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Thread: Newb needs some B&W film advice

  1. #1
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    Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Howdy... When I saw newb I mean new to LF. I shoot almost daily with DSLR's (1DsMKII, 1DMKIII, and 1DsMKIII) so "photography" isn't the issue here.

    I'm so out of touch with film these days its not funny. I've got a pair of Hassy's that I've shot one frame with in the last 2 years. I've got a Linhof Master Technika that I have yet to shoot. So far all that I've done with it is look at the world upside down

    But... I'm on a mission. The Linof and I are going to learn how to use each other this year come hell or high water. I've got 2 boxes of Polaroid 55 but I have been advised (on this forum) that I DO NOT want to practice with it. Besides that, it's not sheet film. I want the "whole experience" so to speak. So... I'm looking for sheet film. I have some Fuji film packs (quick whatevers) ordered but I want to use sheet film and I want to try black and white.

    For no reason other than name recognition, I am looking at:

    Ilford HP5+
    Ilford FP4+
    Ilford Delta Pro 100

    I'm primarily interested in landscape photography for the moment so I am leaning towards Delta Pro 100. Since I know almost nothing about film selection I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Gracias and thanks...

  2. #2
    Robert Oliver Robert Oliver's Avatar
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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    hp5 will give you faster shutter speeds and is good for landscapes in numerous situations. Especially if it's breezy or windy. Easy film to work with that looks good. my2cents
    Robert Oliver

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    All are fine films, as well there are T-max 400, Tri-x, Fuji Acros.

    You can't go wrong with any of the above, but FP4 has pleasant grain and good exposure and processing latitude; it is a bit more forgiving of errors than Delta.

    It pairs very well with Xtol.

    Good luck with LF, Enjoy!

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    This is an often-asked question here. Most answers are anectodal: "Try this one.", "I like that one.", etc.

    What few will tell you, is why. Fewer still will show you a series of test shots that demonstrate how one is better than another.

    Keep in mind that it's not just film: it's the film+developer combination.

    You might find it helpful to find people whose photos have a look you like, and try out the film/developer combination they use.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 31-Aug-2009 at 10:10.

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Thanks all,

    I don't have a darkroom. I will have to send/take the exposed film to a lab unfortunately.

    I understand what you are saying but at the moment I am stuck with trusting someone else with my darkroom needs.

    Ken- Good point... I may just adopt the try this approach and see what I like in various situations.

  6. #6

    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Michael, in that case may I suggest you ask at the lab that will develop your film what chemistry they use, and whether there is a particular film that they 'know' how to develop. Having said that, it is not difficult to develop your own film.

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by David Hedley View Post
    Michael, in that case may I suggest you ask at the lab that will develop your film what chemistry they use, and whether there is a particular film that they 'know' how to develop. Having said that, it is not difficult to develop your own film.
    Good idea.

    A long time ago I developed and printed my own B&W film. I will probably get back into it. Mostly because I don't like leaving my work to someone else. For now, I will be happy if I can figure out how to use my Linof.

    Thanks everyone.

  8. #8

    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    whatever film you decide on, I would pick one film and use that 100% of the time until you really get the hang of using your camera and know your film/developer combo. Once you have that nailed down you can then move on to try other films.

    When you are first starting out you have so many other variables to toss in a whole new set by trying different films is really counter productive.

    If I were in your shoes I would go with a faster film that is not T-Grain. That would be Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP5. They are very forgiving, and if you are sending off to a lab, the lab will be very familiar with them.

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Lloyd View Post
    I want the "whole experience" so to speak. So... I'm looking for sheet film. I have some Fuji film packs (quick whatevers) ordered but I want to use sheet film and I want to try black and white.
    What comes after exposing film? Are you going to develop it - in tanks, trays, rotary processor? Will you print it using a darkroom, or do you intend to scan the film, and with what?

    One has to answer those questions before you can come up with the right film.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

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    Re: Newb needs some B&W film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    What comes after exposing film? Are you going to develop it - in tanks, trays, rotary processor? Will you print it using a darkroom, or do you intend to scan the film, and with what?

    One has to answer those questions before you can come up with the right film.

    Lenny
    I fully appreciate what you are saying Lenny. I really do... but at this point I am just trying to get into LF film shooting. I've had most of what I need to shoot the images for over two years and I have never shot a single frame. In that time I focused in digital photography and the digital darkroom. So at this point... I'm just learning to open my eyes... your talking about running For now... no darkroom. In time, I suspect that it will come. Yes, absolutely, I would like to scan the film.

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