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anthony le grand

Black and white films stocks - what's available now?

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Hi everyone,

 

I am preparing a feature film and we want to shoot black and white. Do you know guy which stocks are available in B&W except the ones made by Kodak? I'm looking for a sharp and not very grainy stock. I asked Ilford what they could do and they can offer FP4 and Pan F in 30.5m only (about 90 feet). I'm not a great fan of B&W shot in color, I generally didn't like things I've seen and tested made that way and never found the texture of true black and white. I also have to ask to Rollei/Agfa what they can do.

 

In photography I use the Rollei retro 80s a lot and it's pretty close to the look I want. I guess something close to T-Max or Ilford Delta 100 would be a good start for tests too. Do you guys have any idea where I could search (preferably in Europe)? Anyone has experience with Adox?

 

Thanks a lot,
Anthony

 

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FYI Agfa went bust in 2004. Any film now bearing the name is badged with one or two exceptions.

There's also ORWO and FOMA i believe.

Film made for stills has a different perf profile.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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Orwo N74 is a high-speed 400 ASA stock, and Orwo UN54 is a low-speed 100 ASA. The latter will likely be most comparable to your favored Rollei stock. Kodak is only manufacturing Double-X and Tri-X for motion picture use these days. I have not tried/cannot speak to the Foma stocks.

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Agfaphoto went bust, the real Agfa still makes excellent color print film and B&W sound recording film in Antwerp;

The real choice is between Kodak Double-X and Orwo UN54 and N74. We processed about 60 400' rolls of 7222 in the last two weeks and it looked beautiful; There seems to be an unpublished improvement in the 7222 stock, we needed to adjust the processing slightly and the characteristic acidic smell of Double-X is no longer there.

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Thanks very much for your answers!

 

I will check ORWO films then. Do you know films that were made with the UN54 and N74?

I wondered also about Foma but Fomapan has not exactly the look I'm after.

 

Dirk, thanks for the info for the Double-X. Isn't the new version too grainy on the big screen? It has beautiful contrast but I want to avoid grain as much as I can for this one. I remember The Turin's horse by Bela Tarr was made with the 5222. It looked gorgeous but too much grain for this project.

I actually don't understand things about Agfaphoto. It went bust 10 years ago stopping film stocks, photo papers and everything. But then there's still photography films made by Agfa and even the Rollei B&W films have the Agfa logo on them... But all their products are/were beautiful

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Thanks very much for your answers!

 

I will check ORWO films then. Do you know films that were made with the UN54 and N74?

 

Plenty of people have posted their results on Youtube and Vimeo. You can check there.

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When was the change in '22 made, approximately? That's very interesting. I'd love to know how it compares.

 

Of note: Orwo made many improvements in their stocks quality in coating and perforation in the last year or two. It used to jam many cameras. The North America rep told me many early issues have been rectified.

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Agfaphoto was a spinoff of the consumer photo films only. The main Agfa still makes aerial and some MP stocks as well as medical products.

 

Anthony, is your project 35 or 16? Traditional or digital finish?

The trick to reduce grain in 22 is to expose it just enough, printing lights 18-22, not more.

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Agfa has ceased making their two remaining MP stocks. ST 8 D and CP 30 are only conversed until used up.

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I saw some Chinese B/W aerial stock on ebay on 60m rolls. of course it's KS perf and no idea what the tolerances would be but would be an interesting option anyway, I think at least Konvas could maybe manage with it :rolleyes:

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Yes, I checked many things on vimeo made with Orwo films, but it's always difficult to have an idea as it's not always clear what processing, equipment or telecine they used. It's often 16mm, sometimes with home-made processing or telecine... But from what I've seen I'm not really fan of the UN54.

 

Dirk, the project will be in 35mm, not sure about the finish yet. But even if we go digital we want most of the look in camera, it would be just to adjust minimal things like grain.

 

Thanks Aapo for the link, but I'm not sure it would be safe to make it with chinese stocks coming from ebay :)

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Thanks Aapo for the link, but I'm not sure it would be safe to make it with chinese stocks coming from ebay :)

I wouldn't be either, it would require very intensive testing if one would like to use that route :lol:

 

I believe the manufacturing tolerances may not be tight enough for motion picture use but who knows B)

On the other hand I can get 400ft of factory sealed clearance Fuji at about the same price than a 60m roll of that Chinese stock costs, that's why I haven't tested these "Lucky" films yet <_<

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Anthony,

 

If you hop on the TGV to Lille, you could look over my shoulder at a few samples of the 'new' Double-X in action. I can't post it here for obvious reasons.

We worked on the feature film 'Tzameti' shot on 5222 that won the best foreign film prize at Sundance. 'Two years at sea" won in Venice (7222).

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Thanks for the link Kenny. It was also the best extract I have found of the UN54, but I'm not a big fan of the look of the stock from what I can see.

 

Thanks very much for you offer Dirk, that's very kind! Double-X won't be an option on this project I think, it's too grainy and we're looking for a more modern emulsion. I'll look at Foma and also see what Adox can do.

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Unfortunately exactly what you are talking about is why "The Artsist" was shot on Vision3 color stock and then desaturated. I know you said you didn't want to do that. But those at the studio decided they could find no satisfactory alternative.

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"The Artist" is an especially interesting case because they were scrambling to get the last batch of Plus-X to shoot it on.

 

That's the stock he would need for this film. No question.

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The thing is I didn't really like the look of The Artist. It's clean and elegant and with very little grain, but it's also kind of flat and it lacks the texture of true black and white. When you watch it it's clear that it's color turned into black and white.

 

Unfortunately almost all the time you feel it when it's done that way. But I think one of the film that managed to do it the best was The White Ribbon by Haneke, it looked quite good I think

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The thing is I didn't really like the look of The Artist. It's clean and elegant and with very little grain, but it's also kind of flat and it lacks the texture of true black and white. When you watch it it's clear that it's color turned into black and white.

 

I completely agree. Plus-X had just the right combination of deep blacks, contrast, grain & sharpness.

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has anyone tried converting something other than Vision stock to b/w, for example Fuji Vivid? I suspect the grain would be a little too "sharp" feeling but would definitely be a different look

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has anyone tried converting something other than Vision stock to b/w, for example Fuji Vivid? I suspect the grain would be a little too "sharp" feeling but would definitely be a different look

 

How much Fuji stock is left?

Edited by cole t parzenn

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How much Fuji stock is left?

frame24 seems to have about 184 000 ft of clearance Vivid 500T left in 35mm (460 x 400ft), don't know about other sellers. something from the F series could maybe also work well if you could find enough stock in usable condition

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