What about Gigabitfilm

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Hi folks

Has enybody worked with the new Gigabitfilm in 4x5 format? I did only with the 35mm up to now.

Armin Seeholzer

P.S. www.gigabitfilm.de

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 23, 2001


Ah! So it's not vapourware then.
How about a quick rweport on the 35mm version Armin?
I can't imagine why anyone would want to use it in 5x4, though.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), January 23, 2001.

Hi Pete

Yes I will write about it when I tested the Gigabitfilm with my Arca but first get the Arca a big test and some part of the camera get fixed at the Arca-Swiss Company. So it will take some time! The Gigabit 35 mm belongs not on these LF page, but I tell you its a very interesting film. The sharpness you just can dream with TMX and Ilford and Agfa for it!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 23, 2001.

Armin, the web site you listed is not translated in English. Would you be so kind to describe to us what exactly Gigabitfilm is? It sounds interesting? Is it available in the USA? Thank you

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), January 24, 2001.

Armin, do tell us what this film is about. As bill said, the english translation is not on the website yet.


-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), January 24, 2001.

Hi Bill and Dave

Up to now I only tested the 35mm Film and the results are allmost famous. The Film has 40 ASA and a resolution is 720 linepair mm and a dynamicrange of 11f!!! You really have to work with your sharpest primlinse. The 4x5 inch material I`m not testet jet has the same dynamicrange and a resolution of 900 linepair mm by contast 1:1000!!! It can only get developed with a special developer from thad companiy! As far as I just find out you can`t buy it in USA today, but if you tell it to your local dealer then he buys it for you and take it on stock!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 24, 2001.


I forgott the 4x5 sheets has only 25 ASA!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 24, 2001.

Hmm. The resolution is nice, but so what? There are NO lenses currently made for everyday photgraphy that can resolve at this level. The only lenses that can resolve at this level or greater are used for etching onto silicon wafers to make computer chips... and they are EXTREMELY expensive. This kind of reminds me when Kodak released Ektar 25 film many years ago. When tested, the film revealed flaws in the lenses used to test it rather than any flaws in the film resolution itself. It is common knowledge that lens technology always lags behind film technology... kind of like computer software not taking advantage of the computer hardware. Oh well, this film sounds nice. But I'm glad I shoot large format. My 4x5 HP5+ prints beat the crap out of any 35mm Tech Pan prints.


-- floren (flcpge@yahoo.com), January 25, 2001.

Hi Floren

Yes you are right I use only my sharpest Nikon Lens on my F5 on tripod, but then you get pictures 30x40 cm with the quality of MF pictures and some people ask you did you take it with the 4x5 camera.

And I like these!

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 25, 2001.

A more important reason to use a particular b&w film isn't small grain but acutance and especially a pleasing tonal range. If a b&w film can't render a pleasing range of tones most people won't use it. I always find it amusing that people try to use Tech Pan with special developer, agitation, temperature in their futile pursuit to enlarge 35mm to 16x20 "grainless" print. They then point out you can get "large format quality" from such a puny negative.

Besides NOT getting grainless 16x20 prints, the tonal range of Tech Pan sucks compared to conventional film. There is a reason Tech Pan is recommended for copying documents, etc... The reason people use TriX and HP5 is due to the beautiful tonal range reproduced.

My point is just because this gigabit film has a very high resolution, it doesn't mean it will "look good" for the type of photography people usually do. It could be a specialty film like Tech Pan, ortho, or lith film. These films I would NOT use for conventional photography. It remains to be see how gigabit film looks, but I'm not holding my breath.

So to take advantage of this new film, the problem remains to find a lens that can resolve at this high level and if gigabit film looks just as good as the current films. By the way, I have found a way to make a print look like large format quality. Answer: use large format film. Doh!!


-- floren (flcpgge@yahoo.com), January 26, 2001.

Armin, Is this film only available in the B&W? I thought they may offer color also? Please advise, thank you.

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), January 27, 2001.

Hi Bill

Its only in B/W! And these days only as 35mm or 4x5inch the grain is smaller then the waveline of the light maybe thats the reason why the negs look total different then traditionell negs, but the positivs lock very good! Greatings from Switzerland

-- Armin Seeholzer (armin.seeholzer@smile.ch), January 27, 2001.

I always find it interesting in these forums that people who have never tried a product have very definite opinions on them, e.g "So what, no lense can resolve that fine.." I don't really care much for lab tests, other than as a rough guide line because different companies use different standards and comparing the final results is a bit like apples and oranges. I do care about what I can see on the negtive and on the final print!

I purchased 10 rolls of 35 gigabit and 50 sheets of 4x5 film. I ordered from photoimpx from their US web site. Here are my observations:

I have shot 35 or so of the 4x5 negs. I am currently working on a project to photograph the rural churches, school houses and meeting houses in the county in which I live. As a test for Gigabit, I shot it along side Kodak T-max 100 and Delta 100.

I started using the gigabit developed with the supplied developer. The negs look very thin but print fine using an enlarger. They are not very good for contact prints.

From my side by side comparisons, I found I like Gigabit better than the Kodak oor Ilford in contrasty situations. The Gigabit has a very long stright line. I can "overexpose" one stop, keep the highlights on the straight potion of the curve and still get good shadow detail. With the Delta and Kodak film, I get almost no shadow detail or blow the highlights, or I have to use n- development to keep them on the straight one. I took three negatives of a church, only the gigabit showes detail in the stained glass window which was partially in the shade.

I have shot kodak Tech film in the past and I have never liked the tone or lack of edge sharpness. In the past, fine grain=low edge acutance. Gigabit film is a quantum leap forward in this regard. I have found excellent tone even in large prints.

I have started making contact platinum prints from the gigabit film. I develop the negs in PMK pyro, however. I followed the instructions for n+ development for Kodak Tech Pan film from Hutchins Complete book of pyro. It worked very well for the gigabit film. The gigabit film, developed in pyro, delivers very good contact prints, it allows more seperation in the highlights--perfect for platinum prints--than delta 100 or T-max, but retains much more detail in the shadows.

I have not swithed completely to gigabit because of its low speed and high cost. But for the very contrasty scene, it is my 'go to film." I hope they bring it out in roll film and 8x 10.

-- Allen Friday (alfriday@metc.net), March 14, 2002.


Could you give us the web address for photoimpx. I can't seem to locate it on the web using search engines and I would love to try this film myself.


Jarred McCaffrey


-- Jarred McCaffrey (jarred@acm.org), April 22, 2002.

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