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Crush on B&W 35mm, practical advice


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#1 GeorgeSelinsky

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 06:45 PM

I have an unrelenting crush on B&W 35mm. Problem of course is that I can't seem to find any short ends of it in NY, looks like I have to go retail. It's funny but these days it seems it costs more to shoot in B&W 35mm than color, lol.

From what I'm aware, Kodak is the only manufacturer who still makes it, Ilford quit a few years ago, right?

I've never tried HD black and white, but my gut tells me that it will never give me that Double X look, if anything more that color negative minus chroma signal look. If anyone knows of any camera combination that can approximate the silver B&W look I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Also, I can't seem to find an online catalog for Kodak anymore that features prices. Anyone know where I can find out without having to call their office and have them recite every emulsion for me?

Thanks for all advice...

- George
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 07:05 PM

From what I'm aware, Kodak is the only manufacturer who still makes it, Ilford quit a few years ago, right?

I am not sure what the folks at Filmotec http://www.filmotec....glish_site.html sell, if it is just frezer leavings or is current production. Also it is unclear if they coat it, or just convert it.
Ilford stopped selling MP film shortly before they re-organized. I doubt it it will be ecconomical for them to make more unless they were to get a feature commitment or three.
Fuji suposibly sells some B&W in Japan and other markets, but that may be outdated info, and it may only be 16mm.
I have only seen 16mm advertised by FOMA.
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#3 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 10:04 PM

About a year ago, I was talking with Freestyle Photo about special ordering a couple 400' rolls of 35mm Fomapan 100 or 200 on cores from their Eastern Europe factory. They agreed to do it, but I never did actually order it. They were charging the same price as retail Kodak B/W. Sometime I hope to give it a try. Fomapan does have a unique look to it.

http://www.freestyle...z/c_contact.php

Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 03 February 2008 - 10:07 PM.

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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 11:19 PM

I'd say Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Foma, and I think the Chinese company is called Lucky, are your best bets in order of the likelihood of getting stock. Last I heard, Fuji was still making MP stocks, but you'll probably need to buy several thousand feet to interest them in selling it out of their marketing area. I've only ever shot Kodak and Foma, in 8 and 16mm. IDK if Foma has the proper perforated dies for 35mm MP perfs. If you could live with still perfs you could probably get them to sell you their still films: R100 then two or three B&W neg stocks are all nice.

Let me dig around here and see if I can't find those two Chinese film companies. . . .

As far as I know, there was one that made B&W film that I believe is still in business (Lucky?) and another that may or may not be in business that did at one time make MP print stock, but I think they only made color film.
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#5 Mike Williamson

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:00 AM

I vote for shooting real B&W stocks, my personal favorite being Plus-X. I shot it for a spec commercial last year and it was delicious.

If I had to shoot color stock and then desaturate, I would be very tempted to do a full bleach bypass on the negative to retain some of the silver. I feel like it would put you closer to the texture of a real B&W stock.
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#6 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:07 AM

I feel the key to black and white shooting is you NEED to use contrast filters. Even a basic yellow makes all the difference. Unfiltered black and white looks really bland. I found a used light red 6.6x6.6 filter last year.


You are right, Fomapan film does not have B&H perfs, it's KS perfs, doesn't 5285 reversal camera film have KS perfs too?
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