View Full Version : What ISO is this Xray film???

Will Thompson
10-Nov-2007, 09:54
I have a 100 sheet box of 11x14 Konica Minolta Physicians Choice PPG Xray film.

The MFGR site says this:

Physicians Choice Films are compatible with all major chemistries, and are designed for automatic and hand processing cycles.

Type PPG is a high contrast, green sensitive, orthochromatic medical imaging film. Designed for 90-second processing, PPG can also be manually processed.

I was wondering what ISO it might be. As of now I have not been able to contact anyone at the MFGR that knows what to expect from it as B&W film.

Any info would be most helpful.


Gene McCluney
10-Nov-2007, 20:02
A lot of X-ray film when used for pictorial photography gets exposed at 50 to 100 ISO with good success. I know this is not specific, but X-ray film is very inexpensive, when compared to "normal" camera film, and most people test to find the ISO with their preferred developer. I am not aware of any X-ray film, from any manufacturer that will be rated in ISO numbers that you can use for making pictorial photographs. You just have to test.

Will Thompson
11-Nov-2007, 17:17
Is that ISO 50-100 only the Blue sensitive and not the Green?

11-Nov-2007, 20:45
i've shot with some green-sensitive xray film and it's about ISO 50. at least.

John Curran
16-Nov-2007, 20:56
I've shot some CXS high speed blue X-ray film. I tried some sunny 16 shots @ ISO 50 that were over exposed, 100 ISO was better.



16-Mar-2011, 17:34
what developer can you use for this stuff? Will any developer work?

16-Mar-2011, 21:26
I use "Daylight" Agfa Cronex -- the speed varies with the light conditions. I have gotten good results at 400 ASA out under the blue sky, but it drops considerable under the dense forest -- probably due to the amount of blue light available.

I am using Ilford Universal PQ Developer...what I also use for FP4+.

Jim Fitzgerald
16-Mar-2011, 21:34
I shoot all of my x-ray film at ISO 80. Good shadow detail in the deepest areas. I think the film you have is green sensitive. Try it at 80. Like Gene said it is so cheap you can afford to test.... even in 14x17!

Jay DeFehr
17-Mar-2011, 08:00
This is great news! I assumed X-ray film was about as sensitive as lith film, but I'm very happy to be wrong. I'm looking forward to shooting some 10x12!

17-Mar-2011, 08:31
Same here, I'm finishing the build on an 11x14 made with hardware from a Kodak camera. I didn't get any response on a request for film holders so that construction is next. Camera Bellows gave me a quote for a bellows of 240 so I'm making one for this build. If I like the format I'm going to make a folding Wista type and get a custom bellows.

I'll shoot the 8x10 green I have at 80 and see how it works out. I'll use Pyrocat HD too.


From iPhone

18-Mar-2011, 09:47
ISO is a standard set of exposure and development criteria for certain pictorial films.
NOT for aerial films, x-ray films, graphic arts films, etc. Not even for "real film" shot by zone systemizers.
In practical terms, you must try some things- exposures and developers, until you achieve results that are acceptable- or until you give up.
Heed what Jim Fitzgerald says above for a start point- he says it all.
I have done the first rounds of testing fast blue but haven't cracked the box of green- I still have to figure out how to not scratch the emulsion- more practice needed.
Whoooooaahh boy I am grumpy this morning- shouldn'ta looked at the so-called news.
Good luck and

18-Mar-2011, 09:55
Yeah, Ed, you are semi-correct. But we still need to set the meter at some ISO. :p :D

Jim Fitzgerald
18-Mar-2011, 10:08
Ed, anyone who shoots x-ray film and is looking for what speed, developer etc should head the advice of those of us who use it and get the results we are after. So again I say for me and my work flow this is what I do. Set my ISO at 80 for the green sensitive no matter which one I use. ( I have 3 different brands in three different sizes) I meter my shadows to Zone III. I develop in Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 in tanks for 8x10 and flat bottom trays for 11x14 and 14x17. I pre soak for 3 minutes and then develop with standard agitation( 30 seconds followed by 5 seconds every thirty seconds) for 6-7 minutes depending on the contrast range of the scene. I turn my red safelight on about 4 minutes into development and judge how much development to give. Water stop and fix in TF-4 for 4 minutes. I punch a corner of the film so I know what side of the emulsion was facing the lens and hang to dry. Then I look at the negative and determine if it is good enough to make a carbon print and then I do so. Now, if you want to know how I do the carbons with x-ray negatives then you have to take my workshop! Don't over think this material. It is cheap! The money you save on film can and should go toward more holders! So I say try ISO 80 and fire away! I think this covers it. Oh, if you are using trays to develop make sure you use enough developer. I've not scratched a negative in a very long time. Now I have had a lot of practice with Efke-25.

19-Mar-2011, 10:48
Shoot I forgot about you folks that live in the rain forest primevel .
I did get a fix for my Pentax meter- from way back in the days of real batteries and ASA [ EI really hehe]
I fixed it figuring I really needed to use a meter for portraits- of which I have done none yet. So much to do, so much screwing around instead of doing it.
So being blessed with sunlight and plenty of it, I'm a sunny sixteen kind of person and probly should be ashamed, but I'm not :>)
Meter? I don't got to show you no steenkeen meter.

