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Thread: 4x5 film?

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    4x5 film?

    In an attempt to tear myself away from the buying lust that Leica seems to induce, I forced my mind to switch tracks this morning. I'm not sure the track it jumped to would be any less expensive in the long run, but it does vibrate an old and sentimental nerve in me, long buried.

    Namely the 4x5 b&w sheet film experience of my distant past. It occurred to me that it might just be possible to arrange one of our bathrooms in such a way as to allow for tank and hanger development of some sheet film.

    Does anyone do this? Do you have the film scanned somewhere or use your own scanner? Are there even any affordable "personal" scanners that would do a decent job of it? I tend to skip all of the discussions I stumble on about film scanning, but suddenly my interest is piqued.

    I'm pretty sure I have a couple of old Dagors up in the attic. Some film holders, dark cloth, etc. I also have a wooden view camera I made about 25 years ago that's maybe serviceable with a few duct tape repairs.

    I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's combining the old (sheet film) with the new (scanned to digital files).

    Thanks!
    Tim

    P.S. Stupid question: do they still make Tri-X in sheet film? If not, what's the current film equivalent?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I still shoot 4x5

    I primarily shoot Astia, Pro 160 or T-Max in readyloads and have it processed at a lab. For scanning, I use an Epson 4990 flatbed (cheap) and the quality is good enough to get a decent 16x20, and especially good for proofing for later professional drum scan. I can optionally rent time on my local shops Imacon X5 at $60/hr. FOr this, I save up a few hours worth and go in and rent time to get near drum quality scans at a fraction of the cost.

    FWIW, here is a thread on the camera I use: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178

    PS, they still make a LOT of films in 4x5 sheets, but fewer in "readyload" form. I prefer the readyloads since they are low hassle, compact and keep the film essentially "lab clean."

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Excellent! Encouraging news. I had to google Readyloads since they must have arrived on the scene while I was in my Rip Van Winkle sleep. They look pretty convenient. Plus I have no way of knowing what condition my old Riteways are in after being stored so long.

    OK. Cool. I'm psyched. Need to pull a few things together and check out the Epson scanner.

    Do you use a local lab or is there a mail-to lab that might offer service? I'm in the boondocks and there's nothing nearby. Boston is 4 hours by car and NY even further. As much as I like the darkroom work, it might be easier on my marriage if I were to avoid spreading stop bath and fixer smells through the house!

    Thanks!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post

    Do you use a local lab or is there a mail-to lab that might offer service?
    My local shop has a daily courier service to NewLabs in San Francisco, which is who they use for color. You can mail to them directly yourself.

    As for the scanner, the Epson 4990 is no longer made, and was replaced by the V700/750. For 4x5 film, I would spring for the 750.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I develop my 4x5 B&W (mainly T-Max 100, Tri-X 320) using an HP Combi, 6 sheets at a time. I load it in a foldable change bag. I haven't darkened a room in years, the bag works for anything I do. I then scan the film or quickly digitize it with the DMR.

    For color I drop it off at NewLab on the way to work and pick it up later. (I live in Noe Valley, SF and bike to work, downtown.)

    XTOL is my preferred developer, either stock or 1+1. Fixer TF-4, an alkaline fixer, no stop bath needed or even recommended, just a quick rinse. Both are standard stock items at Calumet. I get all my film there as well.

    Recently bought a Fotoman 45PS... set up for my Nikkor SW 75/4.5.
    Last edited by Jan Brittenson; 26th January 2008 at 21:26.

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I still shoot 4x5 as well .

    Color development is done by a prolab .

    For B/W , which is 90% of my 4x5 work , I use ILFORD DELTA 100 and FUJI NEOPAN 100 ACROS . I use only 2 different developpers which are ILFORD ID-11 and KODAK X-TOL and use the JOBO 2500 tank system . No motor driven drum , but tilt and turn process . The same way as for my MF films with the same brands and developpers . That makes the whole process much easier and the results more "predictable" .

