Kodak Aerocon / Plus-X Aerographic & How to Cut?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by OPTheory, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    I've acquired an 8 or 10 inch, not really sure, roll of Kodak Aerocon in a box that's sitting in a freezer. Unfortunately, I only shoot 35mm and medium format so I can't think of how I'd go about using this. The guy I got it from gave me THIS link upon explaining the film. It looks like it's difficult to process as I need a Versamat film processor.

    Does anyone have experience with this kind of film?
     
  2. Ed Workman

    Ed Workman Member

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    You don't really need a processor, albeit the film is optimized for it. If you examine the development curves you'll see that aero films are typically "overdeveloped" compared to pictorial use, and "aero" film speed looks high because of the development level.
    Not all Kodak aero films show "spiral" or "reel to reel" [that is "not Versamat"] temps and times, but some do and you could start with those with D76 or HC110 B, at say about half the aero speed for shots taken on the ground.
    Should work without a painful learning curve.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Does anyone have experience with this kind of film?

    Yes, the Department of Defense, CIA, NSA, and NASA. Grin.

    Have fun. You should shoot the film with a Kodak Aero-Lens!
     
  4. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    If you wanted to go to the trouble of it, you could cut it down into 120 size and then spool it on used spools/paper backings. That would be a lot of work though.

    Patrick
     
  5. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    Well thanks for the info guys! I'll probably just sell it even though I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. I just don't have the equipment to cut it or use it. The guy I bought this from actually charged me more for this roll of film than my Beseler Dichroic 67!
     
  6. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I hope you got a really good price on the equipment then!

    That would be fun to use. That's the thinnest and slowest aerial film I've seen yet. Might be hard to use cut down to sheet size for flatness reasons, unless one did pinhole where it didn't matter. I suppose it was used with a vacuum back.

    I'd like to know when it gets listed somewhere for sale.
     
  7. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    I'll be sure to let you know if I post it!

    Hmm... This is a unique film and I have a ton of it though. I'm not sure I want to give it up :tongue:.

    I'm actually tempted to just cut this and respool it onto 120 rolls. This is enough film to last me a long, long time for medium format. It looks like it's actually Plus-X Aerographic (2402), not the other kind that i was linked to. See the attached files. It expired in '05 but it's been in the freezer for the past few years.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2007
  8. pkrentz

    pkrentz Member

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    Aero Film

    I have the Panatomic Aero 2412, have been using it for years, works great with ABC Pyro, have yet to try it with Pyrocat P. Pat:D
     
  9. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    Where do you go about finding a good source for these kinds of films anyway? Directly from Kodak? I was looking on photo.net and this Finnish photographer was saying he gets 300 foot rolls of this stuff for $65 or something from "a guy in Nevada."

    Not that I'm worrying about getting more... I already have a ton. Also, does anyone have any advice on how I'd go about cutting this and spooling the film onto 120 or 220 rolls?
     
  10. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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    I do have two kept-frozen rolls of 70mm Plus-X Aerographic 2402. I've not spooled any up yet, but I seem to recall that is does not have antihalo backing, not sure if that is a future issue. Under most conditions, probably not.

    Info sheet is available online.
     
  11. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    Well, after sweating in pitch darkness or about an hour (you start to lose your mind at about the half hour mark) I finally managed get a 9.5 inch by 6 cm strip onto a 120 spool. Anxious to see what kind of results this strange new film would give me, I took four photos of my good friend. After some sloppy development I pulled out the negatives from the tank and I was astonished that they turned out. I immediately made a "contact sheet" of the four photos.

    It has the look of Ilford SFX with the extended red sensitivity. I like it a lot. From what I've read around, some people rate this at a very low ISO because they've had issues with thin negatives at the box speed. I shot this at 125 ISO, developed in 1:50 rodinal for 13 minutes and it looks great.

    Now I just need to find a way to cut these into full length 120 spools. Any ideas? I don't have a cutter that big...
     
  12. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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    Hi OPTTheory,

    I once got an email from a guy up in Alaska, who made his own 120-rollfilm film slitter. It was made from a long, very smooth, wooden board, with long wooden "rails", attached left and right sides. A long, wooden "block" went into the "trough", to hold the film down squarely.. He used a very sharp boxcutter knife to slit the film.
     
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  14. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I have 2402, so no need to let me know...sounds like you 'violated' the seal anyway :O) .


    Yeah, slitting, everyone's headache.

    The 2402 is I think 0.004". The 39xx? you originally listed is 0.0025", even worse in a sheet fim holder.

    The 2402 data sheet says it has an antihalation dye. I put a piece undeveloped in the sink & ran water on it (I don't know why), and it ran pink/magenta.

    Someone suggested that different vintages may not have had the anti-halation layer, but I would think then that it would have to be 1) MUCH older or b) have different enough behavior that it couldn't be considered the same film.

    So I tend to not believe the stories about existence of alleged no-halation 2402.

    If you look at the data sheet, speed is listed as ISO A. A is for aerial. It's based on different spectral properties of light and camera angle at high altitude. The published film speeds are also based on the higher temperature development in a different soup than we terrestrial photographers use.

    I talked to Kodak once on this, and I swear the guy told me to double the aerial ISO to get a 'normal' one, as an approximation. He said there is no simple conversion because the factors are complex and variable.

    I think he meant to say HALVE.

    I've heard EI as low as 80 (for 2402), but it's like pinning a tail on the donkey with a blindfold (or darkcloth) because the development for most people will be different than spec.

    One guy told me it's really grainy...I would wish it was like Plus-X with extended red sensitivity...maybe his experience with grain is due to his random success with development choice.

    I found working with it in the dark pretty traumatic too. That was my first darkroom effort in 28-ish years. I sat the spool (5" rollx 1000', not as teetery as yours) in the lid on a clean floor to 'dereel' some. I pulled too hard & it leaped out of the cannister lid and began rolling across the darkroom, with me taking up film in my hands as fast as I could. I intended to send several feet to someone and he got alot more than I intended.

    I was also disturbed by sparks (triboelectric?) from removing the tape from the film end (I had never experienced that before with puny tapeless 35mm or 120 film).

    For the next effort I built a spool holder with a bolt for an 'axle' that worked fine in daylight, but with the weight of the spool on it, I couldn't get the bolt thru the supports easily.

    All very frustrating. I was tempted to go visit a local lab that has night vision goggles, but I don't want to gamble with how far down in the mud the IR response is.

    I think a 29 filter would work fine. It's tempting to try some with an 87 and much longer exposure to see what's 'below the graph'.

    Photo Engineer said the response cutoff is very drastic but I suppose after wrangling a big spool like that one's earned the right to stubbornly try it anyway. I don't know if that would be considered push or pull or wishful.

    When I have a dark place at home it won't be such a rushed and stressful thing to work with. I had to drive across town to a place that let me use their darkroom and I was on a tight schedule.

    What did you use for EI and chenistry/time, OPT?

    Will you be able to share images?

    Thanks

    Murray
     
  15. OPTheory

    OPTheory Member

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    That sounds interesting! Would you still happen to have that e-mail by chance?

    Thanks a lot for that link bdial! This will get me started. Time for a trip to a hardware store!

    The EI was kind of all over the place. That first and second shot below is at 125 ISO and the one below it is around 60 (I had no clue as to how they'd turn out). I developed the 9.5 inch strip in rodinal at a 1:50 dilution for 13 minutes as per the instructions that were in the box. It turns out that's the same time for normal Plus-X with that dilution of rodinal. Obviously, this isn't the best scan (or the best images... my friend is strange in front of the camera) but it's as close to the print results as I could get. The highlights aren't so blown on the contact strip either. Click here for a bigger version. What do you think?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2007
  16. Ed Workman

    Ed Workman Member

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    I'm glad you weren't dissuaded from the old school try- looks good and thanks.
    If you're still game I hope you'll try slitting.
    I've done the dark madness with 10 inch film loading to homemade Cirkut spools but I haven't regained my strength sufficiently to tackle slitting.
    For 15 ft or so lengths I think I gotta apply the blade between the main film roll and a takeup spool and cut-while-winding. No one has reported trying that method [that I know about, so I gather it's a trade secret or a failed idea, sigh.
    good luck
     
  17. europanorama

    europanorama Member

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    xkaes on ebay or google for filmslitter has cheap filmslitter of any size. or he can make them.
    http://www.subclub.org/sponsors/goathil2.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2012
  18. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    I would not waste that roll on cutting to 120. You can get 18x24cm holders that fit into ordinary international 8x10 back easily, at least in the Europe. With some basic wooden 8x10 field camera and 12inch lens you are off to absolutely another territory :smile:
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Gar! This app just lost all that I typed... To sum it up...

    Hey can I snag a roll of that 70mm? I'm obsessed with it and shoot it more than 120.

    Also, I agree, don't cut it, go see the large format photography forum and get a giant 18x24 LF camera setup and make prints that are ridiculously huge and sharp as a 5x7 from 35mm...

    If you MUST cut it, and want to go the super cheap rout, get a ruler, some clamps, and go to Joanne Fabrics (or other craft store) buy a self healing cutting board and one of those circular cutting blades (looks like a pizza cutter).

    Or just sell it and buy the film you DO want to use and save the hassle.


    ~Stone

    http://www.stonenyc.com

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