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Thread: Choosing an 8x10 film

  1. #1
    David de Gruyl's Avatar
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    Choosing an 8x10 film

    I am looking for advice on choosing an 8x10 B&W film to standardize on.

    Currently I have two boxes of Tri-X 320, my first two boxes of 8x10 film. I have used this film for some time, in smaller formats. Now, I am a bit concerned about future availability of this particular emulsion. (we can avoid the discussion of why I am concerned, but I expect it to be discontinued in the near future).

    Normally, that would mean filling my freezer.

    In this case, I am using a different process to develop 8x10 film from smaller formats, which means I am not wedded as much to the film of choice for those formats.

    Would it be advisable to use something like Ilford FP4 as my go-to film for 8x10? How well does this film work with Rodinal at various concentrations? Is Efke PL 100 a better choice? (I have heard that HP5+ does not work well with low concentration rodinal) How about PMK?

    I am not particularly interested in T-Max, nor Delta. I want to start with something that is fairly economical, and makes good quality negatives for contact printing. I have the intention of attempting some alternative processes using these negatives as a starting point, but no real firm goals at this point.

  2. #2

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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    My 8x10 film is Tmax400. Some of my favorite subjects include moving water and Tmax 400 has the speed to capture moving water so it doesn't look like cotton candy. However, if Tmax400 were to disappear, I would look to FP-4.

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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    However, if Tmax400 were to disappear
    Oh no, please don't even mention that

    Another suggestion for a nice 8x10 film is the Foma 100 and 200. The 200 is reformulated so no one really knows how the new version will perform but the old Foma 200 was excelent for alternative processes.

  4. #4
    David de Gruyl's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    Well, the good news is that there has been no word about T-Max going away.

    I might as well go with the Ilford. If they go away, there will be a serious hole in the paper market, anyway.

    By the way, I would think that the shutter speed would be the limit on 8x10. My (copal-3) shutter only goes to 1/125. What would a typical exposure be, for you?

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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    Depend on what your subjects are. I have never used anything faster than 1/25 on 8x10
    most often my exposures are in the 8 sec. to 1/8 sec. If you need any Dof on 8x10 you need to stop down quite a bit and will get slow shutter speed as a result. 1/125 is not going to be a problem.

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    I actually used 1/4 second today with my 8x10 today and that was with a yellow filter-- most unusual for me -- but then so was using only f22. Normally, I use the B or T setting.

    Ilford FP4+ is a wonderful film. Nice inherent contrast and all that...and through development I have been able to boost contrast for alternative processes. HP5+ on the other hand I have found to be dreadful for that purpose -- but I really need to give it a try with Kodak D-19 before giving it up altogether. But I am afraid someone will have to give me some before I use it again -- I won't buy it unless there is no FP4+, Tri-X or TMax400 available and need film ASAP.

    I am going to give some ASA25 film a go for when I am photographing out in the open (usually I am in the deep forest) and I want to use some of my barrel lenses.

  7. #7
    Claudio Santambrogio
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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    Been using mainly Foma 100 - some like it, some don't, but I've always been very happy with it (but then I don't need the speed, and usually use it at ~64 ISO also…)

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    I would use the fastest film if you are shooting at f65 or 45. That is because your shadows, as projected on the film, will be very very dim. Even if the film claims to have good reciprocity characteristics, you likely will be pushing things to the limit in your shadow areas.

    If you are doing the 'wide open thing' then ignore the above.

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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    Quote Originally Posted by David de Gruyl View Post
    By the way, I would think that the shutter speed would be the limit on 8x10. My (copal-3) shutter only goes to 1/125. What would a typical exposure be, for you?
    Typical exposure can vary depending on subject and lighting. I was shooting wide open using either TMax 400 or HP5+, I forget which now, and needed to use an ND grad to bring the highlights back down to something the shutter could handle. I haven't developed these negatives yet, so I don't know how well they came out.

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    David de Gruyl's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing an 8x10 film

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Maher View Post
    Typical exposure can vary depending on subject and lighting. I was shooting wide open using either TMax 400 or HP5+, I forget which now, and needed to use an ND grad to bring the highlights back down to something the shutter could handle. I haven't developed these negatives yet, so I don't know how well they came out.
    I have had issues similar with Tri-X and a 1/500 shutter. (The camera only went to f/22, though).

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