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The "new" Plus-X 100 ASA Reversal


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#1 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 11:47 AM

So, a couple years ago, the Plus-X 50 ASA black/white 16mm reversal stock became 100 ASA to the cheers and ovations of people everywhere.

I have not shot on the new Plus-X but have some questions.

I heard once, a few years ago, that the Plus-X 50 ASA stock was considered one of the sharpest film stocks ever, with smaller grain than even most color and negative stocks. First of all, is this true?

Second question: How has the 100 ASA Plus-X changed with regards to contrast and grain? Does it look exactly the same?

Final question: May I assume that Plus-X does not cut together well with Tri-X? Tri-X is certainly a very grainy stock.

Actually, there is one more question: I have looked around and come to the conclusion that considering stock price, processing, and video transfer, shooting on 16mm reversal is much less expensive than shooting on negative. This is taking into account the one reversal lab here in NYC (A1) and their pricing, compared to the prices for DuArt, Magno, or ColorLab. For what I can see, there is quite a savings going with black/white reversal for a low-budge project if your content does not require one stock over the other.

Jaxon
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#2 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 02:23 PM

I just realized there is a forum for stock questions... I shall repost there. (sorry!)

So, a couple years ago, the Plus-X 50 ASA black/white 16mm reversal stock became 100 ASA to the cheers and ovations of people everywhere.

I have not shot on the new Plus-X but have some questions.

I heard once, a few years ago, that the Plus-X 50 ASA stock was considered one of the sharpest film stocks ever, with smaller grain than even most color and negative stocks. First of all, is this true?

Second question: How has the 100 ASA Plus-X changed with regards to contrast and grain? Does it look exactly the same?

Final question: May I assume that Plus-X does not cut together well with Tri-X? Tri-X is certainly a very grainy stock.

Actually, there is one more question: I have looked around and come to the conclusion that considering stock price, processing, and video transfer, shooting on 16mm reversal is much less expensive than shooting on negative. This is taking into account the one reversal lab here in NYC (A1) and their pricing, compared to the prices for DuArt, Magno, or ColorLab. For what I can see, there is quite a savings going with black/white reversal for a low-budge project if your content does not require one stock over the other.

Jaxon


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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 04:39 PM

I recently watched It Happened One Night, you know, Clark and Claudette. They intercut some seriously rough footage into the end's wedding sequence.

My experience from 25 years ago is that cutting Plus X and Tri X is quite noticable. Whether it's OK to do it is really up to your aesthetics. I, personally lean towards staying with one stock. I also know that shooting Plus X indoors takes a bit of light. Due to this, I and my old school chums shot Tri X indoors and Plus X outdoors. But I always preferred Plus X. It looks really good in 16mm. It is forgiving in the reversal processors. On the down side, it can be a little challenging to shoot film-noir. The blacks never quite come out as black as you might have intended. Yet, that's twenty-five year old memory.

I think David still shoots B & W. Try a message with him.
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#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 06:17 PM

My experience with the new Plus-X and Tri-X and the new process is that the two films look more alike, and the new Tri-X is significantly finer grain than the old. Your mileage may differ...
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#5 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:50 PM

On the down side, it can be a little challenging to shoot film-noir. The blacks never quite come out as black as you might have intended.


What would you recommend for a film-noir, high-contrast B/W stock other than Plus-X... B/W negative instead? My understanding was that negative was less contrasty than reversal, and there were more shades of grey rather than black and white.

J
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 05:01 PM

You'll get deeper blacks, higher contrast, and greater sharpness with b&w reversal over the b&w negative stocks. The real problem is handling the extreme contrast; it can get out of control if you're not careful. I found that I had to underexpose light objects and overexpose dark objects just to get them to look normal in exposure on b&w reversal.

You can mix Plus-X and Tri-X reversal if you can live with the mismatch in grain structure, as "Pi" did. Grain is more visible in midtones hence why a day exterior (which has more midtones) shot on slower film often cuts well with night scenes (with few midtones) shot on faster film, even though the night shots are grainier in theory.
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Visual Products

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Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Tai Audio

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS