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  1. #1

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    Super XX Practice

    So I'm just starting out in 4x5. At the moment I'm shooting Kodalith at ISO 12 and developing by inspection in HC-110 1:100 (time usually comes out between 9 and 12 minutes depending on density).

    Now I have a stash of Super XX in 4x5 that I'm saving for a rainy day when I'm more practiced at stand development. I'm going to give a try of the Chamlee method of DBI under green light when I feel comfortable enough to develop the stuff. In the meantime, I would like to practice the technique, and was hoping one of you who's been around long enough to have used Super XX often could recommend another film with similar characteristics that I might practice on. I've heard that Bergger in pyro will exhibit a similar curve during development. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxbloom View Post
    Now I have a stash of Super XX in 4x5 that I'm saving for a rainy day when I'm more practiced at stand development. I'm going to give a try of the Chamlee method of DBI under green light when I feel comfortable enough to develop the stuff. In the meantime, I would like to practice the technique, and was hoping one of you who's been around long enough to have used Super XX often could recommend another film with similar characteristics that I might practice on. I've heard that Bergger in pyro will exhibit a similar curve during development. Any advice would be appreciated.
    There is no film manufactured today with similar characteristics, because Super XX was the last of the thick emulsion films.

    The closest you can come in terms of Super XX's long straight line section of its characteristic curve is 400TMax, but you can't develop that by inspection. I've tried it with the green light but can't see anything because of the sensitization dye. I've heard that you can successfully develop by inspection with TMY if you use a red safelight, but I have yet to try it.

    The Bergger BPF 200 is nice film but you can't expand it very much. No matter what you've heard it is nothing like Super XX. The Efke films such as PL100 are good, too, and you can develop them by inspection with a green safelight.

    You might be quite disappointed in your Super XX, btw, when you finally use it. Since it was discontinued around 1994, it's probably quite deteriorated. Michael and Paula's stash has a base fog density of about .4.

  3. #3
    juan's Avatar
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    And what do you get with Bergger now? The previous film was made by Forte, which closed shop in January. Rumors are that a new version will be, or maybe is being, made by Foma.

    I have a bunch of TMX that expired in 1996. It's manageable with extra restrainers.

    If you want to practice DBI, I'd get whatever traditional film I could get easily - Tri-X, FP4, Efke or Foma and have at it. I think you would need to develop your vision, whatever film you're practicing on.
    juan

  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    DBI with fabricated grain films... I've used TMY and TMX for this and can't say that I've had any real problems with spotting highlights coming through the base. I'll run a test this weekend...
    Juan - I know you know this, but I don't think it's difficult to do it. It took me maybe five turns doing one sheet at a time in a single tray before I understood what the neg needs to look like when you pull it. Some definitly identifyable highlight densities coming through the back of the film is the signal to dump it in the stop bath (water for me). How much - learn as you go.
    To the OP, you probably will have to sacrifice a few sheets to get it right. Since the Super-XX holds a very long tonal scale, how the film looks on the base side might not (I'd be surprised if it was that way) be representative of what other films look like. I use TXP and FP4 most of the time for sheets and have learned how they look when to pull them.
    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    DBI with fabricated grain films... I've used TMY and TMX for this and can't say that I've had any real problems with spotting highlights coming through the base.
    Thomas-

    Are you using a green safelight when you DBI with TMY? (has a nice lilt to it, doesn't it?)

    Jim

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Jim,

    yes I am. I presoak the hell out of the film beforehand, though.

    What's a nice 'lilt'?

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I think he meant cadence Although it lilts too. DBI for TMY...

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Scott... That's funny.

    I'll try it again tonight as I have some sheets of 4x5 TMY waiting to be souped. I hope I'm making the right connections in memory now. I haven't used TMY that much, but from what I can remember I've had no problems with that or TMX... There is the odd chance it could have been Tri-X and that I'm talking out of my hat.
    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Scott... That's funny.

    I'll try it again tonight as I have some sheets of 4x5 TMY waiting to be souped. I hope I'm making the right connections in memory now. I haven't used TMY that much, but from what I can remember I've had no problems with that or TMX... There is the odd chance it could have been Tri-X and that I'm talking out of my hat.
    - Thomas
    I'm going to do some 5x7 TMY tonight. I'll try it with the red safelight.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3 View Post
    Thomas-

    Are you using a green safelight when you DBI with TMY? (has a nice lilt to it, doesn't it?)

    Jim
    IMHO THe best way to do DBI with TMY is with an infrared nigh vision monocle. The price of these units for generation one technology that will close focus has dropped to the point where it is just a bit over $200. THe challenge is to secure the wavength of the infrared illuminator to insure that it is within the spectrum of IR or it could fog the sheet film. I leave the goggle illuminator off and use a remote IR light source and bounce itt off of an adjacent wall for DBI. Plus I have another LED IR bank behind a diffused globe that is activated by a foot switch. The heavier film base for TMY is not an issue with this technique.

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