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120 film RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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Which speed film to use
Old 04-19-2011   #1
Michael Da Re
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Which speed film to use

Hello all, I'm not sure if this is where to post. I have a couple of 120 folders that I'm going to try out but they are both scale focus. Both are the cheaper models. Isolette II with the Vario shutter and the Agnar 85/f4.5 lens. The other is a 1958 model Franka Solida I with pretty much the same setup except the lens is the Anastigmat 75/f5.6. Both are in good shape with no light leaks in the bellows. Both have shutter speeds of B ,25 ,50 and 200. My question is if I use Ilfords line of 120 film what would be the best film speed to use when these are the only shutter speeds available?

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Michael
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Old 04-19-2011   #2
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The answer depends on when and where you are planning on doing your shooting. With a shutter speed like that, you won't want anything faster than ISO 200 for daylight conditions. On the other hand, for indoor or available light shots, you want something as fast as possible since you'll probably want to stop down to f/8 or more unless you're very good at guesstimating the distance to your subject.
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Old 04-19-2011   #3
Thomas78
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Hi Michael,

the answer depends much on the light condition you have while shooting, especially since your range of available speeds is quite limited.

I use ISO 400 film most time with foldes since I prefer to use them with small apertures from f/8 to f/22. With f/22 and 1/200 s I can manage most situations in daylight with a ISO 400 film.
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Old 04-19-2011   #4
Michael Da Re
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Thanks guys, I plan on using them on setup situations (no grab shots) so it will mostly be a controllable enviroment. I have read that the lens on both aren't that great wide open so I will have it stopped down most of the time. Thomas78, I was thinking that 1/200 might be a bit slow for 400 speed film. How far do you stop down? Does it overexpose? would you happen to have any sample photos?

Michael
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Old 04-19-2011   #5
Roger Hicks
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400 and overexpose if need be. Two stops over is no big deal on 120.

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R.
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Old 04-19-2011   #6
Vics
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What will the Minimum aperture be on these cameras? f22, 32? Smaller?
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Old 04-19-2011   #7
Thomas78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
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Thomas78, I was thinking that 1/200 might be a bit slow for 400 speed film. How far do you stop down? Does it overexpose? would you happen to have any sample photos?

Michael
I stop down to f/11 or more if I can.
With 1/200 and f/22 you have the same light value as 1/1000 and f/11 and this ist just one EV less than a classic Leica with 1/1000 and f/16

You should have no problem to overexpose a b&w film one or two stops.

I have only some color slides scanned with ISO 400:








Both with Zeiss Ikonta, Novar-Anastigmat, Provia 400X

One picture with ISO 3200 (Ilford Delta):



Super Ikonta C 531/2 with uncoated Tessar 10,5 cm 1:4,5 (orange filter?)
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Old 04-19-2011   #8
williams473
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I'd vote for 400 as well - Kodak's "newer" TMAX 400 film - TMY2 - is a phenominal 400 speed film without the traditional chunky grain structure of something like Tri-X, so there's little sacrifice in terms of image quality (if you are avoiding grain that is.) For me 400 is the go-to speed because it is so adaptable to many situations - if need be you can push it a couple stops to 1600 in a pinch, pull it if you want, or you can use heavy filters like a deep red in daylight and still shoot F8 handheld... - my 2 cents...
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Old 04-19-2011   #9
graywolf
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Everyone seems to like fast films. Me, I like 100 speed film for general daylight usage. Sometime, 25 speed. Why?

Part you your control of the image depends on which shutter speed and f/stop you chose. With 400 speed film in bright sun you have a choice of f/22 @ 1/200th a second. Period!

With 100 speed film you have a choice of f/22 @ 1/25 sec to f/8 @ 1/200. That is four stops.

With 25 speed film you have a choice of f/22 @ 1/10 sec to f/5.6 @ 1/200 sec. That is five stops.

If your cameras had 1/400 or 1/500 second settings you would gain another stop of range on each of those. A yellow filter gives you one more stop, and a red one gives you 2 more stops, if you are shooting B&W.

