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08-01-2017, 10:35 AM   #1
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What is your favourite b&w film?

I'm just about to stock up on 35mm b&w film and I'm deciding on what to get and I wondered what other people like and dislike.

I use a lot of Tri-x and Tmax 400. The Tmax is so sharp but lacks the tonality of Tri-x. I've never got on with HP5 as I think the grain is to big for me.

I've still got a lot of APX100/Rollei Retro 100 which is good for some situations. I've also tried Retro 80S and Retro 400S. Fuji Acros is nice and sharp and is good for long night exposures. I do miss Neopan 400 and 1600 though.

I don't think I've ever tried Ilford FP4 plus in 35mm (I might have used it in 120 once). Should I give it a try? Does anyone here use it?

I can't wait to give Ferrania P30 a try when it goes on general sale, hopefully in a couple of months.

08-01-2017, 10:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vendee Quote
I'm just about to stock up on 35mm b&w film and I'm deciding on what to get and I wondered what other people like and dislike.

I use a lot of Tri-x and Tmax 400. The Tmax is so sharp but lacks the tonality of Tri-x. I've never got on with HP5 as I think the grain is to big for me.

I've still got a lot of APX100/Rollei Retro 100 which is good for some situations. I've also tried Retro 80S and Retro 400S. Fuji Acros is nice and sharp and is good for long night exposures. I do miss Neopan 400 and 1600 though.

I don't think I've ever tried Ilford FP4 plus in 35mm (I might have used it in 120 once). Should I give it a try? Does anyone here use it?

I can't wait to give Ferrania P30 a try when it goes on general sale, hopefully in a couple of months.
What about Bergger? I am just ordering some.
08-01-2017, 12:05 PM   #3
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Tri-X is great, but Ilford films are simply the best: HP5+ and FP4+, especially the last one, for general use. But we have really much choice today. I have three Ferrania P30 in the mail right now that I look forward to try out. What I shoot most for the time being are Rollei films (some of which may be a bit quirky because of extended sensivity into the IR spectrum) and FomaPan 100, 200 and 400 because of a great price and interesting results. I have yet to try Acros and Bergger, but I will get round to it soon.
08-01-2017, 12:23 PM   #4
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I haven't shot a roll of black and white film since I left the newspaper where I worked from 1987-1991. When I had the luxury of lighting conditions that lent themselves to longer exposures, I really liked Plus-X (ASA 125). At the paper, we shot either Tri-X or T-Max 400. Once I got the hang of T-Max, I really liked it better than Tri-X but it was definitely less forgiving in processing. Once we started using T-Max film, we also switched over from D-76 developer to T-Max developer, which also worked nicely with Tri-X.

08-01-2017, 12:35 PM   #5
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Depends; are you developing yourself, or sending out, and if developing yourself, what is your level of patience and experience? Tmax 400 gives excellent results but behaves very badly on the reels of a Paterson tank; in my experience it eats fixer and demands extended fixing times, and ideally you need an aggressive pre-soak to get rid of the dreaded magenta/pink stain (though some fixers are said to shrug this off without too many problems, and for all I know, fixing it in dedicated Tmax chemistry might alleviate this issue). Tri-X 400, I found, loaded even worse onto the reel than Tmax did. Lomography 100 and 400 films seemed to handle nicer, and Fomapan 200 was the most pleasant of all.

I will not be going back to Tmax 400 in any great hurry; I've just bought a bulk loader, and my eye is firmly fixed on Kentmere (from Ilford) or Arista EDU (rebranded Fomapan), both of which I'm told behave very well in processing. Results I've seen from both films online are more than acceptable for my purposes.
08-01-2017, 12:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vendee Quote
I don't think I've ever tried Ilford FP4 plus
This used to be my favorite. very nice grain.
08-01-2017, 01:20 PM   #7
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I fell in love with Ilford Pan-F50 the moment I hung the first roll out of my Mamiya RB67. It comes in 135 too!
08-01-2017, 01:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ctrout Quote
I fell in love with Ilford Pan-F50 the moment I hung the first roll out of my Mamiya RB67. It comes in 135 too!
I've got one roll of expired Ilford Pan F50 in my fridge (a friend gave it to me). I must get round to trying it. I'm assuming that in most cases you are going to need a tripod when shooting it?

---------- Post added 08-01-17 at 09:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Depends; are you developing yourself, or sending out, and if developing yourself, what is your level of patience and experience? Tmax 400 gives excellent results but behaves very badly on the reels of a Paterson tank; in my experience it eats fixer and demands extended fixing times, and ideally you need an aggressive pre-soak to get rid of the dreaded magenta/pink stain (though some fixers are said to shrug this off without too many problems, and for all I know, fixing it in dedicated Tmax chemistry might alleviate this issue). Tri-X 400, I found, loaded even worse onto the reel than Tmax did. Lomography 100 and 400 films seemed to handle nicer, and Fomapan 200 was the most pleasant of all.
I've not had problems with Tmax and Paterson tanks. I found that I could mostly get rid of the pink cast by doubling the rinse times.

---------- Post added 08-01-17 at 09:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by LaHo Quote
I have three Ferrania P30 in the mail right now that I look forward to try out.

Please let us know how you get on with the P30 and perhaps post some scans here?

---------- Post added 08-01-17 at 09:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
What about Bergger? I am just ordering some.
Bergger is not widely available on my side of the pond and the one stockist I could find charges about the same as Tri-x.

08-01-2017, 01:41 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vendee Quote
I've got one roll of expired Ilford Pan F50 in my fridge (a friend gave it to me). I must get round to trying it. I'm assuming that in most cases you are going to need a tripod when shooting it?

---------- Post added 08-01-17 at 09:33 PM ----------


I was shooting with it as the sun was setting and at F16 I think I was getting speeds around 1/4 to 1/8. I was doing landscapes, looking for DOF, with a big, hulk of a camera. I would think that with wider apertures at mid day, you would probably be in the 1/60 to 1/125 range, easily hand-holdable with a 35mm SLR.
08-01-2017, 02:15 PM   #10
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Delta 100 and FP4 are my favs. I have gone off HP5+ - I have found I prefer the finer grain varieties.
08-02-2017, 01:47 AM   #11
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In 120, hands down it was Verichrome Pan, a film with beautiful tones... too bad it's gone. Otherwise...

Low speed, TMax 100 and Ilford Pan F
Medium speed, Tri-X
High speed, Ilford Delta 3200
08-02-2017, 04:38 AM   #12
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PanF developed in Rodinal gives me pleasing results, but Delta 100 in Ifotec DDx is also very nice.
While I always used Kodak films (Panatomic-X and Tri-X) back in the 1960s & 70s now I much prefer the Ilford films.
08-02-2017, 04:43 AM   #13
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My all time fav. was Plus-X, I used Tri-X a fair bit, T-Max on occassions, Delta 3200 and Fuji 1600 were great when needed.
08-02-2017, 10:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vendee Quote

Bergger is not widely available on my side of the pond and the one stockist I could find charges about the same as Tri-x.
You can get it from here: Buy Film Canada – Cheap film for analog cameras, 35mm and above.. Exchange rate works in your favour too. I've bought film from this website, and they ship the same day if you place the order early enough, but certainly the next day.
08-02-2017, 12:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
You can get it from here: Buy Film Canada Cheap film for analog cameras, 35mm and above.. Exchange rate works in your favour too. I've bought film from this website, and they ship the same day if you place the order early enough, but certainly the next day.
Thanks for the link. I checked it out but I found that the Bergger Pancro 400 was actually cheaper at the UK stockist. $10.99 in Canada and equivalent of $9.13 in the UK.

In fact, over your side, the Bergger is more expensive than Tri-x, Tmax, HP5 etc but over here those films are about 20% more expensive than the Bergger.

Perhaps you should be buying your Bergger over here

Bergger Pancro 400, 135-36, ISO 400 - B & W Film - Firstcall Photographic Ltd

I've had a look at some samples online and I think I'll order a few rolls.
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