My favourite films

My favourite film/developer combinations change on an on-going basis so this is just a snapshot of my favourites at the moment.

35mm black and white

I really like Tri-X developed in D76, but the film I use most is Ilford XP2 developed in Rodinal. XP2 is supposed to be developed in C41 chemicals, but I really like it stand developed in 1:100 Rodinal for about 90 minutes. Great tonality, good contrast and very fine grain make XP2 a winner in my book. XP2 also dries nice and flat for easy scanning and, being a C41 film, you can use digital ice when scanning if you wish, unlike ‘normal’ B&W film.

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My wife on our 30th wedding anniversary Olympus OM-2N, Ilford XP2, developed in Rodinal 1:100 for 90 mins

35mm colour

This is a tough one – I use Agfa Vista and Fuji Superia (basically the same thing) a lot because they’re cheap and I like the results. I think my favourite colour film, though, has to be Agfa CT Precisa – which is re-branded Fuji Provia. Reasonably cheap, wonderful colour rendition and fine grain. For bright days this is my go-to colour film, otherwise it’s some variation of Superia (200, 400, 800 or 1600 depending on the available light). I do find transparency film easier for scanning and in the Jobo it’s no harder to develop than C41 film.

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Ogmore & the Bristol Channel Olympus OM-4ti, Agfa CT Precisa, developed in Tetenal E6 kit

120 black and white

For hand-held photography my go-to film is Tri-X developed in D76 but without question, the film I use most is Fuji Acros 100, developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 6 minutes at 20C. I do also like Ilford FP4 and Delta 100, though, and with Fuji films getting ever more expensive I may switch allegiance at some point, but for the moment Acros is the one that gets the most use, especially in my Hasselblad.

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Llantwit Major Hasselblad 503CX, Acros developed in Rodinal 1:25 for 6 mins

120 colour

For hand-held shots I tend to use Fuji Pro 400H. I prefer it to Portra, mainly because I find it easier to scan. I always seem to have trouble getting the colour balance right with Portra. I know I should use Vuescan and Color Perfect, but I like to keep things simple and just use Epson Scan. The colour film I use most though, by some margin, is Velvia 50. What can I say, Velvia is just a magical film to use, especially in the golden hour at the beginning or end of the day.

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Llantwit Major, Hasselblad 503CX, Velvia 50 developed in Tetenal E6 kit

Large format black and white

My go-to film for 5×4 black and white is Fomapan 100 for the simple reason that it’s cheap – and I like the results. I usually develop it in Rodinal.

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The Bwlch, South Wales, Crown Graphic, Rodinal

Large format colour

At the moment, the 5×4 colour film I use most is Provia, because I bought 100 sheets of expired Provia so I have a reasonable supply in the fridge. I think my favourite would still have to be Velvia 50, though. Shame it’s only available from Japanese sellers (as far as I know, anyway).

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Rhoose Point, Crown Graphic, Velvia 50

It will be interesting to do this again in a year’s time and see whether my tastes have changed by then.

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About cariadus

Photography addict. Film shooter.

5 comments

  1. thank you for this great info !
    i surprised a little bit because of 90 min instead 60 for the stand developing but as i got right you use 90 for the XP2 only ?

    Like

    • Yes that’s right, it’s only for XP2. I don’t actually use stand developing for anything other than XP2 these days. And with XP2 stand development can be anything from 60 to 120 minutes, it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference. When I say that I do it for 90 minutes that’s only approximate, in reality it could be shorter or longer. Sometimes I lose track of the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always liked XP2 but have refrained too much due to the lab aspect. You’ve just given me an idea to try XP2 at home- thanks! I can’t seem to get ahold of any Rodinal in Japan, and they won’t ship it here due to regulations so as an experiment I might try caffenol or HC-110. On the plus side of being across the lake, depending on how much you like Fuji (and like you I do too), is that it is inexpensive.

    Like

    • Funnily enough I have some HC-110 on order so I might well give it a try too. I’ve seen some great results that other people have got from XP2 and HC-110 (can’t remember where now, probably Flickr).

      Like

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