Gigabitfilm

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bjorke

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Has anyone used this much? I'm fascinated and wonder just how many lenses could even begin to capture the 700-900lpmm that Gigabit claims for this stock (I suspect this is be). There's still no US distributor, correct?

I'm tempted to use it for 35mm, since my recent work lends itself to huge magnifications (though I don't mind the grain I get from TMax and E100G now). Any suggestions or comments from actual users would be most welcome.

TIA,
 

Jeremy

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you can purchase gigabit film through j&c photo (link at the top of the page). I've never used nor heard much about it. My guess is that it's something along the lines of techpan as it has it's own special devloper a la technidol. (note: COMPLETE and utter guess)
 

glbeas

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From what I understand its a contrast process copy film and its developed in a POTA developer. Not a new concept, remember H&W Control film? High contrast copy film and a low contrast developer. Your exposure latitude was about nil but the grain was nonexistant and let you see really how sharp your lens was (or wasn't).
 

clogz

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The March/April 2001 issue of the Dutch magazine "Foto" has an extensive review about the Gigabit film. Their findings:600lp/mm is just theoretical. In daily practice, Gigabit film exposed at 40 Iso and developed in the dev. recommended by the manufacturers, has 100 -120 lp/mm.
 
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bjorke

bjorke

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What is the limiting factor? Just the difficulties inherent in camera mounting, etc, which often limit hand-holders to 30lpmm or less?

Is there any web link?

(Thoguht: The hi resolutions are beyond the reach of almost all scanners -- you'd have to make a print first. I've been wondering if my EL-Nikkors are even up to such a task)

Thanks!
 

Robert

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I wonder if the high lp/mm numbers were done with special light. That is not normal daylight. To hit 900 you'd need a perfect lens at F/1.7 or so. Even 600 would need a perfect lens of about F/2.5. Maybe the CIA surplus bin?
 

Ed Sukach

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Robert said:
I wonder if the high lp/mm numbers were done with special light. That is not normal daylight. To hit 900 you'd need a perfect lens at F/1.7 or so. Even 600 would need a perfect lens of about F/2.5. Maybe the CIA surplus bin?

Hmm... Wondering about this. Do you have any references re: f/stops and resolution?
 

Thilo Schmid

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Gigabit sheet film resolves 900lp/mm and the 35mm version resolves 700lp/mm. These figures apply for a contrast ratio of 1:1000, which is of very limited practical relevance. The more interesting specs are that sheet film resolves more than 350lp/mm at a contrast ratio of 1:1.6(!). The figures are evaluated by contact printing targets - no photographic lens, except those used for mask printing in the semiconductor industry, will be able to deliver resolutions up to 900lp/mm. But such high-resolution capabilities will make sure that every bit of information your lens delivers will actually be recorded.

As far as resolution is concerned, Lens and film make up an optical system. The resulting resolution is not the resolution of the weakest element. The resulting resolution is determined by a mathematically complicated folding of optical functions. There is an approximation for this function, stating that the total resolution can be expressed as:
1/R = 1/r1 + 1/r2,
meaning that if the lens delivers a resolution of 100 lp/mm and film one of 160lp/mm (Velvia) the resulting resolution (usable Information) will be ~61 lp/mm. If your lens delivers 100 lp/mm and the film delivers 350lp/mm it will be ~77 lp/mm. So better resolution of either system always delivers better total resolution.

Gigabitfilm is mainly microfilm that comes with a special developer. There are two different types of developer available (Type II and Type IV). Type II is processed at 36°C (like color processes) and always delivers a Gamma Value of 0.5, independent of development time (above required minimum) and exposure. Type IV can be processed at several temperatures and can produce different Gamma values.

For more information, take a look at http://www.gigabitfilm.de/html/deutsch/menue_main.htm
 

Ed Sukach

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Robert said:
Ed Sukach said:
Hmm... Wondering about this. Do you have any references re: f/stops and resolution?

Diffraction limits?
Dead Link Removed
also this from the Large format lens testing page.
http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/results.html
Scroll down to the discussion near the bottom.

Both web siites are excellent. Thanks for posting them.

I think that it should be noted that, in theory, the *least* diffraction will occur at the largest possible aperture; but it should be noted that that is only one factor affecting the performance of an an optical system.

