PDA

View Full Version : LF beginner Film



roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau
10-Apr-2019, 16:14
I've been shooting and developing 35mm and 120 C-41 and B&W with a Jobo for a while. Had kind of settled on Delta 400 as my main B&W and Portra 400 in C41. Works fine and I feel like after cranking a lot through, it's a stable process.

So I'm a beginner at 4X5, and am thinking from Ilford's own tech sheets that FP4+ might be more "forgiving" in exposure and development than Delta 100. I'd not really found FP4+ or Delta all that much different in terms of difficulty with exposure in the small formats, so I kind of wonder about all this. Granted, the bellows factor and s-effect, tilt, swing and all that with 4X5 have me admitting that there might really be something to the "mo' bettah lattitude" argument. And I say this because I expect to make plenty of mistakes. It's how I learn.

SO what's my question? What do folks REALLY find in shooting? Is Delta really less forgiving? Does FP4+ really have better tonality and wider lattitude? Which would you recommend for a 4X5 newby?

Thanks!

Corran
10-Apr-2019, 16:22
Whatever you can get cheaper between the two will probably be fine until you decide you like or don't like it. I personally like Delta 100 a lot in Pyrocat. I haven't shot enough FP4+ to really compare seriously but in HC-110 it seems to have a bit more grain - which is mostly irrelevant in LF. I wouldn't say FP4+ has "better tonality" as a rule, but it probably does have wider latitude.

rdeloe
10-Apr-2019, 17:45
You'll get a lot of opinions and strong views on this... It rarely ends well. ;)

For what it's worth, I compared Ilford HP5+ to Kodak TMAX 400 and decided on the latter. I found that TMAX 400 in XTOL was more forgiving than HP5+. My highlights are safer with TMX 400. The down side is that it's quite a bit more expensive than HP5+, and it requires a more precise and consistent workflow. I used to shoot a lot of FP4+ so I tried some of that too when I came back to film last year. I'm not going to buy another box. For my purposes, I don't see any advantages over TMAX 400 in XTOL.

angusparker
10-Apr-2019, 18:08
My two cents: pick something you think will be available for some time to come. Iíd also go with a faster film, say ISO 400, so that you have more flexibility with wind or interiors. At 4x5 grain isnít an issue with the faster film. Iím partial to Tri-X 320, but HP5+ is probably a more durable long term option and cheaper.

John Kasaian
10-Apr-2019, 19:06
I find FP-4+ and HP-5+ to be very forgiving and a pleasure to work with. I haven't tried Delta so I cannot comment on it. If reciprocity isn't expected to raise it's ugly head Freestyle .edu Ultra 100 (Foma) is certainly do-able for less $$
Kodak is excellent but I can get great results with Ilford as well.
TMY is special stuff but wasting a sheet on a mistake is like experiencing a Greek Tragedy.

roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau
10-Apr-2019, 20:03
FWIW ISO 400 seems to have a more limited range of films: HP5, TMY and Bergger Pancro. The read I get on Foma is low quality control - including scratches and light leaks. I've tended to stay away in 35mm and 120. Yet with all the loading issues I'm likely to run into in the early going, 100 sheets of Foma couldn't kill anyone.

But aside from some snobbism there on my part against Foma, I kind of thought the game here in 4X5 land was long exposure with slow lenses. While that may be an oversimplification on my part, too, I'd be curious how many shoot "high" speed film? I see a LOT of FP4. Less Delta 100. (Sadly no Delta 400!!!) and plenty HP5. TMY seems to be more a 35mm and 120 thing? Kodak competes hard in 120 with TMY.... but not here.

koraks
10-Apr-2019, 22:31
>The read I get on Foma is low quality control - including scratches and light leaks
I'm afraid that I have to agree on this, although not like leaks, but certainly coating/emulsion defects of various kinds. However; I've only seen these in 35mm and 120, and not in sheet film.

angusparker
11-Apr-2019, 17:09
FWIW ISO 400 seems to have a more limited range of films: HP5, TMY and Bergger Pancro. The read I get on Foma is low quality control - including scratches and light leaks. I've tended to stay away in 35mm and 120. Yet with all the loading issues I'm likely to run into in the early going, 100 sheets of Foma couldn't kill anyone.

But aside from some snobbism there on my part against Foma, I kind of thought the game here in 4X5 land was long exposure with slow lenses. While that may be an oversimplification on my part, too, I'd be curious how many shoot "high" speed film? I see a LOT of FP4. Less Delta 100. (Sadly no Delta 400!!!) and plenty HP5. TMY seems to be more a 35mm and 120 thing? Kodak competes hard in 120 with TMY.... but not here.

Slow film is fine in bright light with no movement of the subject (or camera) but with long exposures comes reciprocity failure and the shakes. I usually set out with 50% "slow" film and 50% "fast" loaded in my holders and almost always come back with some or all of the slow unexposed. When your front standard is racked out to 400mm - 600mm on a field 4x5 you will think that perhaps you have a kite rather than a camera....and those damn leaves on the trees!

Corran
11-Apr-2019, 18:24
I'm the opposite. I prefer slow film for landscape work. Generally, under the canopy I usually shoot in, the 2-stop difference is negligible when it comes to wind (2 seconds vs. 8 seconds is no difference when the leaves are bobbing constantly from water flow). I'm also well acquainted with TMX so stick with it. HP5+ is fine though and I shoot that sometimes as well. Your preferences will develop once you start shooting. The films are slightly different from 120 to LF and you may find your tastes differ between formats.

