Using the same film across formats - advantages?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jmooney, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. jmooney

    jmooney Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    So I was poking around Freestyle and B&H looking at film. By the end of the week I will have cameras in 3 formats (5x7, 120, and 35mm) and I'm trying to decide on film stock and I got to thinking (uh oh) about trying to use the same one or two films across all 3 formats and some questions popped up.

    In theory it would be an advantage because you could standardize on a developer and your results would be more consistent across the board because you'd have a lot of experience with the film and developer combo. Not to mention perhaps standardizing your paper and printing a bit as well.

    Is this true? Aside from development times, would the same film in 3 formats act the same? I know there would be similarities but I can't help but thinking that a 5X7 sheet of film isn't just a really big version of the 35mm frame and that there are variables that I don't know about.

    Has anyone tried this and what did you find? For example: Are there cases where you've loved a film in 120 but didn't like the sheet film version of it?

    In my searching the readily accessible films in the US here are the options if you wanted to go this route (the limiter BTW is the 5X7) are:

    Ilford Delta 100
    Ilford FP4
    Ilford HP5
    Kodak Tmax 100


    Take care,

  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Aug 2, 2004
    West Midland
    Multi Format
    I always used to use the same films across format's much simpler, they do behave the same. i used APX100 then when LF was discontinued Tmax100.

    Now I use mainly Delta 100 & 400 but unfortunately have to use HP5 not Delta 400 for LF.

  3. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Jul 6, 2009
    South Texas,
    4x5 Format
    Years ago I only shot Agfapan 25 and 100 for both 4x5 and 120 roll. Once I'm fully geared up to shoot again (4x10 this time) I'll be doing the same... one slow speed and one mid speed film is enough, IMHO, and this allows becoming VERY FAMILIAR with those emulsions. Others may prefer adding a faster film but I just don't care for the grain... just personal taste on the matter.

    At any rate, yes the sheet and 120 roll film emulsions behaved very similarly.
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Mar 10, 2005
    Central Flor
    4x5 Format
    I do this with my 6x7 and 4x5 cameras. I use FP4+ for ~%90 of what I do, and Pan F+ for the rest. I find that not having to try to recall how each of the various films will need to be treated while working is rather liberating. Learning your materials well is never a bad idea - too bad Pan F doesn't come in 4x5...

    - Randy