    I scan my films using an ARTIXSCAN F1 scanner and receive very good results

    Printers are EPSON 4800 for matte papers and EPSON 3800 for glossy .
    I have given up my traditional darkroom , where I also could enlarge 4x5 negatives , because of health reasons .

    Jürgen

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I starting shooting 4x5 again last year when I bought an Ebony 45SU. I shoot color and B&W with Fuji Quickloads. I have my film developed by a local lab and then I scan it with an Epson V750 Pro....an excellent, reasonably priced scanner.

    There are good reviews of the V700 and V750 scanners here:

    http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/int...750/page_1.htm

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I just heard/saw something that indicated Kodak was eliminating their readyloads of large format film. It was sort of a flyby for me so I don't have a lot of details.

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Readyloads are nice, but expensive. And they don't always work. A good alternative if you have time is the old fashioned grafmatic backs. I must be some sort of idiot savant or something, but they are much easier for me to load than regular holders, and they hold six sheets. Fuji made something called a Quickchange, which was a modern equivalent, with user reloadable (if you are handy) cartridges, each holding 8 sheets. It was even more expensive than readyload, but the cartridges held 8 sheets rather than one...and of course you could reuse the cartridges with regular cut film.

    In terms of development, I have been sending out the color work, but occasionally doing my own black and white. I have a jobo 4x5 kit, but no jobo processor, so it requires something like 1.1L of chemicals for six sheets, so not very efficient. I don't have a darkroom at the moment, so I am still looking for a better option. At this point it makes more sense just to bring it to the lab...I don't like giving away my negs if I don't have to though...they always come back with more dust, waterspots and scratches than I get, even when I use really good pro labs.

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I still shoot 4x5

    I primarily shoot Astia, Pro 160 or T-Max in readyloads and have it processed at a lab.
    Same choice of film as me! Except I use holders and process my own B&W in XTOL. I load and unload in a changing bag and use an HP Combiplan tank.

    It's mostly 160S though, handheld (or tripod) in a Fotoman 45PS since uhm, six months or so I see from my previous post, with a 75mm SW-Nikkor.
    Last edited by Jan Brittenson; 10th June 2008 at 00:25.

  11. #11
    aprillove20
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Actually, readyloads are awesome.

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    well in theory yes, but I have to tell you if you buy a used readyload holder, take it apart and make sure some dufus hasn't left a clip in there, that caused this dufus to mess up like 9 shots which in an abandoned steel mill was like 9 hours...of well...live and loin...

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    the new ektar 100 gives some incredible grain and smoothness. (colors are very saturated for color neg film.. but nothing that can't be handled in photoshop)

    here's a quick scan from a test shot out at Ft Ord


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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I am shooting a Zone VI Mahogany camera I purchased in late June. I found it at Calumet Store in Chicago with the box, original brochure, lens board, and ground glass. After I inspected it closely and several other people who were there did the same, it appeared it had never been used.

    The first film I used was Kodak TXP 320. I have now switched to Ilford HP5 which I happen to use with my Hasselblad 201F. So far I think I like the HP5 better. I feel like the negatives are more saturated.

    I am using Sprint Chemicals to develop my negatives in a Daylight Yankee tank. Sprint Chemicals are located in Rhode Island and ironically they were the chemicals I used in the only formal photography class I had while I was in college.

    I load and unload my film holders in my windowless bathroom and that seems to work out well. I recently took a trip to Vermont to attend a workshop and had no problem loading and unloading my film in the hotel bathroom. I still would suggest buying a changing bag because you never really know what circumstances might come up.

    I think the hardest part about processing 4x5 film is making sure you get the negatives into the Yankee tank without getting more than one in a slot. Once you get the feel for that the rest is about time, temp, chemical ratios, and following directions. When I am finished with the developing, I hang them to dry over our gas dryer in our laundry room. Typically we dry a load of clothes and let the heat rise from the clothes dryer and the negatives seem to dry spot free. After they are done, I scan them into my computer using an Epson V700 which seems to do a good job.