Bernice Loui
11-Apr-2019, 19:16
Beyond the films previously suggested, consider out of date films for learning how to use your 4x5. Out of date films can some times be a bargain and work surprisingly well. In all cases, expect to burn a lot of film before getting proficient at using a 4x5 or any view camera as there are a lot of things that can go wrong in this image making process. From loading the film wrong side up, not setting the aperture before releasing the shutter, not focuses properly, camera movement, wrong exposure, film damage loading-unloading the film into the holders and into the development system of choice and much more.

One note, used Efke 5x7 once only to discover some sheets had pin holes in the emulsion !!!! Not pleased at all.

Once there is enough confidence gained, that is the time to consider using your previously fave films. This does not mean using your fave films for learning is not good, it is mostly an economic-cost choice.

Enjoy going up this learning curve, it will be bumpy but much fun and more can be ahead :)
Bernice

Kiwi7475
11-Apr-2019, 20:42
Personally I just stick to tmax 100. I know it well, have the workflow down and I find it quite forgiving. Even if youíre starting I would stick to one, the one you like best, and go for it. Thereís no real reason to start with cheap film just because ďyouíll make mistakesĒ. When you donít, you feel like youíve wasted a good chance to get the better tonality; and when you do make a mistake, itís actually more forgiving than say EDU ultra 100. Yes ok itís more expensive but in the end this is not the cheapest hobby and might as well spend your time knowing really well the film you want to use in the end, sooner rather than later.
Just my 2c.

angusparker
12-Apr-2019, 08:25
I'm the opposite. I prefer slow film for landscape work. Generally, under the canopy I usually shoot in, the 2-stop difference is negligible when it comes to wind (2 seconds vs. 8 seconds is no difference when the leaves are bobbing constantly from water flow). I'm also well acquainted with TMX so stick with it. HP5+ is fine though and I shoot that sometimes as well. Your preferences will develop once you start shooting. The films are slightly different from 120 to LF and you may find your tastes differ between formats.

There is almost always a coastal or inland breeze in the Bay Area. Shooting on a ridge line is impossible with slow film. I guess I need to do some dark interiors!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Corran
12-Apr-2019, 08:36
Yeah, the natural wind created by the waterfalls and flowing creeks is constant here, and sometimes it's simply impossible to shoot LF, if you want to compose with the big mountain laurel leaves in the frame close by. You need 1/30th of a second exposure time at the minimum, which would imply about f/11 and a full 400 speed film in many situations I find myself in. I have setup my 8x10 a few times and not made an image because I realized some element would be a giant blur on the film. Sometimes a smaller format is the correct answer!

Larry Gebhardt
12-Apr-2019, 14:06
I've just recently tested FP4+ and Delta 100 in a jobo with expert drums and xtol 1+2. Let me know if you want the results. My conclusions: Delta 100 is faster than FP4+ in XTOL despite Ilford's ratings. FP4+ has a longer toe though so you can probably salvage underexposure a little easier, so I guess it could be seen as more forgiving. However it's really minor. The curves between the films are different shapes so they won't produce the same prints even if the contrast ranges are exact. I think that is the major difference between the two. Both are great films and either would be great to learn the camera with.

Bruce Watson
12-Apr-2019, 14:39
What do folks REALLY find in shooting? Is Delta really less forgiving? Does FP4+ really have better tonality and wider lattitude?

What I found in my years of LF is that you're really asking the wrong questions. You only need the concepts of "wider lattitude" and "more forgiving" in roll film because you can't develop the individual exposures individually. It doesn't really make any sense with sheet film.

If you're going to maximize your photography, you have to learn to expose the film, whatever film it might be, to put the shadow detail exactly where you want it. Then you have to learn to develop your film, individual sheets if it comes to that, to put your highlight detail exactly where you want it. IOW: Expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights. That's the point of the whole exercise. It works with all the B&W films I've ever heard of, and probably a lot more besides. [Color films are more problematic because you can't really change development time much to put your highlights where you want them (you'll start introducing the most interesting color artifacts that are difficult to impossible to correct; fun stuff but also pretty frustrating)].

A lot of roll film concepts, from "wider lattitude" to "more forgiving" to "pushing", etc. just don't have a lot of meaning in a sheet film context. Just like the concepts of "camera movements" and "bellows factor" don't have a lot of meaning in a general DSLR context.

So... pick a film and start shooting with it. Burn a lot of film, learn from every sheet, especially the ones that end up in the trash. You'll know when it's time to make a change. Trust yourself. You'll know.

roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau
22-Apr-2019, 05:31
Okay... thanks for the guidance, and yes, you've shamed me into it. Looks like the thing to do is to pick up some Foma/Arista 100 and 400 film and just give it a go. At least the inevitable screw-ups will be "cheap"... expensive relative to roll film, but there you are. I call it "tuition". Have an Arca-Swiss Model B coming ...which should be a good place to start. Won't get a real chance to start until much later when I can get a developing/darkroom set up going in the house we're moving to (since we move out in a week or two from here into a temp rental without capacity or approval for these things).

Bernice Loui
22-Apr-2019, 09:06
There is no shame in any way. This is much about learning by doing. There will be "screw-up" and more expect this as it is part of the learning process. More important is to learn from these "Screw-ups" and do what is needed to reduce or prevent the same incident again.

Foma/Arista 100-400 will do great at this point.

Beyond camera and all that film burning stuff, focus on how that film will be processed, then prints made and mounted.



Bernice




Okay... thanks for the guidance, and yes, you've shamed me into it. Looks like the thing to do is to pick up some Foma/Arista 100 and 400 film and just give it a go. At least the inevitable screw-ups will be "cheap"... expensive relative to roll film, but there you are. I call it "tuition". Have an Arca-Swiss Model B coming ...which should be a good place to start. Won't get a real chance to start until much later when I can get a developing/darkroom set up going in the house we're moving to (since we move out in a week or two from here into a temp rental without capacity or approval for these things).