unnerving since the actual negative image can only be viewed through a blue filter beforehand. FP4 is more a middle of the road film. I
keep in on hand in both 4x5 and 8x10; but it's a bit slow around here due to our incessant wind most of the year.

Lenny Eiger
24-Jun-2015, 11:29
I absolutely did not "mess up" my process anywhere, Lenny. I just don't find Delta 100 particularly versatile for my style of shooting and printing and can articulate exactly why. But I can imagine why you like it. You scan, tweak the curve, and love to surf the midtones and highlights when you print. Delta is an excellent film for that kind of application. On the other hand, I'm often very concerned how deep shadows reproduce onto darkroom silver papers. I need films that separate way way down there, and still hold highlights in high contrast scenes. Therefore TMY is an excellent choice for me, at least in 8x10 where speed also helps with our windy coast conditions. But shots that are hell to print from Delta are easy with TMY, or even easier with FP4 or ACROS. Delta has just way too much toe for me. It might seem like a small difference to some people, but it transpires at a critical point on the curve for me.

Every film is slightly different, however if you need more in the shadows, you just expose a little more. It's a matter of tuning the film to your needs. Treatment of shadows and highlights is totally separate. The only reason a shot would be any different in TMY is that you exposed and developed it differently (for that film). You can get anything you want from any of the top films, you just have to tune the processes. (If you know it has too much toe, then you can manipulate that to your needs.) They are all versatile...

Lenny

P.S. When people send me HP5 to scan, I just cringe at the size of the grain. I wouldn't put up with it for my own work. If you make a 20 inch print from an 8x10, certainly you won't see too much of it. Not that many people have 8x10 enlargers, however. They want to make a 20 inch print for a 4x5, and it fails, as you say...

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 12:28
Please tell me something I haven't already known for the past fifty years, Lenny. Simply pushing the exposure up the curve with more exposure, or building the
gamma with longer development is NOT to same thing as what I just described. Let's get past finger-painting with D76 and Dektol, and eating Elmer's glue, please. You don't buy a Ferrari simply because it will in fact go 25mph like a Vespa scooter if it needs to. It's the extreme performance that you pay for. No, films are NOT all the same. Try telling that to somebody like Michael Smith when he's screaming about Super-XX no longer being made. Lots of people have 8x10 enlargers. I have two and am looking at a third. Even the rental darkroom in town here has an 8x10 enlarger which people use. What best applies to your parameters as someone who prefers to scan does not necessarily apply to those of us who do darkroom printing directly from film. Just try posting a thread saying, why we no longer need TMY and see how much flak you get. I'm 100% certain I'm
not the only person on this forum willing to pay top dollar for a film like that, and one of the reasons is that it's cheaper to the right film and get what you want
rather than a cheaper film and not, or ending up wasting twice as much paper to get the desired print, which ends up being way more expensive overall.

Lenny Eiger
24-Jun-2015, 15:00
Drew, I don't know what to say to you... The last time I saw some examples of your prints is was very high contrast cibachromes. I don't know what you are trying to do. I don't know what your prints in b&w look like... you seem to come up with a lot of things that are non-standard, at least from where I am standing. I can't imagine there would be huge differences in Delta and TMY in the darkroom, or with other processes. But maybe you do, so have fun with it...

I happen to like the films I like, all of them work for me and I'm happy to recommend them. I wouldn't turn anyone away from Delta unless I saw your prints, the negatives that made them, etc. I am of the opinion you can master any of the top films. Unless you have direct evidence that says Delta doesn't perform well in the darkroom I thinks its not that nice to turn people away from this excellent film.

TMax has some sort of anti-UV coating that keeps it from working in alt process (I think I have that right) so there is a clear disadvantage for people who want to do alt process with it... So far, I don't think you can make the case that an Ilford film is bad in the darkroom. I think they are very committed to the darkroom...

Lenny

Sal Santamaura
24-Jun-2015, 15:12
...TMax has some sort of anti-UV coating that keeps it from working in alt process (I think I have that right) so there is a clear disadvantage for people who want to do alt process with it...That's only true for 100TMX sheets. 400TMAX (a.k.a. TMY-2) sheets have no such UV-absorbing layer and work fine with alt processes.

