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03-13-2011, 06:43 AM   #1
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What B&W film?

I will be looking to do some retro looking shots at my nephew's wedding. I have not shot B&W in 20 years. What do you guys recommend today? Most of my B&W was using Tri-X or HP5. I would run anything from normal exposure at ISO 400 to push processed at up to ISO 3200. Since that time I have sold all my darkroom so my options today are commercial development and scanning, or get a few developing reels and scan myself. I would print all after some digital crop and PP

What film and chemistry options are out there today?

Edit note, I will shoot with one of 3 bodies, KX, Ricoh XR2-s orPZ-1

03-13-2011, 08:10 AM   #2
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You might look into Kodak's BW400CN. It's designed to be processed by C-41 process and can be done at your local 1-hour photo. You can get HP5 and T-Max 400 of course. I'm relearning films too. Fuji Neopan is very nice too. Have you looked into whether or not you have a local lab?
03-13-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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In Toronto I don't anticipate a problem with a lab. I am thinking to true B&W and not C41 based because I want to deliberately push the film for grain.
03-13-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I will be looking to do some retro looking shots at my nephew's wedding. I have not shot B&W in 20 years. What do you guys recommend today? Most of my B&W was using Tri-X or HP5. I would run anything from normal exposure at ISO 400 to push processed at up to ISO 3200. Since that time I have sold all my darkroom so my options today are commercial development and scanning, or get a few developing reels and scan myself. I would print all after some digital crop and PP

What film and chemistry options are out there today?

Edit note, I will shoot with one of 3 bodies, KX, Ricoh XR2-s orPZ-1
Assuming you have proper lighting, I’d try a slower finer grain b&w film like the Adox/Efke CHS series. They are made using the same formulas as in the 1950’s and have a higher silver content, hence the slower IOS seeds of 25/50/100.

- ADOX CHS Film Series -

Phil.

03-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I will be looking to do some retro looking shots at my nephew's wedding. I have not shot B&W in 20 years. What do you guys recommend today? Most of my B&W was using Tri-X or HP5.
If you are after that retro look then I would stick to Tri-x or HP5, maybe pushing it a little to get a bit more grain. Using Rodinal as a developer would also help in this department. If you decided on something a little less retro and a bit more elegant, then something fine grained like T-Max 400 or Fuji Acros would be suitable.
03-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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I've heard that Fomapan/Arista .edu Ultra 400 (they're the same film) is another good choice for that vintage look. I actually just got a 100 ft roll of it yesterday, but haven't gotten any developed yet, so I can't speak personally to it.
03-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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The ADOX film advertises its single layer as an advantage in image quality but in a figital work flow, that becomes a disadvantage IMHO.

Tri-X and HP5+ are still around as well as many of the same chemicals you used 20 years ago. If you are comfortable with those films, you can still shoot them. The 400TX available today is not the exact same formulation as Tri-X 400 of 20 years ago though.

It probably would be a good idea to shoot some rolls of whatever film you choose prior to the wedding to get some experience with it again.
03-13-2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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I'm partial to Arista (Tri-X) Premium and Legacy (Neopan) Pro 400 for low light work, Acros for fine grain.

However, more and more, I'm enjoying shooting color neg. film and putting the filters on in Photoshop after the negs are scanned. I did this with a 645 shot that I thought was on B&W, but was really color ISO 400. I know it is cheating, but the ability to pick my filter later at my leisure was nice and the results were excellent.

03-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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What about Ilford Delta films?

Regardless, I plan to shoot a few rolls to try them out plus verify my cameras still work properly
03-13-2011, 12:05 PM   #10
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HP5 works similarly to Tri-X. I use it in medium format. XP2 is very forgiving, if you want a C4- processed medium I haven't used much of the Delta formulations.
03-13-2011, 12:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
What about Ilford Delta films?
Ilford Delta films, like Kodak's T-Max films, are T-grain emulsions as opposed to the the more classic cubic grain films. They advertise finer grain for the speed and scan well. You'll have to experience them for yourself to decide if you like them or not.
03-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #12
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Trying to compare scanned, image editor processed T-grain and cubic grain isn't much help, I feel. Here is an image on each emulsion. These shots are taken at different dates and from different camera formats which make a comparison harder on screen but the only subject I have from each film.


Kodak 100TMX (T-Max 100)




Kodak 320TXP (Tri-X 320)



03-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #13
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I like the Fuji films, they have a very nice even tonal scale. If yoy want bit more punch, Ilfords Delta films are fantastic.
03-13-2011, 01:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
I like the Fuji films, they have a very nice even tonal scale. If yoy want bit more punch, Ilfords Delta films are fantastic.
The deltas will be my first try 3200 and 400. I might try a 400 pushed to 3200 also just to see the effect
03-13-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The deltas will be my first try 3200 and 400. I might try a 400 pushed to 3200 also just to see the effect
Just be aware that the true speed of the Delta 3200 emulsion is closer to 1000. If you can afford to experiment, try it at 1600 as well as 3200.
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