120 Films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nhsiegel, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. nhsiegel

    nhsiegel Member

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    Has anyone had experience with Shanghai, Fomapan, and Lucky films -preerably in a position to make some comparisons (satisfaction) between these and other 120 B&W films.
     
  2. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I have used the following:

    Plus-X and Tri-X - These are the most reliable and consistant. I choose between them depending on how much light I have. The downside is that they are more expensive these days. I get a bit of frame overlap when I use Kodak film in my Iskra.

    Fomapan (Arista EDU Ultra) 200 - I expose this film at 100, develop in Rodinal 1+50, and it works well for me. Fomapan films have a blue-green base which looks a bit strange but does not cause any problems for printing. The only downside with Fomapan is film curl which can make handling in the darkroom difficult.

    Shanghai - This film curls a bit more than Fomapan, the base is very thin, and the numbers on the backing paper are hard to read through the red window on the back of the camera. It is a bit cheaper than Arista EDU ultra and I get comparable results with it, but I don't think that the price difference between the two is worth the bother of ordering it from China.
     
  3. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I use Fomapan 100 (120) all the time. I love it, I develop in APH09 (original Rodinal formula) at 1:40 for 8'. I like the blue base. I have never had any problem with curling negs. (You should try Efke 127 film, the curl on that is a bloody nightmare!)
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Why don't you do a forum search, there's a lot about Foma films as many people use them.

    I have tried Lucky film while it was OK I'd prefer to use Ilfor, Kodak, Fuji or Foma. I prefer Ilford Delta 100 & 400 or Tmax but Fomapan is easier to find near where I'm living.

    Ian
     
  5. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    you can probably order a roll of each from a bigger online store. It's not an expensive experiment to do yourself and you're your own best judge.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    nhsiegel

    nhsiegel Member

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    APUG members are great. Thanks for the information and the recommendations for the various "off-beat" films.
    Nat
     
  7. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Foma films are good. Maybe not up to the quality of Ilford, Kodak, and Fuji, but certainly good enough for a lot of applications. It curls a bit, and that can make for a little difficulty making contact sheets and for setting the negatives in an enlarger's negative holder. On the whole, I don't find that to be a real problem. Lucky Pan films are the worst. These things coil up like a spring and defy any efforts to get them into a negative carrier. We won't even discuss making contact sheets. The anti-halation qualities of the film are awful as well. If there is any hint of a specular reflection or light source in the frame when the photograph is exposed, it will bloom.
     
  8. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Don't underestimate how much of a problem film curl is. I've had some negs that are basically un-useable because of crazy curl. For some reason, RolleiRetro 100 is especially bad in my experience...the 25 version, not so much.
     
  9. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    My experience with brands other than Kodak, Agfa, and Ilford is that the smaller/cheaper companies do not have the rigid quality control of the big ones. So you may experience technical flaws and inconsistencies from batch to batch. You decide, whether it is worth the savings. Not to me!
    Stefan
     
  10. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    On my most recent roll of Shanghai GP3 the film was taped too far back on the backing paper with the result that my camera shot all but the last 1/4 inch of frame one on the paper instead of the film. Also, the tail end of the film was cut at an angle.
     
  11. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Foma films are good. Maybe not up to the quality of Ilford, Kodak, and Fuji
    I disagree totally. I use all, and Fomapan is as good and non-curly as others.
    :smile:
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    It is good, I agree with you there. The 35 mm stocks are not at all curly either. In fact, the 35 mm stocks are actually more flat than Tri-X which has a tendency towards cupping in that size. But the 120 Foma films do curl a bit more than the big name manufacturer's stuff. I use a lot of it, so I know this to be true. I've never had a problem with a badly rolled spool and find the image quality to be remarkably good. Grain is a little more apparent, and the implied box speed of the film is a bit optimistic for Foma 200 and 400 speed stocks. Foma 100 is good at box speed, but shows a bit more grain than some other first tier films of comparable speed. None of these critera stop me from using the film. Knowing the limitations of your materials allows you to work effectively with them.
     
  13. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    I have used the Foma 120 films extensively. The 200 tends to curl horribly, but oddly enough the 100 is normal. I stopped using the 200 as it curled so bad I couldn't flatten it enough to get into a negative carrier.

    The 35mm versions are on a different base and do not have the curl problems.

    I use Diafine and found the 100 and 200 both rate at 200.
     
  14. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I use Diafine and found the 100 and 200 both rate at 200.
    I don't understand this, can you explain exactly what you mean? :confused:
     
  15. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    Sorry - I should have said "I develop the films in Diafine, and find that both films rate at ISO200 with that developer."