Grainy film with wide exposure latitude

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by atomicthumbs, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. atomicthumbs

    atomicthumbs Member

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    I recently shot a partial roll of a mystery film someone on another forum sent to me. The canister says "GAF Recording Film Type 2005", the base is purple, and the rebate says "GAF SAFETY" and "2005".

    Someone with an old imaging handbook found that it was designed to take photographs of hydrogen bubble chambers, CRT readouts, and other scientific equipment; its original speed was 100-160 in the 1970s. Manufacturer development information was nowhere to be found, so I stand developed it in 1:100 Rodinal for one hour.

    As an aside, I have been searching for a certain low-contrast, high-grain aesthetic for ages, and I finally nailed it (by accident) by metering a 120 roll of Fuji Acros wrong:

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by atomicthumbs, on Flickr

    Anyway, the results from this GAF film turned out to be exactly the kind of aesthetic I have been searching for, except reproducible. I may have underexposed this roll, so I'm going to try shooting the next one at 80 ASA. Here are selected results:

    [​IMG]
    KPH 7 by atomicthumbs, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    KPH 9 by atomicthumbs, on Flickr

    My question: is there any film and developer combination that's currently in production which will yield similar, reproducible results? I have five rolls of this GAF film left, and the person who sent it to me has forty, and is planning to shoot them himself. Ideally, I would like to produce photos like this forever, and I'm hoping it's possible. Bonus points if it's available in 120, so I can take advantage of my Pentax 67.
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    What EI and developer for the Acros?
     
  3. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    I shoot a LOT of GAF 70mm aerial film, (shot at EI 200) I find it high contrast because its an aerial film.

    I honestly don't see your image examples as "low contrast" though...

    I've found it develops great in Ifsol 3 at 4 or 4.5 minutes. The short dev helps keep down the base fog, and gives nice tones but as I said its high contrast being an aerial film.

    But it's certainly GAF from... 1967 I believe. And I've found it's a really nice film. Funny anyone who "remembers" it says it wasn't a good film, but I find it a really nice film, so, maybe it's gotten better with age :smile:


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. atomicthumbs

    atomicthumbs Member

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    EI 100 in Ilford machine developer (I didn't have access to a darkroom at the time I took those photos, so I sent my roll to the local photo lab). I messed up the exposure by metering on the sand on the beach, though I may have used an exposure one stop below what the meter indicated. I don't remember :sad:

    Perhaps I should've said "normal contrast". I may need to re-evaluate my idea of contrast, since what I usually shoot to enhance the grain is HP5+ pushed two or three stops.
     
  5. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I would have recommended Ilford Delta 3200 as a grainy film with lots of lattitude and relatively low inherent contrast (which can be increased in development). But if you find Acros grainy (it is one of the least grainy films available) I'm confused.
     
  6. al.b

    al.b Member

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    I dont know anything about it , but i love the first shot.

    al.b
     
  7. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Yeah, something element doesn't seem quite right. I don't know what Ilford developer, machine or not, would make Acros look like that. I wish I knew, because that is an interesting look, and I prefer the Acros image to how the others shot on old GAF film look. If you can find a way to repeat your "success" with Acros, I don't think you need to look much further.

    And the rest of us would like to know what the Ilford machine or its developer did to that Acros!
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Ilford Delta 3200, as mentioned above, has a wide latitude and can be low contrast, and can be grainy, depending on how you expose and process it. Same with (now discontinued) Kodak TMZ. The more you underexpose either film and how you develop them will determine your results.
     
  9. atomicthumbs

    atomicthumbs Member

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    The Acros, as I said, is grainy because it was exposed wrong.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Your (under)exposure error of a couple stops would not cause any such graininess on Acros, it'd just cause a little shadow loss. It might be down to the developer maybe if you used print chemistry? What you've shown isn't anything like normal Acros behaviour or graininess; it should produce a grain-free print at 16x20 or so from that size negative.

    My guess is that it's a grain-aliasing scan problem magnified by the huge contrast boost given to recover the probably-quite-thin negative.
     
  11. atomicthumbs

    atomicthumbs Member

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    I'll try to find the negatives later and see what they look like. Maybe we'll solve this mystery :tongue: