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Good B&W Film To Learn With

John Liberty , Aug 18, 2009; 08:06 p.m.

I am finally going to start developing my own B&W film. Have some D-76 to start with and am looking for a good B&W film for my 4x5. The Arista EDU over at Freestyle is dirt cheap, but I am not sure I would like it after looking at the sample images on the web. Think it's rebadged Foma. For 35mm and MF I shoot FP4 and Tri-X and see no reason to try anything else. Absolutely love them. But the Tri-X for 4x5 film is the 320 version and I have heard it's a less forgiving film than the 400 variety for outdoor work. I like FP4, but have found it a bit boring the last time I tried it and had a lab develop it. Any suggestions for a film that's forgiving yet has a look similar to 400 Tri-X? I can't stand T-Max if that helps.


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peter carter , Aug 18, 2009; 08:39 p.m.

I'm not sure what images you have been looking at, but trying the AristaEDU in MF made me go out and buy 3 cans of Foma100 for my 35mm. I have been nothing but impressed with this stuff.

If you want to know what a film is like, use flickr. I just did a search using foma100 and I sway many great photos using it.

Larry Dressler , Aug 18, 2009; 09:00 p.m.

The Foma Arista EDU Ultra is darn good film i just loaded a 120 roll into a tank to develop as soon as the chems are at temp. No it is Not Tri-X but then again it is not Lucky 400 ether.

Cyr Smith , Aug 18, 2009; 09:08 p.m.

I don't think it matters what film you start with just keep using it until you understand it's characteristics then when you decide to try a different one you have a bases on which to compare.....

Robert Budding , Aug 18, 2009; 09:11 p.m.

Ilford HP5+ is nice, and pushes and pull well.

Michael Axel , Aug 18, 2009; 10:09 p.m.

It's hard to screw up good old Tri-x.

Mike Gammill , Aug 18, 2009; 10:46 p.m.

Although the TXP 320 is often referred to as portrait film for controlled lighting, many users do like it outdoors. If you want an ISO 400, though, I'd go with Ilford HP5+.

John Liberty , Aug 19, 2009; 12:50 a.m.

Thanks for the suggestions. I was once a shooter of HP5 in 35mm but when I changed to Tri-X I saw a big difference. The blacks were blacker and overall the tones were closer to what I was looking for. Maybe the 4x5 HP5 would be different. I guess there's only one way to do this. Buy some of the 320 Tri-X and some of the Arista (lord knows it's cheap enough) and see how it goes. The FP4 is a very good film, especially in 35mm and 120, but for some reason I just didn't love it in 4x5. I was scanning my smaller negs and editing them in PS, but I sold my only printer just tonight and will be enlarger printing from now on, so I need a film that is close to what I like from the start. Apparently if I overexpose a bit on the 320 Tri-X and switch to Rodinal I can get a comparable look to the 400 Tri-X.

Larry Dressler , Aug 19, 2009; 12:56 a.m.

The Arista 200 is perfect.. and a 1 stop push is fine... Let me look I have examples of it in HC-110 and Rodinal in 35mm and 120. I wish they made it in 220...

Here is on of the 200 in Rodinal.

Stefan T. , Aug 19, 2009; 03:52 a.m.

Give Fuji Neopan 400 a try. Nice film in D-76.

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