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01-09-2022, 07:53 AM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Thank you! Then it was worth posting



Ha ha Yes... Britain - though I'd break it down even further to each individual country in the UK mainland - has it's own very definitive character. I don't know what part of the UK you're in, but in my immediate vicinity there's not a lot of sheep farming. It tends to increase in the more elevated, hilly areas, but I don't recall seeing much in the lowlands. Lots of dairy and arable, though.


Thanks again I've been going through the shots this morning, and I think I'm warming to the grain. Displayed at depth-filling size on my 17" laptop display, it has dimensions of roughly 12.75" x 8.5", and at that size the grain really isn't bad. It's noticeable, yes... but not obtrusive. I think perhaps I was guilty of pixel-peeping to begin with
I did the same when I started up with film last year- became guilty of pixel peeping and getting bothered by grain on 400 ISO film... took a while and some revisits and now see the enhanced beauty it can bring to the shot. It's also helped me to look more closely at the emulsions I've shot and what I like (Cinestill 800 is a must try for everyone; I believe it has produced my favourite all time shot!).

Ahh, true there is variation in the farming- I'm in the North West (coastal Lancashire) and It's a mix of arable and sheep It's something interesting I've come to spot though in many of the shots from people in the UK and that is the repetition of architecture, landscape scenery and urban areas. Unlike the members from the USA, Far East/Latin America and Europe, there is less exciting variation to my eye for the subjects. I will certainly agree some locations, be they areas of Scotland or the South Coast for example, have unique spots, but you are far less likely to happen upon a unique area and photo opportunity on this isle. Biased opinion naturally.


Last edited by CedrusMacro; 01-09-2022 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Position of text.
01-09-2022, 08:20 AM - 1 Like   #32
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Fomapan 400 is one of the grainier ISO 400 films out there, as is Bergger Pancro.

But both can be absolutely lovely with the right developer.

If you want a really low grain ISO 400 experience even when pushed a few stops Ilford XP2 Super 400 is pretty great,
and while its a C-41 process B&W film can be processed with B&W chems with excellent results.
01-09-2022, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #33
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One of your experiments must be standing development in Rodinal 1:100, shake 2 min in the beginning, leave it alone for30 min , shake 30 sec , go on for another 30 min, fix etc. I dont know Fomapan at all, but Tri x and Rollei infrared works well
. In 135 you dont need to expose a whole film
01-09-2022, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
BTW Alex is a fan of Pan F+ with Microphen. I usually have Perceptol for developer; either are excellent. And yes, it's slow film, so the sheep and the river waves have to hold still.
+1. PanF in dilute Perceptol is my favourite combo for nature and landscape images. Just wonderful tonality - deep and rich, and Perceptol really tames that contrasty film beautifully. I rate it at 25 iso, so no need for an ND filter when shooting moving water


Mike - I would agree with the others who noted that Rodinal is not the best choice for traditional grain 400 speed films due to the harsh grain. It can work well with t-grain emulsions, but with, say, HP5 or Tri-x I would suggest something else for finer grain. I’m partial to Perceptol @ 1+1 with HP5, but I lose about 1/2 stop in speed. I’ve seen lovely results with Microphen, and I’d really like to try this some time. No speed loss with that one. Xtol might be a good one too, but I’ve not tried that either. For nice punchy negs and crisp grain, HP5 and Tri-x are great in good ole D76. HC110 should be similar, and could be a good combo for street/urban scenes. Experimenting with developers is fun, and once you hit on a combo that sings for you it’s pretty sweet.

BTW, your images with Foma 400 look great! Really beautiful full range of tones. Great results for only your second roll! Well done indeed.

01-10-2022, 08:05 AM   #35
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I'm reading posts. Noticing film chemistry has funny names, such as "Rodinal" , "Perceptol" , sounding something like medicine.
01-10-2022, 11:06 AM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I'm reading posts. Noticing film chemistry has funny names, such as "Rodinal" , "Perceptol" , sounding something like medicine.
Yeah, the slick marketing guys have a habit of coming up with a clever "brand name". Some of the film developer products contains a chemical called "metol". So that's where some of the names come from.
Hydroquinone was used in some developers with metol; and yes, you might remember Kodak getting some money to ship large quantities of hydroquinone during the early days of the pandemic when it was thought to help.

