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film brands

 
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mcguireek



Joined: 13 Jan 2010
Posts: 10
Location: idaho

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:02 am    Post subject: film brands Reply with quote

I am brand new to 4x5 photo and I am looking to buy some B&W film. I have noticed a large difference in price between name brands (kodak, etc.) and some other brands I have never heard of (foma, adox, arista, etc.). Is there a difference between them or am I paying for a name?
I also saw some ortho litho film that seemed to be even cheaper. Do you use the same b&w chemicals to develop it? what is the picture quality like?
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On another website you'd probably be told about the technical and aesthetic differences between the Kodak films and the European films and how one might hold shadows or the other type has more silver and after a few minutes you'll be wondering if they are talking about film or vintage wine.

The bottom line is Foma, Adox and a few others have been making GOOD film for decades and at least one of them is using a factory that Kodak built. We just haven't known about them because of costs and politics.

Arista is Freestyle's corporate name for film they get from Foma or Adox.

If you're new to large format, don't worry about tone curves and grain characteristics just yet. You just want a decently exposed and processed negative. Any of these will do that.

Back 25 years ago, no make that 35 years ago, there were two types of Ortho film. One was a continuous tone film that was not panchromatic like Tri-X and Tmax. It was favored for portraits of men.

The other type of ortho film was a high contrast film. It was used in the printing/ graphic arts industry to make color separations and negatives of type or text so that it could be burned on a plate and run through a press. It gave either a black or white image, no grey tones.

Artistic and adventurous types like to play with this high contrast ortho lith film with different dilutions of chemicals for different effects--in other words, using the film in a way it wasn't intended. It could be fun, but I suggest you run through at least two boxes of Arista.edu film first.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried some Fomapan 100 in 4x5 sheet about 3 years ago, http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=5140&highlight=foma. It had no shadow detail where Kodak or Ilford product exposed/developed the same way would have had moderate shadow detail. Skip it for starting off.

Arista is a house name for Freestyle . According to reports that I've read on other sites Kodak and Ilford films as well as Adox are rebranded Arista or Arista EDU (educational) depending on format. Efke is another import brand that would be a safe bet.
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