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FrankS
11-28-2004, 10:51
I was just wondering, when RFF members load up their cameras with B+W film for general shooting, when you don't know what to expect to be shooting, and when the film will probably not be used up for a few days, DO YOU USE 100 OR 400 SPEED FILM?

If you know what the shooting situation will be, for example interiors or city streets at night with no tripod, then of course you would pick 400 speed film. If you know you are going to the beach on a bright sunny day, or if you are in the studio using flash and a tripod, then of course you will pick 100 (or slower) speed film.

But what is your default B+W film speed for a camera you schlepp around with you day in and day out when photography is perhaps not your primary goal?

I ask this because in the past I used only medium format cameras and 400 speed film. With larger negatives there is no problem with grain when making prints. This RFF site has corrupted me into using 35mm format cameras again and I wondered about the trade-off in speed and quality when the negative size is smaller.

Thanks.

Tim
11-28-2004, 11:06
well....I use Ilford's FP4, which is 125 asa. And then sometimes find myself wishing for more speed, but personally I reckon the grain and tones on FP4 is way better than HP5. I kinda rely on my ability to run at f2 and hand hold to low speeds. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
I guess this depends on your camera as well - with 400 asa film I've occasionally managed to get into situations where I can't stop down enough. So my decision on 125asa as a "default" is swayed by the max shutter speed of 1/1000 and aperture range of f 2-16.
Of course, YMMV.....

tim

taffer
11-28-2004, 11:09
Well, must say I love Delta 100 but for overall versatility I started using HP5+ 400 and after that switched to Fuji Neopan 400.

You may try a film/developer combo to reduce grain and still have the benefits from a medium-high speed film, you never know when your camera will end at a night club :p

Pherdinand
11-28-2004, 11:13
Good question - i have the same dilemma.
Why do you ask only about the black and white films?
Actually, i have my yashica CC loaded with reala100, one GSN witn NPZ800 and the SLR with NPH400 (ok, these are colour negs but still the reason is the same), and the Contax with delta3200, although this one had a reason, the concert i was going to.
Nowadays i carry the GSN with iso800 everywhere i go - but the autumn is very dark here, with lots of rain; today midday the light was a weak EV9 outside, that would mean f/4 and 1/30 for iso100 - so the 3 stops of the NPZ helps here.

In the same time, summertime i did find the 400-iso film limiting since the GSN's top shutter speed is 1/500, so out on a sunny day i had to use f/11 or f/16... (time for buying ND filters?)

Oh by the way, the Rolleicord is loaded with tech pan, iso25 :D But i have no time nor inspiration nowadays to finish even those 12 frames:(

RML
11-28-2004, 11:15
I usually don't shoot B&W. I shoot colour but I always shoot iso400.

On occassion I might shoot a roll of Efke KB100 but I find iso100 very very limiting. Unless I have an overriding need to shoot iso100 I would shoot iso400 (or up).

Pherdinand
11-28-2004, 11:19
One more thing: usually it's better to overexpose negs than underexpose. If you really have to choose one film, you can be better off with 400-speed one or two stops overexposed than 100-speed 2 stops underexposed...
This is certainly true with colour negs, but it works even with black and whites i would say. Of course, you loose some quality on the grain size but that's not always a problem. I have 20x30 cm prints from 35mm 400-speed negs that are indiscernable in quality from the same size prints off reala100.

Finally, Ilford's XP2 C-41 BW neg should be developed in the same way no matter what iso you use (between 50 and 800). Although i dislike the iso800 results, this offers a great possibility to use speeds between 100 and 400 on the same roll and still get reasonable quality.

FrankS
11-28-2004, 11:22
I asked specifically about B+W film because that's all I shoot seriously (colour is for family snaps) and because 400 speed colour film is perfectly adequate due to the fact that the negative image is made up of dye clouds (which replace the silver halide crystals during colour development development). These exhibit far less grain than the actual discrete silver grains which form the B+W negative image.

Pherdinand
11-28-2004, 11:23
I see your point, Frank. Sorry then for my totally out-of-place comments:)

Roman
11-28-2004, 11:42
Originally posted by FrankS
?

This RFF site has corrupted me into using 35mm format cameras again .

Thanks.

Hey, sounds like me - my Mamiya 645, my Pentacon 6 TL and Kiev 60 don't get a lot of use these days...

Since I have got the Russian RF bug, I've got plenty of cameras lying around, loaded with different kinds of B&W films, and since I usually carry at least two cameras on me at all times, I have something useable film-speed-wise, most of the time...

Right now my FED-2 is loaded with Fomapan T200 rated at 125 (though once my stock of T200 and Efke 100 is used up, I will switch back to Fomapan 100 or APX100, rated at around 80); my Zorki-6 is loaded with TMax3200 rated at 3200 (like it always is), and my BessaR is loaded with Neopan 400 rated at 800 (because even during the short daylight hours it can be quite dark right now; usually I rate the Neopan 400 at 250, or use TriX at either 250 or 800, or use Neopan 1600 at 1000).

Frank, how about using either a 400 speed film at around 200 to 250, which will give reasonably fine grain even with that film, and allow you to take pictures in most situations during the day? Or how about using XP2? I don't use it myself, but being able to mix exposures from 100 to 800 ASA on one roll DOES sound convenient...


Roman

GeneW
11-28-2004, 12:16
My normal film is iso400 stuff and only occasionally does the grain get really tough. Today's emulsions are finer grained than the iso400's I grew up on. I still shoot a lot of Tri-X but find I really like the grain of Neopan 400. I develop both in Rodinal 1:50 and they look very sharp and Rodinal is no fine-grain developer.

Having said that I've been experimenting with a few iso100 films lately. TMax100, Delta100 and Acros 100. I really like the images, but, like magic, every time I load one of these, it turns overcast and rainy for the week! I think the weather is controlled by the film I load :D

My solution to this is to load iso100 into my Bessa and take along my Olympus XA loaded with iso400 just in case ...

Gene

Pherdinand
11-28-2004, 12:18
"I think the weather is controlled by the film I load "
Gene, would you take that techpan out of your camera please???

FrankS
11-28-2004, 12:46
Originally posted by Pherdinand
I see your point, Frank. Sorry then for my totally out-of-place comments:)

Pherdinand, I don't think your comments were in the least bit out of place. I hope my response did not make you feel that they were.

back alley
11-28-2004, 12:48
lately, i have been shooting only xp2 at 200 or 320.
i normally use a 400 speed film as my standard and often have delta 3200 rated at 1000/1600 in my camera.

as soon as i get my own scanner i most likely will drop using xp2 and start experimenting with a few that i normally don't use.

i have some fuji 100/400 in the fridge and thanks to roman, some fomapan and efke also.
i love the grain of delta 3200 and look forward to using it again.

joe

FrankS
11-28-2004, 12:52
Roman, you are right of course, one must simply have at least 2 cameras with at all times.

I do not use any of the chromogenic films like XP2 because I develope my B+W film at home. (cheaper)

Roman
11-28-2004, 13:41
Joe,
so the films did already arrive?

Frank,
I do not use them myself either, because I love to have full control over results by choice of developer and time, but they sure seem convenient...

Doug
11-28-2004, 13:51
I prefer the chromogenic B&W and have processed it at home like the other kind. I like XP2 shot at EI 250, and indeed for color I pick UC400 also shot at EI 250. I also like the look of FP4 at EI 250 in Diafine. It's helpful to fixate on one film speed, then "calibrate" your eye for exposure!

