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Thread: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

  1. #1

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    CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/90281...8x10-25-Sheets

    Received this via E-mail from Freestyle Photo. Looks interesting.

    Anyone have information on how it actually performs - say compared to Ilford FP4+?

    Ability to handle plus or minus exposure & development? Mid range tonal separation?

    Reciprocity characteristics?

    Not available in 5x7 and don't know if it will be. But, would like to hear it is an alternative for some uses.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  2. #2

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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    In my third search a topic showed up. I'll check it out - maybe it will answer some of the questions.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  3. #3

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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    Over the weekend, I developed the first batch that I shot. I have not yet printed them, but the negatives laid out on the light table suggest the following. And once again, until I print something from them, I'm withholding judgement. And these are not intended to be film tests...I was to anxious to get out and shoot something!

    I shot a total of five images, two sheets each image. Three of them were shot at ISO 40 and two at 80. One sheet of each image was developed in Pyrocat HD in glycol, and the other sheet in HC110.

    The sheets I shot at ISO 40 look better, regardless of which developer I used. The HC110 negs look a little too dense in the highlights and thinner in the shadows (albeit not critically so), so the contrast is a bit highe inr that developer. Hopefully I shall have an opportunity to get into the darkroom this coming weekend and print them.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    Shanghai film was offered here on forum from a Chinese source in nearly any size

    Some of us bought

    No regrets


    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/90281...8x10-25-Sheets

    Received this via E-mail from Freestyle Photo. Looks interesting.

    Anyone have information on how it actually performs - say compared to Ilford FP4+?

    Ability to handle plus or minus exposure & development? Mid range tonal separation?

    Reciprocity characteristics?

    Not available in 5x7 and don't know if it will be. But, would like to hear it is an alternative for some uses.
    sin eater

  5. #5

    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Anyone have information on how it actually performs?
    Here's a link to another thread, that I though was interesting, and has some of the information, for which you're looking.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    I don't see any real evidence there.



    Quote Originally Posted by MultiFormat Shooter View Post
    Here's a link to another thread, that I though was interesting, and has some of the information, for which you're looking.
    sin eater

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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    Nor do I.

  8. #8

    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I don't see any real evidence there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    Nor do I.
    There are plenty of examples, with different developers, in the links in post #6, of said thread. I think they provide a reasonable idea of "how it actually performs."

  9. #9

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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    For what it's worth, I shot this a few days ago with longish exposures. Meter was 5s at f8. I used the Reciprocity App to calculate bellows and use FP4 and CHS ii to guess where CatLabs X may have fallen. I ended up with 30s and 1m times. These appear to be more than may have been necessary. Negatives are good but highlights are a bit on the dense side. Not much different between the two exposures but the 1 minute one is more dense.

    I did another set at f11 and used 1 and 2 minute exposures. Difference was even less there but again the longer exposure was more dense (though it was subtle).

    My takeaway is that I probably didn't need to expose for that long and perhaps should have started with the FP4 values.

    Really nice film for the cost! It won't replace my lovely CHS ii I don't think but I really like it.

  10. #10

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    Re: CatLABS X film, from Freestyle - any user information?

    I'm in the process of moving the house and everything in the darkroom so didn't have time for a proper film test of the box of 4x5 I bought. But I did have a new lens to test so figured I'd shoot a couple sheets of this. I used an incident meter (Luna Star F) on a sunny day with just a little haze to shoot the high contrast subject that is my test of lens sharpness. Spot meter is packed already. My lens test target is a stucco house across the canyon at a distance of roughly 400 yards. If I can see the latch on the gate when looking at the negative with a magnifier I consider a lens pretty decent. Set the meter at ISO 80 and exposed as indicated.

    Since I have some mixed up, I processed the sheet with slow constant agitation in a tray slosher. D76, 1:1, for a tedious 15 minutes at 68F. Got this number from Digital Truth or some website. This produced a very nice negative, which rarely happens for me using on line development tables. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

    1. Looking at it with a very strong magnifier (enlarger already packed) I'd say it does look like a sharp, very fine grained film.

    2. It has a very clean looking base. B+F is 0.07.

    3. Looked at with a point light source (tensor lamp) I can see a couple very faint long scratches, something I never see. I think these may be invisible on a cold light enlarger print but couldn't check. Even under the tensor lamp I could shift the angle of the negative and they would disappear.

    4. With same magnifier, scanning the sky in the negative I could see a number of very, very small places where there didn't appear to be any density. These are much smaller than what I consider a "pinhole" and far too small to ascertain shape. Way smaller than dust. I'm not sure these would be visible in a print the size I can make and of course with things packed couldn't check.

    Once I get things set up in a new location I'll give it another try. It is interesting. It is packed in a heavy plastic sealed bag that is harder to open than a Kodak one. I had to cut it open with scissors in the dark. Inside that there is a folded poly bag and the film has protective thin paper between each sheet. There is no inner box lid and it is hard to fold it up in the outside bag after you cut it open so I am keeping it in an old 5x7 box.

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