19-Mar-2011, 11:44
Yeah, my exposure times range from 30 seconds to 30 minutes -- hard to figure with the o' Sunny-Sixteen!

But I could survive without a meter -- it would be "I'd better make this a long exposure...and then triple the time!" LOL!

Jay DeFehr
19-Mar-2011, 14:10
I'm really looking forward to experimenting with X-ray film. I've become fairly comfortable with ortho lith film, but the extra 3 stops (+/-) of speed will be most welcome!


If the film is ortho, why do you use your safe light intermittently? Is your light not completely safe? Or, is the film not strictly ortho? Or some combination of the above?

Andrew O'Neill
19-Mar-2011, 14:38
I shoot this stuff at 100, develop in pyrocat-hd 10ml A + 10ml B + 1000ml water, in a flat bottomed tray with agitation every 30 seconds. I'm using it for carbon printing. Love being able to work with it under safelight.

Jay DeFehr
19-Mar-2011, 14:52
Am I to understand that this X-ray film is near normal contrast when developed in a normal concentration of a standard developer?

19-Mar-2011, 15:32
Several months ago there was a thread
Short answer yes.
And to repeat what I found out back then, and what Jim F said above
Pick an EI- folks have reported 50 to 200- I tried 125 for prints on RC.
Shoot film - it's cheap, no CHEAP
Use your familiar developer for your familiar film you use in the EI range you use.
You'll get results that are pretty close
Change your EI as you see fit- or extend/shorten develope time--or don't if you got results you like in round one. I found that I hit the ballpark pretty easily.
From my perspective Xray should be a LOT easier to tame than litho [I don't think I could], so you should find it really easy

Jay DeFehr
19-Mar-2011, 15:48

Fantastic! Are we talking about the green latitude film, or just the plain green ortho? I'm going to place an order. I had planned to wait until after my move (I'm moving to Seattle after the first), but I don't think I can stand it! Thank you all for the great tips!

Andrew O'Neill
19-Mar-2011, 16:30
If the film is ortho, why do you use your safe light intermittently? Is your light not completely safe? Or, is the film not strictly ortho? Or some combination of the above?

I work under an amber-coloured safelight. Even when loading/unloading the holders. Never ever seen any fogging. My safelight is about 2 metres away.

19-Mar-2011, 17:21
I believe Sandy King noticed some fogging from a safelight during development -- some paper, and perhaps this film also, gain sensitivity during the first part of development.

When I was printing on 16x20 Portriga Rapid, I would get "fingerprints" on the paper where I would lift the paper out of the tray after the first 20 seconds or so of development (introduced the paper emulsion side down, then flipped it over). The pressure of the firm grip needed lift to the paper would "expose" it as it became temporarily pressure-sensitive.

Jay DeFehr
19-Mar-2011, 17:51
Very interesting! I'll have to pay close attention. Developing under a bright safelight is quite a shortcut when testing a new film or developer. Thanks again for the excellent tips.

Jim Fitzgerald
19-Mar-2011, 17:53
When developing I do it in the dark for the first 4 minutes of development just to be safe. Never any problems. I still load holders in the dark. I guess I need to try it with the safelight on but I don't want to get spoiled!

Jay I just wanted to be safe when I developed my film. Superstition? Nothing more. The stuff is very easy to work with. The emulsion on both sides takes some getting used to but I find it great for portrait work especially.

19-Mar-2011, 18:14
I keep the red safelight on during cutting the film down and loading with no problem.

Developing I stand between the safe light and the developing tray for the first half, then don't worry about if after that -- no fogging noticed so far. Seems to be an average base+fog for film. I'll take a closer look at my negatives tomorrow. But I do use Agra film marked "Daylight", which I do not know what it actually means.

I do know that the light freckles of one of my boys jump out! Until I made this print, I did not even realize that he had this many freckles. Taken perhaps 7 years ago, plus or minus a year.

Taken in open shade at ASA 800 (lots of blue light!), developed at the hospital by the X-ray tech. The neg taken at ASA 400 was still a good exposure, overly dense.

Sorry -- all prints are printed to the same values (like the boy with the freckles, but can't seem to get them matched on this software!

Light gray wall, red shirt, black pants -- full detail in all of the negative. Scanned silver gelatin contact print (8x10)

The second one was taken as ASA400 -- and accidently contacted backwards -- can't flip the neg with my software. Now I notch the film!

Sorry for the massive editing of this post -- hopefully I have not confused anyone (besides myself!)

Jay DeFehr
19-Mar-2011, 18:49

I understand completely. Why jinx it? The more I learn about this stuff the more excited I am to try it. Portraits are my first love, though I've been branching out a bit lately.


It seems there's more than one way to skin this cat! I noticed the same freckle phenomenon using lith film. It reminds me of tintypes. I like the effect, grotesque though it can become. Thanks for the examples.

19-Mar-2011, 19:55
In back to back tests I have found the CXS green latitude to be faster than Foma 100 for ~10s exposures under tungsten light. I never nailed down a daylight speed but I do believe 100 was plenty of exposure. It's perfectly safe under my red LED safelight out to several minutes.