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Thread: Anyone using Fomapan 200?

  1. #1

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Do you like it? Is it a similar film (as I've seen claimed) to Tri-X?

    I was originally going to start with Tri-X and HC-110, but being on a bit of a tight budget right now, I thought I'd give the Fomapan a try.

    I'm buying it from Defender Photographic, along with their Alpha developer:

    http://www.defenderphoto.com/D-F200%20Film%20Page.htm

    http://www.defenderphoto.com/Defender%20Photo%20Alpha%20Film%20Developer.htm

    Well, I had to start somewhere, and I'm hoping these products are half as good as their sales pitch(!)

  2. #2

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Defender photo's hyperbole is quickly becoming legendary. I would not believe any of the text, although they products are likely to be good. Reportedly the film developer is phenidone-based and is made by Clayton as special variant of its F76 developer. Which, by the way is an excellent developer but not a particularly long-lived one.

  3. #3
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Whatever Defender is claiming, Fomapan Creative 200 is a "designer grain" film, more similar to TMX, TMY, and Ilford's Delta family than to Plus-X or Tri-X. I haven't used the Creative 200, but Fomapan Classic 100 (a thoroughly conventional cubic grain emulsion) is quite nice and I haven't heard of serious issues with the 200 speed.
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  4. #4

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    'Defender photo's hyperbole is quickly becoming legendary.'

    Phil -- Yes, they can turn a nice phrase or two! Reminded me of Zone VI/Fred Picker's newsletters, testaments to cold-light enlarger heads, Tri-X/HC-110, and all that. Doesn't mean there's not some truth in it, of course.

    'Fomapan Creative 200 is a "designer grain" film, more similar to TMX, TMY...'

    Donald -- That's quite different than what's claimed of it!

    As Fred Picker always used to say -- use it (film, paper, processes) and test it for yourself, then you'll know. Don't go by the experts.

    But, feedback is always interesting.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    I've shot it in medium format, and it's curious stuff. Despite being a T-grain film or something of that nature, it's quite grainy. The tonality doesn't look anything like any modern film. It's more like something from the 1930s. The action is all in the midtones. Think Fritz Lang or maybe Alvin Langdon Coburn. I think of it as a special effect, for the heavy Steichen look.

  6. #6

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    I use it, and like it very much. It responds well to staining developers, develops quickly (times for Pan F+ are good starting point times for Foma 200, and the two films can be processed together) and prints easily. It seems to be very forgiving of variations in lighting. I shot 100' of it in 35mm, and got consistently easy to print negs over a wide range of conditions. Very unlike TMX is this regard. While Foma 200 is certainly not the grainless film that TMX is, I find it less grainy than TMY, or other 400 speed films. As I noted, it develops quickly, and I suspect that some of its reputation for grain might stem from overdevelopment. I shoot Foma 200 @ EI 200, unlike Forte 200, for which I find I need and EI of 125 at most. I have a few scanned examples of prints made from 35mm Foma 200 negs, and I'll try to attach or link them.





    Jay

  7. #7

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Well, that didn't work. I'll try something else.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=8814&cat=500&ppuser=177

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=10975&cat=500&ppuser=177

    Jay

  8. #8

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    David -- interesting that you got those results. Maybe, as Jay suggests, it has to do with the method of development. BTW, Defender blurb on their 'Alpha' developer claims that you can use it in different ways to purposely imitate the various traditional B&W styles. I don't know.

    Jay -- your link doesn't seem to work without signing in to the site. Glad to hear you like the film, though. I'll see how I go with it.

  9. #9
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Of course much will depend on lighting conditions and choice of developer will have some effect, but I find that it has that kind of look in D-76, PMK, Acufine, and even reversal processed by DR-5. It's definitely worth trying to see if you like it, in whatever developer you like.

  10. #10

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    Anyone using Fomapan 200?

    Hi David.

    I forgot about the subscriber-only nature of the apug galleries. I sent the images by email.

    Jay

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