Black and white film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

What are peoples' favourite black and white films, how do they rate and develop them?

Is there a good source on the net for development with pyro - I would like to try this, but don't have much information.

-- fw (, July 20, 1999


For medium format, my favorite films are Ilford Delta 100 & 400, developed in PMK. I often rate these films at 1/4 the suggested ISO and pull my development 25% to 40%, depending on how they were exposed and what I plan on printing them on. My favorite film for 8x10 is Tri-X 4164. I develop it in Rodinal 1:50 or 1:100 for anywhere from 6 to 16 minutes. (I don't use PMK for 8x10 because I develop in trays and don't want to put my hands in the Pyro.) My least favorite films are the T-Max films--finicky to develop and fix, with a soft, easily scratched emulsion.

In general, I like flat negatives with a long tonal scale--nicely separated highlights and plenty of shadow detail. I find that these combinations give me what I'm looking for.

-- Peter Hughes (, July 20, 1999.

Peter, try gloves, the other way I develope in Kodak SD-1 is I made a container out of acrylic (1" wide, 11" long, and 9" deep) that I can slip the film into while in a 8x10 film hanger, much better than trays and my finger never touch any of the chemicals. FW, I agree with Peter, Tri-X is very good film and with Pyro it is the best. What format are you planning on using? There are several good films out there, Arista, Ilford, Agfa, all of which respond well to pyro developers from 68-90-F, I know because I live in the desert and do not have A/C so I develope at existing temp. and my neg's always turn out of I do the exposure properly. I would be interested in what you decide on. Good Luck! Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, July 21, 1999.

After trying VERY hard to make the TMAX films do the work in our office - and that's since they were introduced; enough time?? - I've reverted to good, old Tri-X. That's Tri-X for every format we use: 35mm, 120, 4x5 and 8x10. Boy it's nice to be home! We process in HC-110, dilution 'B' for from 6-minutes to 7.5, depending on what we're shooting. It's simple, it's straight-forward, and it does what we want it to.

-- Richard Fish (, July 21, 1999.

I use Arista 400 as it fits my wallet in the 8X10 format

-- Sean yates (, July 21, 1999.

I work largely in 4x5 and my favorite film by far is TMax 100. I rate it at ASA 80 and develop it in HC-110 dilluted 1:7 for anywhere from 5-15 minutes (it all depends on what kind of expansion or contraction is necessary to get the values that I want). The emulsion does scratch a little easier than other films, but if you are careful, it should not be an issue. Also, to avoid mottling fom uneven development, make yourself a processing panel, an ingenius device whose contruction instructions can be obtained at Phil Bard's web page.

-- David R. Munson (, July 22, 1999.

Gordon Hutchins? Book of Pyro is a very good source for Pyro info, and in the book he give other references. Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, July 22, 1999.

I am very pleased with the Arista as well, both the 125 and 400 speed, in 35mm, 120 and 4x5. I wouldn't have Tmax as a gift. I used it at the newspaper, and we never did get what I thought was a working system going even after playing with everything we could think of for a year. All the famous purple base problems, wild variations in density, etc. Phooey, or as Nero Wolfe has it, "Pfui!"

-- Tony Brent (, July 22, 1999.

tmax is the best for me, sharp and consistent, but then again I am not a photojournalist. hee hee

-- mark lindsey (, July 25, 1999.

T-max "Pfui,Pfui". Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, July 29, 1999.

tech-pan(@12-25) in technidol, use the recommended times read the agit instructions carefully. pan-f(@25) in tmax rs...perceptol do your own tests i did mine, start with factory recs. plus-x(@90-100) and tri-x(200to320) in tmaxrs and perceptol do the same as above...and if you positively have to use a t-bone steak grained film use delta! and extend your fix times!

-- (, July 29, 1999.

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