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07-28-2016, 04:25 AM   #1
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Kodak/Ilford/FOMAPAN films

Hey,

I shoot an analog BW from time to time and I would like to ask you what difference can I expect from different film manufactures? I'm used to shoot Ilford film but my local camera store offers there three brands (Ilford, FOMAPAN and Kodak). Are there any differences? Talking about the same ISO.

Thank you very much.
Best regards,
Jan Elger

07-28-2016, 05:03 AM   #2
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You will have to play around with each to see the differences. Grain and the ability to be exposed differently are going to the mains. I have used Delta 100 and TMax 100 and will tell you that TMax is more flexible but Delta is sharper.
07-28-2016, 05:56 AM   #3
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The main difference is panchromatic vs silver halide. That's the choice you need to make.
07-28-2016, 06:42 AM   #4
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Re: Kodak/Ilford/FOMAPAN films

QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
The main difference is panchromatic vs silver halide. That's the choice you need to make.
Well, that is certainly a big thing, but there's a little more to think about than that. There's tonality, exposure latitude, reciprocity failure, tabular/epitaxial grain vs traditional, so much stuff.

Try a web image search using the film type as the search term for examples of a films "look." You may have to dig for it but you can sometimes also find the exposure info and the developer used.

07-28-2016, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I don't know how much film formulations have changed over the years, but back in the late '70s/early'80s I consistently got finer grain with Ilford HP5 than with Kodak Tri-X when processed identically. I could also push HP5 to 800ASA and get grain at least as fine as Tri-X at 400ASA. I eventually chose to use Ilford film and paper exclusively. Don't know if this historical info helps; just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.
07-28-2016, 07:30 AM   #6
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You can also get very different results processing some b&w negative films as positives. There are a few labs in Germany (Stuttgart has one) that will do this, as well as DR5 Chrome in the US.

Fomapan R100 was a true b&w positive, but I think Foma only makes it now in 16mm. (There were varying quality control issues with the 35mm stock and they stopped making it??)

Phil.
07-28-2016, 01:29 PM   #7
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I wouldn't say there's a huge difference based on manufacturer, except that Fomapan film are generally known to more commonly have manufacturing faults and to be slower than they claim to be (80 ISO instead of 100, 250 instead of 400 etc). They can also be REALLY curly and therefore difficult to scan. Having said that I've used Fomapan 100 and quite liked it.

From those three, I'd recommend Ilford FP4+ for slower (it's ISO 125 and I think it's probably the best B&W film ever made) and for higher ISO Kodak Tri-X (ISO 400) or failing that, T-Max 400. T-Max has more grain but Tri-X has nicer tones.
07-28-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
The main difference is panchromatic vs silver halide. That's the choice you need to make.
I think you mean chromogenic vs silver halide! Not a lot of orthochromatic films sold these days.

Rather than worry about which film to use, it is probably best to pick one and stick with it until you know it well, then branch out afterwards.

Chris

07-28-2016, 05:41 PM   #9
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I find the Ilford films dry flatter and so handle better without the curl modern Kodak films have. I use HP5+ some, but PanF (ISO 50) is my favorite.
07-28-2016, 05:50 PM   #10
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Talking about film, I picked up a sealed roll of 120 Fujicolor Superior HG 400 at a fair. When it was developed, the entire roll had been exposed to light and was completely blank. I asked the shop if they may have had an accident, but he said no, and showed me the stub attached to the reel as unexposed. Does anyone have any idea how this came about? If the camera back had been open I surely would have noticed it, and at least there would have been some image. A manufacturing flaw?
07-28-2016, 09:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I wouldn't say there's a huge difference based on manufacturer, except that Fomapan film are generally known to more commonly have manufacturing faults and to be slower than they claim to be (80 ISO instead of 100, 250 instead of 400 etc). They can also be REALLY curly and therefore difficult to scan. Having said that I've used Fomapan 100 and quite liked it.
I use Foma because I can get it in 120 cheap, but I've got to agree with Jonathan's comments above: some of the curliest film I've ever encountered.
07-28-2016, 10:02 PM   #12
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I have found FP4 as the best for me. This film has amazing micro gradation.
Processing in D-76 gives excellent negatives. Microgradol raises the micro contrast
but lowers the resolution (main opinion).
I have experimented with wide list of developers (many of them self made) and can say that in all cases FP4 is fantastic.
07-29-2016, 02:02 AM   #13
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Curl may be dependent on relative humidity during drying I dont get much curl aeons to dry.

The Foma ISO are on the PDF data sheets with Rodinal or ID68 I use

400 about 250
200 about 160
100 about 125

If you are using 35mm and enlarging Panf, Tmax100 or Delta100 if you like grain and old school signature Foma400.

Foma and Ilfords QA peerless more trouble with Kodak.
07-29-2016, 03:04 AM   #14
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There are many good reviews of current production Fomapan 200.
It should be a good general purpose BW film of ideal speed.
It uses a unique hybrid grain structure.
I have read it dries flatter than Tri-X.

Chris
07-29-2016, 03:07 AM - 4 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Elger Quote
Hey,

I shoot an analog BW from time to time and I would like to ask you what difference can I expect from different film manufactures? I'm used to shoot Ilford film but my local camera store offers there three brands (Ilford, FOMAPAN and Kodak). Are there any differences? Talking about the same ISO.

Thank you very much.
Best regards,
Jan Elger
I see that you live in Prague. Then Fomapan would be a no-brainer for me. Foma films are much cheaper than Ilford and Kodak when you live in Czechia and can yield some very pleasant results. I have had a few films with production faults (scratches) in them, but when taking pictures with an old Mamiya, it somehow fits the look. At other times such scratches can be a nuiscance. Still - you can shoot much more if you stick with Foma films. BTW, Bé Foto, Janovského 5 is cheaper than Skoda Foto.

I like the old-fashioned look of Foma films, here Fomapan 200 Creative:

Camera: Mamiya C330 Professional
Lens: Mamiya-Sekor 65mm F3.5
Exposure: 1/500 @ F5.6 (Y2 filter and rubber lens hood)
Film: Fomapan 200 Creative dev. in Compard R09 Spezial

Last edited by LaHo; 07-30-2016 at 12:31 AM.
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