Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 46

Thread: Film for learning

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    6

    Film for learning

    Hi. I'm starting now with LF and, since I never developed film by my own, I expect I will need some trial and error, so I will most likely need to waste some film...
    Up to now I mostly used Ilford film (FP4+, Delta 100) in 35mm and 6x6/6x9, having them developed in a lab, but I see the 4x5 sheet film are quite expensive. So, I have a few questions:
    - Is there any cheaper film that would be anyway good to start with and still doesn't have quality/processing issues (like FOMA, ...)?
    - Does it makes sense at all to start with a cheap film and then later move to Ilford or would it require to almost re-start the learning curve?
    - To develop the film I was thinking of getting a Jobo tank. Is it a good start or would you suggest anything different?
    Thank you for your support!

  2. #2
    Huub
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    133

    Re: Film for learning

    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    - Is there any cheaper film that would be anyway good to start with and still doesn't have quality/processing issues (like FOMA, ...)?
    - Does it makes sense at all to start with a cheap film and then later move to Ilford or would it require to almost re-start the learning curve?
    - To develop the film I was thinking of getting a Jobo tank. Is it a good start or would you suggest anything different?
    1. & 2. There indeed some cheaper alternatives out there, but i would recommend starting with a film you already have some experience with. Both FP4+ and Delta100 are excelent choices. One of the reasons is the quality control of Ilford. When something strange happens, in general a defect of the film can be ruled out. A second reason is that the previous experiences give you an indication of what you might expect contrast and sharpness wise. And a third reason is that developing film is not that hard. When following the manuals carefully it is hard to make mistakes developing film.
    3. The Jobo reels is an excelent choice, especially when you plan using rotary development. An other advantage is that you can you develop 4x5, 120 and 35mm film in the same system. At the other hand: Jobo tanks and reels are quite expensive, even second hand. And when buying second hand: Jobo did built several development systems: expert drums, the 2500 series and the 1500 series and you have to be sure you have the right parts, as not everything is compatable. The 1500 series for instance doesn't have a reel for large format negatives, the expert drums don't fit the CPE processors, the 2500 series use different lids for paper processing and film processing, et cetera.
    There are several other development tanks on the market, all of them capable of producing excelent results. You might look into those and there are quite a bit of reviews on this site of the different systems.

  3. #3
    Thalmees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    342

    Re: Film for learning

    Hello visand,
    Welcome to the forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    Up to now I mostly used Ilford film (FP4+, Delta 100) in 35mm and 6x6/6x9,
    These are superior films. Just choose the correct developers. Move on to do every thing your self.
    Long time ago, was testing lenses on medium format, used FP4+, used improper developer to emphasize sharpness, aside from lens comparison, results of film was not that good.
    Lately, used it again but in a large format and in better developer, for landscape photography not for testing lenses, result is marvelous at least. Practically no grain at 10X enlargement, and sharpness is super beyond my expectations. Before that was using only TMX/TMY2, never get the same results.
    Hopefully, Kodak prices returned to the previous levels(higher than any equivalent) at freestyles at least, hope it show the same with other retailers.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    - Is there any cheaper film that would be anyway good to start with and still doesn't have quality/processing issues (like FOMA, ...)?
    Yes you can. Many film manufacturers, ILFORD, Arista, Bergger, Foma, Shanghai, etc.
    As far as I know, Arista/Shanghai, cheapest, then ILFORD and others(with low difference), then Kodak as the most expensive.
    Not user of Foma film, but I'm not aware of special defect in this brand. Lots of variable are involved(from storing to the water used in development, etc), you have to try it your self if you find Foma is the cheapest.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    - Does it makes sense at all to start with a cheap film and then later move to Ilford or would it require to almost re-start the learning curve?
    You may start with ILFORD. It's not in the expensive brand of the range. But you may find cheaper, you may start at as well.
    Your point is logic, no re-start learning curve, just to know the nature of film/developer every time you select newer emulsion.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by visand View Post
    - To develop the film I was thinking of getting a Jobo tank. Is it a good start or would you suggest anything different?
    As I mentioned before, start doing things your self as early as possible. Photography as an art, is very different from digital, need time and being involved your self. Not difficult at all in the first steps, but when you build your experience your standards are high already and you will not be satisfied by anything like lab development.
    Photography(B&W), is a human kind tradition that has its standards built and established long time ago, as any other classical art.
    If you plan to own a JOBO processor later, I think you may start with JOBO drums/tanks.
    Otherwise, Paterson, Orwo, etc, are not designed for being used on processors, taking lower volume of solution, think it's better.
    .
    Wish this helps.
    Welcome again to the forum.
    Thanks.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.
    ------------------------------

