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Thread: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Finland
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    Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    I'm a soon 50 year old guy from Finland. I have been shooting photographs for most of my life, started as a "real" hobby in the early 90:s by buying a second hand Pentax ME Super (which I still have and use). Back then I shot only color and had my films processed in commercial labs which were still plentiful and cheap. Come the 2000:s and I went digital. With that my photography mostly declined to documenting events, not much artistic ambition.

    Then last autumn I dug my Pentax out of the closet, got some black and white film and Cinestill DF96 developer and started shooting film again, this time B&W and doing my own processing. Soon I got a used enlarger and started printing too and also got myself an old Meopta Flexaret medium format camera, a Kiev88 "hasselbladski" medium format and a couple of 35mm cameras more.

    Then a couple of months ago I started thinking about large format. I watched tons of YouTube videos, read online articles etc. and finally bought myself a Graflex Speed Graphic Pacemaker on Ebay. I also got a bunch of film holders and a Fujinon 180 mm lens in addition to the Kodak Ektar that came with the camera. The camera was in rougher shape than I had thought with lots of corrosion but the essential parts are ok, it's light tight and even the focal plane shutter works fine now after some cleaning and oiling. There are some issues still, the range finder is not working and the lens shutter release cable from the body release is stuck but as I mostly use the Fujinon enyway I don't really need them.

    I've put some 20 sheets through it so far, at first I had lots of problems with underexposed negatives which I believe is the films's fault. I'm currently using Fomapan 400 as it's relatively cheap (40 euros for 50 sheets) and it seems it is not anywhere near the advertised 400 ISO. I have to expose it for 100 to get decent density. I also don't yet have an enlarger capable of printing 4x5 but I'm working on a 3D-printed 4x5 head for my Durst M600. So far I've used DF96 as developer but I'm starting to experiment with pyro developers, I just developed my first film (120) with Pyrocat and the results seem promising. I also have some 510 Pyro coming from England so I can try that too.

    This is extremely interesting, lots of new things to learn (6 months ago I didn't even know large format was still a thing ) and lots of pictures to take now as the summer is coming.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    London, UK
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    14

    Re: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    Welcome, Murgo. You'll find lots of useful information here to advance your exploration. There are probably many threads about the unique exposure and reciprocity characteristics of Fomapan.

    I use their 200 ISO stock, exposed at 100 and developed in Fomadon R09. It gives acceptable results at a reasonable price.

    There's a thread in here somewhere devoted to sharing images made with Fomapan. Worth checking out.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    21

    Re: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    Welcome from me too and to the world of LF photography Murgo. I've shoot a lot of 5x4" Fomapan in both iso 400 and 200 (my favourite) and also develop them in Pyrocat HD. You have discovered that the published box speeds are a little optimistic and I, and most people I know, shoot at iso 100 for Fomapan 200 and iso 200 for Fomapan 400. I find the film builds up contast very quickly and I've found my best times for both films in Pyrocat to be around the 11 to 12 minutes mark. Of course you need to do some of your own tests but I think these should give you a good starting point from my experience. Enjoy your LF journey.

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    16,782

    Re: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    Welcome!
    NO WORDS No Questions until 2022 Images Only

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
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    Re: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    Welcome, Murgo. You will also find members who can advise on the specifics of your camera. While it's more usual for shutter speeds to run slow, leading to over-exposure, there may be some variables to check into that can help account for your 2-stop under-exposures. One, of course, is the calibration and linearity of your meter, a problem I encountered some years back that was driving me batty.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Finland
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    Re: Hi everyone, new to the forum and new to LF.

    Thanks for the welcomes. I think the underexposed images are mostly because of the film as I've observed the same kind of underexposures with Fomapan 400 in 120 medium format while for example Ilford HP5+ gives good exposures in the same camera and with the same meter. 4x5 might be a different story though, as I only have tried Fomapan 400 in it so far I don't know for sure how different films would behave with similar handling. I have some HP5+ in 4x5 on the way so when I get it I'll try.

    Also I developed one roll of Fomapan 400 in 120 with Pyrocat yesterday and got nice dense negatives with good contrast. That one was shot with a primitive box camera though so the exposure was random at best.

    Of course my meter probably is not very precise as it's an old selenium one but I have checked it against my DSLR and it's reasonably close, and, as said, gives correct exposures on HP5+.

    I posted a couple of my images in the Fomapan thread.

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