Pepto Bismol = Peptin + Bismuth, marketing brand gurus came up with that. Leaves a nasty pink residue on film though.
01-10-2022, 02:51 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Auer Quote
Fomapan 400 is one of the grainier ISO 400 films out there, as is Bergger Pancro.

But both can be absolutely lovely with the right developer.

If you want a really low grain ISO 400 experience even when pushed a few stops Ilford XP2 Super 400 is pretty great,
and while its a C-41 process B&W film can be processed with B&W chems with excellent results.
Thanks, Eric I'm actually warming to Fomapan 400, even having used Fomadon R09 / Rodinal. The more I look at the shots at full-screen size on my laptop, and even on my 24" BenQ QHD monitor, the more I like the results. I'd prefer a little less grain, I think, but it's not unattractive and seems reasonable for a relatively fast film.

Thanks so much for the tip on XP2 Super. Funnily enough, some of my first ever film shots from years ago, processed by a cheap supermarket lab, were on 35mm XP2 Super and when I look at the lab scans now, there's remarkably little grain. Obviously they used C41 chemistry, and I don't know what post-processing was done to the scans... still, I'm keen to give this film a go and see what results I can get from it with B&W processing... but I must use up my remaining rolls of Fomapan 400 first - otherwise, if I really like XP2 Super, the Foma film might end up sitting in my freezer for the rest of its days

QuoteOriginally posted by niels hansen Quote
One of your experiments must be standing development in Rodinal 1:100, shake 2 min in the beginning, leave it alone for30 min , shake 30 sec , go on for another 30 min, fix etc. I dont know Fomapan at all, but Tri x and Rollei infrared works well
. In 135 you dont need to expose a whole film
I'll definitely try stand development in future, Niels... I'm fascinated by the idea, for some reason; but for now I'm sticking to traditional methods until I build up some more experience. There are so many things I'd love to try - different films, developers, development methods, and a whole bunch more ... but I need to walk before I run

QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Mike - I would agree with the others who noted that Rodinal is not the best choice for traditional grain 400 speed films due to the harsh grain. It can work well with t-grain emulsions, but with, say, HP5 or Tri-x I would suggest something else for finer grain. Iím partial to Perceptol @ 1+1 with HP5, but I lose about 1/2 stop in speed. Iíve seen lovely results with Microphen, and Iíd really like to try this some time. No speed loss with that one. Xtol might be a good one too, but Iíve not tried that either. For nice punchy negs and crisp grain, HP5 and Tri-x are great in good ole D76. HC110 should be similar, and could be a good combo for street/urban scenes. Experimenting with developers is fun, and once you hit on a combo that sings for you itís pretty sweet.

BTW, your images with Foma 400 look great! Really beautiful full range of tones. Great results for only your second roll! Well done indeed.
Many thanks as always, Svend I definitely need to do some research on preferred developers for Fomapan 400 and higher speed films in general. Another forum member sent me a couple of his 35mm Foma 400 shots developed in D76 and whilst they were "punchy" (as you suggest) and looked great, they were certainly grainy - so perhaps that's not what I'm looking for here. Ideally, I'd prefer to use use one-shot developers that store reasonably well in their unprepared form once opened, since I'm not (and I'm unlikely to be) churning through film at a significant rate... Slow and steady is more my pace But, if I have to venture into more time-volatile chemistry, so be it. Maybe it would push me to shoot more?

01-10-2022, 03:48 PM - 2 Likes   #38
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Just a small FYI why XTOL (and Legacy Eco - Pro) is a great choice overall:



Read up on how to use it in seasoned stock form and just replenish as you go.
https://www.digitaltruth.com/products/kodak_tech/j109_Xtol.pdf
01-11-2022, 07:11 AM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Many thanks as always, Svend I definitely need to do some research on preferred developers for Fomapan 400 and higher speed films in general. Another forum member sent me a couple of his 35mm Foma 400 shots developed in D76 and whilst they were "punchy" (as you suggest) and looked great, they were certainly grainy - so perhaps that's not what I'm looking for here. Ideally, I'd prefer to use use one-shot developers that store reasonably well in their unprepared form once opened, since I'm not (and I'm unlikely to be) churning through film at a significant rate... Slow and steady is more my pace But, if I have to venture into more time-volatile chemistry, so be it. Maybe it would push me to shoot more?

