apples, Fomapan 100

Ian Grant

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A nice simple shot which works well Martin. Rodinal at 1+50 takes the inherrentFoma contrast well.

Ian
 

martin-f5

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Fomapan is a Wonderfull film and so much underrated.
I often shoot my subjects on FP4 and Fomapan 100, often the one on Fomapan seems to be he better result.
There is something special with that film wich reminds me on analog techniques.
It's maybe not that perfect but with a soul in it.
 

thronobulax

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Fomapan is a Wonderfull film and so much underrated.
I often shoot my subjects on FP4 and Fomapan 100, often the one on Fomapan seems to be he better result.
There is something special with that film wich reminds me on analog techniques.
It's maybe not that perfect but with a soul in it.
I felt much the same way when I first started using Efke 100PL. Although no longer made, I had squirrelled away a bunch of 3x2 because so few emulsions are available in that format. I also managed to put away a box of 5x4 and 10 rolls or so of 120.

The first time I got a look at the negatives I was transported back to a time when negatives were thick and dynamic range seemed endless. And the prints ... oh those prints. The acuity and tonal range those negative render is just some thing to behold. It's tragic this film is no longer made. I do have Fomapan 100 and 200 on deck to try in several formats and cannot wait to see how they behave. Here is a scan of a print made from an Efke neg:

https://www.tundraware.com/Photography/MyPhotographs/Silver/media/large/20210911-1-18-Tree_Bark.jpg
 
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Marley

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I'll second how good Fomapan film is. I have spent most of my photographic career (amateur, then professional, then amateur again) using Ilford, but Fomapan has real artistic quality - and I'm very happy to be using it.
 

Ian Grant

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I tend to use Fomapan 200 now although I've shot a lot of Fomapan 100 as well. The main reason is because alongside LF I shoot a lot with a TLR, a Yashicamant 124 when in Turkey and a couple of Rolleiflex cameras here in the UK, the 200 @ 100EI is better for hand held work.

This is the 200, Mussolini's balls Rhodos castle,

1634149546898.png

and the Cannon ball tree:D

1634149988141.png
I tend to use Ilford Delta 100 or 400 (MF)for my major projects, HP5 when shooting LF hand held. I have recenty stocked up with Fomapan 200, 100 sheets of 10x8 arrived this morning.

Image quality with Fomapan 100 and 200 is so close you can't tel which was use in direct comparison..

Ian
 

thronobulax

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@Ian Grant A question if I may:

On my monitors, the images show very strong contrast and a lot of detail lost in the shadows. For example, the base of the tree on the left in the first image is pretty much featureless black.

Would you say this strong contrast is:

1. An artefact of the scanning/reproduction process in this digital medum
2. An artistic choice on your part
3. Inherent in the way the film works

Thanks!
 

Ian Grant

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In the case of the first image partly the lighting also I'd udsed quite a wide aperture so the base of the tree isn't meant to be sharp. They are phots of the prints which is not the ideal way of digitizing particularly when it's FB paper. So an artefact of copying there'splenty of detail in the prints.

This does raise another issue when an image is displayed quite smal lsometimes detail is lost.

Ian
 

thronobulax

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In the case of the first image partly the lighting also I'd udsed quite a wide aperture so the base of the tree isn't meant to be sharp. They are phots of the prints which is not the ideal way of digitizing particularly when it's FB paper. So an artefact of copying there'splenty of detail in the prints.

This does raise another issue when an image is displayed quite smal lsometimes detail is lost.

Ian
Thanks for that. My interest here is just to determine whether I will have to conquer a contrast mountain with Fomapan when I get around to using it.
 

Ian Grant

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Thanks for that. My interest here is just to determine whether I will have to conquer a contrast mountain with Fomapan when I get around to using it.
You do need to conquer the higher contrast of Fomapan 100 or 200 but it's not a big deal. it's mostly that the films build up contarst much faster than all other manufacturers films films during development so need about 75% of the development time of other films.

However once you do some simple tests for EI and Dev time they behave as well as any other films, if they didn't I wouldn't use them.

My current exhibition sets/project comprises images shot LF, 5x4 & 10x8, as well as 120 - 6x6 and 6x17, and the films used are Delta 100 & 400 (120), HP5 5x4, Forwepan 200 and EFKE Pl25 10x8, and some Fomapan 100 & mostly 120, all the prints are on the same paper Forte Polywarmtone. What's more important is the consistency of the prints, there's three shots made at the same location on three separate occasions over maybe 12 years, different films & formats, and times of day/year but they match as a tryptych, you'd think they were taken teh same day.

Ian
 

thronobulax

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You do need to conquer the higher contrast of Fomapan 100 or 200 but it's not a big deal. it's mostly that the films build up contarst much faster than all other manufacturers films films during development so need about 75% of the development time of other films.

However once you do some simple tests for EI and Dev time they behave as well as any other films, if they didn't I wouldn't use them.

My current exhibition sets/project comprises images shot LF, 5x4 & 10x8, as well as 120 - 6x6 and 6x17, and the films used are Delta 100 & 400 (120), HP5 5x4, Forwepan 200 and EFKE Pl25 10x8, and some Fomapan 100 & mostly 120, all the prints are on the same paper Forte Polywarmtone. What's more important is the consistency of the prints, there's three shots made at the same location on three separate occasions over maybe 12 years, different films & formats, and times of day/year but they match as a tryptych, you'd think they were taken teh same day.

