Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 54

Thread: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    New Jersey was NYC
    Posts
    518

    Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    I have a 4x5 camera on order and have to select film. I;ve been shooting landscapes mainly in medium format 6x7 with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100. You can see the kind I like to do on my Flickr link. All processing and printing is done by outside labs. I do scan myself however with a flat bed V600. (That would have to be changed since the V600 doesn;t scan 4x5)

    Would my continuing with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100 be acceptable with the new 4x5 format? Or should I consider speed and other factors and make a change? to what? Thanks. Alan.

    PS Any suggested tests I should do with the film to get a better feeling with it with the LF camera?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,111

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Start with the films with which you are familiar, but be aware the emulsions may be slightly different. Begin by using the same EI and development with which you are familiar.If the negatives are satisfactory, you are in business.If not, let us know and I am sure you will get more advice than you may want.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    8

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I have a 4x5 camera on order and have to select film. I;ve been shooting landscapes mainly in medium format 6x7 with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100. You can see the kind I like to do on my Flickr link. All processing and printing is done by outside labs. I do scan myself however with a flat bed V600. (That would have to be changed since the V600 doesn;t scan 4x5)

    Would my continuing with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100 be acceptable with the new 4x5 format? Or should I consider speed and other factors and make a change? to what? Thanks. Alan.

    PS Any suggested tests I should do with the film to get a better feeling with it with the LF camera?
    Similar position to you (waiting for the camera to arrive...)

    I've got a boss of Fomapan 100 to learn on, because it's cheap and I fully expect to make a bunch of mistakes at first!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    198

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Alan, I was in your situation (new to 4x5 LF and interested mostly in landscapes and color film options) several years ago, and I purchased too much color film during my first couple of years. In hindsight, I didn't expect my interest in, and preference for, B&W photography with my LF and MF film cameras would be as strong as it has become (i.e., there's way too much fun to be had in the darkroom making silver gelatin prints). And I've found that I can get acceptable print quality for my color landscape images in the print sizes I'm interested (up to 16x24in) when I use my 35mm format digital camera. One of the key reasons I can get those acceptable results with my 35mm digital camera (mirrorless, with 24MP FX format sensor) is that I shoot from a good, sturdy tripod essentially 100% of the time. Therefore, I would suggest you be careful about purchasing too much color film until you are certain about your preferences to use said films.
    Last edited by JMO; 17-Jan-2020 at 21:28.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pacifica, CA
    Posts
    1,633

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Because you have more square inches of film than medium format, you can use a slightly faster film.

    I like the flexibility of having 400 speed film, and I like TMAX-400 because you get more speed than you need without too much grain - while 100 speed film starts to become slower than convenient.

    So when you shoot it at 64 instead of 100 to get good shadow detail...

    When you add a red filter that drops you down to effective EI 8... that's what I mean about it becoming slower than convenient. It's fine, just starts to get slow.

    Starting at 400, shooting at 250 for shadow detail and adding a red filter, you come down to effective EI 32 that you can still work with easily.

  6. #6
    Alan Klein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    New Jersey was NYC
    Posts
    518

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Thanks everyone.

    1. Curious, due to movements, with LF do these affect how much light goes to different portions of the film? Or is the amount of light the same throughout?

    2. I also read somewhere that you sometimes need a center filter? What's that about?

    3. With medium format, I always bracketed +1 and -1 for both Velvia 50 and Tmax 100 based on meter reading using box speeds. It was cheap insurance to get the exposure right. What do you guys do with 4x5 shots? My wife's going to complain if I have to cut back on our dinners out.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Stockholm
    Posts
    63

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    About center filters.

    Since most large format wide angle lenses (if not all) are symmetric designs they also suffer from lots of light fall-off in the corners (comes with the design). For example, the Schneider Super Angulon 90/5.6 has about 2.5 stops.
    To counter this you can use a center filter, with is just a gradual ND filter that blocks most light in the center.

