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Thread: Help Request : Film Choice

  1. #11
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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    When I got started in large format around 25 years ago I chose HP5 Plus for its extra speed, its forgiving latitude in processing and its characteristic curve, which I find relatively easy to print to my taste on readily available papers. As I moved into exploring many less common formats the availability of HP5 Plus in those formats through the annual Ilford special order program reinforced my choice - I am able to use the same film and, correspondingly, the same processing and printing approaches, regardless of which camera and format I'm in the mood to work with. HP5 Plus remains my standard sheet film to this day.

  2. #12

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Oren, thanks for your sharing thoughts and experience with HP5.

  3. #13

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    when I restarted LF a few years ago the instructor pushed HP5 but shoot at 200 and cut development time from the charts. It may have worked for her, but I often ended up with muddy blah negatives. Switched to FP4 @100 and loved it ever since. I like Delta 100 too and their differences are subtle. You can jump right in with Pyrocat HD at 1:1:100 for 8x10. HC110 is also a fine developer as are most of the other standard film developers out there. If budget allows, the Kodak products still have the best overall look when properly developed but FP4 is the best value compromise for me. I support Ilford for their customer service and their dedication to Film for even odd sizes in the ULF annual order.
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  4. #14

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Not considering cost, what is the Kodak option comparable to FP4 for 8x10?
    TMax 400 is probably an HP5 alternative, so it must be TriX 320 - right?

  5. #15

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    I use FP4 and Pyrocat-HD as well. Work with what you pick for awhile.

    Read this:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ic-bullet.html

  6. #16

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jamgolf View Post
    Not considering cost, what is the Kodak option comparable to FP4 for 8x10?
    TMax 400 is probably an HP5 alternative, so it must be TriX 320 - right?
    I use FP4 between 80 and 125 iso, depending on the contrast of the scene and I really like it. I use HC110 but I like it more on D76 (shame is not convenient).

    Your will of sticking to one film and one developer is absolutely right and I would suggest to use FP4 with a convenient developer like HC110 or similar; you're going to use liters of solutions for 8x10 so I'd suggest to avoid stock dilution developers, you'll be spend a lot of money on each session then. I never liked Rodinal and I suggest to skip it.

    Some thoughts onto other films:
    Foma200 is a very good and cheap film, you might consider it as an alternative to FP4 after you "mastered" the developing procedure. I heard about inconsistency on some Foma product, that's the reason why better not to use it as your first film.
    HP5 allows you to shoot with two more stops than FP4 but it is quite flat in contrast; after some testing, I'm happy using it at iso 500 mainly and iso 320-400 for very high contrast scene.
    Kodak counterpart for FP4 is TriX, imho. Actaully, TriX is a very unique film and I never found nothing close to in other brands; I love TriX but its cost in Europe is simply non-sense. FP4 as a contrast that could be comparable with the one of TriX although the high lights are boosted with TriX (FP4 has a more linear behavior); the difference in speed is at around one stop if you consider that many times TriX is shot at iso 200 and FP4 at iso 100.
    This thoughts are based on my own experience so somebody could not agree.
    Good photographs are gifts

  7. #17
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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    If you're contact printing, then grain is not an issue unless you're doing some really wild developing. The big question is: how much speed do you need? Subject motion can be a real issue with LF, and it increases in importance as you move up in format, as you'll likely be using smaller apertures. So: what type of subjects in what type of conditions will you be photographing? Narrow field of focus or everything sharp?
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  8. #18

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Thanks, everyone for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

    As far as subject matter, I have primarily enjoyed landscape photography and would like to continue to do so with 8x10. But with 8x10 I would also do portraiture, not necessarily studio but environmental or on location with mostly available light. So, film speed could be an issue for that use case.

  9. #19

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Against the conventional wisdom I suggest a $40 box of 100 sheets of Fuji HRU x ray film and the raw chemicals to make D23 developer. There are so many ways to screw up in large format and $5 a sheet film is an expensive way to get past a bunch of them. Open 8x10 tray development with a piece of plexiglass with the edges smoothed off with sandpaper in the bottom will get you scratch free negatives and it is a lot of fun without breaking the bank
    My 2c. ymmv

  10. #20

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    Re: Help Request : Film Choice

    Bob, that's a good thought. I don't want to throw away money but I personally feel that when I make a costly mistake, I learn my lesson and try not to make the same mistake again, and if that mistake teaches me something then I am willing to pay the price.

    I am not too sure about a lot of things, but I am sure that I want to stick to one film be it FP4 or Tri-X or Foma or Delta. Once I make an informed decision, based on advice here and my own judgement, I will stick to it including the learning phase, with the understanding that it will be costly.

    I am not a professional photographer, its just a hobby and passion for me. Its a cost I am willing to pay.

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