Replacement for Plus-X
Old 05-04-2016   #1
Timmyjoe
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Replacement for Plus-X

Has anyone here found a replacement for the now discontinued Kodak Plus-X? Have some in 16mm size (old Super 16 motion picture camera film) that I just started shooting in an old Minolta 16, and I'm just blown away by the look of the negs.

Shot mostly AgfaPan 100 back in the day, so didn't really shoot much Plus-X, and now it's gone, was wondering if any of you who were big Plus-X shooters have found an emulsion that comes close to the original?

Thanks.

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-Tim
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Old 05-04-2016   #2
Larry Cloetta
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"Back in the day" i shot mostly Panatomic-X, which is probably still my all time favorite emulsion. When I needed a 'fast' film, and was willing to give up some quality, relatively speaking, I would shoot Plus-X, though I really preferred Pan-X.

I would give anything to have Plus-X back today, and anything times two to have Pan-X again. I certainly have found no real substitute-or equal- for either, and not for lack of trying.
If you like the look, (and Tri-X fans might not) it's hard to duplicate. Digital facsimiles, eh, not so much.

Last edited by Larry Cloetta : 05-04-2016 at 08:17. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-04-2016   #3
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I thought it is ilford fp4 plus, though never tried plus-x before.
http://www.ilfordphoto.com/webfiles/...1413322224.pdf


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Old 05-04-2016   #4
Dante_Stella
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T-max 400.
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Old 05-04-2016   #5
j.scooter
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"Replacement for Plus-x?"

None! Not that I have found anyways.
That was my favourite film, I still have a few rolls in the freezer that I am reluctant to use.
I will keep an eye on this thread and keep hope alive.
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Old 05-04-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
T-max 400.
+1, the best film Kodak has ever made and the best black film I have ever used by any maker.
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Old 05-04-2016   #7
lawrence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.scooter View Post
"Replacement for Plus-x?"

None! Not that I have found anyways.
That was my favourite film, I still have a few rolls in the freezer that I am reluctant to use.
I will keep an eye on this thread and keep hope alive.
+1. Plus-X was unique and beautiful. FP4+ is the closest I know of.
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Old 05-04-2016   #8
Larry Cloetta
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This is an interesting thread as far as what people see when they look at an image. I envy those who feel there actually is a replacement for Plus-X. I guess it depends on what someone means by "replacement". Black and White with not a lot of grain=replacement, I guess is where we are at here.
For me, I'm just not seeing it. Just for me, please note. Not casting aspersions on anyone else's choices.
Though it is still Pan-X that I pine for the most.
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Old 05-04-2016   #9
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I know there is a Plus-x image thread already and this picture is probably already posted in said thread but I am feeling nostalgic and a little sad so please bear with me
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Old 05-04-2016   #10
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Not a long term solution, but I have been playing around with a 100' roll of Eastman Plus-X (5231) from Photo Warehouse (Ultriafine). Rated at 200 and developed in Diafine, the look is very close to what I used to get from Plus-X (135). I posted an example in the Double-X thread.
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Old 05-04-2016   #11
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Really nice work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.scooter View Post
I know there is a Plus-x image thread already and this picture is probably already posted in said thread but I am feeling nostalgic and a little sad so please bear with me
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Old 05-04-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pschauss View Post
Not a long term solution, but I have been playing around with a 100' roll of Eastman Plus-X (5231) from Photo Warehouse (Ultriafine). Rated at 200 and developed in Diafine, the look is very close to what I used to get from Plus-X (135). I posted an example in the Double-X thread.
Yeah, 5231(7231) is what I am shooting in the little Minolta camera. Thanks for the heads up on that, I think I'll try to purchase some.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 05-04-2016   #13
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I like Plus-X over any other BW film I've tried. When Kodak gave it the chop I went in a wild goose chase, trying all medium fast films I could get my hands on. Sadly I never really found anything that ticked all the boxes in the way Plus-X did for me. I am using FP4+ now, which is a nice film in its own right but Plus-X, well, that it ain't. I also get what people mean when they recommend TMAX400 -- it is of a family with Plus-X to be sure, but again, there's something different about it. Like the intelligent, polished young nephew of a world weary old uncle who's been through two wars and three divorces -- there's something about the face, the eyes and the smile that is similar in them, yet the stories they tell are very different .

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Old 05-04-2016   #14
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I loved Plus-X, as well. I now use Agfa APX100/Rollei Retro 100, but that's from a batch i bought a few years ago. Is this stuff still in production in any form?

Processed in ID-11/D-76 — it's classic.
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Old 05-04-2016   #15
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Ain`t none. Discontinued because not enough people thought so.
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Old 05-04-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Ain`t none. Discontinued because not enough people thought so.
Just about every film has been discontinued because not enough people 'liked it.'

