Kodak Plus X - Question

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rwboyer

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Just curious if anyone actually knows why Plus-X has a blue film base? I have shot tons of this stuff over the years and have always wondered why. I have come up with a lot of conjecture myself, I am sure none of it is actually close to the reason but every single time I develop a roll or pull a negative from my files that nagging question crosses my mind.

Anyone out there who actually knows?

Any crazy theories? Why just Plus-X, I sort of half expected it to go away with the change in facilities and production a few years back but nope.

RB
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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Hmmmm,

Not even a speculation - I know Plus-X is like a redheaded step child for a lot of photographers ever since good ole AA said something negative about it but it really isn't that bad and has some nice properties.

For those that have never seen the base color of the film here is what it looks like on a light table - you should see it just laying around it looks really dark.

DSC_7994.jpg


The really funny thing is that it seems I am the only one nutty enough to ask this question since the beginning of the internet. Really - google it - "plus-x blue base" and this post comes up number one and about the only other relevant result is a question about this that I asked on another board in 2001 - no crap - that is like the number 2 result.

RB
 

Colin Corneau

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Especially that one...
 

mopar_guy

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I think that the blue color is really pretty. Maybe all films should be blue.
 

fschifano

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Personally, I don't give a rat's ass what good ole AA, or anyone else, said or didn't say about Plus-X. The ultimate arbiter of what's good and what's not is personal choice anyway. I think Plus-X is the ultimate sleeper film and among nicest I've ever used. Apparently, it is not as unpopular as some would have you believe. When TMX was introduced, a rumor that Plus-X would go got started. Well, Plus-X and TMX are still here, proving that sales must be strong enough to have kept it a viable product.
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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Personally, I don't give a rat's ass what good ole AA, or anyone else, said or didn't say about Plus-X. The ultimate arbiter of what's good and what's not is personal choice anyway. I think Plus-X is the ultimate sleeper film and among nicest I've ever used. Apparently, it is not as unpopular as some would have you believe. When TMX was introduced, a rumor that Plus-X would go got started. Well, Plus-X and TMX are still here, proving that sales must be strong enough to have kept it a viable product.

Obviously I share that view. I assume you use or have used Plus-X. It never crossed your mind as to why the heck the film base is blue? I have been using film for a long long time and this is the only one I can ever remember having a very distinct color base vs. clear - I mean this is not a tinge of a color like other films that maybe cause by residual pink dye Plus-X is always blue - real blue.

RB
 

fschifano

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I never really thought about it one way or the other. I just figured the wizards at Kodak knew what they were doing, since I keep getting such nice prints from the stuff and left it at that. BTW, the 35 mm Plus-X does not have that characteristic blue color, and Plus-X isn't the only film to exhibit it. Check out the Foma films in 120. Bluer than blue, more like cyan really but it's pronounced, whiole the 35 mm stocks are just a neutral gray.
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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I never really thought about it one way or the other. I just figured the wizards at Kodak knew what they were doing, since I keep getting such nice prints from the stuff and left it at that. BTW, the 35 mm Plus-X does not have that characteristic blue color, and Plus-X isn't the only film to exhibit it. Check out the Foma films in 120. Bluer than blue, more like cyan really but it's pronounced, whiole the 35 mm stocks are just a neutral gray.

Really - I have not shot much plus-x in 35 actually I have not shot much of anything but TX and TMZ in 35 - I figure if it has to be smooth and it needs a tripod than I just go to big film. I may have a roll or two of PX that I shot in a pinch from way back. I will have to go look it up in my "filing system" and check that out.

Ever seen the stuff in larger formats?

RB
 

MattKing

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I just walked over to my nearby binder of negatives, which include a whole bunch of 120 negatives on Plus-X.

There isn't a speck of blue in any of them:confused:.

Maybe it is something special about your film.