Oh yeah - I forgot about your preference for one-shot brews. In that case I think perhaps HC110 at higher dilution might work for you. Or give Rodinal semi-stand a go and see if it gives finer grain. You'll never know until you try

You are right that D76 with 400 speed films does give coarser grain than some of the fine grain developers like Perceptol. I have compared the two aforementioned with HP5, and Perceptol at 1+1 gives much finer grain than D76, but softer contrast. OTOH, for some scenes, like urban ruins for example, I prefer the punchier tones and higher grain of D76, whereas for nature and landscapes I love Perceptol and it's softer rendering. Just more tools in the box to give the look I want for a specific scene. Still, D76 has finer grain than Rodinal @ 1+50, at least from my experience.

You might seriously want to look at Xtol. Even though it's a powder developer, it apparently lasts a long time (1 year+) if mixed with distilled water and kept in full airtight bottles. It's also very cheap, and environmentally safe to dump once it's spent. Reason for the recommendation is that I don't know of any one-shot concentrates that will give you the fine grain you're after.

Just a question and a general comment about fine grain.... What are you doing with your images? Printing for display? Or viewing on a PC only? If printing, consider the viewing distance of a print, and then decide if the grain is too coarse or not. E.g. I have some 16x20 and larger prints done with 35mm FP4 and Tmax 100 developed in D76 (so not the finest grain, but sharp grain), and at normal viewing distances of say 6 feet or more you don't even notice the grain at all. But what one does see from across the room, is the tonality of the image, its sharpness and fine details. Since coming to this realization I am no longer fixated on getting the finest grain, but much more interested in how a film-developer combo renders tones, and how sharp the image is (in which the grain plays a big part). Yes, fine grain still matters, but it's not primary. But that's just me, as I take photos to print them and hang them on the wall.
01-11-2022, 02:23 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Auer Quote
Just a small FYI why XTOL (and Legacy Eco - Pro) is a great choice overall:

...

Read up on how to use it in seasoned stock form and just replenish as you go.
https://www.digitaltruth.com/products/kodak_tech/j109_Xtol.pdf
Thank you, Eric - I'll read that over my morning coffee

QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Oh yeah - I forgot about your preference for one-shot brews. In that case I think perhaps HC110 at higher dilution might work for you. Or give Rodinal semi-stand a go and see if it gives finer grain. You'll never know until you try
It's a preference, but not an immutable position

QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
You are right that D76 with 400 speed films does give coarser grain than some of the fine grain developers like Perceptol. I have compared the two aforementioned with HP5, and Perceptol at 1+1 gives much finer grain than D76, but softer contrast. OTOH, for some scenes, like urban ruins for example, I prefer the punchier tones and higher grain of D76, whereas for nature and landscapes I love Perceptol and it's softer rendering. Just more tools in the box to give the look I want for a specific scene. Still, D76 has finer grain than Rodinal @ 1+50, at least from my experience.

You might seriously want to look at Xtol. Even though it's a powder developer, it apparently lasts a long time (1 year+) if mixed with distilled water and kept in full airtight bottles. It's also very cheap, and environmentally safe to dump once it's spent. Reason for the recommendation is that I don't know of any one-shot concentrates that will give you the fine grain you're after.
I'd be fine with a powder if the prepared developer has a few months' shelf life (I have some "concertina" bottles that should help, I think? I keep my prepared fixer in one). Cheap is good, and environmentally safe is better still

QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Just a question and a general comment about fine grain.... What are you doing with your images? Printing for display? Or viewing on a PC only? If printing, consider the viewing distance of a print, and then decide if the grain is too coarse or not. E.g. I have some 16x20 and larger prints done with 35mm FP4 and Tmax 100 developed in D76 (so not the finest grain, but sharp grain), and at normal viewing distances of say 6 feet or more you don't even notice the grain at all. But what one does see from across the room, is the tonality of the image, its sharpness and fine details. Since coming to this realization I am no longer fixated on getting the finest grain, but much more interested in how a film-developer combo renders tones, and how sharp the image is (in which the grain plays a big part). Yes, fine grain still matters, but it's not primary. But that's just me, as I take photos to print them and hang them on the wall.
If you'd asked me that a couple of weeks ago, Svend, I'd have said I will only view them on screens - my 17" laptop, 24" monitor and a small-ish 40" TV... but in recent days I've actually been looking into printing services. I have a good amount of wall space in my home and very little hanging on it right now, save for a couple of mirrors, three prints of my digital photographs, two oil paintings and one water-colour. I'm starting to price-up prints and frames in A3 (11.7 x 16.5") and A2 (16.5 x 23.4") in an effort to maintain something closer to the 2:3 / 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm. As for viewing distance, I'm not the kind of chap who stands with his nose to a photo (or painting)... I like to step (or sit) back and enjoy the entirety of the image - and what I have on my walls is for my own personal enjoyment, not to impress others, so I can live with some grain