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,603

    Re: Film for learning

    Foma films are quite good in my experience, particularly foma 100. I've had minor issues with a particular batch of foma 200, but these weren't severe and wouldn't impede one's learning process. With foma 100 I haven't had any quality issues whatsoever in 35mm, 120 and 4x5 and I find it's currently one of my favorite film stocks. Same story so far with foma 400, but I've only recently started using that. In my opinion, it's hard to beat the bang for the buck that you get with foma films and I would heartily recommend them, unless you're planning to do a lot of long exposures (>10 seconds) as the reciprocity characteristics of the foma films are their Achilles heel. Of course, the ilford films are great products as well, but apart from the fine grain of Delta 100 and its reciprocity characteristics that clearly are superior to those of the foma films, I personally find they don't deliver quality or image benefits that justify the higher prices. I once started with foma 100 because of its attractive price for 4x5 (and other formats as well) and have since then tried several other films, but in the vast majority of cases, I find there's no significant benefit to the more expensive films, except for low-light photography.
    By all means, try a box of foma/arista.edu to learn the basics of LF and see if you like it. You can always upgrade if you find the film itself lacking in any way.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    189

    Re: Film for learning

    Fomapan is great for a starting film, the only real problem is its reciprocity failure characteristics. Its not a great film for long exposures (anything metered as 1s and longer)

    The other issue is that its box speed is overspecced half to a whole stop and its a bit grainier then equivalent Ilford emulsions.

    Graininess isn't too much of a problem for 5x4 though.

    If you dont expect to hit longer exposures too much give it a try, the price is HALF of Ilford.

  6. #6
    Thalmees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    342

    Re: Film for learning

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    ... the price is HALF of Ilford.
    Hello locutus.
    Thanks for the information.
    From where can I get Foma or Arist at 1/2(half) the price of ILFORD.
    Thanks in advance.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.
    ------------------------------

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,603

    Re: Film for learning

    Quote Originally Posted by locutus View Post
    The other issue is that its box speed is overspecced half to a whole stop and its a bit grainier then equivalent Ilford emulsions.
    I currently expose both the 100 and the 400 at box speed and get good results. I don't see much difference in grain between Foma 100 and FP4+ in terms of grain when developed in pyrocat, which is what I usually use for these films. For optimum shadow detail, the 400 may be exposed at 320 or 250, but I personally don't find it very necessary. I must say I was surprised at this. I have in the past shot foma films at one stop (or a little less) below box speed for optimum shadow detail, but have recently given up on this practice. I don't like the results any less than before!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
    Posts
    1,650

    Re: Film for learning

    The Foma/edu film is fine for general use... As mentioned, you will typically overexpose the film 1/2 to a full stop, and very slightly underdevelop it (about 10% or a little less of the total listed developing time with standard developers), and it looks very nice and holds excessive highlights very well...

    The reciprocity tables in the instructions work (For the 100/ 1 sec=+1, 10sec=+3, 1min=+3 1/2, 120sec=+4) which is a lot of correction, but the film exposes very well, even for long night exposures...

    Worth a try, not expensive for 50 sheets, and you might stick with it...

    Steve K

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    793

    Re: Film for learning

    Would start with the film you intend on using longer term, for a year at least so you get used to it.
    Not that many darkroom mistakes will happen and when you get a good image, why not have it on the film you plan on using?

    Any film will do a good job if you learn how to use it. Ilford FP4+ is an excellent film. Pick a developer and use it. Tray development will work if you don't have the Jobo tank yet. Will still work even if you do.

    Many photographers who are excellent use film and developer combinations that others would not touch even if paid. As long as the results are what you like - why play around? When you do finally decide to check other developers or combinations be sure to make some final prints so you are comparing finished work. Then, if you can't reliably pick one film or film/developer combination over what you have been using - why change?

    You won't make many darkroom mistakes. Take notes and work carefully and you may find yourself getting good results quickly. Best of luck to you.

    For the record I use Ilford FP4+ and Pyrocat HD Developer. Learned on it from my Uncle who got on the Developer right after Sandy King made it public, tested it against 6 others and has never looked back. It works and the images look very good. My Uncle mixes the stock solutions for me from scratch.(raw chemicals) I have seen the 8x10 negatives & contact prints from his tests and would be happy with any of them. Small differences, nothing big and glaring. All comes down to personal preference in the end.

    Good luck to you.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    189

    Re: Film for learning

    Quote Originally Posted by Thalmees View Post
    Hello locutus.
    Thanks for the information.
    From where can I get Foma or Arist at 1/2(half) the price of ILFORD.
    Thanks in advance.
    I buy at Macodirect.

    [code]

    |--------------+-----------+-------+----------------+---------------+-----------------|
    | Manufacturer | Type | Speed | Sheets per box | Price per box | Price per sheet |
    |--------------+-----------+-------+----------------+---------------+-----------------|
    | Foma | Fomapan | 100 | 50 | 31.5 | 0.63 |
    | Ilford | FP4 | 125 | 100 | 139.6 | 1.40 |
    |--------------+-----------+-------+----------------+---------------+-----------------|

    [/code]

    Okay, bit better then half price.

Similar Threads

  1. learning vs how to improve
    By esearing in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 22-Nov-2015, 18:45
  2. Learning to shot Chrome film??
    By stradibarrius in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 62
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2012, 22:00
  3. Learning Macro
    By seawolf66 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 9-Nov-2007, 13:19
  4. Suggestions for Learning Film Scanning?
    By Michael Heald in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 27-Dec-2005, 04:19
  5. Learning set-up for newbie?
    By matthew blais in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 2-Nov-2003, 15:41

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •