New Film User


TPF Noob!
Sep 15, 2012
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Hi all

I am one of those born into the digital world. I have enjoyed using my Nikon D5100 and more recent V1.

However, I recently - and very impulsively - ordered a Nikon FG20 with a 50mm F2.0 which should arrive next week. I'm still not quite sure why I did this - maybe for the thrill of processing film or because it would make a great travel companion on an upcoming trip to South Africa. What I do know, is that I am very very excited! :blushing:

Anyway, I know that this probably won't impact on anyone here's lives but I just had to share!! :lol:

PS. I am trying to decide which film to start with. I'm looking at Kodak 400 TMAX B&W but if anyone knows a better film for a complete noob please share. Also any input on my choice of camera, any advice for technique, and any helpful resources would be appreciated.

EDIT: I am also looking at Kodak Tri-X 400
Both of those films are fine, proven B&W emulsions. I've shot a lot of Tri-X in Nikons, and some T-Max 400. Tri-X has wonderful tonality. It's not a fine-grained film, but the tones it has...just awesome. The way it renders bright highlights is a thing of beauty. T-Max 400 on the other hand, has much finer, smaller grain. I personally never really loved T-Max, but then, I was raised on Tri-X. However, many people today have a strong dislike for grain or image noise, and I think that in today's mostly digital culture, that T-Max images would strongly be preferred by many people, since the grain is so much finer in T-Max shots.
Have a go with Kodak BW400CN if you aren't intending to develop your own films.
Like Derrel said, both T-max and Tri-x are good films for different reasons.
For your upcoming trip to South Africa (that's really cool, by the way!), you will also want some lower ISO films for bright daytime conditions. If you can get Ilford films where you are - give PanF (50 ISO) and Delta 100 a try.
Hi. If you are new to film I would suggest going with TX. Tmax is a great film, but not really for a beginner, requires more precision in exposing and processing. The perfect film for the part of the world you are going would be Agfa APX 100, if you can get any. I would suggest not to take Delta films as in my experience Deltas, unlike Tmaxes, are quite sensitive to X-rays. Don't know about TX.
I would also suggest that you get a set of filters: yellow, orange and red. People call them contrast filters, but their real function is to block blue radiation and make nice sky, with each filter, starting from yellow the sky will become more "dramatic". I find Tmax films and Agfa APX having the best response to this filters, but TX is also not to bad.
I would also suggest, that you shoot and process several rolls of your film of choice before you go on the trip so you know your gear, material and process. Remember, it is not a digital, you can't learn on the go.
Thanks for all the responses thus far - very encouraging to see how alive film still is

I have decided to get some tri x purely because its accessible to me, and from what i have heard - a beginners film. I must mention that im not going to be dependent on my film camera as I generally always have my V1 on me with its 18.5 (50mm equiv f1.8). I also have a D5100 for serious stuff like wildlife and landscapes.

For now film is just going to be "something new for me to play with". Thats why even though I can't learn on the go - I am not too phased about messing about a lot as I learn. After all I have exams in a few days and wont get a chance to read over or learn anything until the plane
What are your processing/printing resources? DIY? Lab? If you've got neither at hand...why film?
I have a friend who is an avid film user and has turned his basement into a makeshift semilab. He and a few other more casual users regularly meet up to process their film so I will probably join them.
I have a friend who is an avid film user and has turned his basement into a makeshift semilab. He and a few other more casual users regularly meet up to process their film so I will probably join them.

Wonderful......keep film alive!!!
I shoot tax 400 and fufifilm acros 100, but since you're new to processing you might want to go with something cheaper. The arista edu film is very similar to tri-x, coarse grain but beautiful.
Arista Premium 400 *IS* Tri-X. Arista Premium 100 is Plus-X. I believe Arista Edu is Fomapan...

I don't think you can get it anymore, but Legacy Pro 100 was Fuji Acros.

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