Personally, I exlcusively use Delta 100 in all sizes, from 120 on up. I just ordered quite a bit in whole plate through the HARMAN special order program. And, despite making some noise about possibly "going hybrid," I haven't yet. I still print my Delta 100 negatives in the darkroom on silver paper and prefer it to TMY-2. To each his or her own. :)

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 15:47
Like I already implied, Lenny, I don't choose films according to what they all do similarly or reasonably well, but for what they each do best. Of course, I can't go
around lugging fifteen different films at a time. But I do frequently need versatility that spans wide contrast. TMY does that reasonably well. I wish something like Super-XX or Bergger 200 were still made, but the only so-called "true straight line" film still made it Fomapan 200 and its Arista private label, which as we all know is miserable at long exposures and of dubious quality control. Handling twelve zones of range without resorting to compressed development is something those kinds of films can do. You've never actually seen any of my actual Cibachromes, and the sad thing about the web is that it's almost impossible to reasonably convey the qualitative feel of the soft and subtle images, whether color or black and white, so that probably once gave a false impression about the scope of my work in that respect. I don't know if more recent improvements in scanning and web presentation really cure that issue, but it's a bit premature for me to revive that particular project. I have set up a new copy station. I worked with Delta 100 briefly. It favors midtones and highlights, but packs the shadows a bit too hard for my typical usage. And it's a slick film like TMX, so quite a nuisance in terms of Newton ring risk here, where fog is the norm. When I do want more of a general purpose film and can tolerate the slower speed, I load FP4 in the holders, because it's always on hand for unsharp masking purposes. At lately I've been packing one holder of 8x10 ACROS for certain shots where I want a bit of long-exposure blur in the foliage, but otherwise shoot TMY. One characteristic that hasn't even been mentioned on this appropriate thread is how these various films shift contrast differentially over long exposures relative to
different colored filters. That kind of information is hard to get ahold of. What few people seem to know is back when Kodak was trying to replace multiple films
with just two speeds of TMax, they actually engineered TMX as a suitable color separation film to replace Super-XX in that role. It's actually even more consistent the way it responds to tricolor filtration at consistent contrast at long exposures, at least within the "sweet spot' of roughly ten seconds to a minute.
TMY isn't bad in that respect either. With all the 200-speed films designed for that purpose, including Super-XX, Bergger, and Fomapan, the contrast through
blue filtration was strongly diminished. But more common filters, like green or red, can also fall out of balance. One more thing to think about for you long exp
junkies, before you blame your development on that unexplicable neg that mysterious came out wrong.

Jac@stafford.net
24-Jun-2015, 16:08
I did some test shots on my Nikon digital camera at f 29 @ 120 seconds @ 100 ISO. Shots came out well lit, could see what the object was and even the background was well lit and clear.

I then tried to translate those settings to my new Toyo 45A which I currently have loaded with Fomapan 100. After reading about Fomapan 100 I am using it as ISO 80.

Getting back to the original - was your digital camera possibly set to AUTO ISO?
.

Drew Wiley
24-Jun-2015, 16:30
And me too. Back to original question. Sorry for the detour. But Foma 100 is more like ASA 50 during fast exposure, given the marketing BS coefficient. With long
exposures, you need to time it with a Carbon 14 clock, not a stopwatch. Nearly futile, in other words. Choose a different film.

StoneNYC
24-Jun-2015, 16:55
Getting back to the original - was your digital camera possibly set to AUTO ISO?
.

He said the exposure time was in Minutes... With FOMA, that's HOURS, I'm sure it was reciprocity and not his digital camera compensating.

sanking
24-Jun-2015, 18:15
Probably everyone knows this already, but digital sensors are *almost* perfectly linear. If you double the amount of light hitting the sensor, you get a linear response on the sensor in terms of density. This can be very useful in exposing scenes in extremely low light. In these situations you can set the ASA very high to get a reading at your taking aperture, then adjust it to a low ISO for the actual exposure.

Sandy

secondhandrobot
24-Jun-2015, 18:54
Getting back to the original - was your digital camera possibly set to AUTO ISO?
.

No, the digital camera was not in Auto ISO mode. I tend to shoot manual everything with my digital.

secondhandrobot
24-Jun-2015, 18:56
He said the exposure time was in Minutes... With FOMA, that's HOURS, I'm sure it was reciprocity and not his digital camera compensating.