APX/RR100 are gone....

What about Adox CHS 100 II?
http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com/201...hs-100-ii.html
http://www.adox.de/Photo/adox-films-...s-100-type-ii/
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Old 05-04-2016   #17
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Plus-X was my favorite in the nineties, but I switched to FP4+ and liked it better. Here's one of my best with Plus-X.
Musee d'Orsay by Vic Stewart, on Flickr
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Old 05-04-2016   #18
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Don't attack - I personally was never really that fond of Plus-X. It just didn't recreate what I was hoping to capture and what I saw in my mind's eye.

That said, lately I've been shooting a bunch of Ilford FP-4 as my true go-to film and have recently been working with the Eastman Double-X, the black and white motion picture film emulsion. I've had a lot of luck and very satisfying results with FP-4 and am really falling in love with the Double-X.

My go-to back in the day was always Tri-X; I'd shoot it at 320 for "normal" stuff, 800-1600 (or higher) for action and even as low as 160, developed in D76 1:1 (can't remember the times) or Diafine/Acufine for special projects.

My 2
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Old 05-04-2016   #19
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I also found Fp4+ to be the closest to Plus-X, but not as nice. That being said I do like to shoot T-max 100 more than Fp4+.
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Old 05-04-2016   #20
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ive got a roll loaded up now actually.

Still have some in frozen
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Old 05-04-2016   #21
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I too miss Plus-x but have found that Ilford FP-4+ is as good or even better..
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Old 05-04-2016   #22
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Interesting. How does 5231 compare to 5222 (Double X)?

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Old 05-04-2016   #23
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I still have some rolls of Plus-X in the 'fridge; I stocked up when Kodak announced that it was discontinuing it.

And I've searched for a replacement. Nothing I've found yet quite matches the rich dark greys and blacks. But I agree that FP4+ comes close. I also think Fomapan 200 also comes close. I'm also experimenting with Eastman Double X; I like that film but am not sure whether it's a Plus-X replacement.
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Old 05-04-2016   #24
Timmyjoe
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I've found 5222 is far more grainy and higher contrast than 5231. YMMV.
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Old 05-04-2016   #25
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What were the characteristics of it? Can we bend tmx to match that curve?
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Old 05-04-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
What were the characteristics of it? Can we bend tmx to match that curve?
Don't the tmax films have a completely different 'grain structure?' The reason why I've never liked them. Tmax is sharp, but 'modern.'
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Old 05-04-2016   #27
Dante_Stella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
What were the characteristics of it? Can we bend tmx to match that curve?
TMY has curve (or lack of curve) of Plus-X and Tri-X Pro (for most purposes).

TMX has a more traditional S-curve, like Tri-X.

If you are optically printing, you have to get to a pretty big size before the grain structure differences become evident. As in TMY has less grain than PX. Not sure that there was anything special to PX grain - it didn't really have any at most normal enlargements.

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Old 05-05-2016   #28
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I have to admit, I only just developed my first roll of Plus-X about a month ago. I had randomly purchased two rolls a few months back at Mel Pierce Camera for real cheap (I guess they were emptying out one of their freezers). I didn't think anything of it when I purchased the film and really had no expectations. I assumed Plus-X was going to end up similar to TMAX-100. Well, when I finally shot and developed my first roll in Rodinal last month, I was pretty blown away at the tonality of the film.

Immediately, I went online to see if I could purchase more, when I had discovered that it had been discontinued some time ago. Booooo! I'm really disappointed now that I hadn't purchased more when I had the opportunity. It reminds me of the time when I discovered how awesome Kodak Ektachrome was and then learned it had been discontinued a year and a half earlier. I guess I should have been born earlier. I missed out on a lot of great film stocks

I was thinking of developing my second roll in HC-110 to compare the results to the Rodinal. What can I expect here? Does anyone recommend one developer over the other for Plus-X? The grain with this film in Rodinal was pretty much already non-existent.
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Old 05-05-2016   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellasqueeza View Post

I was thinking of developing my second roll in HC-110 to compare the results to the Rodinal. What can I expect here? Does anyone recommend one developer over the other for Plus-X? The grain with this film in Rodinal was pretty much already non-existent.
I think most people preferred using Microdol-X for Plus-X. No coincidence the Microdol was discontinued the same time as they discontinued Plus-X.
Perceptol might be closest available now to Microdol.
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Old 05-05-2016   #30
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Interesting thread, I have 15 rolls in 35mm and 19 rolls in 120, I did some buying as soon as it was clear it was to be discontinued.

I also found from forums that FP4+ was the closest alternative.

J. Scooter: How the heck do you shoot it at EI 500 ? I guess you need the perfect light for that, no?

I have very bad experience with pushing film; My conclusion is that, if there is just enough light for, say ISO 1600, a ISO 400 film will not be able to "see" values other than in the zones i-iv.

