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Thread: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

  1. #21

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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Well, I'm still double exposing my MF Mamiya RB67 shots on occasion. So wasting film is not new to me.

    I just looked at B&H and found out my favorite color film in medium format Velvia 50 isn't available in 4x5, only Velvia 100. The Gods are already punishing me for GAS and my "need" to move on to LF.
    I didn't like Velvia 100 when I tried it. But I'm stuck to use it or try Provia.
    Another option could be to get a 6x12 back and use Vevia 50 in 120 format.
    Depends on how you shoot of course.
    Nicer to the wallet too.

  2. #22

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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by lassethomas View Post
    Good advice. I got a box of Fomapan200 when I started in 2018. It's not a really bad film and it's cheap, and that feels good when you notice you forgot to close the shutter before removing the dark slide. And yes, you will forget. We have all forgot.
    Foma200 is in fact a quite capable film stock particularly in 4x5". I use it frequently and it's been a reliable and useful tool in my experience. As is fomapan100, but that's a slightly different animal. Can't go wrong with either, especially given the price. But even regardless of that aspect; I find I prefer either of these over tmax 100... (which, arguably, is one of the best film stocks out there in a technical sense).

  3. #23
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    If you wish to stay with a TMax film, I would suggest the 400 if there is any chance would would like to try alt processes directly with camera negatives -- a majority of people are scanning and printing enlarged inkjet negs for alt process so it is less of an issue. There is a UV blocking coating or such in the TMax100 that the TMax400 does not have.

    Actually, it probably will not make a splish of difference for learning if you got boxes of both...keeping it straight which one is which in which holder, etc might get interesting. I used a lot of 4x5 TMax100 in the 80s for landscapes (redwoods to Death Valley and beyond). HC-110, 16x20 silver gelatin prints. I can't say that I knew a lot back then, but I liked my prints and I liked Kodak's quality control.

    I use primarily Ilford FP4+...a fine film for my alt process needs.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #24
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Since it's all manual and nothing (except hand held meter) is electronic, there are a lot of steps. No single step is at all difficult. The difficulty is remembering to do all the steps. I advise making a check list to carry and following it like a recipe.


    Kent in SD
    I found this on this site. What do you think?
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...o-operate.html

  5. #25
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Not all film manufacturers use the inner box (Fuji?) Below. Film is processed negatives, of course. I mark an "X" on boxes that have been opened and contain unexposed film.


    Kent in SD
    So before I ruin an entire box of film, let's see if I understand this right.

    1. I buy a box of 25 photos. They come inside the box inside another light proof wrapper. I put the whole box with let's say 6 film holders in a light proof changing tent. Right so far?
    2. I open the box and pull out the inside wrapper with all the film.
    3. Then I insert one sheet in each side of each of the 6 holders., covering each with the dark slides.
    4. I leave the rest of the film sheets in the wrapper and put it inside the box and close it for the next time.
    5. I pull the holder out and go shoot pictures.

    Are all these procedures right?

    6. How does Ilford differ from Kodak Tmax?

    7. Next I have taken 6 pictures using 3 holders. How do I get the exposed sheet out of the holders and to the pro lab? I won;t develop my own at this time anyway.

  6. #26
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    If you wish to stay with a TMax film, I would suggest the 400 if there is any chance would would like to try alt processes directly with camera negatives -- a majority of people are scanning and printing enlarged inkjet negs for alt process so it is less of an issue. There is a UV blocking coating or such in the TMax100 that the TMax400 does not have.

    Actually, it probably will not make a splish of difference for learning if you got boxes of both...keeping it straight which one is which in which holder, etc might get interesting. I used a lot of 4x5 TMax100 in the 80s for landscapes (redwoods to Death Valley and beyond). HC-110, 16x20 silver gelatin prints. I can't say that I knew a lot back then, but I liked my prints and I liked Kodak's quality control.

    I use primarily Ilford FP4+...a fine film for my alt process needs.
    Thanks for the info. What are alt processes and why stay with the Tmax 400 because of it?

    What does the UV coating do to Tmax 100 that doesn;t happen with Tmax 400?

  7. #27

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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Alan, to make life easier, avoid the changing tent if possible. You are adding a step that can be easily avoided by blocking out light, say in a bathroom. Block out the window, put a towel under the door, make a flat loading surface (table or board) and, preferably wait until night. This works at home or on the road in a motel. You don't need a dedicated room for this.

    You can use an empty film box for transporting your exposed film to a lab. Ask on this forum for empty 4x5 film boxes. If the lab is local they may take the exposed holders and return them to you with the developed film.