Ian
Good to know.

I am likely to use semistand/high dilution development. I increasingly find no case in which it doesn't give me nearly perfect contrast control and a negative that's pretty reasonable to print "out of the box" so to speak. All I worry about is getting the shadows placed properly. The extended development gives me full box ASA, and the mid tones separate nicely. The high dilution and rare agitation cause developer exhaustion in the highlights which acts to restrain them from blocking. At least that's been the case with every film I have tried so far. I shall find out soon enough ...
 

martin-f5

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first of all, do I really know the Filmspeed with my workflow?
No, not really, I've never made tests in a professional way, but of course I learned a lot and the dynamic range is huge so little skills in the darkroom help to manage prints nearly perfect.
Sometimes I do test, shooting a white and black pillow in sunlight and check if highlights and shadows are visible. Using a spotmeter makes that easy. I never failed with that and it helps to understand where to go.
Fomapan is cheap enough even for experimenting and so skills can be trained very well.
2 years ago I moved to another town, with different water quality and so dev times changed a little, I'd say minus 10% but I also got new information on metering and so on.
Once I have been in Whitby and developed there with "North Yorkshire" water wich showed less contrast while using same spotmeter.

Fomapan can be tricky, but FP4 is not the insurance, it's a different film and needs other skills. Under my conditions longer dev times or exposure times.

I also found out Rodinal does not last for ever, an opened bottle with a little rest of 50ml can not be used after some month, so be careful, you'll lose contrast and dynamic range.

On the other side I had a roll of 35mm film with about 17 meters and used it over years, maybe ten or more, without issues.
I remember buying it in Praha where they had a fomashop which was the heaven for me.

Jazz Praha.jpg
 

Marley

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If there is nothing in the shadows that adds to the story one trying to tell in the image, then why get all bent out of shape about lack of shadow detail? If you want to simply record a scene with the most information, go and shoot high dynamic range digital. I realise of course this heresy means I may be stripped of my badges of 'big camera-ness' : my chemical stained hernia truss and spot meter of enlightenment ... but hey, live dangerously.

'Apples' to me breaks 'rules' delightfully. Others might have gone in and simply filled the frame with the fruit - @martin-f5 has creatively used 'dead-space' to make a wonderfully graphic statement. When I shot for theatre posters, designers cheered up when they got at least one image with creatively used dead-space for text to sit in comfortably.
 
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thronobulax

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If there is nothing in the shadows that adds to the story one trying to tell in the image, then why get all bent out of shape about lack of shadow detail? If you want to simply record a scene with the most information, go and shoot high dynamic range digital. I realise of course this heresy means I may be stripped of my badges of 'big camera-ness' : my chemical stained hernia truss and spot meter of enlightenment ... but hey, live dangerously.

'Apples' to me breaks 'rules' delightfully. Others might have gone in and simply filled the frame with the fruit - @martin-f5 has creatively used 'dead-space' to make a wonderfully graphic statement. When I shot for theatre posters, designers cheered up when they got at least one image with creatively used dead-space for text to sit in comfortably.
I think the point is that the photographer making the image needs to be as kind as possible to the photographer scanning/printing/interpreting the image for final presentation. You cannot present what isn't there, but you can always eliminate information that is present if you don't want it in your final presentation. I like my negatives to capture the entire dynamic range, but I then choose what part of that range to reproduce. It turns out that we're always doing this anyway - a negative holds far more dynamic range than either silver paper or even the best digital monitors so we have to pick what we want pretty much every single time.

Also ... and for the record ... unless you have government spy budgets, no rationally priced digital system remotely has the dynamic range of monochrome film unless you resort to painful HDR techniques which are A) Hopeless with moving objects and B) Painful to look at insofar as they are so overdone ...
 

Marley

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I think the point is that the photographer making the image needs to be as kind as possible to the photographer scanning/printing/interpreting the image for final presentation. You cannot present what isn't there, but you can always eliminate information that is present if you don't want it in your final presentation. I like my negatives to capture the entire dynamic range, but I then choose what part of that range to reproduce. It turns out that we're always doing this anyway - a negative holds far more dynamic range than either silver paper or even the best digital monitors so we have to pick what we want pretty much every single time.

Also ... and for the record ... unless you have government spy budgets, no rationally priced digital system remotely has the dynamic range of monochrome film unless you resort to painful HDR techniques which are A) Hopeless with moving objects and B) Painful to look at insofar as they are so overdone ...
Um ... and large format is good for moving subjects? I agree the novelty colour multi exposure HDR one sees is somewhat samey and over egged ... but it is still new technology and novelty breeds extremism.
My argument is prompted by the fact that generally I see too little discussion in this forum ... and others, about composition, emotion, the works of other photographers or anything aesthetic.
 

thronobulax

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Um ... and large format is good for moving subjects? I agree the novelty colour multi exposure HDR one sees is somewhat samey and over egged ... but it is still new technology and novelty breeds extremism.
My argument is prompted by the fact that generally I see too little discussion in this forum ... and others, about composition, emotion, the works of other photographers or anything aesthetic.

Well, at least one of my 5x4s is good for moving subjects ;)
 
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