I have used both although I am not experienced in either. I was a little disappointed with FP4+ compared to HP5+ with which I have had more success. You'd think that as both are trad films my experience of both would be about the same but not so. It might just have been my lack of experience with FP4+. The negs looked rather "soft and grey".
With Acros I have got very punchy, grainless negs and prints that are likewise. If it was my intention to produce bigger than 10x8 prints in 35mm then Acros would be the one to go for, I feel.
I develop in DDX at 9 mins but feel that 8.5 mins may produce less contrasty negs unless the light conditions give a very low SBR.
It seems that from another thread in APUG that someone has used Acros at EI 200 very successfully in DDX. If there is little or no loss of shadow detail then you have an almost ideal combo of a grainless film capable of goog negs at both 100 and 200. I am tempted next time to try EI 200 to see the effect especially as we move into autumn here and light levels become lower.
Ok by clinical I don't mean that as a 'negative' but rather a characteristic. If you process in Rodinal at 1:100 the tone is very nice smooth and grain free.
So when I say clinical I mean accurate rather that euphonic, to me Acros is a much more modern emulsion than FP4, its difficult to express this in words so this is the type of shot I use Acros for
I'd personally describe it as smooth but sharp, accurate, almost metallic I wouldn't describe it as warm fluffy or euphonic.
But then we all see and process/print differently and one mans meat...
Try both they're good.
My personal preference is for FP4, but that may just be because I have shot a lot more of it and am more used to it. One advantage that Acros has is that it is available in both separate sheets and as quickloads. If I could get Ilford films in quickload or readyload format, then it would be an easy decision.
The highlight tonality looks very good here, but the shadows seem slightly underexposed. How much information is present in the shadows on the film?
Acros is a very straight line film, so it will give good separation in the highlights, as Mark Antony's picture show. A film like FP4+ has a slight shoulder, which may compress the highlights, depending on exposure. The "metallic" or "clinical" look of Acros (a nice feature, I agree) is due in part to the modern grains and to the long straight line.
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Thank you all for the prompt replies so far.
From your comments it may be worth trying the acros and make a comparison myself. I have not used Rodinal or most of the other developers mentioned and usually develop in D76 1:1.
I use medium format and does anyone have a ball park developing time for this combo otherwise I will refer to the massive dev chart.
Tom yes there is more info on the negative; in fact a surprising amount of detail in the background, but I printed it down to make the dandelion stand out.
The rear of the picture is in shadow where the trunk and foreground are in diffused sunlight.
I have been playing a bit with 120 acros, and after some tribulations (learning curve), I am finally getting it nailed.
This stuff is sharp, sharp, sharp, with basically no grain. It has recently caused me to rethink the whole bigger is better negative thing.
As to the tonality- it has a very long, very straight curve, and gives great highlight separation. It does not like being underexposed, or the shadows drop off really rapidly. I find it to be an asa 50 film under my conditions.
I have tried it in a number of developers- hc110, pc tea, rodinol, diafine, and pmk pyro.
I did not like the diafine negatives for printing- I got very flat, long scale negatives that look muddy when printed. They scanned wonderfully however, which may be why some folks rave about this combo.
The best negatives I have gotten so far have been with the PMK. It gives really nice edge effects and further exploits the highlight separation characteristics of the film. This is the combo I am going to stick with.
It is a great film.
Somewhere here Sandy King wrote something to the effect that acros 100 in his pyrocat developer, shot with a mamiya 7 gave him prints that could not be differentiated from 4x5, and my experience would verify that.
IMO the best things about the Fuji are the longer maintenance of reciprocity and the fact that it is available in Quickloads. I absolutely love FP4, but for long exposures and/or the convenience of Quickloads, Fuji 100 is unmatched. I feel that in these situations, I will deal with the fact that I don't like the over all look of the film *as much* as FP4. I actually prefer getting a little grain with FP4 in small format and 645, so I find the Fuji a bit more smooth and bland. Not enough to overcome the advantages in those aforementioned situations, however. With 6x7, 6x9, and sheet film, no film has any visible grain in the size enlargements I do (usually 16x20 max., and rarely), except expired fast films will sometimes lose some sharpness and gain some grain. Others have called it "clinical", and I would agree that it is very modern looking and similar to Delta. Quite contrasty, quite sharp, and quite fine grained. I could deal with the reciprocity issue of FP4, but I try to always splurge for Quickloads when carrying my 4x5 out and about with the intent to shoot many pieces of film. It saves so much weight and all but eliminates the possibility of error or defect with film holders. I could hypothetically carry 100 pieces of film for a fraction of the size and weight of 50 film holders, and they would all be 100% dust free, light leak free, mechanical error free, and user error free. I wish Ilford would devise a similar system, because to me FP4 does look better overall.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 09-19-2008 at 06:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Acros is very fine grain. But I do find that Tmax 100 is finer in Xtol, Beutlers and Rodinal. Which are my main developers. Actually I find Agfa 100 to be finer grain in Beutlers than Acros. I don't get much edge affect at all with Acros in Beutlers even with the Potassium Iodide added... I think you need grainier and non tabular films to maximize that.