View Full Version : Has anyone used Plus X Aerial film as sold on eBay

Henry Ambrose
26-Oct-2005, 17:16
Has anyone on this forum used any of this film?

I've been thinking about buying a roll of the 9.5 inch Plus X aerial film to cut to 8x10. It is advertised as being easy to use, having more silver content than other current films and extended red response.

The base is thinner - is this a problem for 8x10 film holders?

What speed do you use? How is it for photographing people? For general use?

Please tell about your experiences with this film for silver printing.

Terry Hayden
26-Oct-2005, 17:42

It is indeed basic plus-x.

It should respond and react just like any other plus-x.

The thin base can indeed be a problem in a sheet film holder. I haven't tried it
that way, but that's a long stretch to stay flat without a thick base.

26-Oct-2005, 17:56
When you are able to cut film to the exact degree needed without getting fingerprints, bloody and otherwise on the film, please share your technique. Why go through the time and effort required for 8x10 photography and use an unknown film? Isn't it easier and economical, in these times of high fuel costs, to just use good film? Good grief!

Henry Ambrose
26-Oct-2005, 19:54
Sure its easier to use "good film" but this might be good or even great film and if cutting it is not too hard it is really really cheap. Might be worth it -- might not.

So has anyone actually used this stuff?

tor kviljo
27-Oct-2005, 01:01
It is certainly a useful approach, but only if You do some planning ahead. I got a roll (short end - but in aerial photo speaking - that were about 15 meter or so....) of 9 1/2" Agfa Avipan 200. A very good 200 asa b&w film. I had collected both this and a reel of split avichrome 200 before I got what I needed: One of the once very common paper dispencers used on any repro-office. These are automatic (electric driven) or manual dark-magazines for repro-film/paper, which precicely feeds a pre-determined length of film/paper from roll. They are meant for darkroom use and have built in cutter. Mine were made by Meteor-Siegen, and I could adjust film lengt to nearest centimeter. With this one, I cut my roll of 9 1/2 film into about 90 or so sheets of 8 x 9 1/2 film in less than half an hour. The 114mm wide reel of avichrome were cut to 4 x 4 5/8" sheets. Both films work perfectly in camera, but due to being thin base, they need special treatment: the avichrome is only used in Grafmatic-backs - which keeps the film in place in the septums better than the rims of ordinary cassettes manage to do, and the 8x10 film needs a light glue in central part of cassette for good fixture. This is done by taping in place a piece of 3M post-it- note with glue side out in the middle of the cassette. The post-it glue is weak enough to not make trouble bhen removing film, and does not leave residue. Developement: works OK in Jobo expert tank as the curvature of each cell is narrow enough to keep the sheets in contact with walls of the cell (I use a 3004), ewen with the thin-base sheets of the avipan. Thus - if You manage to trace down any of the automatic film/paper dispensers from a repro-lab at little/no cost (they are extremely expensive when new): go for it. If not: too much hassle making Your own in-dark measuring & cutting device in my opinion....

Good luck!

Eugene Zaikonnikov
27-Oct-2005, 05:57
I cut 13x18 sheets from a 120m spool of 19cm wide Russian aerial film. I use a frame that came with my enlarger to measure dimensions (just put the end of the film under it), and cut off with cheap paper knife. One needs to check that the frame has no rough edges or details that would scratch the film.

This film has a thinner base too; how you keep it in place probably depens on particular holder. I use old Soviet FKD holders with thick cardboard in place of glass plate, and fix the sheets with sticky tape stretched from the corners. Cutting/loading in the dark takes time. However for an LF beginner like me the sheer amount of film available for experimentation for nearly no cost justifies that.

Jim Galli
27-Oct-2005, 07:59
Henry, here's a little piece (http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10481) I wrote about how I cut the stuff. It curls "into" the emulsion which works FOR you as it holds the film flat at the back of the holder. It's very nice film. Plus X was always a bit grainy for my tastes in 4X5 but for 810 contacts it truly is gorgeous.

Henry Ambrose
28-Oct-2005, 17:56
Well, maybe I'll try some. But I'd sure like to hear more.

Jim, the last post in the thread to which you refer indicates there might be a problem with the film and its lack of anti halation coating. I am kinda surprised that there is not more direct experience with this film but I guess having to cut it scares folks away. But its so cheap............

28-Oct-2005, 18:33
But its so cheap............

Heh. The Aerochrome is $3,500 a roll. B&W... dunno, but not dirt cheap. What we see on that auction site is probably 30 years out of date. No?

John Kasaian
28-Oct-2005, 19:40
I recall the film I've bought hasn't been 30 years old, but very late 1990's---2000. Age hasn't made any difference as far as I can tell. Aerial stuff is held to very demanding criteria---far more than 'normal' film. I've never cut any of it down to 4x5 so I can't comment on the thiness being a problem but I can see---as Jim Galli pointed out---that cutting it down to 5x7 would have the 'curl' working to your favor in a holder.

BTW The 9-1/2" stuff works great in a K-17---a 60-plus # handheld camera with a loaded magazine yeilding 9"x9" negatives. Yeah, its a real ice breaker when it comes to getting to know your HMO ( after the hernia operation and now the rotorcuff job.)