But in the past couple years for my environmental portrait project, I'm shooting Fuji NPZ800 at EI 500, as the business interiors and f/4 max aperture call for a bit more speed. If I were to use traditional B&W film for this, it would be Tri-X at EI 1200 in Diafine.

back alley
11-28-2004, 14:28
roman,

sorry, i thought i p.m.'d you with the info and my thanks.
my apologies and yes, they arrived sometime this past week.

joe

GeneW
11-28-2004, 16:17
Originally posted by Pherdinand
"I think the weather is controlled by the film I load "
Gene, would you take that techpan out of your camera please???
LOL, Pherdinand! :D

Gene

doubs43
11-28-2004, 16:33
Frank, I have three bulk loaders. They're presently loaded with Ilford Pan-F (50), Agfa APX-100 Pro (100) and Freestyle Photo's house brand D-Max (400). For every day shooting I pretty much stay with the Agfa APX-100 Pro.

I have Freestyle's house brand (Arista) 120 film in 125 and 400 speeds. The film is made by Ilford so I expect it's FP-4 and HP-5 badged as Arista. I don't see any difference between Arista and the Ilford brands anyway. Again, for every day shooting I load the 125 film.

If I lived in the Pacific Northwest where there's a lot of dreary, rainy days I'd likely use 400 film as a norm but here in sunny Georgia, 100/125 film does just fine. Even our cloudy days are pretty bright! Of course, the time of year in many parts of the country makes a difference too. In your neck of the woods I suspect that 400 film would be good for Winter most days.

Walker

peter_n
11-28-2004, 17:49
For an inside project I've been using Neopan 400 and HP5. For regular shooting I use XP2 rated at 320 now that it's fall/winter. Spring/summer I use 100/125 like FP4. Next summer I'll be using Efke KB100.

Kin Lau
11-28-2004, 18:10
I roll my own, FP4+ & HP5, and I usually have at least 2 camera's loaded with film, whether RF or SLR. If I find that if I need to shoot with slower or faster film (pushing or pulling), then I just load up another camera ... there's no shortage around here :)

berci
12-03-2004, 00:45
My favorite film is TriX 400 because of its mood and my slow lenses.

berci

matu
12-03-2004, 07:00
By the moment Im enjoying T-Max 400, but soon Ill start shooting TriX 400, I dont like forcing(pushing) the film.

Biber
12-03-2004, 11:50
Tri-X 400

Kris
12-03-2004, 12:43
Well, I'm one of those guys who abandons Tri X for Neopan 400 and will never look back (Gentlemen, please send your hate message privately) :)

I'm down to three films only: Plus X at ISO50, Neopan 400 at ISO200 and Delta 3200 at ISO1000 developed as ISO1600.

FrankS
12-03-2004, 16:37
I just went to the camera shop in a nearby city to buy film. I was planning on buying Neopan 400 but they didn't have any. Fugi Acros 100 was $6.50/36, Fp4+ was $5.50, and HP5+ ws $4.50. I bought the Ilford films. (1 each)

nikon_sam
12-10-2004, 19:07
I've been using Kodak Tri-X (400asa) shooting it @500asa with a Y52 (Yellow) Filter. I'm not too concerned with grain because I am only enlarging to fit a 5x7 sheet with a full frame image, this comes out to about a 4x6 1/8" image with a nice white border around it. This is my Go-To film for my RF.

canonetc
03-02-2005, 11:11
....how about using either a 400 speed film at around 200 to 250, which will give reasonably fine grain even with that film, and allow you to take pictures in....
Roman

I tried Roman's suggestion on Ilford HP5 (pulling film to 250), but noticed that highlights tended to get blown out when film was processed normal. I hate underprocessing film for "pulling", so I always process the film normal.

I prefer loading HP5 400 and rating it (setting ASA) at 320 for all-purpose shooting (normal to low-light situations). With an RF camera, I found I can get something usable on the neg, in low-very low-light, if I shoot at 1/15th, with f-stops from 1.4-5.6 depending on the lighting. Rating the film at 320 then processing normally gives me good detail in the shadows and with HP5 decent contrast. I have not had the same success with Kodak TMAX 400 for some reason.