Yes, once I accounted for reciprocity I have been getting good results.

secondhandrobot
24-Jun-2015, 19:05
I have seen threads and reviews where people have been quite happy with Fomapan film. Some people actually like its reciprocity properties.

For me, learning a new art, Fomapan is more than sufficient. Once I start getting more confident I will consider trying out some of the more expensive films. Delta 100 is next on the list.

Maybe if you have been shooting for ever and know LF photography like the back of your hand there may be no substitute for the best (most expensive) films.

For me Fomapan fulfills its purpose for now. Bottom line is I am just happy to be shooting large format at all :)

StoneNYC
24-Jun-2015, 19:25
I have seen threads and reviews where people have been quite happy with Fomapan film. Some people actually like its reciprocity properties.

For me, learning a new art, Fomapan is more than sufficient. Once I start getting more confident I will consider trying out some of the more expensive films. Delta 100 is next on the list.

Maybe if you have been shooting for ever and know LF photography like the back of your hand there may be no substitute for the best (most expensive) films.

For me Fomapan fulfills its purpose for now. Bottom line is I am just happy to be shooting large format at all :)

Ilford is an excellent producer of film and will be around much longer than many of the higher priced films, they are poised to be the last great film and paper manufacturer.

When Fuji Actros100 is gone I'll be going to Delta100 and when TMY-2 is gone, I'll probably switch to Delta400 (which I think will be produced again in sheet once TMY-2 is gone) and I'll continue using HP5+ when applicable as well.

Ilford is an excellent choice.

FOMA is great for that "film" look and the reciprocity characteristics make it great for getting water patterns and other things for long exposures and other things.

It's not BAD just different.

Sounds like you've figured it out, keep going :)

Drew Wiley
25-Jun-2015, 10:25
Gosh, you're a prophet too, Stone? Or still acting?

StoneNYC
25-Jun-2015, 11:30
Gosh, you're a prophet too, Stone? Or still acting?

Logic, kodak can't downsize, period, so once sales drop below a certain number, they are kaput period, Fuji is a monster and maybe they COULD downsize but they probably won't, they will probably CHOOSE to leave the market at some point.

That leaves ADOX, Ilford, FOMA, Lomo, FILMferrania, Oriental, and a few other tiny ones.

That makes Ilford, FOMA, and ADOX the next "big three", I have suspicions that FOMA is like EFKE, a serious factory issue and they are kaput.

Ilford is making a profit and selling a lot

ADOX is a small operation and can handle changes to market easier.

Lomo depends on other manufacturers to sustain.

Oriental, I don't know, but I suspect it's the same Chinese manufacturer of Rerapan, and that other Chinese film I always forget about, good "look" but still more old-school, and small batches, inconsistencies and minor QC issues.

FILMferrania, if they overcome their obstacles may be the last color manufacturer and I suspect if and when they product, that will essentially kill Kodak/Fuji color, saturate the market too much and the bigger producers won't sell enough quantity to sustain.

If I were a betting man, I would hedge my bets on Ilford and ADOX as the last major film manufacturers before even they go away and it gets made by some specialty company for art students and film specialist artists only.

But that's also my hope, because I'm realistic that Acros100 won't be around forever, and I love Rodinal and want that around for the long haul, and HP5+ pushes well and has a pleasant overall signature in DD-X so that could cover 70% of my work with Delta100 in Rodinal for the other 30% when I need the detail. I hope that Ilford will buy the rights to Rodinal, should ADOX cease, and vise versa to DD-X and HP5+ should Ilford ever fall and the tiny ADOX stand alone.

Only time will tell for sure, not I....

Lenny Eiger
25-Jun-2015, 11:40
We're going all over on this thread.... but oh, well, I think the OP has his answer, at least...

Prophet or not, I think Stone's conclusion is a reasonable one.

Kodak, which had a lot of R&D in its day, has had the most inane management of any company for its entire history, and its worse today. They succeeded only by the strength of their engineers. Will they disappear tomorrow? Who knows? Two years from now, the percentage goes up... 3 years, even more. Weill they spin off the film business? Maybe....?

I must say that I don't understand how Fuji thinks. If they are anything like Epson I don't want to know... but my lack of understanding is more from ignorance than any knowledge in this instance. I don't trust that they will make film for the US market, or spin off the Acros manufacturing to a smaller company, or any of the choices that would keep it around for longer.