Be *very* careful about defintitions here - do not confuse "diffraction limits" with something limiting the entire lens performance - "`Diffraction limited at...' indicates that aperture where lens performance will not *improve* by additional `stopping down'". The lens performance could be extremely high to start with ... so any "improvement" would be very difficult to achieve.

The web sites are in FAQ format - and a diligent study of the questions and answers will provide a good education in just what happens when we talk about the phenomenon we call diffraction.

Lens resolution is not *only* affected by diffraction - there are many, many other optical characteristics involved.
 

Robert

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Yup that's why I mentioned a perfect lens. I was just trying to show how hard hitting those high numbers would be. One arguement for using the film might be it's better then your lens so you'll get what ever your lens can deliver. OTOH resolution isn't the only thing out there.
 

Tom Duffy

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I agree with Robert, "resolution isn't the only thing out there".

In B&W, I've come to the conclusion that it's one of the least important factors. Tonal gradation is the most important factor. I recall from my fooling around H&W Control film (1971, I think) is that it produced an incredibly sharp, incredibly terrible print.

I think you should pick your format based on required sharpness for a film giving you what you consider to be good tones. You won't lose much spontaneity using a medium format camera with fast film if, to get the same sharpness, you have to load EI 40 film into your 35mm camera.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Yeah, I also went through a TechPan phase and decided that it was easier and much better simply to use a bigger camera.
 

sirmy

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There is a review of this film in Black and White Photography, Feb 2004. Julian Busselle reckons enlargements to 20x30 off 35mm film were "still exceedingly sharp"!
 

doughowk

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Just ordered Gigabit 4X5 sheet film from J&C. At ISO 25, probably not suitable for landscape scenes that may have any motion (wind, water) unless you want to show the motion. I'll probably try it with Brett & Ed Weston type of subject matter. I'll be trying enlargements but wonder if drum scans would even capture its resoving power?
 

Peter Cannon

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I think last month's Black and White Photography Magazine did a review of it. There was much discussion about the film and its developer. The author had to try a couple times to get the processing down but said it was a tack sharp splendid film.
 

JohnArs

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Hi

I use Gigabitfilm from time to time but not anymore in 4x5 only in 35 mm and fast and sharp lenses.
It is actually a very good film for high contrast scenes if I remember correctly it can cover a contrast of 11f stops.
But in the beginning days there has been some troubles with the developer and so I use it only in Xtol now.
There is no grain for focusing by the enlarger part, but I have to do further testing in XTol.
 

Eric Rose

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Isn't this gigabit film just a repackaged AGFA copy film? I think I remember seeing that somewhere.

Maybe you could buy it from AGFA cheaper?
 

Huib

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Hi,

I bought once a box of this film, 4x5" that is. After a short while I realized that it made not much sense in terms of grainlessness as 20x24" prints are also pretty much grainless with usual 100 asa film.

Ability to capture detail is astonishing (if you follow the rules of engagement as described on the gigabit website).

One of the few test-exposures I made:

Full frame:

gigabit1.jpg


Detail: 25x enlargement (print would have been 100"x125")

gigabit2.jpg


taking lens was a SK APO Symmar 150mm (at f8 or f11)
print lens was a SK Componon S 80mm (central area enlarged to get to 25x)

Huib
 

Thilo Schmid

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EricR said:
Isn't this gigabit film just a repackaged AGFA copy film? I think I remember seeing that somewhere.

Maybe you could buy it from AGFA cheaper?

Eric,
the 35mm Film is indeed a technical application film from AGFA named "Copex". But this is not the case with sheet film. Gigabit 35mm and Gigabit Sheet Film are two different products. They differ in character and in the tech specs. While the sheet film is rated at 25 ASA and has virtually no grain at all (you can hardly recognize some with a microscope beyond 50x), the 35mm-Film is reated at 40 ASA and has got a little more grain than a Tech Pan in Technidol - but can still show a little more detail, especially when the contrast is low and the paper grade is high.

Maybe you can buy AGFA Copex cheaper, but you will also need a special developer for "pictural photography". The crux of Gigabitfilm lies within the developers. You can use these developers with Tech Pan, or Maco ORT 25 or any other high contrast document film as well. There do exist alternatives like SPUR Nanospeed. But nothing really compares to the Gigabit Developer I, which is a high temperature process that yields a gamma value of 0.5, independend of the development time (!)
 

Tom Stanworth

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Another perspective on the quest for ultra fine grain (from 5x4)....

