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Thread: FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

  1. #1

    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    With Freestyle changing their LF & ULF films and Photo Warehouse saying they will be shortly as well (due apparently Ilford no longer selling big rolls to custom cutters/resalers) we will be losing my favorite 125 speed film in formats larger than 8x10.

    I like to shoot the same film from 4x5 to 12x20 and if I have to change the bigger film it will carry over to the smaller.

    What is available out there in these ULF formats that is closest in performance to FP4+? I like how it works & if I can't get it I want something as close as possible. Not something like Bergger that can't really be expanded. With any luck not some that have emulsions so sensitive they scratch if you blink in the darkroom.

    Anyone with experience here is welcome and especially so if you have tried, tested & had good experience in a replacement that works well. It will be 6 months to a year before I will have to get more but when I do if I can't get what I am used to I will have to change. Might as well start getting info so I can check out the likely candidates.

  2. #2

    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    I am in the process of doing the same thing, although I will keep shooting TMY for 8x10....anyhow, I have a friend who shoots efke for Azo and swears by it developed in Pyrocat HD. JandC right now has short dated Efke film at very good prices, which might be a good time to give it a try and test. Also I have heard good things about the JandC 400 film and will be giving that a try too. I know it is not 125 but I figure since I am changing films, might as well give a try to one that has some faster speed.

  3. #3

    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    Go study the JandC Photo website. You will want to become very familiar with it. Then take a look at the B&W Film/Paper/Chemistry forum over at APUG. There's been a fair amount of discussion over there about the various films supplied by JandC.

    In ULF, no matter which supplier you go to, the choice is basically Efke 100, Forte 200 and Forte 400. I see that JandC is currently listing Efke 25 as well in 11x14 only, but an ISO 25 film is going to be next to useless for most ULF workers. The Forte films appear under a variety of private-label brands, but underneath the labels, it's all the same stuff.

  4. #4

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    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    I don't want to play the role of Chicken Little, but I received the new Freestyle catalog in yesterday's mail. Arista.edu (p.14)which I think is relabeled Fortepan or Bergger is well represented while Arista Pro is listed as "Still Available---While Supplies Last!"(p.17) I checked Freestyle's website and Arista Pro is still cataloged(e-cataloged?) and not on clearance or anything to suggest that its on the way out other than the "While Supplies Last" notice in the printed catalog. Of course you can still get Ilford in the Ilford box from the Freestyle catalog(p.16) and now they've also cataloged Foma sheet film in 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 sizes. There is also a "coming soon" notice of Arista.edu Ultra(??)

    I'd really like to Czech out the Foma;-)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  5. #5

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    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    In ULF the only film with the expansion and contraction capability of FP4+ is EFKE Pl 100. In some ways I like it even more than FP4+, though the emulsion is a bit tender.

    Forte 400 (JandC 400) give more emulsion speed, but does not come close to EFKE PL 100 in terms of expansion and contraction potential.
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  6. #6

    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    This was linked over in APUG, but I guess not here yet:

    photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00BrDw

    It's Fred Newman reporting that Ilford has just informed him that they will no longer fill orders for 12x20 HP5 Plus, and that 11x14 is gone as well once current stock is sold.

    I wonder whether this means custom orders as well.

  7. #7

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    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    What Sandy said. I'm so pleased with the Efke 100 in Pyrocat HD I'll never look back.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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  8. #8

    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    Efke PL100 gives me richer negs than I ever got out of FP4. They are ever much more expressive in the darkroom. Also, I'd have to take exception to the 'but an ISO 25 film is going to be next to useless for most ULF workers' comment. (Not that it matters at all what 'most' people would do (since when is photography a group activity?)). The only film I've found richer than PL100 is the PL25 and the difference in my experience is strong. I prefer this film in 11x14 whenever there is enough light or time to use it. If Efke ever cuts it in 8x20 then I'm in. The prints from PL25 exude depth.

  9. #9

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    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    I live in the UK and after seeing what happened to MG Rover yesterday I find it hard to believe that Ilford managements attitudes are as crass as the management of The Rover group. A company which has just struggled back to life should be willing to sell as much of the stuff that it produces as possible. It would be nice to buy a British product (Ilford have refused to supply 11 x 14 to the home market for some years now) but if the company is going to adopt this attitude they can get stuffed. I ain't happy!

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    FP4+ in ULF disappearing, what is closest?

    I'll also put in my vote with Efke PL100. It needs to be handled carefully, but it's a beautiful film.

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