tmax b/w readyload system alternatives? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

well, i read the very disappointing news about kodak discontinuing tmax100 in the readyload system. i have written them a long diatribe about abandoning the professional market in this way. the calumet person i deal with says there is no other B/W film in a quickload type system available from any other manufacturer (ie, fuji doesn;t offer a b/w film in quickload, no ilford system, no agfa, polaroid is not adequate for archival work for HABS/HAER, etc). however, he did ask his kodak rep about it, and that person said kodak would be planning a b/w readyload film in about a year, but did not know which emulsion it would be. so, where does that leave us? buy a year's worth and stockpile it? do any of you know of other alternatives?

-- jnorman (, September 22, 2000


I just hate repetitious redundancy, but: Fuji Neopan 80 is available in Quickloads through Badger Graphics - it is a truly wonderful film and the Quickload format works!!! They have also dropped the only Kodak product that I use, 4X5 HSI...gotta love 'em up there!


-- DAB (, September 22, 2000.

One thing I'd suggest is Polaroid's type 51, and shoot for the negative, that way - assuming you have a container with the clearing agent - you can see if your' negs are fine or need more exposure. As for Kodak bringing out B+W in the new readyloads, given the apparent popularity, (though one thing to note, I'm not a user of the ready/quickload system so this is vague speculation), of Tmax 100 in readyload I'd say that it would be very shortsighted of Kodak if it didn't produce it in the new format.

-- David Kirk (, September 22, 2000.

thanks DAB - i see that B&H and Calumet do not carry the neopan quickload b/w film. nor does my largest local vendor, prophoto in portland, OR. are there other suppliers for this film in addition to badger that you know of? being too dependent on one vendor can cause some serious problems when your projects have a short fuse.

-- jnorman (, September 23, 2000.

So far as I know, Badger Graphics (800-558-5350)is the only source of Neopan 80 in the US. DAB.

-- DAB (, September 24, 2000.

Badger carries Neopan 80 Quickloads. The price is $60 per 20-sheet box!

-- Bill Smithe (, September 24, 2000.

For the price of 2 boxes pf fuji quickloads I can get a 100 sheet box of 4x5 film and a changing bag. Then I just reload in the field when needed. Heck, for that cost it is less expensive to shoot 8x10. I will put up with the film holders & reloading which is usually what I have to do to use more than the limited film choice available in quick or readyloads.

-- Dan Smith (, September 24, 2000.

From the reports of poor focal-plane accuracy with readyloads, it's probably no great loss.

-- Pete Andrews (, September 25, 2000.

Polaroid Type 51 won't qualify for HABS/HAER so that suggestion won't work. I do a lot of HABS/HAER too, and Kodak has dropped what I use most also...TMAX 100 5x7. I have never liked Readyloads, but that subject has been exhausted elsewhere. I just carry hundreds of holders when I do a HABS or HAER level job and I have the bad back to prove it. Kodak may feel that it is "good business" to prop and drop products so quickly, but my answer is that I am just testing other films that may be around a little longer. I have TMX down pat but I am not going to wait for them to drop what else I like. What next? TMAX 4x5 sheets? Very discouraging when you spend lots to learn a product and get to love it and know its variables.

-- Rob Tucher (, September 25, 2000.

Pete mentions the poor film "plane" (its pretty non-planar) accuracy of current ReadyLoad technology. Since the new single-sheet packets are designed like Fuji QL, and will fit the Fuji holder, that may solve that problem. I have had good film plane accuracy with the QL combination.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 25, 2000.

Glen, according to Joe Englander's Camera & Darkroom article, which I think is available through the Large Format Home Page, the QuickLoad system's focal plane accuracy is not significantly better than ReadyLoad's. Although exact displacement from optimum may be different, both suffer from not accounting for envelope thickness, consequently pushing the film away from the lens at the end where the envelope sticks out of the holder during exposure.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 25, 2000.

Sal... I have read Joe's article, and with all due respect to Joe, I have been unable to repeat his measurements... both with micrometer and with optical tests, I find the QL to be very close to ANSI specs, images shot wide open focus in sync with the ground glass.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 25, 2000.

That's good to hear, Glenn (got the spelling right this time). I did duplicate Joe's measurements using a caliper and straigh edge after experiencing the focus shift with ReadyLoad, but, since my work is black and white, never bothered checking QuickLoad. Now it may be worthwhile to spend some cash for film and do the tests with Fuji's holder.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 25, 2000.

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