In the search for improved enlargements I have film hopped, especially after falling in love with APX 100 at the exact moment the 5x4 was axed. I have used Acros 100 and TMAX100 quick and readyloads etc etc. I have found that getting the right pictorial effect is the tough bit, as it is all about balancing fine tonality and grain with apparrent sharpness (not the same as fine grain, but caused by grain). IMHO ultra fine grain does not do a print any favours at all unless you print really large from small negs (when grain would otherwise be large and potentially ugly if you dont want it!). I do the LF landscape thing and have found that fP4+ is great up to a max of 16 x 20 in ID11 1+1 for the look I am after and it is beautiful at 16 x 12 or so. Yes, the TMAX 100 and ACROS allow greater enlargements for a given tonality, but they lack the sparkle that the traditional films have for my eyes. I do use acros, but only when I need to travel light (or have no changing facilities)and use the quickloads or for greater than 16 x 20 enlargements (rare). I have found that at smaller sizes, the modern tech films produce images lacking in sparkle and apparrent sharpness. I have therefore concluded that as I prefer the look of tradtional films (Not a techie so cannot explain why I feel that they look so much better) and sometimes want 20 x 24 enlargements with no grain, sumptuous tonality and oodles of sparkle, that 8x 10 is the way ahead (for what I want). I will be using Efke 100, which is actually quite grainy, but truly beautiful on a print. I have used it in 5x4, and it is simply gorgeous. When I am doing lots of walking, It will be 5x4 and FP4. in 120 rollfilm, I am sticking to APX100 as this is in a league of its own for me (in ID11).

There you have it. Use film/dev/paper combos that produce beautiful images that you like the *look* of and if the grain is too much at the print size you require and tonality is breaking up, use a bigger piece of film. Alternatively ask if you treally do need a huge print. I truly believe that images 'want ' to be a certain size. Some want to be any size, some must be big, others small. Only a small proportion MUST be large to 'work'.

So, you may find, like I did, that chasing fine grain does your images more harm than good. I found that I lost the grain, but also the soul of the image. I have read this sort of verdict before and thought, "yeah right, these are sermons from Ansel Adams disciples, who would throw away a DDS contaminated by T Grain film. They MUST be irrational, bearded types who cant deal with progress." Beards or no beards, they were right.

By the way...........The best example I have found of a truly bitingly sharp, ultra fine grain combo with a look I like is 5x4 acros in Dixactol Ultra (similar to Pyrocat HD). However, even that looks soft and lacking in edge at less than 16 x 12. At 16 x 20/20x24 it is incredible!! (you can only now comfortably see grain under a focus finder)

All that I have said above applies to what I like the look of, but if you have seen LF images that you would like to emulate from small negs, you will be doing better than me if you manage it! I simply found that many modern films lack soul and try as I might, I could not make them pretty! The only exception so far is Delta 100, which is appears to have more potential for me (more grain than TMAX100, but sharper and has more soul).


Agree/disagree????
You guessed it, beard growing now in progress.
 

Thilo Schmid

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Tom Stanworth said:
IMHO ultra fine grain does not do a print any favours at all unless you print really large from small negs (when grain would otherwise be large and potentially ugly if you dont want it!) ... Use film/dev/paper combos that produce beautiful images that you like the *look* of and if the grain is too much at the print size you require and tonality is breaking up, use a bigger piece of film.

Tom,
I agree. I would even say, that grain is usually not an issue at all in LF. One even must make an effort to get some grain in certain cases.

Gigabitfilm is on the other hand a film that also looks different/interesting. You may like it or not - or not in all cases. So don't consider Gigabit Sheet Film for the lack of grain only.

Gigabitfilm is also convenient to process, esp. if you do color as well and already have a processor for that. 13 f-stops at a gamma of 0.5 is within the Standard of chemistry I. Different gamma values and "normal" B&W processing is availiable with chemitry IV.
 

Tom Stanworth

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The only thing I would aska bout a 20 x 30 print from 35mm is that this would be a 30X enlargement. Regardless of film, your lenses are going to really struggle here! If you are using a 35mm lens at f22 for a landcsape, diffraction will limit your resolution somewhat. Surely a 30 x enlargement of 40 lpmm will not give an exceedingly large print in real terms??!!!

I could see that gigabit, aside from any unique look that it has, would suit creamy subject matter to be blown up really large, such as foggy scenes, water scenes perhaps, where is enlarging big from 35mm would otherwise produce grain harming a dreamy effect.
 
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