I'm going to buy some (1000ft) Eastman Double-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by blind_sparks, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. blind_sparks

    blind_sparks Member

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    I will be starting in on my senior thesis here in MKE and I would like to use Eastman Double-X. I've read a lot about it in the last few months and have targeted it as my film of choice. Main inspiration here is Winogrand, specifically his method of shooting: shoot lots and worry about the images later. Hopefully it will end in a few handmade books of objectively picked images. :smile:

    I'm want to buy 1000ft, so I'm asking for advice and tips as to how to spool it safely into 100ft lengths to load into my Watson loader. Does anyone have any experience with this specifically? Thanks in advance!

    Bryan
     
  2. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have done this before. I took a board and put two nails through it. You can imagine the rest. The spray and pray Winogrand thing I can't help you with.
     
  3. georgegrosu

    georgegrosu Member

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  4. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Should be available in 400 ft loads, which are a bit easier to handle. It works out to the same price per foot. (last catalog I have shows 400Ft at $US 140.76 CAT173 7279 1000 Ft CAT 1982511 was 351.92 with a minimum order of one rolls in each case. The price may have changed by now, and will be different outside the USA. That approch also gives you more film cans to use to organize stuff.


    Last time I did this, I used a empty 1 inch core from more conventional Bulk film for the supply side and a an old projector reel drive as the driven part. That was attached through the board to a small knob with a "spinner handle" The MP Film comes on a 2 inch core with a 1 inch hole. I also just let the film slide on a board covered with Formica, which was in it's past life a Kitchen sink cut-out for a home builders discard pile. I measured the maximum size I could fir in my loader, and put a piece of masking tape on the board and would untilI could feel the film reach my tape mark.
     
  5. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

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    I got a little carried away buying short ends and such so I came up with this to break down the rolls:

    http://www.photothings.net/page3.html

    (I've linked to this in previous threads but a some point I must have changed the page name.)
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i saw most of it,
    but some of it was not
    view-able /// :sad:
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi bryan

    i hate to ask this, but how tall are you ?
    sorry ... your arm-span is roughly speaking ,,, your height.
    you might not have to respool this whole 1000 feet but
    judge how much of your wingspan is a 36 exp roll ---- stretch your arms
    cut // put in your bulk loader and wind.

    i guess it sounds like a pain, oh well ... good luck !

    john
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Bryan,

    I do this all the time at work. We've got an electric winder and I break down 1200 foot rolls of Ektachrome into sizes we need. If you want to pay the shipping, I'll do it for you. Very easy with the right tools. I have center core's and light tight packaging too.
     
  9. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Here's my advice: don't bother. Just go right to 35mm cartridges. Load a bag of cartridges at a time. There's no point to using a bulk loader.
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    It is not necessary to develop Double-X in D-96, I routinely develop it in HC-110 or Rodinal. Using D-96 and Kodak's recommended times yield low contrast negatives required for printing on Kodak positive stock. Any B/W negative developer will work and yield normal contrast and a 1/3 stop increasse in film speed.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Like some above, I simply spool mine off in a darkroom by feel. My rolls are slightly inconsistent in length, but they're close enough. As a bonus, I can shoot to the very end without fogging.

    I develop mine in HC-110 B... I intend to experiment with PMK.
     
  12. Metroman

    Metroman Member

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    Unless there is a good reason for buying a 1,000ft can, I would advise getting a couple of 400ft cans, the size is more manageable. I use a similar rig as bdilgard. ORWO also make two nice MP films. Oh yes, I have "Winogrand Syndrome." :blink:
     
  13. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    George,

    Why do you prefer DOUBLE-X over Plus-X? Grain size? Tonality? Availability in your area? Personal taste?

    MB
     
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  15. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I'm going to be a bit contrary here, as usual; and ask what is it about Eastman Double-X that you like so much. I've used a bit of the stuff, and while I don't think it's bad film by any means, it's not the greatest for still camera work. Compared to still camera films, it's a bit flat; and it's grainy as hell for what it is. Unless you're getting a very good deal on short ends (hard to come by these days), 1000 ft. will cost you $380. Ten 100 ft. rolls of Tri-X (arguably a much better film for still photography, it's far easier to print conventionally and isn't half bad for scanning either) sold as Arista Premium 400 from Freestyle will set you back $350. I believe that Freestyle has a promotion going on and will throw in a bunch of reloadable cassettes with orders of 500 ft. of film or more. Call in your order and ask.

    I don't know. The Arista Premium is already cut to 100 ft. lengths, costs less, and to my eye at least, delivers a better end result. It's a no-brainer choice.
     
  16. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    LegacyPro 400 is even cheaper, and has finer grain that Tri-X.
     
  17. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You're right about that. It is less expensive, but it falls just short of that Tri-X look which I really do like. As far as grain goes, it's really a toss up. Tri-X and Neopan 400 are both very fine for their speed. The difference is really negligible.
     
  18. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I bought a heap of LegacyPro 100 and 400 bulk rolls only to find out that they don't fit into my daylight loader. The Fuji bulk rolls are too wide having flanks on both sides of the roll and get jammed.
     
  19. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Look for a cheap bulk loader on that auction thief site.
     
  20. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Setting aside the question posed about how to spool off usable lengths (and without having the vaguest idea who "Winogrand" is!) I'd have to question this approach to photography, which to me smacks rather too much of the d*****l way of doing things. Shooting lots and hoping for the best may or may not produce some good images, but is the generation of a good image by little more than a happy accident now and then really what photography is about?

    Perhaps I'm just far too traditional in my approach, but something about this method sets my teeth on edge. However, looking on the bright side, it will tend to keep those film plants churning rather more than my comparatively meagre film consumption will !

    Steve
     
  21. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Well, since Winogrand preceded digital, I'd have to say this isn't "the digital way" at all. I dare say that shooting lots is a learning tool, since if you have to develop all of it pretty soon you'll start to hone in on things you want to keep.

    I understand all of the arguments for and against the digital folks, but I don't buy most of it. I shoot film, and I do not shoot digital. Why? Because I like film. In my mind at least, there's no better reason that can exist.

    In the realm of "image making" (verses stricter definitions of photographs) there are a lot of technologies, most of which have successively brought the imaging techniques closer to the masses. Frankly, without this march of technology most of us here would NOT be shooting any film at all. Without Eastman trying to bring film photography to the masses we wouldn't have any film, and don't kid yourself that we'd all be making glass plates. Without Eastman "photography" would be relegated to the world of lab coats. And without digital imaging I sure wouldn't have two spare 4x5 enlargers in the garage that were gifts to get them out of someone's way.

    Snapshots, both film and digital, are what you are talking about in my understanding: images that are made without significant forethought about composition and staging. At the other extreme would be studio portraiture: tremendous effort to control lighting, posing, and every other aspect of the image. Most of us fall somewhere between these two extremes, including the OP's street shooting suggestion.

    To answer you directly, yes, digital does make snapshots much simpler and less costly. But I don't think that means voluminous image making is necessarily unskilled.

    I expect that after some time the OP will begin to get a significant portion of keepers in the endeavor. As the project continues s/he is bound to learn and improve technique, so the critical eye is bound to develop as part of the package. After all, we're talking about a person, not a street camera mindlessly taking pictures.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Why do people like this film? For one thing, it drys completely flat and I mean completely flat. No curling whatsoever. This helps to get greater sharpness when enlarging. Remember the film stock is a bit thicker than still camera film so you can only get about 30 exp in a cassette. Another plus, the emulsion has an antiscratch layer which makes it a joy to work with.
     
  23. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    This sounds good. Tell me more. Someone has already commented that it's not quite got the same resolving power as Plus-X, but from what I see it's rated a full stop faster, and maybe more depending on how you shoot Plus-X. So that's not quite Tri-X, but 250 is faster than 125 every day of the week.
     
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Yes, it does indeed dry flat. As far as scratch resistance and curling? I don't find either of those characteristics a real concern with Kodak's standard issue still camera films. As long as the films don't dry too quickly, they won't curl; and the film won't be subjected to the rigors of running through a mechanized printer, so scratch resistance is not a real concern. It will still scratch if you abuse it, so don't get the idea that this stuff is indestructible.

    I've blown through about 250 ft. of Eastman Double-X as a still camera film, so I'm not talking out of my hat here. That's certainly more than enough to get a feel for what this film can and cannot do. Yes, it's faster than Plus-X, and slower than Tri-X. Yet it is far more grainy than Tri-X, which is 2/3 stop faster, and doesn't have a contrast curve suitable for printing on enlarging papers. In my estimation, it's resolving power isn't any better than Tri-X and not as good as Plus-X, though to be really fair that doesn't matter one bit. There's no way you're going to bump up against the resolving power of any of these films without the best lenses used under the strictest of controls. The mid tones are flat, and there is a very pronounced shoulder. Shadow detail, however is very good, but not necessarily better than Tri-X. All in all, it's a good deal IF you're on a tight budget and can get short ends for $.18/ft. I can tell you that short ends of that stuff are nowhere to be found these days. It was hard to come by a few years ago. Today, I haven't found anyone who has it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  25. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    Double-X has a loooooooonnnnnggg scale. That is the best reason to use it. It isn't as cheap anymore since it is so hard to find short ends due to the popularity of short ends because of internet forums. If you develop it with Pyrocat, it is almost impossible to block it up. For general use though, I would suggest another film.
     
  26. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    So, which is it? Does anyone have an actual H&D curve for this stuff for a given development?