Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-21-2009, 08:40 AM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,910
MF scan, processing & film recommendations

I recently picked up a Mamiya 645 1000S w/ 45/2.8 with the intent of re-visiting earlier days of B&W landscapes just for the fun of it. With about 25 years experience in 35mm B&W processing, I expect I'll end up processing film myself but it's been a while since I used film and some of the choices are different than I was familiar with.

With the ultimate goals of: a) just messin' about with MF gear and b) perhaps a few digitally printed 8x10 wall-hangers, I'd appreciate comments on today's films, processing, and scanning.

1. What's with the Kodak C-41 B&W film? I was expecting to use the old standbys like Panatomic and Plus-X which I see are still available, but . . . Fugi or Ilford perhaps?

2. Any suggestions for today's chemicals for day-light tank processing? Diafine? D-76?

3. Can I reasonably expect scans from something like the Epson 4490 to produce acceptable digital prints for non-commercial use? It will also be used to convert a bunch of older 35mm slides.

4. Any Mail Order processing suggestions for expediency until I get back in the saddle and as a QA comparison with my own work?

5. If I was to order slightly larger lab prints from my own negs, would the Epson-to-CD scans suffice or would it be necessary to send negs for lab scans.

Absolute top quality isn't the issue for recommendations here as I'll make my own decisions about the cost/effort/fun ratio after I have some results to compare. I'm just lookin' for some middle of the road, baseline suggestions to go along with my web research.

Thanks, H2

10-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
1) the Kodak (and Ilford) C-41 film is OK, only don't expect it to behave like real B&W when it comes to latitude etc. I've used these quite a bit over time... in 120 size you gain the expense of finding a minilab to develop it, and/or you have to send out. No cost advantage vs. color film (which you can then convert to b&w yourself in photoshop).

The old standbys are still good - Ilford and Fuji and Foma make some really nice films also. There's a bit of a split between traditional formulations and the newer T-MAX types - these modern films behave a bit differently than the traditional ones. I currently have a brick of Ilford Delta 100 I'm working through (it was cheap, and I like it enough)... The one film I don't get along with is TMAX 400 - the emulsion seems like it loves to suck in dust that is near impossible for me to get off the film.

2. I've used T-max developer, D-76, and Ilfosol 3, basically semi randomly. All produce good results. Rodinal looks to be in fashion with many; for me the simpler mixes work plenty fine.

3. I use the 4490, and it works well enough. Sometimes, depending on negative, there may be scanner noise evident. But for non critical 'enlargements' viewed at a rational distance (i.e. not pixel peeped close up) the 4490 should suffice for what you describe. I've made fine 19 inch wide prints from a 1500pix wide 35mm scan... and you can easily generate 5000pix wide files with the 4490, without half trying, with 120 film.

4. I've tried the mailers B&H sells - the results were ok, I felt the overall experience was over priced. I've also left the film at a local camera store - who's got someone locally willing to do B&W development - with better results.

5. see above. You can of course try & see. How large are you looking to print?
10-21-2009, 12:41 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,910
Original Poster
Thanks, Nesster

I'm leaning toward staying with something I was accustomed to for a while: Plus-X and D-76 for the time being simply as a point of departure.

A good assessment of the Epson 4490 for my purposes.

I may try a roll of the C-41 B&W in 35mm just to see what's different.

H2
10-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,147
Ultimately you need to rediscover your own film/developer combination. There are lots of opinions on the subject. I'll tell you what and why I use what I do and you can even see some results in my uploaded pictures.

You have cubic and tabular grain films. Plus-X would be the cubic. The tabular scan well and are one reason for the rise in the use of Rodinal which can be pretty grainy with some films. Never use Rodinal on 320TXP, period.

I like one-shot developers with very, very long shelf life. Hence I use PMK Pyro and Rodinal a lot. Staining/tanning developers like PMK work best on old-school emulsion. I don't like messing around with developers that get exhausted with use. You only get one shot at the negative. Why bother with extending development times on solutions that weaken or age in the bottle. But that is a personal thing.

And for film there are still lots of choices. Panatomic-X died years ago. I still have two, 100-foot rolls of 135 in the freezer of it 8-) One film I find interesting is Fuji 100 Acros. That film is very fine grain like many with good tones as so many others too. But it has something very different. it does not need reciprocity correction for up to 120 seconds and for 120-1000 seconds it only needs 1/2 stop of additional exposure applied. That can be good or bad. If you're after really long exposures (30min - 60 min) it can be hard to achieve. But if your after 60 or 120 second exposures it is nice not to carry around a reciprocity chart.