    Of course being new to large format, I am still learning daily. I have bought a box of Fuji Color Negatives but I have not shot them yet or looking for a photo lab to process them. Currently I am trying to finalize my lens choices and getting a few filters to enhance my black and white photography.

    Jason

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    SCHWARZZEIT
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCollum View Post
    the new ektar 100 gives some incredible grain and smoothness. (colors are very saturated for color neg film.. but nothing that can't be handled in photoshop)

    here's a quick scan from a test shot out at Ft Ord

    Jim, this really beautiful for just a test shot. The saturated color perfectly fits the subject.
    I haven't tried the Ektar in LF myself.

    -Dominique

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I still didn't shoot LF sheet yet, but i ordered Ektar 100 as color neg and HP5+ as B&W, i may buy Tri-X as another B&W and Velvia 50/100 as color slide.
    I use Epson V750, good enough to scan for LF.
    Tareq

  17. #17
    lilmsmaggie
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I've been shooting Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100. Been picking up 4x5 10 sheet boxes from either Freestyle Photo, or BHPhoto. IMHO its pretty awesome B&W film with fine grain, sharp detail and from my experience so far, reciprocity seems to be virtually non-existent.

    I like it so much, I decided to buy a few 35mm rolls to try out.

    WARNING: Your Mileage May Vary

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Fuji Acros 100 and Velvia 50 with Quickload has worked well for me. Indeed not cheap, but no hassles so far.

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I love and still do lots of 4x5. scanning is tricky and time consuming at the begining. Here are a few recent work using RVP50 QL and Epson V750 for scanning. For B&W, I managed to bought some Fuji Neopan Acros ISO 100 Quickload before it discountinued earlier this year.


    img045sm by yatlee, on Flickr


    img044sm by yatlee, on Flickr


    sep 13 2010 peak sunset by yatlee, on Flickr
    Last edited by yatlee; 24th September 2010 at 01:26.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    very nice.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    I love and still do lots of 4x5. scanning is tricky and time consuming at the begining. Here are a few recent work using RVP50 QL and Epson V750 for scanning. For B&W, I managed to bought some Fuji Neopan Acros ISO 100 Quickload before it discountinued earlier this year.


    img045sm by yatlee, on Flickr


    img044sm by yatlee, on Flickr
    I like these two images . Very nice .

    But you have a strong magenta cast in them .
    The question is , where does that cast come from .
    Is the cast already on the RVP 50 or is that cast a result from scaning .

    I have played a little bit with a screen shot of one of the images and would like to show you the result of a short attempt to remove the magenta cast .
    Look at the clouds , where you can best see what I mean.
    Attachment 35745

    Click twice on the image to enlarge .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  22. #22
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    my guess was that these shots were taken at dawn, and the magenta light was a natural part of the scene (no one one the streets, so i suspect it's pretty early)

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    I'm still shooting some 4x5 for fun. I don't like ready loads because the I've had some problems with travel and light leeks, and the cost is just so high I can't spend that kinda money on film.. I still do my B/W in my bathroom and hang it using a clothing drying stringy thingy ( allot of ing's!) that i got from Bed bath and beyond. I haven't had any dust problems and I live in a REALLY old apartment in Brooklyn. I scan with a V700 that I bought the Aztec wet scan kit for and I wet scan right off the glass. It all works very well and cost nearly nothing to do, and its fun!
    I like mixing the old any them new technologies...
    B-!

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    Re: 4x5 film?

    4x5 is all I shoot now. Picked up a Chamonix 45n-2 earlier on this year and love it. The V750 has a pretty decent 4x5 film holder, the sturdiest of all the sizes I think, the medium format holder is also decent for 6x6 and 6x7 which I used in the past. Here are some scanning examples done on the 750.



    kodak ektar 100



    fuji provia 100f


    queensboro by justinphilipwaldinger (www.justinwaldinger.com), on Flickr


    regards,

    -J

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 film?

    Very nice Justin!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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