    It depends, but usually most critical with slide film, since it got very small dynamic range.

    /Lasse

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    112

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I have a 4x5 camera on order and have to select film. I;ve been shooting landscapes mainly in medium format 6x7 with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100. You can see the kind I like to do on my Flickr link. All processing and printing is done by outside labs. I do scan myself however with a flat bed V600. (That would have to be changed since the V600 doesn;t scan 4x5)

    Would my continuing with Velvia 50 and Tmax 100 be acceptable with the new 4x5 format? Or should I consider speed and other factors and make a change? to what? Thanks. Alan.

    PS Any suggested tests I should do with the film to get a better feeling with it with the LF camera?
    Shoot the films you like to shoot in medium format. You can scan with a V600 (see my image in at the waters edge). You have to scan twice and stitch in photoshop. It's more steps but it will do for now.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    69

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    In regards to #1...

    The ground glass is what you see is what you get.

    If your cutting off corners it should be apparent on the ground glass.

    #2....

    I've always found 2/3 of box speed to be a better starting point. At least with b/w film. Processing b/w film yourself isn't that big of a deal. Especially since you scan your own negatives. You'll probably want that control.

    #3......

    Bracketing.....many won't admit to it.

    After 2/3 of box speed I've also found +/- 1/2 stop better.

    Transparency film is much less forgiving. 1/3 of a stop is more like it. Though I stopped shooting color about the time Fuji stopped selling or manufacturing Astia. At least in the US. So it's been quite awhile.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,801

    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMO View Post
    Alan, I was in your situation (new to 4x5 LF and interested mostly in landscapes and color film options) several years ago, and I purchased too much color film during my first couple of years. In hindsight, I didn't expect my interest in, and preference for, B&W photography with my LF and MF film cameras would be as strong as it has become (i.e., there's way too much fun to be had in the darkroom making silver gelatin prints). And I've found that I can get acceptable print quality for my color landscape images in the print sizes I'm interested (up to 16x24in) when I use my 35mm format digital camera. One of the key reasons I can get those acceptable results with my 35mm digital camera (mirrorless, with 27MP FX format sensor) is that I shoot from a good, sturdy tripod essentially 100% of the time. Therefore, I would suggest you be careful about purchasing too much color film until you are certain about your preferences to use said films.

    My experience was exactly this. I started 4x5 in the mid 1990s and was using a Hassleblad shooting trannies for a regional stock agency. I moved to 4x5 so I could get lens movements, and partly because none of my competitors could flop a big square of film on the light table like that. Up to that point I had little interest in b&w, maybe shot three rolls in a year. After two years of shooting 4x5 I found myself drifting to b&w. I mostly put 4x5 away from 2005 to 2009 and when I dived back in I only shot b&w. After ten years of that today I still only shoot b&w film but now also dry plates and wet plates. Since August about 80% of my photo energy has gone into getting better at wet plate, it's that much fun! I haven't bought any color LF sheets in five years. Still have a box of Ektar in my freezer just in case though. I do shoot color of course, but always use my Nikon D850 for that.

    Starting exactly a year ago I began processing my own b&w using a Stearman 445. I mostly got tired of running to the post office to mail off my film, and then waiting 10 days to get my results back. So now I shoot and get my negs the same day. This is hugely convenient! Much to my surprise the results are honestly better. Virtually no dust/specs on my negs now. It's so easy I'm kicking myself for not doing this years ago.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

Similar Threads

  1. starting again...
    By macvisual in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2014, 10:39
  2. Starting Out in LF
    By Trenchleton in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 14-Sep-2013, 21:54
  3. Starting 4x5. Need your recommendation for BW Film and Processing.
    By l2oBiN in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 25-Aug-2010, 11:58
  4. Starting Again
    By William Lindley in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 13-Jun-2008, 04:40
  5. Need help with starting to develop my own film.
    By paul stimac in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2004, 14:59

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
  •