best 120 film?????

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by craig_mcparland, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. hi just bought a 645 mamiya.. what black and white film do you suggest?
  2. With that camera, the only film that will work is Panatomic X from Kodak.
  3. All of them.

    Only you can decide which one you need to use.
  4. If you are new to b&w shooting and processing and if you intend to develop the film yourself then I will suggest Tri-X for a 400 speed film and Ilford PF4+ for a 125 speed film. Both films have very good lattitude if your exposure technique isn't perfect and both films work well in a variety of standard developers.
  5. Might as well ask what the best food is.
  6. My favorite is Tri-X Professional, which is a bit different than regular Tri-X.
  7. I prefer T-MAX 100/400 or PlusX or Delta 100/400 or no wait... any B&W film what is not C41 processing.
  8. "With that camera, the only film that will work is Panatomic X from Kodak."

  9. All around use- Tri-X or HP5+. For fill flash in sunlight- Plus-X, Pan F+, or FP4+ unless you get the leaf shutter lens; then you can get by with Tri-X or HP5+. These are my preferences so perform your own tests and see what gives you the look you want.
    Search the archives for other opinions of various films. If you are going to do your own devekoping watch out for films that curl easily as they are more difficult to load until you gain some experience.

    Panatomic-X?? If I could get it, I would!
  10. It depends if you're only interested in "traditional" black and white film such as those mentioned above, or whether you'd consider a "colour process" a.k.a "C-41" a.k.a. "chromagenic" black and white film, which will still give you a monochrome image, but as they're dye-based you don't get the grain you do with traditional films.

    If you're interested, Ilford XP2 and Kodak BW400CN (and I believe there's a Fuji 400CN as well, not available locally for me, though) would be the chromagenic options.

    Really, many options, try them and see what you like best :)
  11. Kodak Plus-X, is my favorite no doubt.
  12. Kodachrome 64
  13. Fuji ACRO 100 is pretty respectable.
  14. I like Neopan400. Pity it does not exist for 4x5.
  15. Hi, I've been using the 645 Pro S for the past year, and have had great results with Pan F+ and Neopan, as well as HP5 for standard use.
  16. thankyou for your help everyone..

    i will be using it at night so i would want a pretty quick film speed.. anyone help?
  17. For low light, such as night photography, I reach for HP5 and push at least one stop. I usually use Tetenal Emofin for such exercises. But Tri-X and Neopan 400 will also serve you well.

    For medium to low speed, either ILFORD FP4 and PanF, or Efke/Adox 25 and 50 ASA, (which are actually 20 and 40 ASA emulsions) and I have now completely moved over to PMK Pyro, for results that erase the "Panatomic X dream". The best of Mamiya's lenses with those ILFORD and EFKE films in PMK can produce images that match the air and clarity usually only found in large-format photography.

    Good luck, and enjoy!

    Cheers, Kevin.
  18. Craig, if you are new to photography and you are not sure of your metering skills, then a general purpose, more tolerant film might be good for you - ILFORD XP2 is a good bet. I suggest this because of its wide latitude, and if you don't do your own processing, then any colour lab can process this for you. The results are very pleasing and sharp, if rated at ISO/ASA 200-400. But the film can be pushed up to 1600 ASA/ISO with good results, for low-light work. The truth is, there is no best black and white film. Its like cars, just as there is no best sports car. For sharp, contrasty people photos, I like Fuji Neopan 400; though this is a personal taste. You wont find a low-light film (1000+asa) thats resolves as well as a slow film (50-asa). My recommendation of XP2 is a bit of a cheat, as its really built on the chromogenic dye process, but delivers a two-tone image only. True black and white films are run through black and white chemistry; the classics of these are Kodak Tri-X, and Ilford HP5. Try them one by one, then you choose. It might be better to ask 3 questions - which slow, medium, fast black and white film is best for medium format? We traditional users here might be able to give you a really good anmswer then.....though you may also find that such a question has been posed before. All the best though.
  19. I use HP5 and have since it came out in 1976. Works for me.

    My favorite is Verichrome Pan which is no longer available from Kodak. I have 60 rolls in my freezer and use it mostly with my 6x9 view camera.

    Pick a film, and use it exclusively for one year. After that you may want to try something else. But stick to one film.
  20. Craig said: "i will be using it at night so i would want a pretty quick film speed."

    I assume you are not hand holding since most 35mm lens will give you one or two stops more, thus negating the larger neg benefit.

    Shooting at night asks for the highest EFECTIVE film speed. That means taking reciprocity failure in account. When we get talking about exposure times in several seconds, I use Acros. It's almost total lack of reciprocity failure makes it faster than Neopan 400 which is my standard film.

    It may seem initially strange to shoot an iso 400 film in daylight and then switch to a 100 one at night. But when you consider all the parameters, it makes sense.

    BTW, Anthony Oresteen's comment "Pick a film, and use it exclusively for one year. After that you may want to try something else. But stick to one film." is the best advice of any of these replies. I suggest you do as he suggests.
  21. Unless you manufacture the base and emulsion yourself, and do the coating with your own two hands... well, you`re a hack!
  22. How hackish, you bought a camera? Why didn't you just make your own?
  23. Film determines a good photographer about as much as a word processor determines a good writer. It's what's in your head that matters. Unless you are a commercial photographer with an assignment, experiment a little with materials and equipment and learn the particular nature of a few films and then work principally on your concept and technique.
  24. Craig, it truly depends on what applications you are doing and whether or not you will be doing the process yourself. Experience and see what will happen with different films, Rufus.
  25. Fuji Acros is nice. But so is HP5+.

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