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Thread: XRay Film?

  1. #1

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    XRay Film?

    I hate the current state of sheet film. This thin emulsion, sharp, but not juicy, film we are all forced to use - because every company has decided this is what people want to use. I guess I am not "all people."

    Now, before you all start - many of us will disagree on what kind of print we want to make. I know some of you love TMX, but I think its pure unadulterated garbage, unsuited for my purposes (might be great for yours). I am very experienced, I know all about different developers, their components and film and what they do. I have been using Efke and a little FP4 and souping in D-23. Results all over the board.

    I want smooth and luscious, like the Tri-X of old (FP4 in its original state was great also). Since none of this is available, I am wondering if any of you have tried XRay film - I figure it's likely to have a lot of silver. There was an older film called Graphic Arts film that had tons of it as well. Are there other specialty use films that anyone that has had experience with them can suggest? And where do you get this stuff?

    Please don't tell me to use Pyrocat or other developers, or film from China. I've already tried all that, I know what it does and doesn't do. I'm really curious about specialty films and if anyone has had any positive experience. Thanks in advance.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios

  2. #2

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    Re: XRay Film?

    Lenny,

    Given that you are looking for something that seems to be somewhat different, sounds like the best bet would be just buy some and try it. Since I like TMAX, I am not sure my liking X-ray film would tell you much useful. Here is some info:

    http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0036bl

  3. #3

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    Re: XRay Film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    Lenny,
    Given that you are looking for something that seems to be somewhat different, sounds like the best bet would be just buy some and try it. Since I like TMAX, I am not sure my liking X-ray film would tell you much useful. Here is some info:
    [/URL]
    Ed, Thanks. Nice, direct info, I love it. ISO 1 or 2 doesn't seem very useful.... I doubt the lack of panchromatic sensitivity would affect that much.... altho' I don't really know, not having used it myself.

    Anyone know any other options? I know there is military film they use for shooting from very high up - but I have no idea where to get it. Anything else? Anyone?

    TIA

    Lenny

  4. #4
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: XRay Film?

    There's a guy on eBay who regularly sells Plus-X Aerial film in 5" and 9.5" rolls, and there are people who cut it down for use in sheet film holders. It has some extended red sensitivity to reduce the filter factor for red and yellow filters, which would commonly be used to cut through haze at high altitudes, but it's on a thinner base than regular sheet film.

  5. #5
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    Re: XRay Film?

    There are several people here that are working with x-ray film. I have just started my work - - I have finished my testing and am now moving into using it on a project. It has interesting properties, such as emulsion on both sides, so highlights like to bloom more than they would on regular film, but that suits the project I am working on just fine.

    You can search for an x-ray film thread here within the last 60 days by Gene McCluney and see his work. That is who got me started on it... and I'm sure there are others. Here are the last 2 of my test images on x-ray film that convinced me that I had nailed the exposure correctly.

    http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m...-img_207sm.jpg
    http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m...-img_206sm.jpg
    Last edited by wclavey; 7-Sep-2007 at 15:01. Reason: trying to figure out how to attach thumbnails

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    Re: XRay Film?

    WClavey,

    That's impressive. I checked out Gene's thread and seems some great info is there... your 207sm is also impressive.

    What do you think the ISO might be?

    Thanks,

    Lenny

  7. #7
    wclavey's Avatar
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    Re: XRay Film?

    I am using full speed blue sensitive film and have been metering at 100 and developing in Diafine. I think that others are shooting this same film in the 50-100 range as well. I have not tried the green sensitive or the half speed films.

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    Re: XRay Film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    I want smooth and luscious, like the Tri-X of old (FP4 in its original state was great also). Since none of this is available, I am wondering if any of you have tried XRay film - I figure it's likely to have a lot of silver.
    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    I, of course use X-ray film from time-to-time. However, I wouldn't consider it "silver rich" by any means. I wish to comment on your desire for "silver rich" films. Older film manufacturing had more silver that did not get turned into image, and was fixed out. Modern b/w film (of any kind) has more silver that gets turned into the final image. Manufacturers have learned how to get more of the silver in the emulsion to react to light and development and become the final image. Therefore in the final developed image, there is at least as much "silver" as there ever was, even if the emulsion when coated has less silver to start with.

    You can still get Tri-X in popular sheet sizes. It should give you very similar results to the way Tri-X has always worked.

    Graphic arts films, being designed for high-contrast work are very thin emulsions, not a lot of silver., however they can be used for full-toned photography with compensating development.

  9. #9

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    Re: XRay Film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    I, of course use X-ray film from time-to-time. However, I wouldn't consider it "silver rich" by any means. I wish to comment on your desire for "silver rich" films. Older film manufacturing had more silver that did not get turned into image, and was fixed out. Modern b/w film (of any kind) has more silver that gets turned into the final image. Manufacturers have learned how to get more of the silver in the emulsion to react to light and development and become the final image. Therefore in the final developed image, there is at least as much "silver" as there ever was, even if the emulsion when coated has less silver to start with.

    You can still get Tri-X in popular sheet sizes. It should give you very similar results to the way Tri-X has always worked.

    Graphic arts films, being designed for high-contrast work are very thin emulsions, not a lot of silver., however they can be used for full-toned photography with compensating development.
    Gene,
    Thanks very much for responding. Tri-X appears to be grainier than it used to be. Maybe it's me... but it doesn't appear to give me as much as it used to... I'm scanning on a drum scanner, so tighter grain is much nicer.

    I keep getting these results that are not as rich as things used to be - I have even gone back to mixing up D-23. There seem to be larger steps between the tonalities. Some people agree wholeheartedly, others think I am crazy... It's like playing a piano where every other key hits the same string. Leaves look all the same tone....

    I guess I'll try the XRay stuff and see what happens. It's certainly cheap enough...

    Thx again,

    Lenny

  10. #10
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: XRay Film?

    I think the grain of Tri-X has improved in its latest incarnation. I'm wondering if it's just the difference between scanning and wet printing that makes it seem otherwise.

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