Orthopanchromatic films - What 'look'??

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Tom Stanworth

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Hi,

I have not tried an orthopanchromatic film like efke 25 before, so how will it look outdoors for landscapes with blue skies and green foliage etc. Does it cause problems with using filters?

Cheers,

Tom
 

gma

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You will find that for most of the visible spectrum it will behave like a regular panchromatic film. It is at the red end that it loses sensitivity. Lips are darker, skin blemishes and freckles are exagerated compared to what we are accustomed to seeing. Most think it is excellent for landscape photography. I prefer the Efke 50 because it is almost identical, but one stop faster. Please try Efke. I think you will be pleased with the very fine grain and great tonal range. Do not confuse orthopanchromatic with orthochromatic film that is blue sensitive only.
 
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Tom Stanworth

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I love PL100, but this is panchromatic (so held no spectral surpises). Future work wil involve 40" prints from 8x10, which for me must still be creamy even if people sniff them. PL100 is that bit grainier than FP4 plus and cannot quite manage this (markedly grainer than FP4 plus on a 20" from 5x4. I am looking at what to use whould FP4 plus no longer be available in 8x10. I will also try pl100 in a wider range of devs to see if I can reduce grain a little to the levels of FP4 plus.
 

glbeas

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gma said:
You will find that for most of the visible spectrum it will behave like a regular panchromatic film. It is at the red end that it loses sensitivity. Lips are darker, skin blemishes and freckles are exagerated compared to what we are accustomed to seeing. Most think it is excellent for landscape photography. I prefer the Efke 50 because it is almost identical, but one stop faster. Please try Efke. I think you will be pleased with the very fine grain and great tonal range. Do not confuse orthopanchromatic with orthochromatic film that is blue sensitive only.
Okay a little nit picking here for accuracys sake. Orthochromatic is sensitive to blue and green. No sensitivity to red at all. Orthopanchromatic has a weak response to red compared to a fully panchromatic film. Panatomic X acted like an orthopanchromatic film. I don't know if theres a technical term for blue sensitive only film other than to call it that.
 
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Tom Stanworth

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Do orthopanchromatic films have regater sensitivity to blue than panchro films; will skies be weak and washed out? If I were to use an orange for example what would happen?

Tom
 

gma

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The J&C website has charts for Efke and Classic Pan films. The charts cover the range in nm from low end violet to high end red. The Efke 25 & 50 are orthopanchromatic and the 100 is panchromatic, The Classic Pan films are superpanchromatic with sensitivity extending farther into the red. Ilford SFX entends even farther into the near infrared. The blue end is pretty much the same for all films.
 

noseoil

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Skies will be a bit less contrasty with Efke 25. A deep blue sky will typically be more white than with panchromatic films. I use a yellow filter or a polarizer to bring them back into range and bump them a bit. This will also tend to deepen shadows, so watch out for large areas of shadow values if you use a yellow filter. I find that a yellow filter seems to be my most frequently used filter for most landscapes with Efke 25.

Try using some 35mm film and bracket a few shots around different filters to get a feel for it. It behaves differently, but is a very good film. Make sure to have a good solid tripod and watch out for wind. You will be using exposures of 1/8 to 1 second a fair amount of the time.
 
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