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Plus-X vs Tri-X exposure difficulties


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#1 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 11:10 AM

i have read on here that Tri-X is one of hte most challenging stocks to expose properly and consistently.

i am wondering how "easy" it is to expose Plus-X. i understand neither of these is as easy as negative film, but with Plus-X you get one of the sharpest grains of any stock ever made. the compromise is you lose one stop of sensitivity, but is it near as hard to expose as Tri-X?

also - i thought read once that these stocks would be made available for the Aaton A Minima, but i do not see them listed on Kodak's site. anyone know about this?

Edited by Jaxon Bridge, 14 May 2007 - 11:12 AM.

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#2 David Regan

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 11:23 AM

The "ease" of exposing film stock will depend alot on your experience. But I wouldn't worry too much. The very first film I ever shot was B&W Tri-X reversal. I honestly had no trouble with it. It was my first film project like I said, all I had was a simple Sekonic incident meter, and I had pretty good, consistent exposure throughout the film. The film never gave me any issues to speak of. So I wouldn't be too worried, trust your ability.

Good Luck
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#3 ryan_bennett

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 02:51 PM

I wouldn't worry - just go out and shoot and you'll see. So many students (hey even myself) just went out, shot plus-x/tri-x and got excellent results and didn't even think about the difficulty, it's just later on you realize with negative stock you can do a good deal of adjustment in the transfer, it's just if you're off on your exposure you're off and you can't really compensate for it but really who cares.

I really do like the look of plus-x, just give it a try. Your second question well just call up Kodak and ask. You do know you can get b&w negative stocks, you don't have to go reversal.
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 04:20 PM

I know that Plus-X started production in 1938, but when did Tri-X begin production?
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 09:47 PM

also - i thought read once that these stocks would be made available for the Aaton A Minima, but i do not see them listed on Kodak's site. anyone know about this?



I would suggest speaking with your lab if you want A-Minima custom loads I know we have a whole shelf of empty A-Minima daylight spools and it would not be much of a challenge to spool 400' core loads onto a a-minima spool. I would suspect that many other labs have empty spools as well.

-Rob-
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 10:35 PM

Plus-X reversal dates back to 1955:

http://www.kodak.com...s....26.4&lc=en

1955
* KODAK PLUS-X Reversal film, 7276. Daylight, EI 50, Tungsten, EI 40 B&W.
* KODAK TRI-X Reversal film, 7278. Daylight, EI 200, Tungsten, EI 160 B&W.
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#7 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:14 AM

Plus-X reversal dates back to 1955:

http://www.kodak.com...s....26.4&lc=en

1955
* KODAK PLUS-X Reversal film, 7276. Daylight, EI 50, Tungsten, EI 40 B&W.
* KODAK TRI-X Reversal film, 7278. Daylight, EI 200, Tungsten, EI 160 B&W.


but the stock has evolved since then, right? i know just a couple years ago, maybe 2004 or so, its chemistry changed as did its ASA rating. perhaps it has changed more than once in its history?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:29 AM

but the stock has evolved since then, right? i know just a couple years ago, maybe 2004 or so, its chemistry changed as did its ASA rating. perhaps it has changed more than once in its history?


Any stock that old has changed a couple of times over its history. B&W reversal went through a major update just a few years ago. See:

http://www.kodak.com...s....4.10&lc=en
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#9 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:37 AM

Any stock that old has changed a couple of times over its history. B&W reversal went through a major update just a few years ago. See:

http://www.kodak.com...s....4.10&lc=en


I wonder if the new Tri-X is as grainy as the old one, or if it has come to resemble Plus-X more. Or god forbid that Plus-X has come to resemble Tri-X. I hope that when it become twice as sensitive (ASA-wise), it didn't sacrifice the beautiful grain structure.

Is it safe to say that Plus-X is still the ultra-sharp fine grained stock it once was? The Kodak site also says that Tri-X has "increased sharpness" but I doubt it's anything like Plus-X.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:46 AM

Is it safe to say that Plus-X is still the ultra-sharp fine grained stock it once was? The Kodak site also says that Tri-X has "increased sharpness" but I doubt it's anything like Plus-X.


I'm sure that the new stocks aren't any grainier than the old ones, just faster and sharper. But you'd have to shoot them and tell us -- I haven't shot b&w reversal in over ten years, even though I shot a ton of the stuff before that.

My technique for exposing was simply to look at the shot and bias my incident exposure reading in favor of highlights or shadows, depending on which dominated the frame more. For example, I remember doing a b&w reversal short film and shooting an insert of a pair of white tennis shoes in one scene, and a bowl of cereal in milk in the other. Both were correctly exposed according to my meter but looked "hot" on film. So then when I shot something light-toned that filled the frame, I'd underexpose it slightly. And if I shot something dark-toned, I'd overexpose it slightly.
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:01 AM

yes its all down to common sense , looking at the subject you are shooting ,thinking about your limits regarding the stock you are using and setting the correct stop .easy .
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#12 Jaxon Bridge

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:30 AM

yes its all down to common sense , looking at the subject you are shooting ,thinking about your limits regarding the stock you are using and setting the correct stop .easy .


i certainly wouldn't say "easy" when talking about reversal stocks. in other thread Mr. Mullen pointed out that even he has difficulty exposing Tri-X sometimes. not to single anyone out. but "easy" is a word i'd be more inclined to use for negative stocks.

i shot on reversal stocks about 10 years ago at film school in new york. half the students in my class of 25 or so consistently had exposure problems on plus-x and tri-x, even after a few months of experience. it's not really that easy.
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#13 John Holland

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:36 PM

Ok i started using reversal colour films when i was about 14 in a SLR , B+W was to expensive , sorry but stand what i said before.
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#14 Patrick Neary

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:56 PM

i certainly wouldn't say "easy" when talking about reversal stocks. in other thread Mr. Mullen pointed out that even he has difficulty exposing Tri-X sometimes. not to single anyone out. but "easy" is a word i'd be more inclined to use for negative stocks.

i shot on reversal stocks about 10 years ago at film school in new york. half the students in my class of 25 or so consistently had exposure problems on plus-x and tri-x, even after a few months of experience. it's not really that easy.


It's very easy if you shoot a lot of reversal!
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#15 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:00 PM

Wow...I haven't shot reversal in about ten years. I moved to negative and never looked back. I'm shooting a short on Plus-X neg right now and it's a beautiful stock.
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:46 PM

I would suggest speaking with your lab if you want A-Minima custom loads I know we have a whole shelf of empty A-Minima daylight spools and it would not be much of a challenge to spool 400' core loads onto a a-minima spool. I would suspect that many other labs have empty spools as well.

-Rob-

If you do that, take a little extra time to wind your core load off onto a reel, and then from the reel back onto daylight spools. If you go from the core load straight to daylight spools, your key code and edge numbers will run in the wrong direction, which is a pain in the tush for the negative cutter.


-- J.S.
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#17 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:47 PM

not to single anyone out. but "easy" is a word i'd be more inclined to use for negative stocks.


Hi Jaxon, I'd want to be as careful exposing B&W neg esp. in 16mm as I would Plus-X or Tri-X reversal.

B&W Reversal is like this 5 stop (not much more) window on the world but it can be a crisp beautiful window !

-Sam
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