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FlyingGiraffes
10-Jun-2013, 01:09
I've finally put together almost everything I need for my 8x10 kit (missing film, developing tray, and chemistry). A few days ago I got to see the image for the first time on the ground glass. That was an amazing experience. The amount of detail I could see was breathtaking.

Now I need help choosing black and white film. I'm trying to keep the cost of film low, can't afford much as a student. I've taken a look into Arista 100, Delta 100, and FP4+ 125. The Ilford films are slightly more expensive, but seem to be better quality. I'm happy to pay a little extra for the quality. Having a hard time choosing between the three (also open to any suggestions as long as it can compete in cost).

I'm looking to do landscapes and long exposures of landscapes/architecture (while the sun is still up or shortly after sunset). I do want to take some portraits, but I'll probably want to select a different film at a faster speed for that.

Also, I have a question regarding reciprocity failure. For example a reciprocity table shows Fomapan 100 (which I read Arista 100 is) requires a 68 second exposure at a metered exposure of 9 second. Does using this fact to take a long exposure create any problems in exposure or other elements in the resulting negative?

Please let me know any other useful thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks!

StoneNYC
10-Jun-2013, 01:22
I've finally put together almost everything I need for my 8x10 kit (missing film, developing tray, and chemistry). A few days ago I got to see the image for the first time on the ground glass. That was an amazing experience. The amount of detail I could see was breathtaking.

Now I need help choosing black and white film. I'm trying to keep the cost of film low, can't afford much as a student. I've taken a look into Arista 100, Delta 100, and FP4+ 125. The Ilford films are slightly more expensive, but seem to be better quality. I'm happy to pay a little extra for the quality. Having a hard time choosing between the three (also open to any suggestions as long as it can compete in cost).

I'm looking to do landscapes and long exposures of landscapes/architecture (while the sun is still up or shortly after sunset). I do want to take some portraits, but I'll probably want to select a different film at a faster speed for that.

Also, I have a question regarding reciprocity failure. For example a reciprocity table shows Fomapan 100 (which I read Arista 100 is) requires a 68 second exposure at a metered exposure of 9 second. Does using this fact to take a long exposure create any problems in exposure or other elements in the resulting negative?

Please let me know any other useful thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks!

If you're doing long exposures with concern on reciprocity failure, spend the extra money on Fuji Acros100, it has a 2 minute reciprocity failure rate, that's 1 minute and 59 seconds better than any other film's failure rate , no one knows why or how Fuji did it... But that's the film for you.

For non long exposures, go for the artista, it's Kodak Tri-X rebranded (I believe) and in 8x10 I wouldn't worry too much till you've honed your skills, then go for the ilford FP4+ (opinion).

JeRuFo
10-Jun-2013, 02:13
Arista/Fomapan 100 is a decent film, but you have to learn its limitations. As you mentioned, reciprocity failure can be a problem with landscapes. A bit of wind can easily ruin your shot, either by moving your camera or leaves. But if you want your exposures to be long, then look no further. The only problem I can see is that the blacks block up quite easily, so a night shot might give problem in that area. I don't have much experience with that.
I'm only a beginner myself, but I liked the film for the fact that it forces you to think of all the factors that are involved and takes a bit of practice and testing to get a good negative every time.

FP4 is probably the most forgiving of the three and I personally like the tonal scale it can produce, but that is very personal.

Don't forget to couple film with a developer, which might be as important as your film choice.

I am shooting Fomapan 100 and TMX at the moment, all developed in XTOL (from 1:1 - 1:3). I would recommend picking a developer and learning the developer and see what film you like best with it. There are probably sides to every film that you have to experience yourself, like how easy it is to scan (if you go that way) or how easy it is to handle (one reason I stuck with TMX is that it has a nice thick base, both in 120 and 4x5, making it easier to dry and get into a scanner.)

Degroto
10-Jun-2013, 02:59
I have used Fomapan and Shanghai 8x10 film. I got decent negatives and they are ok to handle. The price is really nice. I would suggest buy either one so you can get used to working with an 8x10 camera. If photo's turn out to suck big time it won't cost you a lot. 8x10 Fomapan cost in the Netherlands €120,00 for 50 sheets. I can live with that. I might trade up next year when doing some portait shoots again. See if there is any difference in quality.

Mark Barendt
10-Jun-2013, 03:33
I'd actually suggest that going straight to 400 speed film might be a good choice.

vinny
10-Jun-2013, 05:21
The arista sheet film is NOT tri-x
He's on a budget, acros costs what per sheet when you can find it?

Fp4 (in pmk) has been my main film for a long time. No defects, always available. Start with a film and stick with it. If you have a 4x5 back, start with that. 400 asa is quite helpful with 8x10 but tmy (the most expensive b+w film available) is the only true 400 I've found.

polyglot
10-Jun-2013, 05:58
Arista is Fomapan and I use a fair bit of it in 4x5, but it is truly terrible for long exposures. Keep it for daylight and studio light; doing the time-extension dance will get you some shadow detail back but doesn't fix the big contrast boost that reciprocity failure causes (wherein the shadows lose more than the highlights) so you still end up with painful negatives.

If you want to be shooting in available darkness, I recommend TMY2 in Xtol 1+1, which does a flawless ISO400 with finer grain than most ISO100 films, and achieves 800 with little effort and little increase in contrast. While it fails at reciprocity slightly more rapidly than Acros, it has at least a 2 stop head-start and never (for exposures shorter than overnight) requires an exposure longer than Acros. While I shoot heaps of Acros in 120, the pricing in sheets is insane so I don't bother.

TMY2 is also incredible in Rodinal, but you lose a stop of speed.

Brian Ellis
10-Jun-2013, 06:21
For what you plan to do (post-sunset) I'd use TMax 400. TMax films generally have better reciprocity characteristics than most others and the 400 speed, even if 200 turns out to your personal speed, will help some with shutter speed. But if you're making a long exposure while the light is disappearing it's almost impossible to overexpose. And accurately calculating a reciprocity-adjusted exposure time is pretty much impossible, at least without some personal testing.

John Kasaian
10-Jun-2013, 06:25
If you can swing it, I'd go with Ilford HP-5+ since low light photography is one of your goals. Reciprocity is the one area where Arista .edu Ultra (Fomapan) may present a challenge. Ralph Barker, who is a moderator here, does stunning 8x10 work with HP-5+
You might want to do a search for his on-line gallery to see some examples.

Roger Cole
10-Jun-2013, 10:15
Did all the folks recommending Acros not see that the OP is talking about 8x10? I don't think Acros has ever been available in 8x10. TMY is the best choice and is available but ungodly expensive - over $8 per sheet from B&H. Best compromise is probably HP5+.

vinny
10-Jun-2013, 10:21
Did all the folks recommending Acros not see that the OP is talking about 8x10? I don't think Acros has ever been available in 8x10. TMY is the best choice and is available but ungodly expensive - over $8 per sheet from B&H. Best compromise is probably HP5+.

wrong, it is/has been available in 8x10 but is $$$, similar to tmy $$$$.
http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=30

Nicolasllasera
10-Jun-2013, 11:29
Here in Spain I shoot Fomapan 100 (Arista 100) as its 90 for 50 sheets. I use it to test my skills and learn. When Im happy with my results I will go into Ilford. The main reason is that they are the ones still pushing film today. I have bought Acros, HP5, FP4 and Tri-x to have some film to test. But probably will just test them and move to only one film. If you are in a budget try Arista and ehen you are good enough move to FP4. Good luck.

Roger Cole
10-Jun-2013, 16:04
wrong, it is/has been available in 8x10 but is $$$, similar to tmy $$$$.
http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=30

I was not "wrong" because I very carefully did not say "it has not been" but rather "I don't think it has been" - and I didn't. And as far as I know it is still only available directly imported from Japan so is still not likely a viable choice for a price conscious beginning 8x10 shooter in the US.

Maris Rusis
10-Jun-2013, 16:47
I've standardised on Fomapan 400 alias Freestyle Arista Edu Ultra 400 (at EI 200) for all 8x10 work that needs panchromatic film.

By the time it gets to me in Australia it costs about $3 a sheet which is a bargain. In the 8x10 format worries about grain, gradation, and sharpness are a non issue so I choose the cheapest with enough speed to deliver reasonable exposure times. Maybe I'm lucky but I've never encountered a coating flaw in this film.

The manufacturers published reciprocity failure table for Fomapan films is, I reckon, crazy wrong. The corrections I use are way different.

Reciprocity failure can't be corrected by increasing exposure alone. Development has to be reduced to tame the increase in contrast caused by the shadows "failing" but the highlights "not failing". But what happens where you would prefer not to give individual development to individual frames? A different reciprocity correction chart is called for. Here's mine for all films including Fomapan. It is based on mid-tone metered time versus given time in seconds:
1/1
2/2
4/5
8/10
15/22
30/50
60/120
120/300

The reciprocity compensation in this list is much less than the usual figures put forward but it avoids the difficult dense negatives that result when development is not reduced. The photographs that result tend to have somewhat empty shadows but I propose that empty shadows are logically consistent with the experience of looking into dark places. I would rather show the darkness than compensate it away.

Philippe Grunchec
11-Jun-2013, 01:59
Fomapan 400 has been discontinued!

Roger Cole
11-Jun-2013, 03:50
Fomapan 400 has been discontinued!

Still some available though, and the 200 is available. I think the 400 is still going to be made in roll sizes, just not sheets. They didn't see the need for both a 200 and a 400. The 200 is said to be closer to a new tech film. I haven't shot it but I shoot the 400 at 200. Maybe I won't have to shoot the 200 at 100 and it will end up, in practice, as fast or almost as the 400. I suppose I'll find out when I run out of the 400.

jp
11-Jun-2013, 05:54
I'd say tmy2 will do both of what the OP wants. It's more expensive than I'd like but there is also great waste/inefficiency in learning how to master two different films at once. For bright daylight use, I'd probably stick with tmy2 because that's what's in my freezer, or prefer fp4+ over foma/arista because of quality.

ataim
11-Jun-2013, 08:00
The problem in using inexpensive film is what if you take a once in a lifetime photograph? Now you have a picture on less than ideal film or film size. A while back I was going through some older contact sheets, taken with a little Mamiya 645, a few of the pictures I wish now that I had taken at least the 4x5. That's my $0.02. I vote for Ilford fp4 and Pyrocat HD,

Roger Cole
11-Jun-2013, 08:35
Any of the Ilford films are much less expensive now than Kodak in 8x10. Ilford QC is top notch. I'd agree - shoot Ilford and be happy. It's what I mainly plan to do when/if I go 8x10, though I may shoot some Arista/Foma or even x-ray film for fun, but Ilford for the ones that have to count.

Andrew O'Neill
11-Jun-2013, 08:41
FP4 and HP5. Either one. Great films. Will you be wet printing?

Maris Rusis
11-Jun-2013, 16:16
Fomapan 400 has been discontinued!
Arista Edu Ultra (alias Fomapan) 400 in the 8x10 format is listed in stock today by Freestyle at $143.21 for a 50 sheet box. Long may it live!

StoneNYC
11-Jun-2013, 16:27
Roger was right about the 8x10 thing, I apologize about recommend in
as its mainly (except apparently in Japan) only available in 4x5 and smaller.

However I would certainly disagree with the statement about TMax400 being similar in reciprocity ... As it fails at 2 seconds, where acros100fails at 2 MINUTES...

Roger Cole
11-Jun-2013, 16:52
Roger was right about the 8x10 thing, I apologize about recommend in
as its mainly (except apparently in Japan) only available in 4x5 and smaller.

However I would certainly disagree with the statement about TMax400 being similar in reciprocity ... As it fails at 2 seconds, where acros100fails at 2 MINUTES...

It may not exactly be similar, but it's still faster. Even though the speed falls off more quickly, it starts with a two stop advantage. And the T-Max films in general have, as far as I'm aware, the second best reciprocity failure characteristics after Acros. TMX is better than TMY-2 but, again, starts out two stops slower.

Roger Cole
11-Jun-2013, 16:52
Arista Edu Ultra (alias Fomapan) 400 in the 8x10 format is listed in stock today by Freestyle at $143.21 for a 50 sheet box. Long may it live!

Still available right now but there was some discussion on APUG about Foma. Fomapan 400 in sheet sizes has disappeared from their product list, and someone got a communication from them that they didn't think there was room for both a 200 and 400 film so they chose the 200, at least for sheet sizes.