Chris
canonetc

BJ Bignell
03-02-2005, 11:59
I use HP5+ almost exclusively in my MF gear. I primarily use Provia 100F in 35mm, but I also have a 100' roll of Delta 100 on the shelf.

If I'm going to mix it up, it could be anything from TXP320 or Tri-X (in MF) to Delta 400 to Delta 3200 to PanF+. I used to use FP4+ almost exclusively, but I was put-off by the amount of grain I was getting (probably because I was agitating too aggressively during development, something I learned after I moved on).

ruben
03-02-2005, 13:29
Dear FrankS,
I don't want to be nasty but could you detail me a bit how you manage to make photos by night with ISO 400, and without tripod ? I am really curious what are you talking about.
Thanks in advance,
Ruben

kiev4a
03-02-2005, 14:48
Tri-X 400. I've been shooting it since the '50s when the grain was as big as road gravel. I feel most comfortable with it, I suppose, because I know it so well I seldom need a meter. Nothing else handles the entire gray scale like Tri-X. I have shot a little Tmax 400 in 120 recently but I think I still prefer Tri-X. I also have trouble keeping the contrast managable using slower films.

kiev4a
03-02-2005, 14:56
One more thing: usually it's better to overexpose negs than underexpose. If you really have to choose one film, you can be better off with 400-speed one or .


I disagree. If you overexpose you get more grain and lose middle tones. More can be done with a slightly underexposed negative plus the grain is better.
I was taught years ago by an old photographer to expose so you can lay the negative on a newspaper and read the typ through the heaviest portion of the negative. I usually don't go to that extreme but always err to the side of thin.

Honu-Hugger
03-02-2005, 15:04
I have depended upon T-Max 400 @ EI 320 for many years now, as a choice between 100 and 400 for unknown situations I'd go with 400. Lately I've been shooting a fair amount of P3200 @ EI800 -- I might even consider this (still experimenting).

DougK
03-02-2005, 15:23
I don't usually shoot B&W (usually color slide film), but when I do it's usually whatever true/non-chromogenic film is on sale at my FLCS (friendly local camera store). Most often that winds up Ilford HP5+ ISO 400.

UPDATE: My FLCS stopped carrying Ilford! Apparently I was the only one coming in to buy it. The only thing they carry in true black-and-white now is Kodak Tmax so I picked up three rolls of the 100 speed. The first roll of it I shot was also the first roll I put through my Konica C35 Automatic (how long have I had that camera now, Joe?... anyway, thanks again, what a fun camera to shoot with) so it's a double test of sorts. I should get the film back this weekend, I'll try to see if I can squeeze out a couple of decent scans rom my Epson.

reellis67
03-16-2005, 17:43
I shoot with 400 or lower films and I usualy carry two cameras (or so <cough><cough>) on hand at any given time with different speed films loaded. If I need high speed I shoot Tri-X @ 1250 and then dev in diafine. Oh, I only shoot Black and White these days for what its worth...

- Randy

doubs43
03-16-2005, 17:56
I was taught years ago by an old photographer to expose so you can lay the negative on a newspaper and read the typ through the heaviest portion of the negative. I usually don't go to that extreme but always err to the side of thin.
That's interesting as my father used to tell me the same thing about being able to read newsprint through a 35mm negative. IIRC, it's supposed to print with minimal fuss on grade 3 paper.

Another bit of "old timer" wisdom held that it's best to over expose and under develope.

Walker

Pherdinand
03-17-2005, 01:56
oh - i was still talking about colour negs, when saying overexposure-is-better, folks:)

Bob Michaels
05-24-2005, 15:09
Neopan 400 about 99% of the time. I usually shoot it @ e.i. 250 but sometimes 400, sometimes 800 when needed. This is both 35mm and 6x7.

I just like using one film and learning how to make it work in 99% of the situations. That way I never have the wrong film.

Oh, I could have chosen Tri-X or HP-5 and learned how to make them work. But the Fuji was 20 cents a roll cheaper so that was the tie breaker.

