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Thread: High speed film for 4x5

  1. #1
    jesse1996's Avatar
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    High speed film for 4x5

    Hey folks, quick question. Going on a trip soon and plan on doing a good bit of photography at night. Wanted to know if you had any good high speed films you'd recommend? I browsed a bit and didn't find anything faster than ISO 400. If there isn't any film is my best option just pushing the 400 speed to ISO 800 or 1600? And would it be reasonable for star photography out in the salt flats?

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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    The only high speed 4x5 film that I use is Kodak Royal-X Pan (ISO 1250). But don't bother looking for any. I just might be the last guy on the planet that has any -- and I'm not selling. Besides, it is so grainy that it would not be of much use is astrophotography. I'd say use a fine grained ISO 400 film and push it -- which should not be a big obstacle with long exposures of the night sky -- with or without a Star Tracker.

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    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    I used Royal-X Pan 50 years ago, pushed in Acufine to some insane speed.

    But I was shooting sports for a newspaper, so "de-larging" from 4x5 down to 1 or 2 column width.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #4
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    With star photography, whether as star trails or with the camera on an equatorial mount, you have many minutes to hours of exposure time. It is more important to have a low reciprocity failure than a high speed in that case. As an example, Kodak's TMax 100 is "faster" than TMax 400 at longer exposures. Afaik, the soon to be gone (as sheet film) Fuji Acros 100 has the best reciprocity failure data, followed by TMax 100. You might also want to look into "hypersensitization", using either hydrogen or forming gas (a mix of nitrogen or argon with hydrogen) to temporarily increase the effective speed at long exposures. This was a common procedure in astrophotography before CCD and CMOS sensors took over.

    The standard b/w astrophotography film to be "hypered" was actually Kodak Technical Pan, a low speed document film, which is long gone.
    Last edited by Arne Croell; 5-Jun-2017 at 11:52. Reason: Added Kodak TP info

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    What Arne said. High speed film is not necessary for much star photography, especially if you are doing 'trails'.
    Stars are actually bright. ISO 400 is good,
    Boost processing contrast for shorter exposures and be happy.

    My long gone sky camera: http://www.digoliardi.net/skc/skc1.jpg
    8x10", metrogon lens.

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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    Because of it's almost non-existent reciprocity factor, Fuji Acros 100 is the fastest film available in low light. I have exposed it for 2 minutes with no adjustment for reciprocity, and I don't think that is it's limit. I develop it normally after these long exposures.

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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    Because of it's almost non-existent reciprocity factor, Fuji Acros 100 is the fastest film available in low light. I have exposed it for 2 minutes with no adjustment for reciprocity, and I don't think that is it's limit. I develop it normally after these long exposures.
    Unfortunately, Acros LF has a Capital Punishment scheduled. To be discontinued in one year. Something infame.

  8. #8
    multi format
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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    i think you can hyper your film with warm hydrogen peroxide
    https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...eroxide.99927/
    i've read it other places as well

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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    TMAX400 is probably the best compromise - from Howard Bond's reciprocity tests it loses only a stop of speed at 2 minutes - thus it's still a stop faster than ACROS, & no LF lens is realistically going to be able to utilise the extra resolution of TMAX 100, ACROS/ Delta 100. Mucking about with hypering is fine if you're doing astronomy or something like that, but realistically, your biggest problem is going to be the Earth's rotation...


    Better to take some risks, ignore the need for 'perfect' imagery & have fun. Check out some of Michael Kenna's night photography to see what you can do once you throw away the notion that it needs to be a literal representation, or grainless.

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    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: High speed film for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    Because of it's almost non-existent reciprocity factor, Fuji Acros 100 is the fastest film available in low light.
    I have exposed it for 2 minutes with no adjustment for reciprocity, and I don't think that is it's limit.
    Per the ACROS datasheet, it requires no exposure correction out to 120 seconds, and only 1/2 stop to 1000 seconds.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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