Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/28

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Subject: Re: Need Advice on B&W films
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:02:03 -0800

>>1) Which is the best slow film? Tech Pan, Agfa Pan 25 or anything else?

Ilford PanF (my favorite was Adox KB14) wish I had purchased a train load
years ago.

>>2) Which is the best medium speed film (100 ASA)? Is it T-Max 100, Ilford
>>Delta 100, Plus X or anything else?

Ilford FP4

>>3) Which is the best fast speed film (400+ ASA)? Tri-X? Whab about C-41

Tri-X, but you might also try 400CN. They produce completely different
results. Both great.

>>I want to able to use one each from the above three and then stick with
>>those, so that I can learn them. In each case I am looking for the best in
>>sharpness, good contrast, fine grain and not too difficult development.

400CN is fine grain and EASY to develop. Someone else does it.

>>4) I hope to buy film in bulk. Is it easy to load myself?


>>5) Will I need three different bulk loaders if I am using three different
>>films? Or can one just easily change the film in a loader?

It is MUCH easier to have a loader for each film. Changing film is a
hassle. You can also simply load the entire roll into cassettes all at one
go. You then only need one loader. And a LOT of cassettes.

>>6) Does one need to keep B&W film refrigerated?

No, but it doesn't hurt. Warm it up to near room temp. before using it.

>>7) How long will unexposed B&W film last with or without refrigeration?

At least until the expiration date.

>>8) I have seen that all bulk loaders are for 100 ft rolls of film. But
>>Tech Pan is available in only 150 ft rolls. So how does one get around
>>that problem?

No. Not a problem. Thinner film.

>>9) Which developers are better powder or liquid?

Liquid (Rodinal 1:100, 1:75, 1:50, 1:25 depending on film and film speed),
powder (D-76 1:1 or ID-11 1:1). A film/developer combo is a personal thing.
You'll have to work this out for yourself.

>>10) Do developers and other chemicals need to be refrigerated?

>No, No, No. That will cause a problem. Use a squeeze bottle to remove the
extra air.

>>11) How long do they last?

If you take very many pictures, you won't have to worry about this.