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Thread: Hello from London

  1. #21

    Re: Hello from London

    Hi Matthew.
    I happen to really like the look of Fomapan 100, but have been falling out of love with it over the number of failed sheets I get. Tiny clear pinholes, scratches (even working carefully in a slosher tray with gloves), and tiny areas of what looks like emulsion lifting from the base. I'm happy to take the blame for some of it, but I can't seem to get good long runs of perfect negatives. I've just gone back to HP5.
    It's reliable, Ilford QC is good, I process in PMK and love the way it renders mid-tones, and since I don't print very big grain is a non-issue on 5x4.
    Fomapan 400 has a reputation for looking grainier than other films of the same speed, but I've never used it so can't say first hand.
    Perhaps someone will come along with real experience of that particular film?

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
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    13

    Re: Hello from London

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robertson View Post
    Hi Matthew.
    I happen to really like the look of Fomapan 100, but have been falling out of love with it over the number of failed sheets I get. Tiny clear pinholes, scratches (even working carefully in a slosher tray with gloves), and tiny areas of what looks like emulsion lifting from the base. I'm happy to take the blame for some of it, but I can't seem to get good long runs of perfect negatives. I've just gone back to HP5.
    It's reliable, Ilford QC is good, I process in PMK and love the way it renders mid-tones, and since I don't print very big grain is a non-issue on 5x4.
    Fomapan 400 has a reputation for looking grainier than other films of the same speed, but I've never used it so can't say first hand.
    Perhaps someone will come along with real experience of that particular film?
    Hi Carl,

    Thanks for your continued help.

    I shall use up the Fomapan 100 on stationary/non-moving subjects and then try HP5 on some portraits. I read R09 is not the best for developing HP5?

  3. #23

    Re: Hello from London

    Hi Matt. I don't use RO9. I like PMK Pyro for both Fomapan and HP5.
    HP5 in particular really comes alive in PMK, with excellent mid-tone rendering. RO9 supposedly keeps forever, but has a reputation for emphasising grain.
    You'll find everyone here has a favourite film/developer/paper combination they swear by, so take all advice with a pinch of salt.
    More than happy to send you a couple of prints from HP5/PMK if you want to see the look. PM me an address if it would help.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    13

    Re: Hello from London

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robertson View Post
    Hi Matt.
    When composing, beware that the ground glass will show the entire 5x4 area, but the actual areas of exposed is a fraction smaller- the film holder has to cover the edges if the sheet. It can be well worth leaving a tiny bit of 'wiggle room' at the edges of the frame when composing- no problem with the amount of film you have available in 5x4.
    Yes, the ground glass can be dim, and on very wide lenses, with both greater depth of field and depth of focus, and small maximum apertures, placing critical focus can be tricky. Get used to the relatively bright (seriously) and easy to focus 150 before you go wider. In passing, 58mm is very wide on 5x4; something like 18-19mm on 35mm. Exact equivalence is hard as the diagonal angle of view differs between formats. What are you using in small format as a comparison?
    With Fomapan 100 I think most of us use it at EI 50. Nice film, but handle it carefully when it's wet.
    Hi,

    My scanner (v700) just wont give a decent scan if there is a section of sky in the negative. It reduces the exposure of the entire scan and I get very dark foreground. Fed up with this, I tried adding a 2-stop hard grad filter but arrived at the same result (a negative with a very bright sky and dark foreground that wont scan).

    Read up a bit more and people suggest if you shoot at half-box-speed (which I now do) you should reduce development time by 15%. I tried this (with a 2-stop grad filter) and developed this photo:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This was developed for 6 minutes and 48 seconds. The sky still doesn't contain any detail, BUT it scans better.

    If I reduce the development time even more, will that bring out more detail in the clouds/sky? Or do I just use a stronger grad filter? Or both?

  5. #25

    Re: Hello from London

    Hi Matt.
    I don't scan my negs (wet print only) so you're on your own with that one.
    You'll hear an expression sometimes, "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights". Reducing film speed to half box speed is all about making sure you get detail in the shadow areas- underexposed film is just blank, and you can't make something out of nothing, so expose for the low tones. The longer you develop the denser the highlights become, until eventually the subtle highlight tones become crowded together or 'blocked' and can't be separated in printing. Reducing development time holds back the highlights to make them easier to print. Of course, reducing dev time too much could give a flat negative with too little contrast.
    If your development time is already less than 7 minutes I doubt you want to go shorter. When you view your negs against the light, can you see detail in the highlight areas?
    Hopefully someone who knows about Epson scanners will chime in, as this sound like a problem which might be solved by adjusting your scanner settings.

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