2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

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2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:54 am

Bear in mind that this article was written back in October 2000, so it is nearly 12 years old right now and was written for the then new upgrade of Iford Delta 400 that replaced it's predecessor.

It gives an interesting overview of how close these films perform even with the newer technology films like Kodak T-MAX 400 and Delta 400 compared to Tri-X, HP5 Plus, Neopan 400 and Agfa APX 400.

IMHO, the ISO 400 speed group is the best choice for general photography and these films are capable of excellent results if care is taken with exposure and processing. Slower finer-grained films are of course a better choice when higher resolution is required.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum232/104 ... 000-a.html
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Re: 2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Ornello » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:20 pm

Pretty much what I determined, and I am not surprised at his comment regarding Neopan 400. I like it best.
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Re: 2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:06 am

Neopan 400 is deservedly a very popular film, but Fuji left a lot of medium-format users disappointed when they ceased production of the 120 roll films.
Fuji should consider bringing it back in 120 rolls again.
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Re: 2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Ornello » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:16 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:Neopan 400 is deservedly a very popular film, but Fuji left a lot of medium-format users disappointed when they ceased production of the 120 roll films.
Fuji should consider bringing it back in 120 rolls again.


I use 35mm so that doesn't affect me.

The old Delta 400 was nothing to write home about, and the new one hardly seems much different. Ilford decided to manufacture it using components from Delta 3200 and Delta 100 rather than having a separate manufacturing line for that film only (so far as I understand their descriptions).

I have not tried the new Kodak T-Max 400, but the old one was unusable because of its bizarre H&D curve.

I can scarcely tell any difference in graininess among the ISO 400 films (not counting T-Max, which is finer, or AGFA, which was horribly grainy), but the tonal quality and color sensitivity of Neopan 400 stand out.

I don't understand Crawley's comments about 'pushing'. I shoot all B&W films lower than ISO speed by about 2/3 stop to get optimum quality. When doing this, grain is almost non-existent.
Last edited by Ornello on Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:04 am

Ornello wrote:
Keith Tapscott. wrote:Neopan 400 is deservedly a very popular film, but Fuji left a lot of medium-format users disappointed when they ceased production of the 120 roll films.
Fuji should consider bringing it back in 120 rolls again.


I use 35mm so that doesn't affect me.

The old Delta 400 was nothing to write home about, and the new one hardly seems much different. Ilford decided to manufacture it using components from Delta 3200 and Delta 100 rather than having a separate manufacturing line for that film only.

I have not tried the new Kodak T-Max 400, but the old one was unusable because of its bizarre H&D curve.

I can scarcely tell any difference in graininess among the ISO 400 films (not counting T-Max, which is finer, or AGFA, which was horribly grainy), but the tonal quality and color sensitivity of Neopan 400 stand out.

I don't understand Crawley's comments about 'pushing'. I shoot all B&W films lower than ISO speed by about 2/3 stop to get optimum quality. When doing this, grain is almost non-existent.


The pushing comment was probably using the manufacturers suggestions to show how the films react to underexposure and longer development. Some photographers seem to like like playing around with less than optimum exposure settings.

I never uprate film speeds either. I usually use the TTL metering with my 35mm camera and normally rate HP5 Plus at 320 to give me my 'ideal' negative and I also have a personal developing time which works better for me than the one provided in the developing chart.

The 35mm TTL metering is also what I use with my old 5x4 camera, which is very rarely these days. I simply transfer the light reading over to that and shoot.
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Re: 2nd article on ISO 400 films by Geoffrey Crawley.

Postby Ornello » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:32 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:
Keith Tapscott. wrote:Neopan 400 is deservedly a very popular film, but Fuji left a lot of medium-format users disappointed when they ceased production of the 120 roll films.
Fuji should consider bringing it back in 120 rolls again.


I use 35mm so that doesn't affect me.

The old Delta 400 was nothing to write home about, and the new one hardly seems much different. Ilford decided to manufacture it using components from Delta 3200 and Delta 100 rather than having a separate manufacturing line for that film only.

I have not tried the new Kodak T-Max 400, but the old one was unusable because of its bizarre H&D curve.

I can scarcely tell any difference in graininess among the ISO 400 films (not counting T-Max, which is finer, or AGFA, which was horribly grainy), but the tonal quality and color sensitivity of Neopan 400 stand out.

I don't understand Crawley's comments about 'pushing'. I shoot all B&W films lower than ISO speed by about 2/3 stop to get optimum quality. When doing this, grain is almost non-existent.


The pushing comment was probably using the manufacturers suggestions to show how the films react to underexposure and longer development. Some photographers seem to like like playing around with less than optimum exposure settings.

I never uprate film speeds either. I usually use the TTL metering with my 35mm camera and normally rate HP5 Plus at 320 to give me my 'ideal' negative and I also have a personal developing time which works better for me than the one provided in the developing chart.

The 35mm TTL metering is also what I use with my old 5x4 camera, which is very rarely these days. I simply transfer the light reading over to that and shoot.


It seems Crawley believed that 400 speed emulsions are routinely pushed and that manufacturers have taken that into consideration in the design of the films. The first-generation Delta 400 film was definitely not designed for pushing. I quit pushing films decades ago, when I found out how beautiful even ISO 400 films looked when treated with care. I really like Neopan 400 a lot. But until digital really took off I would still hear photographers 'bragging' about their skill in pushing: "Yeah, I shoot Plus-X at 3200 and get no grain!"

LOL

Most photographers have no clue about how film works, and how films are constructed using grains of different sizes. 'Pushing' doesn't really work; all that's being done is using the fastest (largest) grains of the film, which normally capture shadows, to capture mid-tones. Deep shadow details are simply not recorded if you push more than about 1/2 stop, and I find there is insufficient deep shadow detail even at ISO speeds, which is why I give 2/3 stop more exposure. The more exposure you give, the finer the grain, up to a point. This is because more of the image consists of the finest grains when more exposure is given, and the spaces between grains is smaller; the 'fill' is better, tonality is smoother too. By reducing development, the largest grains are prevented from developing as fully, so their size is kept more in check. Thus, the average grain size is reduced by increasing exposure and reducing development. A higher proportion of the finest grains is 'recruited' by increasing the exposure, and the growth of largest grains is restrained by reducing development. The overall contrast of the negative will be somewhat lower, so a higher contrast in printing is required, but using grade 3 does not present a problem, because the increase in apparent graininess caused by using a higher contrast paper is more than offset by the reduction in apparent graininess brought about by increasing exposure and reducing development.

I don't understand the current rage and fascination for grainy images. Today's B&W films are so good, it's incredible.
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