black and white Film


davem

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 19:08
It seems to me that choosing a 35mm film is one of the hardest things to do after using sd cards for the last six years.

What is the difference between Ilford HP5 plus ans Ilford XP2 super, Ilford FP4 and Ilford Delta?

Are there other good black white films on the market at a reasonable price that can be processed also at a reasonable price?

Boots seem to have a 3 for 2 offer on at the moment which includes a Kodak professional b&W film

Dave

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 19:36
Dave,
I'd ask Kris (Womble) he's a national authority on black and white film.
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
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womble

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 20:46
The Ilford Delta range have flat "tabular grain" which makes them look smooth and fine. Unfortunately (for Ilford) many B&W film users these days like to see a bit of grain... HP5 and FP4 have been around in one form or another for ages and have a more "traditional" grain structure (although still borrow a bit of technology from colour films). Kodak Tri-X is in the same sort of class as HP5 and has a loyal following. Tri-X is also famous for being a good film to push to 1600 if necessary. Sadly, Fuji discontinued Neopan 1600. Ilford Delta 3200 is actually a 1000 ASA film, but I haven't tried it yet.

There are a few absolutely traditional silver B&W films about, especially the CHS Art range. They are slow... (e.g., 50 ASA) but rather nice and have a lovely tone and glow to them. Excellent for portraits IMHO.

XP2 Super, Kodak BW400CN and Fuji Neopan 400CN are chromogenic B&W films. That means they have to be processed in colour chemicals (C-41 process). That has the advantage that your local high street store can do them, the disadvantage that just like colour it is harder to do at home. I really like Kodak BW400CN and have used it extensively. I don't get on so well with Ilford XP2. I find it hard to say exactly why, but the images just don't seem so successful to my eyes. I haven't used the Fuji version. All these films have a wide exposure latitude and can be rated anywhere between 200 and 1600 ASA without pushing or pulling at the developing stage. Weirdly, I had much better results with the original XP1 at 1600 than I have with XP2 Super at 1600. Go figure. I find erring slightly on the side of over-exposure works well for the Kodak film and normally set my lightmeter at 320. High-street lab scans will often have a nasty colour cast (as will their machine prints which are just BW images printed onto colour film). The scans are easily fixed in the software. If you want nice BW prints, send them to a good lab.

Boots have been selling Kodak BW400CN film on a 3 for 2 offer for a while, which is a good deal. Often there isn't a notice, but it is worth asking.

Silverprint are excellent for mail order film, if not the cheapest. 7dayshop can also be good value.

Hope this helps. Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

johnriley

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 20:53
Black and white films have character and this can be emphasised to suit using various developers. Then it can be further enhanced by using different papers, again in different paper developers...

Black and white photography is a whole field for experimentation until you find the combination that you like.

My favourite combination was Kodak Tri-X developed in Paterson FX-39, an acutance developer that makes for crisp grain structure. Then for preference I would use Agfa paper.

However, your favourite combination could be quite different.
Best regards, John

Hardgravity

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 20:55
For film have a look here Dave, CLICKY LINK

Using Wombles advice you should be able to sort out which suits you.

Personally I use Fomapan, it's cheap and cheerfull. I develop it at home in an AGFA Rondinax and get good results.

If you want to dvelop your own films then the Ilford FP4 and HP% are well worth looking at.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.

fatspider

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 21:07
Quote:
Unfortunately (for Ilford) many B&W film users these days like to see a bit of grain.

That'll reduce the sales of Microphen then

I tried XP2 but couldn't get on with it, dont get me wrong the film had a good latitude for exposure errors, and as Kris has mentioned was "easy" to get processed but same as Kris I couldn't seem to get a good print from it, although my darkroom skills left a lot to be desired

I found myself using Ilford Delta a lot, 100 & 400, cant recal ever trying 3200, I did try Fomopan and HG got the remains of my stock and my bulk film loader for a few bottles of beer, maybe thats why he likes it.

I keep saying I will invest in a decent film scanner and start B&W again but never get round to it
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
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Dangermouse

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 21:24
TBH I tend to use HP5 all the time. The grain is more than fine enough for day to day use.

I have also tried SFX with an IR filter, which is a bit complicated but good fun. I've got a roll of Delta 3200 on the go at the moment, just waiting for a suitable situation to finish it off. Given it's now £7 or more per roll I don't want to use it on anything run-of-the-mill.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

greynolds999

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 21:35
I cannot believe that noone has mentioned Pan-F! Fabulous film for architecture and buildings.

I think like many people I've forgotten most of what I knew about film. I used to have it down to a fine art. Now I'm lucky if I get through 10 rolls a year!
My Photobucket

fatspider

Link Posted 11/10/2011 - 23:12
Quote:
Now I'm lucky if I get through 10 rolls a year!

And I bet 9 of those are eaten in the pub
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link

womble

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 13:31
johnriley wrote:
Black and white films have character and this can be emphasised to suit using various developers. Then it can be further enhanced by using different papers, again in different paper developers...

Until I manage to get my own darkroom that is a side of the process I am missing out on so far. My comments are largely based on commercial dev and scan and some tweaking of the scans in Lightroom (usually set the black point and tweaking the curve).

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

spinno

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 14:59
I use the chromagenic films and would suugest that the Fuji is slightly better than the Kodak which is in turn better than Ilford.
I have my films scanned to CD (by ASDA!) and whilst not getting the colour casts of yore(green and magenta anyone..) their is a little scope for "colour?" adjustment.
I found that XP2 didn't work as well with autofocus cameras....is it me?
David

womble

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 15:02
spinno wrote:
I use the chromagenic films and would suugest that the Fuji is slightly better than the Kodak which is in turn better than Ilford.

I'll have to try a roll...

Dunno about the autofocus. I have mainly been using it in a 1950s FED2 rangefinder...

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

Hardgravity

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 17:45
Quote:
I have mainly been using it in a 1950s FED2 rangefinder...

Got one of those, used it with Fomapan 400 and got these results(home developed)






Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.

johnriley

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 17:56
Just a reminder that PU is for Pentax images only, but we'll let that one in as an example of black and white film. Please try and show examples shot on Pentax equipment.
Best regards, John

fatspider

Link Posted 12/10/2011 - 19:26
Shame on you HG, all those Pentax bodies you have and you show an image shot on something else

Why do they have a black line on the left of the image?
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link
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