Examples of Tri-x, Pan F+, HP5+ ...

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Hi, I'm in the process of finding a B+W film that I like. I'm trying several different ones at the moment and was wondering if anyone had webpages with results from any of these films.

Yours sincerely,

John Travers

-- John Travers (jtravs@debian.org), April 17, 1999


Honestly, pictures on a web sight wont be much use in determining the difference between black and white films. The scan will affect the image more than the film used. The best thing to do is to try them out yourself like you are doing.

Asking people which films they like is a good way to get started but in the end that isn't a lot of help either as everyone is biased in their tastes. A good example is going to be TriX vs HP5. Some people will like the grain character of one but someone else will like the other. Both valid viewpoints but the only one that counts is your opinion. Another example is PanF vs Tech Pan. I've seen small wars erupt over that one amongst friends of mine.

Sorry for the non-answer but you are pursuing a question that doesn't have a correct answer (aren't we all?).

-- Fritz M. Brown (brownf@idhw.state.id.us), April 17, 1999.

Honestly, all the modern b/w films are excellent materials capable of producing very nice results.

In my quest for the best 100-speed film for use in my Minox, I've tried Plus-X, Agfapan APX 100, T-Max 100, Delta 100 Pro, and FP4 Plus in the last couple of years. Sure, some have better grain, others have better gradation, others have better exposure latitude - each film has its own "personality". ALL have produced at least a few beautiful images. No clear winner (or loser) has emerged... T-Max has the best grain, but it runs contrasty and isn't so great for exposure latitude (since I'm using a meterless Minox and guestimating exposure, this is particularly significant to me). APX 100 has fabulous gradation and midtones, excellent exposure latitude, and gives especially lovely results on portraits - but the grain is a bit more visible... And so it goes!

Face it, you're just going to have to experiment and find the film/developer combo that YOU like best for YOUR equipment, YOUR techniques, and YOUR photographic purposes. Sorry, I can't offer you expert advice, other than this: I've (re)discovered that it mostly comes down to your vision and skill - what film or camera you use is of far less consequence than most folks like to think!

-- Michael Goldfarb (mgoldfar@mobius-inc.com), April 19, 1999.

Hi,Yes, it's difficult to answer that question. When I started to take pictures seriously I tried everything. The difficulty is that you not only have to try the films but also the different developers. And there are so many combinations. So at a point I ended this search and concentrated again on the main thing; taking pictures. My favourite film is Tmax 400, in the Tmax developer. For me grain is nice as long as it is sharp grain. This film has it. When using fast films, I'll take Fuji 1600, which has a really sharp grain. Never the Tmax 3200 anymore, it's so blurry. The contrast of the Fuji is nice to,no matter if you develop it in Tmax or Fuji developer. When it has to be grainless I don't switch over to 50 ASA films; I just grap my pinsharp secondhand Yashica 124-Mat,and put a Tmax 100 in it. Simple !

-- Floris Lok (F.Lok@palm.A2000.nl), April 19, 1999.

I agree with everything said here. The most general question one may ask is wheter to use new or old tech films because this is where the diffrences are realy obvious. It has been tons and tons of discussion at this and other forums, so I,m not going to repeat all of this. Practically, the shortest way is to get ISO 100 and 400 versions of the old and new tech films from same manufacturer ( say TMX, TMY vs.PX and TX) and compare them by couples (or not) according to your taste. Comparing Ilford and Kodak, I think is tricky and not the most useful thing to do. The products are so close, that often the difference seen can be due to other factors (processing, printing). I know that many people will argue that say TX is relly different from HP-5+ but for me the difference is so subtle that I couldn't decide which one I like more, for 15 years. And finally, I must state once again what has been stated before, namely that all of todays films are very good and can deliver nice pictures when used properly. E.

-- Evgeni Poptoshev (evgeni.poptoshev@surfchem.kth.se), April 23, 1999.

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