Shared: Fstoppers.com – 5 Popular B&W Films Compared

Shared: Fstoppers.com – 5 Popular B&W Films Compared

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

December 2017

I read an interesting Fstoppers film photography article a few days before flying out on my last photography trip comparing five popular black and white film stocks.  I think I was searching for a comparison of Ilford Delta 400 vs. Kodak T-Max 400 film as I enjoy using 35mm T-Max 400 but wondered if Delta 400 would be even “better” for me.  I love and really appreciate Ilford Delta 100 film and think it is one of the best films I use in terms of detail and sharpness and to showcase what a camera-lens setup can achieve. Ilford Delta 100 film example image:

Ilford Delta 100 Portrait

The Fstoppers film review however compares five ISO 400 film stocks and illustrates side by side example images of the same subject captured with five of the “best”/ popular black and white films. Each film is compared for tonality, grain and apparent sharpness.

I wont spoil the article if you want to read it in full but overall I was very impressed with the C41 B&W film – Ilford XP2 Super 400. I wont say anymore ahead of the link but if you want to hear my thoughts please see my conclusion below.

Shared Link: https://fstoppers.com/film/what-black-and-white-film…

Conclusion

As hinted above Ilford XP2 Super 400 was the clear winner for me for detail captured (in this test example) but the image consisted of varying shades of greys and lacked interest. The film with the most impact for me and seemed to be the best compromise for all desired traits (for me) was the very popular Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film with its classic grain structure, good apparent sharpness and thick blacks. I have shot Kodak Tri-X film in the past but found 35mm TriX too grainy for my female portraiture so instead I favour the fine modern grain of Kodak T-Max 400 film. I find 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film much more useable as the grain is less apparent and I have used it a lot in my Hasselblad 501C /500CM cameras, especially if I need to push film to ISO 800-1600 in low light.  In abundant light I often use the low-cost Fomapan 100 film (35mm and 120 Foma 100) and rate it from 100-400.  That said I must give Kodak Tri-X another try soon!

Ilford XP2 Super 400 film

Fuji GF670 Medium Format Rangefinder

ARAX-CM (Kiev 88) 6x6 Film

120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film

Rollei SL66E Tilt Portrait

Mamiya 645 Extension Tube

Fuji GF670 Folding Camera

35mm Kodak Tri-X 400 film

Leica M2 Portrait - Tri-X 400@200

Kodak Tri-X Love!

 

And for a comparison, the B&W film I maybe use the most – Fomapan 100..

35mm Fomapan 100 film

35mm Portrait

Hungarian Model

120 Fomapan 100 film

Hasselblad Headshot

Fuji GF670 Camera

Thanks
Matt

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Ilford Delta 400 (Review)(120 Ilford Delta film)

Ilford Delta 400 (Review)(120 Ilford Delta film)

A mini article / Ilford Delta 400 review after shooting my few first rolls of Delta 400 film.  These rolls of film had been kindly gifted to me by someone on Facebook  (part of a larger batch).  It was expired Delta 400 film but I still loved the results!

Expired Ilford Delta 400 film

I was recently gifted a mixed batch of unrefrigerated expired camera film and some of the rolls were medium format 120 Ilford Delta 400 film dating back to 2006.  I thought I would try a shooting a few rolls to see how I got on.  I decided to expose the first film at  400@200 and developed in Rodinal.  Some of the photos were a little dark so for the next roll I exposed at 400@100.  Here are the results from recent model photography shoots in my Coventry studio. Cameras including my Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya RZ 67 and 4×5 large format Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a 120 roll film back.

Ilford Delta 400 Portraits

Mamiya 645 Super + Vega 28 MC 120mm f2.8 (Freelensing)

Model – Tegan (400@200)

Expired 120 Ilford Delta 400

Freelensing Mamiya 645 Super

Expired B&W Film

Vega 28 + Mamiya 645 Super

Expired Ilford Film

Mamiya 645 Super Freelensing

Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II + Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 + RZ 6×6 Film Back

Model – Charlotte (400@100)

Mamiya RZ67 Pro ii 6x6 Film

Mamiya RZ 6x6 Film

Mamiya RZ 67 6x6

Mamiya RZ 6X6 Back

4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 + Horseman 120 6×7 Roll Film Back

Model – Harriet (400@100)

Kodak Aero Ektar Portrait

4x5 Speed Graphic Portrait

Kodak Aero Ektar on Speed Graphic

4X5 Film - Speed Graphic

The next expired film I tried was 2006 C41 black and white film 35mm Kodak BW400CN in Rodinal.. coming next.

Big thanks again to Richard who gifted the film to me.

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