Recommend me a 120 B&W film for hybrid workflow

Discussion in 'Misc. Hybrid Discussions' started by Ste_S, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    Recommend me a medium format b&w film for a hybrid work flow.

    I’d like a 400ISO film that can be pushed to 1600 as I need the speed for hand holding at f11/16 in the winter. I like contrast and deep blacks, sharpness but also traditional grain (if that’s possible).

    I like a negative that’s easy to scan, and those scans take well to be worked on in Lightroom. Mainly I’ll be having C-Type prints made, but will want the option of going back and using the neg for darkroom printing at a later date.

    I want if for landscape shots and TMAX 400 kind of ticks most of the boxes so far, although it’s lacking in grain. I’ve tried HP5 and I’ve found it lacks some of the detail and sharpness that you get with TMAX, and doesn't get the deep blacks that TMAX does (even after setting black and white points in Lightroom)
    Yet to try Tri-X in medium format (tried at 35mm) and have not tried Delta 400 or 3200 yet.

    For tripod based stuff I’m experimenting with FP4 and Pan F 50.

    Thanks !
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    You can shoot XP2 at 1600 iso as good (or bad) as any other 400 film.
     
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    Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    Interesting. How are you processing the film ? Just under exposing two stops and processing normally, or pushing in development ?
    Do you have any examples you can share ?

    I note the XP2 fact sheet mentions it can be shot at 800ISO and processed normally, but it doesn't give any guidance for 1600
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

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    Ilford FP4+ pushed to 400 in Rodinal is also worth a try but not sure how well it scans.
     
  7. awty

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    Tri x 400 should do the trick, give it a try.
     
  8. bdial

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    Since grain is one of your concerns, I would shy away from traditional grain films. It’s easy to have the digital portion of the workflow accentuate grain. So, TMAX and Delta would be the “natural” choices, and XP2 should work well too. XP2 can be pushed by over developing just like any other film. Some folks have reported good results with processing it in conventional chemistry too, so that may be something to consider.
     
  9. RattyMouse

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    I always, always, always shot TMAX400 for my 120 size needs. The film shoots wonderfully to 800 (not pushed). I only bailed on it because of the paper issue. I would recommend TMAX400 with the caveat that the paper issue may ruin some images. Delta 400 does not shoot up to ISO800 without pushing so that would be a somewhat lesser second option.

    Delta 3200 looks beautiful in 120 size. The grain is not bad at all when developed in DD-X. I typically shot that film rated at ISO1600 and developed for 3200. Always pleased with the results.
     
  10. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member
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    Any of them will do, if you are scanning them on decent quality kit (consumer flatbeds are really not up to the job). Extreme pushing may not help you from a qualitative standpoint. If you want handheld, accept you're not going to get f11-16 unless you use Delta 3200, better to adapt how you approach landscape vis-a-vis depth of field if you don't want to use a tripod. I use a Pentax 67 & a 55mm handheld routinely, but I'm not interested in landscape photography clichés.
     
  11. jnanian

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    you do that with any iso400 ... to 1600 its just 2 stops... burn a couple of rolls do a test and develop a method
    you are probably going to over develop your iflm by 60-80%. i use coffee and dektol it works well
    and i scan everything with my 13year old epson 4870 consumer flatbed. ( and have thngs enlarged very large )
    YMMV
     
  12. jtk

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    Evidently you are having c-prints "made" for you. That usually means a diffusion enlarger...which works against the grain you want. If you have to let somebody else make your prints, find someone who uses a condenser enlarger... Commercial labs use diffusion enlargers specifically to reduce grain, scratches etc.

    If you scan your negs you will get better grain detail with an inkjet printer than you can possibly get with an enlarger.
     
  13. Cholentpot

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    Tmax-400 is the way to go.

    Great stuff and it pushes well.
     
  14. Ko.Fe.

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    HP5+ is pushing well @1600.
    Scans are much more easy to deal with, if something is not tickety-boo.
     
  15. dourbalistar

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    This excellent thread might be of interest to you: https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/ilford-xp2-super-in-b-w-chemicals.145287/
     
  16. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member
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    Erm, he's having c-prints made from digital files which are usually exposed by laser or LED sources. More to the point, chromogenic print materials don't care if your light source is a diffuser or condenser. Even in B&W, sharp & distinct grain has far more to do with paper grade than light source - and most non point-source condensers are pretty diffuse anyway. If you exposed & processed a negative to print correctly at grade 2 & controlled those variables to match a condenser or diffusion light source, you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

    That 'grain' texture you're talking about in inkjets is more often from oversharpening the file & grain aliasing from the scanner than inherent qualities of the film. A first rate scan should be free (as far as possible) of both defects.
     
  17. jtk

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    [QUOTE="Lachlan Young, post: 2048087, member: 9175"]Erm, he's having c-prints made from digital files which are usually exposed by laser or LED sources. More to the point, chromogenic print materials don't care if your light source is a diffuser or condenser. Even in B&W, sharp & distinct grain has far more to do with paper grade than light source - and most non point-source condensers are pretty diffuse anyway. If you exposed & processed a negative to print correctly at grade 2 & controlled those variables to match a condenser or diffusion light source, you'd have a hard time telling them apart.

    1) wrong to say "chromogenic" is unable to distinguish between sharp and soft light (condenser vs diffusion)

    2) When one wants maximum sharpness one uses a good condenser enlarger, such as pro Beseler or pro Durst (not Omega's normal pro condensers, which aren't sharp enough for point source, though Omega did offer better condensers as options for point source.

    3) Easy to see and clearly print silver grain with a good condenser enlarger unless one is making tiny prints...less than letter size.


    That 'grain' texture you're talking about in inkjets is more often from oversharpening the file & grain aliasing from the scanner than inherent qualities of the film. A first rate scan should be free (as far as possible) of both defects.[/QUOTE]

    Grain isn't a "texture effect."

    It's true that digital photographers have to invent grain if they want it, but it's not true that pro-level Canons or Epsons fail to clearly print silver grain seen in scans (unless the file has been intentionaly softened in post processing). Good scanners (such as Nikon) record more detail than enlargers can project, partially due to inevitable loss by best enlarger optics and partially due to inevitable enlarger micro vibration...inkjet printers don't have lens or vibration issues.
     
  18. TheFlyingCamera

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    Tri-X 400 will hit the spot. You'll have a little bit of grain, not golfballs, but not invisible. Enough to give it tooth. Contrast is manageable, but you'll still have a fair bit because you're talking about push-processing your film. In an ideal world, you'd shoot and process for low contrast for scanning purposes, then add it back via levels and curves in Photoshop/Lightroom, or through contrast filtration when optical printing. Since you're talking about pushing/underexposing, you'll not have that option, but it'll work.
     
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