Mmmm Plus-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tim Gray, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I shot some plus-x a couple weeks ago and have now scanned the shots and printed some out in the darkroom. It really is a fabulous film. I've also decided that I have no real desire to shoot any film that's finer grain. Between Plus-X, Tri-X, and TMZ, I'm really satisfied with a nice range of speeds and grain.

    The only downfall of Plus-X is its price (compared to Tri-X). So I just bought a 100 ft roll and bulk loaded myself. Anyone who is afraid of doing that should take the plunge - its really quite easy, and I'm happy to add that the frames are numbered. They go from 1-40 (I think) and then repeat, so a given roll will start on a random number...

    Oh yeah, I printed on Ilford's satin finish RC paper. I really love this surface. You guys should try it out if you are Ilford MGIV RC users.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Yes, Plus-X is a nice film. I think of it as a low-speed Tri-X. I usually dip it in HC-110 to bring out the grain, or ID-11 for general use.
     
  3. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Plus-X suffers from..........being domestic. Something that good can't come from the Great Yellow Father, can it? Oh, wait, everyone loves Tri-X.....

    Back in the 80's Robert Ringer authored a book, "Looking Out for Number One." One of the wisdom's he learned and imparted is the problem of being local. He couln't get consulting work locally, but once he became "the expert from afar," no problem. I've becomed quite attuned to this phenomena, whethe consulting or film.

    I've also noticed the great price discrepency between Plus-X and Tri-X. It's not like PX is some new formula that needs to be amoritized. And it's quite substantial. PE, anyone have a take on such pricing policies? (I just ordered a 100' roll of the new TMY. Doing bulk goes a long way to keeping this addiction affordable.)

    And a great composition and execution!
     
  4. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Yeah, the price for 36 exp is $6 for 125px and $4 for 400tx. The bulk rolls are $45 for 125px and $49 for 400tx. And the 24 exp rolls are the same price at $3.50.

    All prices from B&H. I do see that B&H is carrying 'imported' 125px at $4/36 exp.

    What gives? That's strange to me.

    Thanks for the comment on the photo too!
     
  5. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    The particulars vary on Freestyle, but the similarities are, um,,,, similar.

    I'm taking a day to putz around tomorrow here on the west coast of Florida, drive to somewhere. I have a roll of PX that is begging to be tried...... so maybe I will!

    Did you mention developers or tricks? I don't think so. I'm now using D-76 1:1 for baseline tests. Mixing my own, it's cheap. The development times are everywhere Kodak. Even with non-Kodak films you can do an easy interpolation.
     
  6. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    "Tim Gray"

    Are you aware that there is a character in Kerouc's "On the Road" with that name? He is actually Ed White, still alive in Englewood (connected to Denver) Colorado. I have spent time with Ed and his wife Ann interviewing him.
     
  7. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Haha. I've been told there is about that character... Been meaning to read it.

    I just use XTOL 1:1. I like XTOL because its a decent developer to push with (if I feel the need), pretty flexible over all, and mixes up pretty easily at room temperature.
     
  8. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    My main choice is the Ilford Pearl. The only flaw with Ilford is the HP-5 That is one film I will NEVER use again.
     
  9. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    Tim, the detail of her lovely profile and hair stand out beautifully! Skin is so nice, too. Nice image!
     
  10. nze

    nze Member

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    Give a try to Era 100 it is quite similar to Plus X and cheaper.
     
  11. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I don't know much about anything these days but I think that the price difference is due to the lack of demand for Plus-X. It will probably go the way of Verichrome pan eventually, sooner than later. It's a beautiful film, perfect with Microdol-X (do they still make that? I used to buy it in a glass bottle and i'm not that old..)

    eh. i'll keep my mouth shut next time. :/
     
  12. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    You are "That old."

    I THINK my only use of Microdol X is about 1965. and I THINK it was in an envelope. But then again, what I THINK often does not jibe with reality......
     
  13. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    It is indeed a beautiful film, one of my favorites. I have trouble scaninning it though.

    I take Delta 100 and Plus X. Both print on #2 paper with a condenser enlarger. The Delta scans easily and I get a low cotrast scan. The Plus X is worse than scanning slides. Tri X scans fine to.

