jandc film 400 for old Super XX look?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by solvingday78, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. solvingday78

    solvingday78 Member

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    Hi there,

    I have been shooting now for about three years. I grew up on Life magazines and the likes of W. Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, and Henri-Cartier. I have been looking for a film that gives that classic look without looking crappy. I know Frank and Smith used to use Super XX, so I am looking for a 35mm film that acts like it. I heard JandC's Classic 400 does the job, but I wanted some advice first. Plus, I will be developing with D76. Hp5 has given me somewhat of that classic look, but I am not complely satisfied. Any suggestions?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    J&C 400 is a nice looking film, more like Tri-X than the old Super-XX, but try it--you might like it. Tri-X also has a classic look, and you might prefer it to J&C 400 in 35mm, because the grain will be finer. Ilford FP4+ and Efke 100 are also good medium-speed options.
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I shoot J and C 400 in 120 rollfilm and various sheetfilm sizes. I'm very happy with the film and it is an excellent, higher speed companion to Efke 100.

    I primarily contact print on Azo. I develop both of these films in Pyrocat-HD which is a staining and tanning developer. I have not tried them in D-76.
     
  4. Scott Edwards

    Scott Edwards Member

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    If you really want that XX look, then I would recommend that you use a high-acutance developer like Rodinal rather than D76, which is middle of the road in most aspects. Rodinal will give JandC 400 (read Forte) that extra oomph and sparkle that Super XX is noted for. Now as to format, XX is rather grainy and is really ideal for putting sparkle in large format and will be pretty grainy in 35mm. If that is what you are looking for, then you've found it with JandC 400. I use it in my 4x5 work all the time because it is so textural.
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The only real candidate for developer is D-76, 1:1. The diluted version was used because it gives a little more shadow density than stock.

    In unusual situations, you might have found a lab running D23, replenished, which would have been nearly the same as D76. Or Edwal 12, or 777, in a replenished system. But D76 was the standard. And Super XX needed all the help it could get.

    Also common, was Plus X pushed in D-76, either in D76 or with some level of creativity: not uncommon, D76 where Kodalk replaced the borax... often documented at EI 320.

    Start with D-76, 1:1. Get it under control, and you'll be there.
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Another option for that gritty look that I recall from the few Super XX 35 mm images I've seen is to try Lucky SHD 400 -- I've shot it in 120; I really like the tones, but it's significnatly grainier than Tri-X (which is what you're after, if I'm understanding correctly). Since you get both from J&C, I'd suggest getting a couple rolls of each and trying them.

    BTW, Lucky SHD 400 seems to be happy if you pretend it's Tri-X for development purposes...
     
  7. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Can you tell me where you get Lucky film?

    Thank you.

    -Mike
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you want a gritty 200-speed film, try Kodak Double-X cine stock. Some cine stock houses sell short ends that can be bulk rolled.
     
  9. clay

    clay Subscriber

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  10. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Kodak Super XX Film was the last Kodak film emulsion to contain Cadmium, so finding a direct alternative will be very difficult.
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You must have missed Donald's comment that it's available from J&C.

    Conventional bulk rolls for 35mm still cameras are 100 feet. Converting the movie stock cost, that's $32.50 per 100 feet. Most big-name B&W films (Kodak, Ilford, etc.) cost about $30-$45 in 100-foot bulk rolls from B&H. Tri-X, in particular, is $29.95; and Fortepan 400 is $32.95. If you look hard, you can find other brands for less. Freestyle's various "Arista" house brands are mostly less than this. Their Arista EDU Ultra 400 is $19.99 for a 100-foot bulk roll.

    Speaking of which, Arista EDU Ultra is really Fomapan. I'm no expert on the "look" of older films, but I've seen comments to the effect that Foma and Efke emulsions have an "old-style" look. Thus, solvingday78 might want to try out Fomapan 400, available as such from both J&C and Freestyle, or as Freestyle's Arista EDU Ultra house brand.

    So to sum up, five films have been suggested as worth at least trying:

    • Fortepan 400
    • Lucky Pan 400
    • Efke 100
    • Fomapan 400
    • Eastman 5222 cine film

    All but the last of these are available from J&C, so I'd suggest going there and placing an order for a few rolls of each to try them out. The Eastman 5222 will cost a lot more to try, unless you go in with others to split a bulk roll or can find somebody who sells it spooled onto smaller 35mm cartridges.
     
  12. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    In making images in the style of another period, it's important to look at photography as a system: the contribution of each component is buffered by the rest of the system.

    In other words, switching a film or a developer, or both, will make little contribution to a 1950's photojournalistic image if the printing technique doesn't change as well.

    As far as that goes, even if you were to get your hands on the same paper in use in 1951, you'd still make the picture look like a 2005 image unless you start with the aesthetic differences you see between then and now, and build from there.

    Using Tri X and D76, and your normal paper... probably with a different development system... will get you to what you're looking for. You'll change how you expose the film, the amount you agitate, and how long you develop. Can you guess what a vintage negative looked like ? Sit down with a stack of your pictures, and Life magazines, and see what you see.

    I'd even say that you'd have to try to get back into a Pre-Deconstruction, Pre-ironic, and Pre-Mostmodern mindset. There really is more to it than a 'skin' or a 'plug-in'.
     
  13. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Pre-Mostmodern = Pre-Postmodern?

    Whether it's a typo or a jibe, I like it. :smile: I know some people that I'm going to start referring to as "Mostmodernists".

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled topic...

    Lee
     
  14. solvingday78

    solvingday78 Member

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    cool...

    Thanks for all the info so far... besides Hp5 though, I have also shot alot with tri-x. I am looking for that grainy look for sure, but even with tri-x and d76 at 1:1, it still looks really clean. Sebastio Selgado I heard still shoots tri-x, but his stuff definately looks classic. I want to get that look down, so that when I find the right content, it will be magic. I saw on jandc's website that their classic 400 has a higher silver emulsion rate, thus giving it that look. I'm just curious if that in itself will do it for me. btw.. you can see what I've done so far at www.suspendedmotion.com most of what you see on there is tri-x.
     
  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have shot sxx in 4x5 and it isn't that grainy. If anything it is on par with tri-x -- maybe less gainy. From my experience the beauty of SXX is how full and smooth the tonal range is.

    If MAS is about maybe he can shed some light.

    If grain is what you are after I think HP shows more grain than Tri-x and the 1600 films from Kodak and Ilford are really grainy.

    You could overexpose and under develope this often gets the grain going.
     
  16. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Kodak makes two motion picture films 5231 (ISO 80D, 64T) and 5222 (ISO 250D, 200T). Both of these films are intended to be printed on contrasty positive film stock. For still camera use I therefore recommend shooting them at 125D and 400D respectively to increase their contrast for printing on paper. Both films are panorthochromatic and have lower red sensitivity similar to the Efke films. This is evidenced by Kodak assigning different daylight and a tungsten speeds for each film. Both films have an oldtime feel to them.
     
  17. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Most claims about higher silver content has been BS going back to the '70s.

    It's just one of those things...
     
  19. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Clay got the pricing wrong and the minimum order. You can order short ends of 5222 (by short they mean less than 250ft) for $0.10/foot which would be $10/100ft bulk roll. If they don't have any around the 100ft length then I would expect a surcharge to have it cut down to that length, but I would not expect that surchage to be over $5 so you would still be around $15/100ft.
     
  20. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    Jeremy,

    The filmemporium people only sell short ends when they have them. Which is very rarely in the case of b&w movie stock. They will not cut down a roll for you. I waited for about a year for some short ends to magically appear, then just bit the bullet and ordered a whole 400 foot roll. The pricing I gave is accurate for a new fresh 400 foot roll. If you want it any time soon, that will be your only option....

    Clay

     
  21. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    J&C Photo, same as the Pro 100 and Classic 200/400. Last I looked, they have it in both 35 mm and 120.