OTOH, Ilford has stated their commitment to black and white film directly. They may or may not ultimately have the resources to pull it off but the intent is clear. It's a good bet that they will be around the longest.

What that means to me is that if I am going to take the time and energy to tune my exposures and development times to a particular film, it will be an Ilford one. That is, if all the films from these manufacturers are equal. I believe they are, at least for my purposes.

Sal Santamaura
25-Jun-2015, 11:52
Gosh, you're a prophet too, Stone? Or still acting?While neither Stone nor an actor, I'm willing to play a prophet with respect to the question at hand in this thread on this forum. :)

HARMAN will be manufacturing black and white silver gelatin film/paper long after the other mentioned entities cease to exist. There are two threats to anyone here having such items available for purchase through the rest of our natural lives:


Its Mobberley facility is extensively damaged, destroyed or its lease agreement is not renewed, forcing a search for an alternative site. Single-point failure.
Heirs of its private owners potentially lacking interest in continuing that business when the current generation fades away.

That's it. No matter how much anyone likes TMY-2, forces larger than us will drive Bldg. 38 to the scrap heap before HARMAN stops producing. Reality sucks, but it's real. If shooting a particular film for years into the future is of critical importance, buy more freezers.

Drew Wiley
25-Jun-2015, 12:35
So who is going to make color film and that variety of photosensitive industrial products which lie totally outside the pale of grumpy old bearded guys whose color vision got hallucigenically overloaded back in the 60's anyway? In the meantime, I do pay my utility bills so my freezer will keep working, and do enjoy a chuckle from time to time over the fact I've still got a decent stash of high quality sheet film that cost me about a third as much as the going rate today. One freezer is plenty, just as long as it's reasonably full so my wife can't stuff a frozen turkey in there! As for Fuji, something is "Lost in Translation" between the home office and the US distribution company. Kodak's troubles have been exaggerated. They still have a building after all these years, slowly dying. Most US mfg corporations now have CEO's and MBA's which know how put them out of business within about six months. Kodak is doing a pretty good job surviving compared to the average statistics.

Sal Santamaura
25-Jun-2015, 15:53
So who is going to make color film and that variety of photosensitive industrial products which lie totally outside the pale of grumpy old bearded guys...Probably nobody. Although Ferrania might for a while, but those who think Ektar & Portra are the bee's knees will be disappointed.

Reality sucks, but it's real.

Drew Wiley
25-Jun-2015, 16:16
That's an understatement. Only Fuji and Kodak have real technical capability in color now. And my freezer.

Bruce Watson
26-Jun-2015, 06:26
...I was playing with using low light to keep the background illumination low - or ultimately black.

Film doesn't work the same way your eyes work. Nor the same way digital works.

With film there's a threshold level of photons that have to reach a given area of film in order to produce a latent image. It's this latent image that the developer develops. If you don't have sufficient photons, you get... nothing. No latent image, blank film. If you have enough photons to start creating a latent image, then you can develop an image on your film. If you just cross the threshold, you probably won't see an image; it'll be so thin you won't notice it. It actually takes quite a lot of photons to make a usable image. I'm just sayin' that shooting in the dark isn't very productive. As you have figured out for yourself by now.

With digital, there's also a threshold level of photons that have to reach a given photosite to produce an image. Without this level of photons, the photoreceptor will fire more or less randomly depending on all kinds of things, from temperature to charge buildup. But the result is the same -- noise. This is where noisy shadows comes from. Digital sensors do hate to be light starved. The difference here is that film doesn't give you noise in the shadows, where digital does. So a light starved area on a sheet of film just stays clear, with no noise.

Either way you do it, both film and digital respond better to adequate levels of light.

How to deal with that? Perhaps the best way is to separate the functions of image capture and image presentation. Use enough light to make a proper capture, then create the look you want "in post", either printing in the darkroom, scanning film and using an image editor, or using an image editor on your digital capture. They all work, and let you "print down" your shadows to inky blackness if that's what you want.

So, use enough light to get a proper image capture. Then print it how you will.

Ian Gordon Bilson
27-Jun-2015, 21:59
Well, I don't have any skin in this game,but if the OP is stuck with Fomapan - maybe a little Googling on "Pre-exposure Flashing" is indicated ?

Drew Wiley
29-Jun-2015, 08:17
I don't expect a little flash to cure Fomapan. More like a nuclear blast would be necessary.