FrankS
05-24-2005, 15:36
Since getting Diafine developer with its (ease of use, longevity, and) increase in film speed, I'm going to try Agfa APX 100 rated at 200 for day to day film. For indoors and bar shots I'll use my regular HP5+, rated at 1000 or so.

TPPhotog
05-24-2005, 15:44
These days I only shoot B&W and depending on the subject and light I use:

Pan F @50
FP4+ @ 100
HP5+ @ 200 to 1600.
Delta 3200 @ 3200 but soup it as 6400.

That said I've been getting hooked on Tri-X @ 320 for the last 20-25 rolls.

Usually I soup in different dilutions of Rodinal, but will occasionally still use DD-X.

T_om
05-24-2005, 16:15
Since getting Diafine developer with its (ease of use, longevity, and) increase in film speed, I'm going to try Agfa APX 100 rated at 200 for day to day film. For indoors and bar shots I'll use my regular HP5+, rated at 1000 or so.


You will like the HP5+ in Diafine, but I have found I need a bit more exposure. I rate it at 800. But shooting a few rolls to test what it does for *you* is the important thing.

Tom

sf
05-24-2005, 16:36
For years, I have used HP5 (plus) as my all-round, night or day, sunny or cloudy film when specific needs didn't require something else. I've used it in 35mm, medium format, and 4x5. All the black and white on my site is taken with hp5 except on which is fp4. Maybe that helps, maybe it doesn't. I've taken shots with HP5, went to print, and been surprised to find that it was not TMAX 100 or PANf or something.

HP5 has amazingly fine grain, deals with exposure mistakes well, and you can play with it all you want in development. It's very forgiving, fast, sharp, for what more can you ask?

If you are partial to Kodak, try Tri-x or TXP 320. Both are good, but both have higher graininess than the HP5.

that's my input

James Burton
05-24-2005, 18:04
I tried Roman's suggestion on Ilford HP5 (pulling film to 250), but noticed that highlights tended to get blown out when film was processed normal. I hate underprocessing film for "pulling", so I always process the film normal.


I use this all the time - get great results depending on where I point the camera :-). I'm not sure what you don't like about "pulling" the film, it isn't really pulling as far as I can make out anyway.

HP5+ @ 200iso, ID-11, 14mins @ 20degC 1+3

that gives me nice low contrast for scanning, or as others have noted XP2-super
is just as good (slightly different look though).

James

ray_g
05-24-2005, 18:30
Tom and Frank (when you've had the chance), I'd be interested in seeing some samples of HP5 in diafine...

FrankS
05-24-2005, 19:09
Ray, sure. I've got 6 rolls of APX 100 to work on exposing first. Having just gotten the Diafine, I don't have any film developed in it yet, but I definitely will post results when I have some. Tonight I just developed 3 rolls of HP5+ in D76. I'll have some good new shots to add to my gallery in a few days.

T_om
05-24-2005, 19:28
Tom and Frank (when you've had the chance), I'd be interested in seeing some samples of HP5 in diafine...

Be happy to.

However, I have been hesitant to start a gallery here because of all the software upheaval of late. People losing all their data, galleries disappearing, etc. I figured I would wait until things settled down a bit.

I emailed Jorge but got no response. I started a thread asking about stability of the new setup and Jorge responded in that thread to another (off topic) poster while ignoring the original question asked.

Go figure. :confused:

Tom

Roger Hicks
05-24-2005, 23:24
Leica, mono: HP5 in DD-X, true ISO 500-650; I use the true ISO with a spot meter, but as I usually don't use a spot meter with a Leica, I set the meter to 400 or even 320 allowing more latitude for underexposure due to imperfect metering (the ONLY way to be sure of adequate shadow detail in ALL circumstances is to meter the shadows directly, and you can't do that with a through-lens meter). If I need more speed, Delta 3200 in DDX, pushed to 3200 (true ISO about 1250).

