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Thread: Best choice portrait BW film

  1. #11
    multi format
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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    I want to shoot some portraits just getting back into 4x5 BW , im thinking of using Tmax 100 for my film. Its been a long time since i did any devolping or printing or shooting 4x5. Looking for opinions on portrait BW choice outdoor and studio and what your choice for devoloper ?
    I mainly like making portraits that are very long exposures. I ditched film for this unless it is old and expired and I develop in coffee developer (with a squirt of paper developer) going back and forth with spent / black paper developer. it's a match made in heaven. I would probably use x ray film for this if I had to use film that was "fresh" it seems like paper negatives, which I have used a lot (trick for paper is to either use a yellow filter to cut the contrast (I haven't ever done this but people swear by it, beware it will increase the exposure ) or expose in open shade/overcast light to tame the contrast, native ISO of paper in bright mid day sun is around ISO 24, open shade/overcast days it's a lot slower ... good luck!

  2. #12

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    As others have suggested, more or less anything will work. I’d probably go for something like HP5 for it’s faster speed. Of course TMY-2 would also be superb but it is expensive (budgetary concerns may or may not be a consideration for you). Kodak TXP would be a great choice because it is more easily retouched (directly on the negative) than other films - it was designed for that, but again, expensive.

    Developer choice is not critical. Stick with the time-tested go-to developers and you’re fine.

  3. #13

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Quote Originally Posted by otto.f View Post
    And I seldom see that deep blacks of Tmax 100 with Fomapan 100, although they are there.
    I agree with virtually all of the rest you said, but you lost me on that sentence. Deep blacks are a property of the output medium. Regardless of what film used, it's a matter of giving the right paper the right amount of exposure and development to get deep blacks.
    If you mean, the way shadows are separated (or not separated all that much), that's a different story (although I still don't agree that this would be a 'classic TMX look'). So perhaps we disagree on word choice, only.

  4. #14
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Remember the $1000 Wet Plate "authentic" Head Steady?

    I made DIY and use one, I consider head movement a PITA

    Spare C stand, a double ended clamp and a NEW Boot Jack

    Hides behind head and neck

    But no Clockwork Orange eyelid torture
    Tin Can

  5. #15

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Califmike, the point about light levels may be worth considering. If, like me, you intend to work in available light when not in the studio, a faster film like HP5+ may be called for. That's what I use. I find I can push to 800 under very flat conditions and get a nice negative for printing without worrying about shutter speed as much.
    Philip Ulanowsky

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

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    I loved TMax 100 when it came to smooth complexions and long tonal scales. The only issue is with lighter or reddish Caucasian complexions, where a light yellow green filter like a Hoya X0 can be worth its weight in gold. It lacks a decent "retouching tooth"
    like classic older films. But that can be done in a couple of manners if needed - either a spray-on variety available from art stores
    (which I don't like because it permanently affects the negative and eventually goes yellow), or by registering a piece of frosted mylar to the negative, and doing your retouch pencil or dye on that instead.

  7. #17

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    Califmike, the point about light levels may be worth considering. If, like me, you intend to work in available light when not in the studio, a faster film like HP5+ may be called for. That's what I use. I find I can push to 800 under very flat conditions and get a nice negative for printing without worrying about shutter speed as much.
    Good Points, i think im going to buy some Tri x 320 and some HP5 and go from there and try some different developers and see what i like, maybe i will throw in some Tmax 100 also and then choose my favorite from there. Probally get some D76, Rodinal, to start off.

    Thanks for all your guys great tips and advice im very thankful.

  8. #18

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    I agree with virtually all of the rest you said, but you lost me on that sentence. Deep blacks are a property of the output medium. Regardless of what film used, it's a matter of giving the right paper the right amount of exposure and development to get deep blacks.
    If you mean, the way shadows are separated (or not separated all that much), that's a different story (although I still don't agree that this would be a 'classic TMX look'). So perhaps we disagree on word choice, only.
    Right.

  9. #19

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    I ordered some I think it's FTP mummy 200 speed film 25 sheets for $29 figure be good to start out with not too expensive to mess around with till I get the feel for everything.

  10. #20

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    Re: Best choice portrait BW film

    Wonder if mummy 200 is the same as Frankenstein 200 as the same as Arista EDU 200 as the same as Foma 200...

    Previous discussion.
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rst-test-shots


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Califmike33 View Post
    I ordered some I think it's FTP mummy 200 speed film 25 sheets for $29 figure be good to start out with not too expensive to mess around with till I get the feel for everything.

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