  8. #28
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I found this on this site. What do you think?
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...o-operate.html


    One crucial step left out. Between 13 and 14 you need to write in, in big red letters, "CLOSE THE DAMN VIEWING SHUTTER!!! This is the shutter that you open so you can see through the lens to compose and focus. It's easy to forget to close it. So, when you remove the dark slide with the viewing shutter open you've essentially made a long unintended exposure. Very common mistake.


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

  9. #29
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merg Ross View Post
    Alan, to make life easier, avoid the changing tent if possible. You are adding a step that can be easily avoided by blocking out light, say in a bathroom. Block out the window, put a towel under the door, make a flat loading surface (table or board) and, preferably wait until night. This works at home or on the road in a motel. You don't need a dedicated room for this.

    You can use an empty film box for transporting your exposed film to a lab. Ask on this forum for empty 4x5 film boxes. If the lab is local they may take the exposed holders and return them to you with the developed film.
    Totally agree. Changing tents are a big pain in the ass. I avoid them if at all possible, and haven't used one in two years. Find an interior room with no windows. I use a bathroom just outside my bedroom. At night, turn the lights off in the adjoining room. Tell wife not to go in and turn them back on. Go into bathroom and set up your holders and film box on the sink. (I place a wide thin board over the sink.) Make sure the dark slides are all turned white side out and partially open. Remove the tape from one end of the film box but don't open it. Place everthing within easy reach. Close bathroom door, stuff a towel along the crack in the bottom. Turn off light. Wait several minutes for eyes to adjust and then look for any light seeping through from somewhere. Open film box, remove film from black plastic bag (which isn't 100% light proof BTW,) film will be in a small paper folder. I usually tuck the film folder under my arm so it doesn't end up on the floor. Grab a holder, turn it bottom side up facing you, pull out one sheet of film (make sure just one sheet--sometimes two stick), orient it so notches are in the right upper corner, and then slide it into the holder following instructions on the video I posted a few days ago. Close up the dark slide, set it down in a spot where only loaded holders will go, and grab the next one. When finished, put the film back into the black bag, place in the inner box, then place that upside down back into the film box. Stop and think for a minute--"Is anything left out where the light will hit it that I don't want light to hit?" Then turn on the light. One more step. On the top of the holders is a little metal "L", the dark slide keepers. Turn those so they block the slide from pulling out. Yes, the slides can sometimes open in your bag, or you grab a holder and start pulling it out and realize you've opened the slide too. Place an "X" on the film box so you know it's a partial box, and make SURE to tape the box back up so it doesn't open. I store mine in the refrigerator.

    The only time I ever use a changing bag is when I'm out in the field and have no access to a room that's dark. I've been known to ask the owner of a restaurant I've eaten lunch in if I can go into his walk in freezer to change out film, rather than use a dark bag. They are a big pain in the ass.


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

  10. #30
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    Re: Starting 4x5 - Which film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    So before I ruin an entire box of film, let's see if I understand this right.

    1. I buy a box of 25 photos. They come inside the box inside another light proof wrapper. I put the whole box with let's say 6 film holders in a light proof changing tent. Right so far?
    2. I open the box and pull out the inside wrapper with all the film.
    3. Then I insert one sheet in each side of each of the 6 holders., covering each with the dark slides.
    4. I leave the rest of the film sheets in the wrapper and put it inside the box and close it for the next time.
    5. I pull the holder out and go shoot pictures.

    Are all these procedures right?

    6. How does Ilford differ from Kodak Tmax?

    7. Next I have taken 6 pictures using 3 holders. How do I get the exposed sheet out of the holders and to the pro lab? I won;t develop my own at this time anyway.

    Yes, looks good except be sure to retape the film box together. I store in the refrigerator.

    6. TMax is a bit more contrasty, Ilford FP4+ and HP5 is a softer look, more like the older Kodak Tri-X etc. The difference isn't really huge. I find FP4+ easy to work with & expose. I like the classic look, some like a more modern look that TMax gives.


    7. I do unloading as a separate procedure from loading. Same thing--back in the bathroom with lights out etc. Have an empty box opened on the counter. Lights off, towel at bottom of door crack. Open holder, pull out film using fingertips and only touching edge, place inside the white paper folder, place inside inner box. Flip holder over, open slide about half way, pull out second sheet, etc. When done flip the inner box over and place back into the film box, retape it shut. Mark on a sticky note on the outside of box what's inside. I write: "FP4 IIII IIII" using hash marks to keep track of how many sheets are in the box. I also write "OPEN DARK" on any box with unprocessed film.


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

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