Of course, as the light gets dimmer, it favors the higher speed films more and more. So in the end, I like to keep 5 rolls each of 25, and 400, and 10 of 100 in my bag, that covers most of what I am likely to shoot in a day. For a short bit of shooting, I like to have a roll of 100 in the camera and a roll each of 100 and 400 in my pocket. Sometimes a small flash makes up for not having the 400 speed film with me.
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Old 04-19-2011   #10
Michael Da Re
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
What will the Minimum aperture be on these cameras? f22, 32? Smaller?
It's f32 on the isolette and f22 on the Franka.

Michael
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Old 04-19-2011   #11
Michael Da Re
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I want to thank everyone for the replies. They were definitely a helpful. Thomas78, thanks for the samples but to me the color photos do look slightly overexposed (although it could be my monitor). From what I've read here black and white film should give me a little more leeway than with slide film. Thanks again everyone.

Michael
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Old 04-19-2011   #12
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400 for sure, to ensure you can use the higher speeds to reduce shake if hand held and apertures in the f11-f22 range to ensure DOF for scale focusing. If you are using a tripod, use slow film of course.
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Old 04-20-2011   #13
Chris101
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I too, am of the "when in doubt, shoot at 400" crowd. I have an Agfa Billy with a limited shutter. As I have no idea of it's actual speed (the 60 year old mechanism is sure to be a bit off) so it's all guesswork. I never meter with it, in fact I treat it like a slightly more capable (and much more pocketable) holga. I have never had an exposure come out blank or black.
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Old 04-20-2011   #14
Thomas78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
...

Thomas78, thanks for the samples but to me the color photos do look slightly overexposed (although it could be my monitor).
...
I think, too. It might be the reason that I did them before a CLA of the shutter which had some problems (read: did not work ) on slow times of 1/10 and slower.

But with b&w film you should have much more flexibility in exposure than with transparency film.
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Old 04-20-2011   #15
Vics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
It's f32 on the isolette and f22 on the Franka.

Michael
So with 400, you can shoot 1/100 at f32 or 1/200 at f22 in the very brightest conditions, and everything else is easy. Depth of field covers scale focusing errors.
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Last edited by Vics : 04-20-2011 at 07:50. Reason: afterthought
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Old 04-20-2011   #16
Michael Da Re
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Excellent info everyone, but one more question. If I use a flash for indoor shots should I go with a slower speed or will 400 also work in that situation?

Michael
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Old 04-20-2011   #17
Ronny
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For me....ISO 400....since year 1968
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Old 04-22-2011   #18
Thomas78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Da Re View Post
Excellent info everyone, but one more question. If I use a flash for indoor shots should I go with a slower speed or will 400 also work in that situation?

Michael

It depends on the (type of) flash.

If you have a manual flash with a light value of 15 to 20 you should have no problem at distances of 2 m and above.
With 400 ISO and a light value of 20 you have the following combinations of distance and aperture:

distance / m / aperture

1.25 m f/32
1.8 m f/22
2.5 m f/16
3.6 m f/11




If you have an automatic flash you normally just preset the ISO rating of your film and your aperture and the flash regulates its power to the situation.
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Old 04-22-2011   #19
Michael Da Re
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Thank you Thomas. Now I can't wait to find the time and subjects to put all of this to good use. Thanks again all.

Michael
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Old 04-22-2011   #20
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Depends on what you expect to shoot.

I'm w. graywolf here.

Good advice here if you plan to shoot negative. Me, I like the chromes that size,so the options are fewer, and overexposure don't go.

I've focused on 100 speed film which gives me f16 @100, and f11 @200 for Sunny 16, but you can play w. 400 and use a 2 stop ND outside, remove it inside.


Giorgio
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Old 04-23-2011   #21
roboflick
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Without a mirror and heavy shutter it's possible to shoot these folders at slow speeds handheld without any visible shake, plus it's a large piece of film. I've shot at a one second hand held speed and blown it up to 11 by 11 without any problems. Enjoy your folders. I have an isolate that is a great high quality pocket camera


Nik
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Old 04-23-2011   #22
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I really like a 100 speed film for most of my folders. In a box camera, I'll go with a 400 speed film. But it also depends on the light.
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Old 04-23-2011   #23
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If you're prepared to consider colour film, look at the new Portra 400, it's extremely tolerant of over and under exposure, maybe especially under exposure. You can get your metering wrong by several stops and still looks OK.
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