120 film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by rpiereck, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. rpiereck

    rpiereck TPF Noob!

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    I just bought my first TLR camera, a vintage Voigltlaender Brillant in working condition, circa WWII time. I am looking forward to putting some film in it and going out to see what it can do. What is a good 120 film that is tolerant of over/under exposure, and that behaves well in cold winter (I'm in Korea and winter is coming). I'm looking mainly for B&W film, not too grainy, ISO 400 would be best.

    Here's a pic of my Voigtlaender:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    HP5 + or perhaps Delta 400.

    everyone has their favorite so you will probably get a wide variety of answers.
     
  3. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

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    I'd suggest HP5 (or TMax 400 if you're a fan of Kodak films; I prefer Ilford, however) to start with, it produces a fine image.

    Use Delta 400 when you become more advanced as the shadows are a little more difficult to work with.
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There are some recommendations for 35 mm film in this recent thread: link. All the films mentioned there (thus far) are also available in 120.

    In addition to the films listed in that thread, Tri-X Pro 320 (code: 320TXP) is available in 120. This is a different film from Tri-X (code: 400TX). It is an ISO 320 film instead of ISO 400.

    Ilford XP-2 and Kodak BW400CN are easy to use, and very tolerant of overexposure - less so to underexposure, but that is true for most B&W films. They are dye-image films, like colour films, they can be developed in normal colour negative (C-41) chemicals, and they scan very easily. They tend to have a smoother look than the traditional silver-image films.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  5. rpiereck

    rpiereck TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies.

    It's been a few years for me since I worked with film, last time I stepped in a darkroom was 1997. Back then I was shooting my Kalimar K-90 that got me through high school and college, using mostly Ilford B&W and Kodak T-Max color film. To tell the truth I really forgot the properties of different films, so that's why I am asking here.

    I recently brought out the old Kalimar, cleaned my Pentax K-mount lenses and bought a roll of BW400CN for it (the only B&W film available at my local superstore), and I still haven't used up the whole can. I hope to get it developed soon. This next weekend I'm taking a trip north to Seoul where there are nice photo shops and I'll get some nice 35mm and 120 film. I hope to get nice results.

    The Voigtländer will be my first time working with a TLR and with a vintage camera, so it will be interesting to work it. That is, depending on whether the camera actually works or not...
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    ISO 400 and minimal grain? I'd opt for Neopan. TMAX would probably be my second choice.
     
  7. CDG

    CDG TPF Noob!

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    Fomapan films have a huge exposure latitude - up to +1 and -2 stops from the listed ISO rating with no change in processing time. I can vouch for that too, although I think -2 yields noticeably lower contrast. Good quality film, relatively inexpensive too.

    An old camera like that probably uses a Compur type shutter with some pretty slow shutter speeds (top out about 125 or 250 maybe?). My personal suggestion is to put that old camera on a tripod and shoot slow film. You'll get gorgeous enlargements in the darkroom. Even if you're shooting nights, with a time exposure on a tripod you can easily make use of 100 ASA film.
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Foma's emulsions, while good, belong to an older family. If high speed and low grain is what you're going for, there's no question that something T-grained or similar (neopan) would tend to be a better choice.
     
  9. rpiereck

    rpiereck TPF Noob!

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    Do I need an adaptor if I do use this camera on a tripod? The reason I ask this is because looking at the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera it seems to me that the hole is larger than a standard tripod mount. Look at the pic below and you can see that hole looks larger than current tripod mount holes. Of course when the camera gets here I'll try to mount it on my tripod.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Yes, you do need an adapter. If you have a well-stocked local shop, they should be able to hook you up. Otherwise, I would suggest either A) Asking Mitica, he might know the thread size, B) Posting a thread on APUG, where I'm sure somebody knows, or C) Call MPEX (midwest photo exchange), they're really good about older stuff. I remember calling them once to ask if they had any darkslides for an old Graflex RH-10 holder, and then went around testing them out to see if they fit properly.
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There are two standard sizes for tripod screws: 3/8"-16 Whitworth and 1/4"-20 Whitworth. Could it be the 3/8 size? Adapters to fit a 3/8 camera to a 1/4 tripod are easy to find and easier to lose. I buy five at at time in the hope that I will be able to find one when I need one. There are adapters that go the other way, but they have to be much bigger. Here is the reducer bushing in the B&H catalog. $2.

    Alternatively you could do as Max suggests, and ask someone who might know about this kind of thing.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  12. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I was thinking 3/8 as well but wasn't sure. An adapter shouldn't be too hard to come by.
     

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