View Full Version : Any Films with VERY clear base and Great DMAX, such as Acros for Alt Proc?

Ed K.
11-Jan-2008, 20:05
Hello experts and fellow shutter slippers - plus happy new year!

In my film wanderings for contact prints to alt processes, I have found Acros to be the easiest of all to work with when it comes to making something that prints out well on low-contrast paper (alt process).

Really good density - Acros is great. Most other films I have tried can get some of the density with enough development (or pyro), but most all of them have some base to them. I've tried many, many 8x10 films. But some 4x5s I did on Acros printed so well, with nothing much besides a tad extra development. So, I'm going to Acros for my 8x10
contact work.

I'm looking for alternatives to Acros because it's not so easy to find. I'll continue to use Acros as long as I can get / afford it.

Any suggestions really welcome.


11-Jan-2008, 23:29
Hi Ed! It seems to me that my negatives made with Tri-X, developed in HC-110, seems to be the clean-looking negatives that you desire. But this combo is so basic, that you probably have tried it and found it unsatisfactory. But it is the best I can offer.

Another combination was Kodak copy film and HC-110. It did not need much extra development to boost up the old contrast -- but it was expensive and I don't even know if it is still around (and orthochromatic to boot!).

Onward thru the fog!


Ed K.
12-Jan-2008, 00:36
Ahoy Vaughn!

The Kodak bases seem to filter UV a little. The nice part about the Acros
stuff (if it was presoaked to really get rid of the dye layer) is that it's
base is absolutely clear. It makes the exposures short with my plate burner,
and that keeps temps down and humidity better under control, which also is nice.
I've found that Acros works in DDX, D76, Rodinal - all great, no special
treatment required. Basically, easy printing on POP, Zia and Pd with a neg
that does not require heroic contrast controls - just subtle controls.

The 8x10 box I was going to enjoy I gave to a good and deserving fellow
photographer - you! But then what did you do with it? Pyro? Do tell
what you thought, what happened with the stuff. Meanwhile, I did order
another couple boxes to check out. I've only had a chance to see
Acros as 4x5, however I've explored its range a great deal.

Since you do carbon, you need nice long scale and probably about everything
else I need.

But alternatives to Acros? The Efke 100 I just souped didn't cut it - it
seems to need Pyro to get the kind of negs I need (still base though).

12-Jan-2008, 01:59
Hey Ed! I got one sheet of the Acros left -- the rest has been exposed and developed -- but nothing printed from them yet. Those twenty sheet boxes seem to disappear twice as fast as a 25 sheet box for some strange reason! I'll be making a new batch of carbon tissue next week (I've been saying that for the past 4 weeks), so hopefully I'll be able to give it a good test. I like the look of the negatives, but the proof will be in the pudding (or in this case the Jello!).

The Acros does have rather obnoxous printing along one side of the rebate ("Fuji" and emulsion info). I don't usually show the rebate when displaying carbon prints, but I do when showing platinum prints. I'll probably scrap off the lettering before I print any Acros in pt/pd. I have a couple images from Yosemite on Acros that I want to print in pt/pd.

I owe you a print from one of those negatives if I can pull one off of them!

I haven't noticed any UV blocking with Tri-X...but TMax 100 definitely has a major UV blocking layer on it. The new TMax 400 is suppose not suppose to have the UV blocking layer.

A fellow down in the SF Bay Area is keeping his eyes open for a plate burner for me...and I am keeping my fingers crossed!


Carsten Wolff
21-Jan-2008, 22:25
I'm an "outsider" wrt alt-process/contact printing, but wouldn't Rollei R3 be an obvious (but uncommon/expensive) choice? It is said to have a very clear base and high Dmax....

Scott Davis
22-Jan-2008, 07:35
Although the film base isn't plate-glass transparent, I've been very happy with Fomapan 200 for alt process work. I soup it in Pyrocat HD, and it prints very nicely without much contrast agent (I typically use 1 drop of 2.5% NA2 per 5x7 print).