Medium Format Films: Black and White, Part 2

Rollei Retro 80s

I fell in love with this film immediately after developing my first roll. This film from Rollei has an extended infrared sensitivity to 775nm. However, you don’t need an infrared filter to shoot with it. The images above are shot with no filter.  The film itself has a pleasing contrast to it and a fine grain, but has a completely different feel to the likes of T-Max or Delta. It is important to experiment with film and with different brands: it encourages creativity and affects the feel and tone of your printing in the darkroom. I have been pleased with all the Rollei films I have tried.

Rollei Superpan 200

Superpan 200 is another nice film and one I have experimented with less than others. The film has a very fine grain and can be shot at multiple ISO ratings. Similar to Rollei Retro 80s, the film has some infrared sensitivity, up to 750nm. The image on the left was shot at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh and I really like the effect of the film. I plan to experiment more with this film in future: rating it at 100 ISO may produce some interesting results.

Rollei RPX 100

RPX is another good film by Rollei: it recently gave some very nice studio portraits for my exhibition project. This film is not as sensitive to infrared as Superpan and Retro 80s. The only trouble I had with this film was that I found it a bit flat when scanning, but it edits well in Photoshop. This is another good all round film, with a fine grain, good tonal range and ideal for push or pull processing; the images have a similar feel to Fomapan 100.

Fomapan 100

Fomapan currently is one of my main go to films because it is so versatile and cost-effective: it is the cheapest film in this post. This is a very traditional film, with a fine grain and a wide exposure range; a forgiving film if your exposure is off. Its versatility makes it a good choice for experimentation; it is a great film for all round shooting.

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