Can I ask, do you sharpen your photos specially for printing, or do you accept the slight softening and consider it a benefit in terms of less obvious grain?
01-11-2022, 03:08 PM - 1 Like   #41
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If you want prints from negatives, see if there are any local photography clubs around and if so you might find someone who could make darkroom prints for you, for a fee obviously.
01-11-2022, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I'd be fine with a powder if the prepared developer has a few months' shelf life (I have some "concertina" bottles that should help, I think? I keep my prepared fixer in one). Cheap is good, and environmentally safe is better still

Then Xtol might be a good option for you. By all reports if it's mixed with distilled water it lasts over a year in full bottles. Pretty impressive. It comes only in packs to make 5L, but costs the same as other brands charge for 1L. Here in Canada that means it's about C$3 per liter.

---------- Post added 11th Jan 2022 at 17:30 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
If you'd asked me that a couple of weeks ago, Svend, I'd have said I will only view them on screens - my 17" laptop, 24" monitor and a small-ish 40" TV... but in recent days I've actually been looking into printing services. I have a good amount of wall space in my home and very little hanging on it right now, save for a couple of mirrors, three prints of my digital photographs, two oil paintings and one water-colour. I'm starting to price-up prints and frames in A3 (11.7 x 16.5") and A2 (16.5 x 23.4") in an effort to maintain something closer to the 2:3 / 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm. As for viewing distance, I'm not the kind of chap who stands with his nose to a photo (or painting)... I like to step (or sit) back and enjoy the entirety of the image - and what I have on my walls is for my own personal enjoyment, not to impress others, so I can live with some grain

Can I ask, do you sharpen your photos specially for printing, or do you accept the slight softening and consider it a benefit in terms of less obvious grain?

Printing your own work is wonderful! So gratifying to see it hanging on the wall.

I don't do any extra sharpening just for printing. If it looks good on my screen at the size I want to print it at, then that's as far as I go. This may not be best practice, and perhaps I should be doing more, but I'm happy with the results.

---------- Post added 11th Jan 2022 at 17:35 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Auer Quote
Just a small FYI why XTOL (and Legacy Eco - Pro) is a great choice overall:



Read up on how to use it in seasoned stock form and just replenish as you go.
https://www.digitaltruth.com/products/kodak_tech/j109_Xtol.pdf

Thanks for posting that Eric. Very interesting chart. I've had a packet of Xtol sitting around for years and never mixed it up. Perhaps this is as good a time as any to give it a go. I've heard that the tonality can be a bit flat - all greys. But some get wonderful results with it. Any tips on getting good deep, punchy tones out of it?

Last edited by Viking42; 01-11-2022 at 03:36 PM.
01-11-2022, 04:13 PM   #43
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In college I exposed several rolls of film per week and tried numerous developers.
Now that I develop film only once every few months I use long shelf-life concentrates.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 01-11-2022 at 04:36 PM.
01-11-2022, 05:37 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote

Thanks for posting that Eric. Very interesting chart. I've had a packet of Xtol sitting around for years and never mixed it up. Perhaps this is as good a time as any to give it a go. I've heard that the tonality can be a bit flat - all greys. But some get wonderful results with it. Any tips on getting good deep, punchy tones out of it?
I use stock strenght and replenish.

It can be quite dramatic once you get it dialed in, if that is what you prefer.
I seldomly deviate from manufacturers dev times much and prefer to mess with the camera settings instead.



City Frame-314
by Eric Auer, on Flickr
01-11-2022, 06:26 PM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eric Auer Quote
I use stock strenght and replenish.

It can be quite dramatic once you get it dialed in, if that is what you prefer.
I seldomly deviate from manufacturers dev times much and prefer to mess with the camera settings instead.



City Frame-314
by Eric Auer, on Flickr

Good one Eric. Iíve heard that replenished Xtol gives wonderful results once itís seasoned. Better than one-shot diluted. Definitely worth trying it seems, esp. looking at that image of yours. Looks great!
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