Leica, colour: Kodak EBX ISO 100, or for more speed, Fuji RSP rated at 2500 and pricessed as for 3200.

MF: HP5 as above, normally spot metered; Kodak E100VS. Rarely Delta 3200.

LF: FP4 and Ortho Plus.

There's quite a bit about true ISO speeds and EIs in a free module in the Photo School is www.rogerandfrances.com

Cheers,

Roger

Doug
05-24-2005, 23:26
T_om, a couple of nice shots with good tonality! I particularly admire that sweet shot of the young lady, though the gecko is cute too. :D

Roman
05-25-2005, 02:22
If you are partial to Kodak, try Tri-x or TXP 320. Both are good, but both have higher graininess than the HP5.




Hmm, I guess you have not tried NEW TriX, then - it is WAY finer grained than HP5+, almost as good as Neopan. HP5+ is among the grainiest film in the 400 ASA league (only APX and Forte are still grainier).
HP5+ is a very nice film, though, very forgiving with regard to exposure and developing errors, and very pushable - but fine-grained is not a term that comes to my mind when thinking about it.

Roman

peter_n
05-25-2005, 05:01
I would agree with Roman. If you get your film developed (which I am doing at the moment) and then scan it, the difference between HP5+ and say Neopan 400 in a standard lab soup like XTOL is huge. That is actually what drove me to Neopan.

titrisol
05-25-2005, 05:11
100 - Agfa APX is my bread-and-butter film. Lately I've been using EFKE 100 (very good)
Have a roll or 2 of Neopan400 in the bag and the ocassional Delta3200

ray_g
05-25-2005, 06:36
thanks for the examples, Tom. The young lady's photo is very nice, indeed.

Frank, I will check your gallery for them, as well as for the APX 100 shots. Another film I am considering.

titrisol
05-25-2005, 06:54
I used Diafine for a while (it lasts a looong time) and found that APX100 (I tested as 200, 160, 100 or 80) didn;t look good in it.
Diafine worked great in HP5 (800), APX400 (200), Delta3200 (1600), TrriX (1000), etc.
But since I prefer the look of APX100 in Rodinal or D76, Diafine didn;t make it.
I'm willing to try DD76 or DD23 on APX100 next. But longevity of Rodinal is not an issue and the images look good to me (not just good enough ;))



Since getting Diafine developer with its (ease of use, longevity, and) increase in film speed, I'm going to try Agfa APX 100 rated at 200 for day to day film. For indoors and bar shots I'll use my regular HP5+, rated at 1000 or so.

T_om
05-25-2005, 11:15
thanks for the examples, Tom. The young lady's photo is very nice, indeed.


Well, I just noticed the shots look like crap after I resized them down. I must have left 'resample' on. Dang. Also, they were 'as processed' for printing on Kodak Endura paper by my lab here in Jacksonville. Skin tones still held up well though. For best web appearance I should have adjusted the curve a bit to account for the tonal range of a monitor instead of paper. The bricks and lizard frame shows the accutance characteristics of HP5+ very well. That is one reason I like it so much.

By the way, the background in her photo looks like a screen because it IS a screen. She is standing on a screened in deck by a pool. Just did not want anyone to think they were looking at grain. ;)

Tom

Jason_K
05-25-2005, 12:19
Another vote for Neopan 400.

Uncle Bill
06-01-2005, 21:19
I use usually 400 ASA black and White, either Ilford Delta/HP5. Sometimes Agfa APX but since their ship has sunk, it looks like its just Ilford. If I do shoot clolour its Fuji all the way in the Superia 100/400/800 series. I just love how tight the grain is:)

Bill

wblanchard
06-02-2005, 05:51
Roman, you are right of course, one must simply have at least 2 cameras with at all times.



:p I just use my Hexar AF and switch out film. It's nice to take a couple shots with xp2, then decide to use some neopan, then go right back to the xp2.