Thanks everyone for all of your input.
Looks like I'll just have to experiment, I have a number of the films listed already with more coming.
There was reference to Microdol-X. I think it's gone too, but I believe Ilford has a similar developer still in production. I hope formulas for the extinct developers become available so at least we can make our own.
One comment too if I may. Remember that much of what we do is subjective and a matter of taste. Some (as has been demonstated on this forum) love grain, the more the better, while others do not. So, if one is asking about a substitute, you would logically look toward a product that would have a similar appearance or properties. As an example; I lean toward warmer papers. In some cases, more brown than black. I'm not sure that anything like that even exists anymore. Can you guess what my next posting might be?
Now, I wonder if those 2 bulk roll of High Contrast Copy Film in the freezer are still good? :)
It had a tow and shoulder like nearly all films then, nothing extreme, and maybe even less than Pan F Plus, but still there. Acros seems to be a straight line film with a slight tendency to sweep up in the highlights. That is the look many of us don't like in some modern films, a lot like TMY. TMX is a fairly straight line film, but has a very slight shouldering off in many developers. Tonally,I find it much more like working with older emulsions than Acros.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
As I mentioned, I have some well stored FX and will try to do a comparison or two in the next week or so for my own curiosity.
I haven't shot Acros for a few months, but have a couple hundred feet of the Freestyle packaged stuff left. I had never really come to terms with it, but just as I was finishing off the last 100 feet I tried it in PMK and thought that was very promising. I don't really like having to mess with Pyro (everything else goes into Xtol right now), but think it might be worth it for the Acros.
I personally don't at all miss the slow speed of FX, though it sounds like one or two people do. I only put up with the slowness because I like the look.
Kodak branded Mic-X is gone, but you can easily get the same formula (well, probably, but I don't think this one is a big secret) if you're so inclined:
I didn't have much use for it with old films and even less with new ones but as always YMMV. The similar Ilford product would be Perceptol, still available.
Warm papers - Ilford MGWT FB is one of the finest papers I have ever used. It's not "brown" without toning but tones exceptionally well. I develop it in Ilford WT developer and tone lightly in dilute brown toner. Works beautifully.
I agree with Roger on the Microdol-X for modern films. Xtol is very fine grain with these films, but gives higher film speed and better sharpness. A lot of people said that Microdol-X worked particularly well for Panatomic-X; that seems odd, but enough people liked that combination that I don't discount it. I believe TMX is already finer grained than FX by a bit anyway.
Yes Microdol-X worked particularly well Panatomic-X, it was rumored and surmised that each were formulated for each other. Hence the X! Just Kidding, the X in Microdol-X is a secret anti-silvering mercapto that Kodak has not nor never will release. BUT apparently Photo Engineer has the name of the chemical handwritten on a small piece of paper in his left shirt pocket.
Yes, Acros is unique in that rather than shouldering fairly gently like TMax and Delta, the straight line actually kinks upward in the highlights and remains straight at that higher contrast level through the extreme highlights, with a relatively abrupt shoulder thereafter.
Originally Posted by Mark Crabtree
Ive got a few bulk rolls of 100ft Pan-X squirreled away, and a number of bulk loaded rolls loaded up ready to go. Still a great film even though its way expired after all these years (no perceivable fog). I have shot a fair amount of tmax 100 and I dont think it matches up as a substitute. I think tmax 100 is a great film, its one of my favorites in 120 with its amazingly clear base, and acros is good too, but panatomic X just handles and feels different. Its hard to put a finger on it. Plus you dont need to always shoot landscapes with it, shooting wide in full sun is always a neat trick too.
Microdol X 1:3 is much differnt than Microdol stock, at higher dultions Microdol is very sharp, Berry Thorton in Edge of Darkness lists the Ilford version at 1:3 for shapness. With modern films I would not recommend Microdol stock, but for that matter I would not use D 76 stock, which is how I wound up with bags of Microdol and D 76 replenisher. The draw back to Microdol X at 1:3 is the prolonged development times which may lead to base fog.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
Since Ilford Pan-F is mentioned as a substitute, my best results are with a lower EI of 32 to 40 and development in D-23 1+1. This seems to tame this films runaway contrast.