View Full Version : B&W film for high contrast ?

Gerry Harrison
21-Nov-2006, 00:08

It seems lately the days I have off for photos are bright and clear...I have a shooting window from 10 am to 12 lunch. I am trying to advoid high contrast situations but sometimes this is a no win situation..one can use contrast to produce a great image and I am learning this slowly. My question is are there any B&W films that handle high contrast better..so a little more detail is visible and the contrast is not so harsh.I am shooting Agfa APX100...maybe a 400 asa film would be a better direction to go.

Thanks Gerry

Ron Marshall
21-Nov-2006, 06:19
Fortepan 400 will capture the greatest contrast range (see reference below). HP5 or TMY are capable of capturing a greater contrast range than most other films. Pyrocat-HD or HC-110 are good developers for semi-stand to compress the tonal range. I have done a 14 stop range with TMY and Pyrocat-HD, 18 stops are possible.


Jim Noel
21-Nov-2006, 13:02
in general, 400 ISO films are less contrasty than slower films. Also, a variation in the developer and agitation can go a long way toward controlling contrast. I find HP5+ excellent for highcontrast scenes when used with a variety of developers so long as time and agitation are controlled.

Donald Qualls
21-Nov-2006, 15:26
I'd suggest that not only do Forte (aka Classic and .EDU Made in Hungary) and TMY capture exceptional range, the Forte also has a very good response to N+ and N- development, about the best I've encountered (though I honestly haven't tried a whole bunch of films for this). Forte also has the advantage of being very reasonably priced, especially in the Freestyle boxes... ;)

One very important difference to be aware of -- TMY captures a wide range by simply refusing to block up; it'll go up to Zone XII or XIII without losing detail (though the range may exceed what you can print without trickery), but you still want to expose by metering normally. Fortepan, OTOH, *will* block up beyond Zone IX or X if you don't apply a development control, which will require that you increase exposure slightly to compensate.

Andrew O'Neill
26-Nov-2006, 09:38
HP5+ is generally considered a medium contrast film.