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BW Plus-X, How different than Kodachrome is it really?


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 06:31 PM

I think that Black and White Plus-X is the black and white version of Kodachrome.

The NTSC black and white video signal gains fifty lines of video resolution versus a color video signal. The contrast of Plus X is probably better translated to video because of this additional video resolution, however the overall feel of Black and White Plus - X is similar to Kodachrome 40.

So if no one is complaining about Plus - X as being an over the hill film stock, then it seems the proactive position to take in regards to Kodahrome 40 is to not get rid of it until a REAL, Low ASA replacement stock is in place. It appears this is not happening, and any attempts to besmirch the value of Kodachrome are really just red herring attempts to defuse the bigger story, no real low ASA replacement film stock to replace Kodachrome 40 has been introduced.

Ektachrome 64 appears to have decent projection qualities, but this does not necessarily translate during the film to video transfer process, I found Ektachrome to look terrific under a film loop, yet look entirely too grainy when transferred to video.

Hopefully, Kodak will have an announcement on the 46th anniversary of Super-8 to solve this dilemma.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 06:47 PM

Well, surprisingly Kodak updated Plus-X and Tri-X reversal just two years ago, I think, rather than kill them, so clearly they think (for now) there is still a market. I assume that the new 16mm Plus-X is the same stock as in the Super-8 cartridges being sold.

Plus-X b&w reversal is an amazing stock, but incredibly finicky when it comes to exposing correctly.
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#3 Robert Hughes

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:46 AM

I think that Black and White Plus-X is the black and white version of Kodachrome.

I think the space shuttle is the black and white version of a golden retriever. What a nonsense statement, and from a veteran Super 8'er of all people!

...however the overall feel of Black and White Plus - X is similar to Kodachrome 40.

So you like fine grain film stocks? How about that Pro8 ASA 50 negative? You can even shoot it in a 40/160 camera.

...and any attempts to besmirch the value of Kodachrome are really just red herring attempts to defuse the bigger story

Last I checked, Kodachrome is not available from Kodak. I liked my old VW Beetle, but sadly, it's out of production. I just have to accept that. And move on.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 07 February 2006 - 10:50 AM.

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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:34 PM

I think the space shuttle is the black and white version of a golden retriever. What a nonsense statement, and from a veteran Super 8'er of all people!


Kodachrome and Plus X are both reversal film stocks, and both have very similar ASA ratings, and both are capable of producing imagery that can look like 16mm if one is willing to shoot in lower contrast situations.

So you like fine grain film stocks? How about that Pro8 ASA 50 negative? You can even shoot it in a 40/160 camera.


How about the film being loaded by Kodak. Of all the film formats that currently exist, Super-8 needs the most tender loving care when it comes to loading it into a super-8 cartridge because of the dust and scratching issues that get magnified on such a small film format. I am of the belief that no one would do it better than Kodak.

Last I checked, Kodachrome is not available from Kodak. I liked my old VW Beetle, but sadly, it's out of production. I just have to accept that. And move on.


The topic thread clearly stated I am "hoping" Kodak realizes the need for a low ASA negative color stock and perhaps Kodak would consider announcing such a move on the one year anniversary of their prior annoucement about the discontinuation of Kodachrome.
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:47 PM

I just want to add that I am not completely against Pro-8mm. I would be for Kodak giving Pro-8mm special pricing on the 50 ASA negative stock just because they have been slitting and loading the negative film themselves for so long.

Heck, as it stands now, when a customer brings Pro-8mm loaded super-8 film to Spectra Film and Video, the film is processed for free by Spectra if one also does the film to video transfer with Spectra. When that happens, Spectra in essence, has given Pro-8mm a nice additional profit because Pro-8mm charges up front for the processing whether one actually processes the film with them or not.
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#6 Peter Duggan

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:56 PM

I just want to add that I am not completely against Pro-8mm. I would be for Kodak giving Pro-8mm special pricing on the 50 ASA negative stock just because they have been slitting and loading the negative film themselves for so long.

Heck, as it stands now, Spectra Film and Video is giving Pro-8mm a huge kickback everytime they process one of Pro-8mm's cartridges for free (when the customer then does the film to video transfer with Spectra, the Pro-8mm loaded stock is processed for free by Spectra).


Sorry, I know that this is a stupid question, but I just recently got into super 8 (within the last month or so) and what exactly is pro-8? How different from super 8 is it? I always thought that it was a 100' reel for older 8mm cams, but you mentioned a cartridge, so will it work in my super 8?
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:09 PM

Sorry, I know that this is a stupid question, but I just recently got into super 8 (within the last month or so) and what exactly is pro-8? How different from super 8 is it? I always thought that it was a 100' reel for older 8mm cams, but you mentioned a cartridge, so will it work in my super 8?


Pro-8mm is a company in Burbank that caters to higher end super-8 filmmakers, (aka, filmmakers that probably also shoot 16mm and 35mm as well).
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#8 Peter Duggan

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:22 PM

Thanks. And those will fit in a normal super 8 cam, right?
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#9 santo

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 05:27 PM

I think the space shuttle is the black and white version of a golden retriever. What a nonsense statement, and from a veteran Super 8'er of all people!