I have never gotten any good results with pushing in situations I really had to. Only in good light have I got it working, where I've pushed for the increased contrast.
IMO, the film needs to see values from zone iV and up, or you will end up with a murky shot.
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Old 05-05-2016   #31
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I have had good results shooting at 500 in all sorts of lighting conditions. Mostly developed in d76. I don't have any recent shots but will have to check my archives.
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Old 05-05-2016   #32
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This thread interests me as I have used up the last of my Plus-X.
I still have some Neopan SS and original APX100, plus some 5222.

I once tried a few rolls of Ilford FP4+. IIRC I shot it at box speed.
The negatives were kind of muddy, and I never used it again.
Any suggestions for better results, especially using HC110?

5231 sounds promising. Is it still in production?
I assume Eastman 5231 is a cine film, like 5222.
Any special instructions for use in still photography?

TIA,
Chris
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Old 05-07-2016   #33
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A couple more at 500

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Old 05-07-2016   #34
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I've got one more roll left, but can't bring myself to shoot it. This was taken with my second to last roll in a Kodak Retinette 1A Type 044 on a cloudy day with off-and-on rain. Just great tones all over, and such nice contrast. FP4+ has a bit more bite to it than I care for, but it's okay for a 125 ISO film. Tri-X pulled to 200 is pretty nice, but I don't have enough of it to do that very often.


Court House Swing Gate by P F McFarland, on Flickr

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjwVkbGK for the rest of the roll.

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Old 05-07-2016   #35
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when plus-X was discontinued, I asked online if there was anything similar, and a few said to try Kentmere 100. I still haven't tried it, but has anybody else done so? Is it anything like plus-X?
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Old 05-08-2016   #36
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I also started a thread some time back on this topi.

I bought some Double-X and will give it a try. It's in the camera in fact now.

Me, too, Plus-X was my main film. Great tonality, pretty sharp in DD-X, easy to print and scan, wide latitude. But subjectively speaking, just right contrast and look for my taste.

I have tried Rollei Retro 80s, FP4+, Silvermax, all in several developers, and have not yet found the replacement.
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Old 05-09-2016   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
I think most people preferred using Microdol-X for Plus-X. No coincidence the Microdol was discontinued the same time as they discontinued Plus-X.
Perceptol might be closest available now to Microdol.
That reminded me, there's a thread somewhere where Friedlander is reported to have used Plus-X/Microdol for decades. Makes sense to me, many of his photos have a distinctive Plus-X look to them. (It's also said he switched to FP4+, apparently before Plus-X was phased out. FWIW.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by znapper View Post
...

I have very bad experience with pushing film; My conclusion is that, if there is just enough light for, say ISO 1600, a ISO 400 film will not be able to "see" values other than in the zones i-iv.

I have never gotten any good results with pushing in situations I really had to. Only in good light have I got it working, where I've pushed for the increased contrast.
IMO, the film needs to see values from zone iV and up, or you will end up with a murky shot.
I don't know about zones, my experience agrees with yours in the rest. Pushing raises contrast with film speed being what it is, depending (slightly) on choice of developer. I.e. you may gain half a stop with this developer or lose a stop with that, but that's it. One can't put light where there was none recorded, no matter how much one pushes, or kicks, or screams. (Trust me on this )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
...
I once tried a few rolls of Ilford FP4+. IIRC I shot it at box speed.
The negatives were kind of muddy, and I never used it again.
Any suggestions for better results, especially using HC110?

...

TIA,
Chris
I had unusually uninspiring results with FP4+ in D76. I reckon it has to do with my exposures or the quality of light I have here or something else, but what exactly, I didn't find. Then, I tried FP4+ in Xtol and it worked much better for me. Nine out of ten times I prefer D76 over Xtol, but in this case...Go figure. Can't say much about HC110, which I don't use, my first thought though would be to use a higher dilution (assuming you used dil.B go for dil.H) to control the activity of the developer.

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Old 05-09-2016   #38
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I think i read a discussion between Peter Lindbergh and Helmut Newton, and they were both on the Plus-X in D-76 train. I think Lindbergh shot it at lower than box speed, though.
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Old 05-09-2016   #39
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I think i read a discussion between Peter Lindbergh and Helmut Newton, and they were both on the Plus-X in D-76 train. I think Lindbergh shot it at lower than box speed, though.
I have not found a film that did not look better at 1/2 box speed and 20% reduced development. Gives more shadow detail and less blocked highlights.

Just the opposite of a push which is ok in a pinch, but results are yuck generally.
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Old 05-15-2016   #40
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Ultrafine lists 100 feet of 5231 for $100!
And so the search continues...

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