Decayed manor

John Esco

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Few days ago a friend invited me to a "special place" he said , without giving much details about it. Half an hour later I have to discover an 18th Century manor - Cosgrove Hall, burned into a fire back into 2016. The place remained untouched since and is a complete mess but with a huge photographic potential. Was clearly my opportunity to try the Foma 400 film. I only took five shots using my Wista 45N & Fujinon W 150 f5/6 al at the box speed and develop them all in one go in Rodinal 1+50 for 11 minutes

f22 / 1/4
021_4x5_CosgroveManor_01.jpg

f22 / 3 sec
022_4x5_CosgroveManor_02.jpg

f22 / 1/8
023_4x5_CosgroveManor_03.jpg

f22 / 1 sec
024_4x5_CosgroveManor_04.jpg

f22 / 8 sec. / ND1000 filter
025_4x5_CosgroveManor(NDfilter)_05.jpg
 

Ian Grant

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Looks like there's great potential there. My misgivings are the film is less than ideal to get the best results, reminds me of HP4 which many photographers didn't like, HP3 stayed in production for some time alongside it. HP5 is in a different league.

It would be interesting to hear other peoples comments on Fomapan 400.

Ian
 

Alan Clark

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Hi Ian,
I get the impression that you don't like Fomapan 400. I happen to like it a lot, and use it in 35mm, 120, 5x4 and 5x7 formats. It has more character than HP5 and FP4 (which I also use and like a lot) but I can see that it is a character that may not be to everyone's taste, and I could never use Fomapan 400 exclusively, because it doesn't suit every situation.
But we really should be talking about John's photographs, which I like a lot. I think the first two are superb, partly because they evoke the feeling of past occupants of the house. It is one thing to be lucky enough to find an interesting subject; but another thing entirely to have the sensitivity to do it justice.

Alan
 

John Esco

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Thank you for your thoughts and the kind words, Alan. I do like Fomapan film for the exact same reason you mentioned, a bit different character and a pleasant look. Not to mention the price too :)
 

Alan Clark

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John, I know what you mean about the price! There was a time when I used Ilford film in my 5x4 and 5x7 cameras. Not any more. I only use Foma sheet film now.

Alan
 

Ian Grant

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Alan, Keith Haithwaite sent me some Fomapan 400 sheets to try last year and my results were similar to John's here. In another post I used the term lack lustre. Agfapan AP400 later renamed APX400 had a similar reputation compared to AP/APX100 and AP/APX25, as did HP4 compared to FP4.

Personally I need films that are reliable under all conditions, and every situation that could be Tmax100 & 400 which I used for around 20 years or Delta 100 & 400, & HP5 for LF, which I use now. I've been using Fomapan 100 & 200 as well as the Ilford films in 120, 5x4 and 7x5 since about 2007 because of very poor availability of Tmax when living abroad. Having used well over100+ rolls of 120 Fomapan 100 & 200 they are films I can use in any situation.

My comments here are based on comparing John's own results with Fomapan 100 in another thread to his Fomapan 400 images. We commented about costs there :D 31 euros for a box of 50 sheets 5x4 Fomapan compared to £39 for a box of 25 sheets of FP4, as I also shoot 7x5 and 10x8 Fompan 200 is will become my main film for larger formats.

Ian
 

Alan Clark

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Ian, I'm still not sure what it is you don't like about Fomapan 400. In my experience it is certainly not lack-lustre. Nor do I understand your Agfa analogy. Fomapan 400 is nothing like the old Agfapan 400
I treat Fomapan 400 exactly like HP5. Same speed rating, same development times. Fomapan 400 is as sharp as HP5, maybe a touch sharper, but grainier. And it sees colours differently from HP5, so often gives a different take on things. Not better, or worse, than HP5; just different.
But we should keep all this in perspective. When you look at John's first two photographs in this thread, you realise that choice of film isn't of paramount importance. It's what's in your head, and what you point your camera at that is important. And the quality of the light.

Alan
 

David M

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This looks like a long-term job.
May I ask if these are work prints, rather than "fine" prints, ready for exhibition? I suspect that any perceived or imputed deficiencies from the choice of film could be rectified with only the customary few hours of effort. The tonality varies somewhat between them too. It's quite gentle until we get to number five, the lion pot-thing, where it's quite harsh. This is not adverse criticism, merely my curiosity.
 

John Esco

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This looks like a long-term job.
May I ask if these are work prints, rather than "fine" prints, ready for exhibition? I suspect that any perceived or imputed deficiencies from the choice of film could be rectified with only the customary few hours of effort. The tonality varies somewhat between them too. It's quite gentle until we get to number five, the lion pot-thing, where it's quite harsh. This is not adverse criticism, merely my curiosity.
I'm on a learning process, David. As said previously on a different post, I don't consider these shots anything "fine" or special but my blank canvases for learning. No. 5 was shot using an ND1000 filter
 

martin henson

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If the picture works then what difference does the film make, they look to be very nice, its all about experimentation until you find a combo of film and developer that suits your needs, the set tell a story , the odd one is the last and that's because it somehow does not fit with the theme, excellent images, John
 

John Esco

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If the picture works then what difference does the film make, they look to be very nice, its all about experimentation until you find a combo of film and developer that suits your needs, the set tell a story , the odd one is the last and that's because it somehow does not fit with the theme, excellent images, John
thank you, Martin and I completely agree with you about the "lions pot" one not fitting with the rest, but was literally just an experiment for that ND filter
 

Ian Grant

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Registered User
Ian, I'm still not sure what it is you don't like about Fomapan 400. In my experience it is certainly not lack-lustre. Nor do I understand your Agfa analogy. Fomapan 400 is nothing like the old Agfapan 400
I treat Fomapan 400 exactly like HP5. Same speed rating, same development times. Fomapan 400 is as sharp as HP5, maybe a touch sharper, but grainier. And it sees colours differently from HP5, so often gives a different take on things. Not better, or worse, than HP5; just different.
But we should keep all this in perspective. When you look at John's first two photographs in this thread, you realise that choice of film isn't of paramount importance. It's what's in your head, and what you point your camera at that is important. And the quality of the light.

Alan

I was comparing Fomapan 400 to Fomapan 100 & 200, AgfAPX400 to APX100, and HP4 to FP4 rather than Fomapan 400 to APX400.

What I don't like about Fomapan 400 is the way it handles tones in a subject. I appreciate the lighting conditions differ but John's Poppies image shot on Fomapan 100 does highlight the difference. There's a lack of micro contrast with Fomapan 400 and I'm certain that Fomapan 100 (or 200) would give far better results.

Ian
 

David M

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Registered User
I tend to agree with Martin. Some films may well suit some images better than others, but remarkable images have been made on all sorts of material.
I've never really understood the extreme popularity of those hyper-ND filters. Useful if you want to make water look like cream of chicken soup. Digital photographs seem to like it. Do digital cameras make people particularly fond of chicken soup?
 
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