320TXP is a new version of TXP from when you last shot film. A cool thing with that is you get pretty good results shooting it at EI6400 developed in Acufine's ACU-1 developer. In fact that is the highest EI on their chart for the films listed.

I have a 4990 I use for my 4x5 sheet film. It is okay. But not even close to my Nikon Coolscan 9000ED I use on my 120 roll. Scanning is way, way more forgiving than printing your negatives for sure.

So pick a film and developer and stick with it for a while. Film developing takes time to hone in on. Ideally you'd need a densitometer to measure negatives if you really get into it. But with some miles under your belt you can tweak your times and tune in pretty good that way. Then venture out and try other things and keep good records of your shots at first so you have some better feedback when looking at the results.

Have fun

10-21-2009, 10:12 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
pacerr's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,910
Original Poster
Thanks, Tuco

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
One film I find interesting is Fuji 100 Acros.

Panatomic-X died years ago.
Useful notes.

I was thinkin' about the Fuji Acros and had downloaded the data sheet. Any personal developer recommendations?

So I guess my Panatomic comment sort'a gave me away, huh?

H2
10-22-2009, 04:14 AM   #6
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
Hey, I didn't even register the Pan-X - - that was my main film back in the 70s, with a half frame Olympus.

When I restarted developing recently, I used T-MAX for the simplicity, and it works well. This is the first roll of 120 (and the second roll, period) I developed in 30 years. Ricoh Diacord, yellow filter, Fuji Acros 100.





This is the same film but developed commercially, also the Diacord
10-22-2009, 08:58 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
filmamigo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 686
I have recently tried the Kodak C41 black and white film, and I think it's a really good option, especially if you are scanning the film. C41 negative scans very well.

It's an even better option when you want to take advantage of having the lab do the processing and scanning. I can have a roll of C41 120 film processed, all the shots scanned to 6-megapixel files and burned to a CD for me in an hour, for less than $20. The quality of scan is much better than I get off my flatbed scanner with a transparency adapter, and the flatbed takes hours to get a couple of nice scans.
10-22-2009, 09:00 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
filmamigo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 686
Here's a sample of the Kodak BW400CN.



10-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,147
QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Useful notes.

I was thinkin' about the Fuji Acros and had downloaded the data sheet. Any personal developer recommendations?

H2
I've only used three developers with 100 Acros so far, PMK Pyro, Rodinal and Prescysol EF. I'm satisfied with the results of each but still learning Prescysol EF and the jury is out on that.

You mention 125PX. I have seen beautiful work with it and Kodak's xtol developer. If you don't use a one-shot, long shelf life developer, pick one that you can run down to photography store and get. Because no doubt you'll go to develop film one day and you will find yourself with exhausted chemicals or a shot you think will be outstanding and your at the edge of the chemicals life and rather not risk it and you're out of new stock.
10-22-2009, 09:37 AM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,147
QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
I have recently tried the Kodak C41 black and white film, and I think it's a really good option, especially if you are scanning the film. C41 negative scans very well.
Yes, they scan well. But sometimes it doesn't have the real BW tones and look. It could be a function of the processing lab. I find you lose highlights real fast with C-41 monochrome. The example above is really good. But nevertheless it has its own style.

Last edited by tuco; 10-22-2009 at 09:43 AM.
10-22-2009, 09:59 AM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington DC, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 554
Steven Schaub - Leader of the Figital Revolution

Really good discussion about film (colour, black and white), scanning, developing for scanning...

The Figital Revolution
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, film, lab, medium format, mf, negs, prints, recommendations, scans, suggestions
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
B&W film recommendations wanted NaClH2O Pentax Film SLR Discussion 24 07-05-2012 03:30 PM
Need help with B&W negative film processing... theperception2008 Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 15 04-16-2010 04:45 AM
Processing B& W film - anything I'm missing out on - any tips? oinkely Pentax Film SLR Discussion 31 03-05-2010 06:06 PM
B&W Film processing: Chemical Question oinkely Pentax Film SLR Discussion 7 01-15-2009 02:00 AM
Questions RE: B&W film processing Rmpjr7 Pentax Film SLR Discussion 25 05-29-2008 08:28 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:39 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top