jandc film 400 for old Super XX look?
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?
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.
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.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
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.
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.
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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...
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.
Can you tell me where you get Lucky film?
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.
Yeah, if you want the double X look, then use double X. You can still buy it in 35mm movie film stock. It is also called Eastman 5222 cine film. It also has the benefit of being much cheaper than regular film. 400 feet of the stuff will run you about $130 from film emporium.
Kodak Super XX Film was the last Kodak film emulsion to contain Cadmium, so finding a direct alternative will be very difficult.
Originally Posted by solvingday78