Alex should have a crown on his head, as he's the king of nonsense statements like this on super 8 boards. K40 was a joke next to Plus-X reversal. Perhaps the fact that Plus-X (in original 50d form, anyways) had DOUBLE the resolving power and detail of K40 has something to do with it? Or maybe that it isn't plagued by the way over the top contrast problems which made K40 so hopeless for telecine? Or maybe... well, it goes on and on. Especially in original 50 asa form -- amazing filmmaking material. Even the 100 is only a slight compromise, and still excellent.

But, as it is a reversal film, there is no doubt correct exposure is important as pointed out in this thread, and tricky. Autoexposure not recommended.
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:16 PM

Alex should have a crown on his head, as he's the king of nonsense statements like this on super 8 boards. K40 was a joke next to Plus-X reversal. Perhaps the fact that Plus-X (in original 50d form, anyways) had DOUBLE the resolving power and detail of K40 has something to do with it? Or maybe that it isn't plagued by the way over the top contrast problems which made K40 so hopeless for telecine? Or maybe... well, it goes on and on. Especially in original 50 asa form -- amazing filmmaking material. Even the 100 is only a slight compromise, and still excellent.

But, as it is a reversal film, there is no doubt correct exposure is important as pointed out in this thread, and tricky. Autoexposure not recommended.


Santo, if you could be so kind as to not associate my name with a quote I did not make I would appreciate it. If you feel you can annihilate any quote I have ever made, go for it, but actually list the quote, don't just respond to some one elses quote and chime in some misperception you have.

Quoting Super-8 Today, 2nd Issue, "Many people felt it had been shot on 16mm and most people didn't realize it had been shot on Super-8" -Ben Crowe, CANNES Finalist short film Palme d'Or, his entry being 1 of 9 finalists from over 2000 entries, for a film he shot with Super-8 Kodachrome.

Mr. Crowe selected Kodachrome 40 after viewing a WideScreen Centre Demo DVD that showcased all of the Super-8 Stocks.

Santos, everytime you belittle a stock that has fans all over the world, you lose credibility. You can like whatever stock you like without having to hate Kodachrome.
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:39 PM

I think the space shuttle is the black and white version of a golden retriever. What a nonsense statement, and from a veteran Super 8'er of all people!


Robert, YOU SAID the space shuttle comment, not I, yet your poorly worded response is so twisted the implication is that I said it. Please, next time you finish a sentence, reread it once before posting it.
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#12 Robert Hughes

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 03:33 PM

You said that you think b&w plus-x was the black-and-white version of kodachrome. That's as useful as telling us you think the sky is blue. So what? Besides, that's not a correct statement because sometime's it's not.

The Kodachrome process is a clever way of getting color photos; the fact that its technology derives from existing b&w processes doesn't provide any information to me. If you'd like to give us a dissertation on the K14 process and its ancestors, be my guest. Once you can quote chapter and verse of the K14 manual, you will be the acknowledged expert in the field - excepting Kodak, of course, and they dumped it.

Perhaps you should go shoot some negative stock and forget about this stupid thread.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 09 February 2006 - 03:36 PM.

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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 05:13 AM

Perhaps you might want to reread the original premise of this thread, but if not, I'll briefly re-explain it. I wouldn't hesitate to use Plus-X if I were making a film that required black and white film. I also believe that the quality of Plus-X would hold up for distribution and broadcast as well.

I also wouldn't hesitate to use Kodachrome because I already know what it's limitations are, and they are similar to Plus-X in terms of ASA, contrast, and minimal grain. Because Kodachrome is a color projection stock, it is more difficult to get as vivid of a transfer to video as compared to Plus-X even if the scene information has been captured by kodachrome film.

SMPTE claims 50 additional lines of resolution are gained when only the black and white signal is transferred to video versus when transferring to a color video signal, so although Kodachrome and Plus-X are very similar (in my opinion), the odds are probably higher one would get a terrific looking black white Plus X transfer whereas with Kodachrome it would be less likely, but not impossible.

Since Kodachrome has been axed, it would be nice if Kodak could make available a complementary Low ASA negative stock, a stock that Kodak would actually load themselves, to go along with the film projection stock known as Ektachrome 64.

The 7201 seems to be the ideal low ASA stock to introduce.
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#14 Filip Plesha

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:06 AM

I think the space shuttle is the black and white version of a golden retriever. What a nonsense statement, and from a veteran Super 8'er of all people!


Usually films of all kinds from the same time share same technical achievments of that time.
That way, Kodachrome looks similar to early color negative film, It's just that it has different
contrast, color reproduction and such things, but those are just photoshop settings anyway

Also early color film has a look similar to black and white film from the same era

It's all about the tone curves, the way highlights behave, and well as shadows, and how "streched" or "copressed" which part of the spectrum is


So, while it may be too much to say that Kodachrome is a color version of this or that BW film, or vice versa, they may come from the same family, sharing a similar response to the light. Specially Kodachrome, which can be developed as BW anyway.
After all, every color films image starts with black and white images recorded with genuine silver just like BW film. The silver then "draws" the image in the dyes before being washed out.

Therefore, the latest silver technology (of whatever era) used in both films will give them a similar look.
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#15 S8 Booster

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:15 PM

http://kodak.com/US/....1.4.14.4&lc=en

s8hôôt
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#16 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:18 PM

As far as I know, Plus X and Tri X are still made for 16mm. In fact, I just bought a daylight spool of Plus X 7265 yesterday for a short 16mm project.
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#17 Robert Hughes

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 04:26 PM

I misread a post on that forum. The poster there was talking about b&w projection stock. Both Plus-X and Tri-X reversal are still available. Sorry for the confusion.
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