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Thread: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

  1. #1

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    Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    I haven't had the opportunity of experimenting with 4x5 HP5+ and Tmax100, as I haven't received my camera yet.

    So I'd like to ask if anybody has experience with these two films. The reason is that I like a lot the rendering of HP5+, it's my favorite film with 35mm and 120.

    However, tmax is known for being much cleaner when it comes to film grain (at least on a scanned negative), but I've seen comments about the fact that in large format there isn't much gain in using iso 100 vs 400.

    As a side note, I'm planning to scan my negatives with a commercial Epson scanner. I have a 550 but might upgrade to the 800 series.

  2. #2

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    There are a bunch of recent threads on scanning large format, including one I started on HP5+ and TMY (TMAX 400). Long story short, they're both great but different. I concluded TMY was the film for me. But if I only had access to HP5+ I'd be happy too.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Depends somewhat on the specific developer. But in the same nominal speed category, TMY400 is MUCH finer grained than HP5, and TMX100 obviously finer still. I think you'll find that optimally strategizing sheet sizes of HP5 is a somewhat different game than using it in small roll sizes due to the significantly smaller enlargement factor. But this depends on what you use your scans for. TMax films handle high contrast subjects much better, but also need more careful metering.

  4. #4

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Given the same developer and film much depends on your subject and whether it has large sections of smooth tone which reveal grain or course tones which obscure grain.


    I have made a 40x50 inch print from this 4x5 HP5+ woodland scene, developed normally in D-23 1:1. Because it's comprised mostly of leaves (so-called high-frequency data), it sharpens up nicely and looks quite grainless even at large size.


    On the other hand, a photo like this (also 4x5 HP5+) is more likely to reveal any grain defects and requires more careful sharpening: avoiding the high values and sharpening only the mid-tones.

    To sharpen only specific ranges of the tonal scale, you might find this brief article helpful: Avoid Sharpening Artifacts: Sharpen the Mid-Tones Only

  5. #5
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    I have used them both and I cannot see grain in my photos. I doubt I will see grain in a 4x5.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    The reason is that I like a lot the rendering of HP5+, it's my favorite film with 35mm and 120.
    The HP5+ / TMX grain it's the same in 35mm than in 4x5, simply you enlarge less for the same print size. So your knowledge from rolls is to tell you how grain will be in prints from LF. See how grain shows at x4 and you will know how grain will be in a 16x20" print from a 4x5 negative.


    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    I have a 550 but might upgrade to the 800 series.
    of course

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Ken,
    On my screen these appear to be scans of digital prints,particularly the first one. Is this true?

  8. #8

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Given the same developer and film much depends on your subject and whether it has large sections of smooth tone which reveal grain or course tones which obscure grain.


    I have made a 40x50 inch print from this 4x5 HP5+ woodland scene, developed normally in D-23 1:1. Because it's comprised mostly of leaves (so-called high-frequency data), it sharpens up nicely and looks quite grainless even at large size.


    On the other hand, a photo like this (also 4x5 HP5+) is more likely to reveal any grain defects and requires more careful sharpening: avoiding the high values and sharpening only the mid-tones.

    To sharpen only specific ranges of the tonal scale, you might find this brief article helpful: Avoid Sharpening Artifacts: Sharpen the Mid-Tones Only
    Thanks a lot for posting examples. I do mostly architectural/minimalistic photos. The second photo looks absolutely fine with me, so I might try the HP5+ as well; I actually prefer to see some grain in the image, so long as the grain does not dominate the image.

  9. #9

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    Thanks a lot for posting examples. I do mostly architectural/minimalistic photos. The second photo looks absolutely fine with me, so I might try the HP5+ as well; I actually prefer to see some grain in the image, so long as the grain does not dominate the image.
    Theses photographs are displayed at only 1000x800 pixels: a mere fraction of the size of a real print.

    Unless we are planning to shoot LF merely for display online, it may not be helpful to judge these factors according to small image files. If we're shooting for the web alone, we might be well served just shooting with smart phones. For online sharing, even many smart phones are overkill.

  10. #10

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    Re: Grain on large format (scanned negative): hp5 plus vs tmax 100

    There's also the question of whether or not not you are actually scanning grain. Unless you're using a drum scanner, probably not. Others have explained this well when it came up previously, e.g., https://www.largeformatphotography.i...l=1#post301556

    In my personal experience, which involves "scanning" with a digital camera at 2,666 ppi, artefacts produced by the digital sensor are what is visible, rather than grain.

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