    I don`t understand.
     
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  15. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Interesting. I've had no problems scanning my Plus-X. What do you develop in and what do you scan with?
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have recently discovered Plus-X and I like what I see so far. I develop it in Xtol 1+3 or Pyrocat-MC and both have given me great results. I have printed them on all kinds of paper and I am delighted to say the least. Great tonality, very sharp, and a nice looking grain. I too think of it as a less grainy Tri-X.

    I haven't tried scanning it yet, but I'm interested in hearing from Ronald and others what level they take their scanning to. I usually just do it for proofing so I know what to print in the darkroom, but on occasion I push my scanner to the limit. What kind of problems are you
    seeing? What is it about the scans that you don't like compared to Delta 100??

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
     
  17. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I scan pretty thoroughly when I have a good shot. Nikon Coolscan V at 4000 dpi. I use Vuescan, get a nice scan with no highlight or shadow clipping, and then do some curves/levels in photoshop. I've really had no issues with Plus-X and scanning...

    I develop in XTOL 1:1 for Kodak's given times if it makes a differences.
     
  18. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Excellent film! A favorite for work in studio. In D-76 1+1. Yet to find a better developer for it.
     
  19. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I'm pretty sure it came canned. You used it about when I did.
     
  20. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I used plus-x in the 1960's, developed in Rodinal, and was shooting with an uncoated Zeiss Sonnar on a Contax II. Printed one of those negatives a few months back. There is a quality about that image that would be very hard if even possible to achieve now. I wonder how the film has changed. Anybody know?

    Besides the great scale, the grain was really beautiful. And, coated or not, that Sonnar is hard to beat. Using Rodinal, which gives an emphasis to the linear elements and value boundaries, the quality of the glass actually is visible to the eye. I loved it. Maybe I'd better buy some!

    One thing that MAY keep plus x in production is the fact that it is also a movie film. Whether the movie film is the same as the camera film is another question, but Kodak calls 'em both Plus X. The movie film version is available in short rolls from Film Emporium. Of course, movie films don't come with numbered frames, which is a pain. In the movie roll ends, it is very inexpensive, something like 18 cents/ft. I've been using the Double X, which I like very much. It has a bit more pronounced grain than Plus X.
     
  21. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Plus-x has been my favorite film for years. I cried for days when I accodently exposed my last box of 8x10 to the darkroom light. Even now it brings atear to my eye.
     
  22. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Too bad you can't use movie film in your 8x10! Or maybe you can?
     
  23. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Plus-X has been a favorite of mine since I shot my first roll of 35 mm film over 40 years ago, and I find it almost amusing that some folks here are just now discovering it. It is a beautiful film, and one that will be sorely missed if discontinued.

    ...and no, I'm not aware of any rumors or statements that it will be discontinued any time soon. Let's not start any.
     
  24. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    FWIW, I have a paper envelope type package of Microdol-X. It has an expiration date on it which has passed so I haven't used it, but...I think most recently that's how it was sold.

    What do you all think of Plus-X as compared to FP4 or TMax100? Seems similar in terms of speed and what you'd use it for.
     
  25. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    The movie version of Plus-X is 5231 in 35mm size. This is what Kodak says: "A high-speed, tungsten-balanced film with fine grain structure and very high sharpness. It features wide-, under- and overexposure latitude,
    with whiter whites, accurate color, and flesh-to-neutral reproduction; enhanced shadow detail provides crisp, rich blacks. It also offers
    improved shadow detail and blacks on telecine transfers. EI 80 (Daylight) without Filter, EI 64 (Tungsten) without Filter."

    Since it is intended to be developed by a relatively high contast D-96(??), for still photography I've read of it working well at EI 125 or so......just like "the other' Plux-X!

    Film Emporium website for Plus-X: http://www.tapesuperstore.com/koblandwhned1.html
     
  26. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    I have found Plus-X to be a fantastically versatile film in multiple sizes. It's great for portraits in medium format, it has that classic 1960's-era photojournalism look in 35mm, and I've recently made it my film of choice for bright daylight in my Holgas and Diana (yes, I know they're medium format too, but their images are so different from that of a Hassy or Mamiya that I don't really lump them together in the same category).