FWIW my development regime is as follows:

- pre-soak (usually 3 minutes) - as pre-soak water is discarded, it appears blue;
- rotary processing in HC110;
- Kodak indicator stop;
- fix using either Ilford Rapid Fix or Hypam;
- Kodak Hypo Clearing agent;
- 5 minute wash.

Matt
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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I just walked over to my nearby binder of negatives, which include a whole bunch of 120 negatives on Plus-X.

There isn't a speck of blue in any of them:confused:.

Maybe it is something special about your film.

FWIW my development regime is as follows:

- pre-soak (usually 3 minutes) - as pre-soak water is discarded, it appears blue;
- rotary processing in HC110;
- Kodak indicator stop;
- fix using either Ilford Rapid Fix or Hypam;
- Kodak Hypo Clearing agent;
- 5 minute wash.

Matt

Hmm...

I don't think anything special about the film... I have a lot of it processed over the years here is my process.


Prewash 2 mins.

Develop - I have used on PXP (D76, XTOL, TMAX RS, PMK, Pyrocat HD and ABC pyro only on sheets - my standard these days is Pyrocat HD for everything)

Water stop bath (since the dawn of time)

TF4 Fix (Before I can remember/since it was invented for both film and paper)

Wash

No hypo clear - no photoflo - simple as it gets. I will bet you the hypo clearing blows the dye out, either that or the acid stop/acid fix.

Anyone else out there with an alkaline process from dev to wash that has blue PXP? Does everyone else that uses an acid process after dev have clear PXP?

RB
 

MattKing

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When you dump the pre-wash, is it blue as well?

Otherwise, I think you are right in that it is the hypo clearing agent that makes the difference.

Matt

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I also use photo-flo.
 

Harry Lime

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I haven't shot Plus-X in a some time, but I also have blue negs.

Great film by the way. Plus-X and Tri-X are a match like two peas in a pod.
 
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rwboyer

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When you dump the pre-wash, is it blue as well?

Otherwise, I think you are right in that it is the hypo clearing agent that makes the difference.

Matt

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I also use photo-flo.

I could not swear to it - I have not shot 120 PXP in a while and have not shot sheets since 8x10 seemed to disappear from my preferred shop (was it discontinued?) but I kind of think it was blue. I'll have to get some PXP in 120 just to find out and because it is nice stuff - extremely reliable and the usual superb Kodak QC/consistency, heck even Kodak edge printing is a thing of beauty.

I guess I just like to have the same film stocks in all of my preferred sizes.
Esp the sizes I develop for individual shots/contrasts. Right now my slow speed film is 100% TMX 120 to 8x10. I recently started to test some Efke 100 due to the cost issues of TMX in 8x10 and although there is obviously no comparison to TMX what really shows even with a couple of rolls is how fantastic Kodak quality is from end to end like the quality of the base materials, the consistency of the edge printing, the light tightness of the 120 paper roll v. the slightly burned edge/s of the Efke, etc.

RB
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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I haven't shot Plus-X in a some time, but I also have blue negs.

Great film by the way. Plus-X and Tri-X are a match like two peas in a pod.

Holy crap me and you don't shoot plus-x anymore? This is not good one of us has to go out and continue buying it or they will close it down next month. How about we alternate months, I will shoot it for a month and then you will shoot it for a month, etc.

That should keep it going.

RB
 

stradibarrius

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I have had excellent results with PX125...that has nothing to do with your question about the blue tint but I like the film a lot. AA might not have liked pizza either but that doesn't mean that I think it is one of nature perfect foods!!!
 

fschifano

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Plus-X in sheet sizes was discontinued some time ago. The designation for that film was PXT, and if I'm not mistaken, was quite a different thing from PX (35 mm) and PXP (120/220), as 400TX and 320TX are now.
 
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rwboyer

rwboyer

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Plus-X in sheet sizes was discontinued some time ago. The designation for that film was PXT, and if I'm not mistaken, was quite a different thing from PX (35 mm) and PXP (120/220), as 400TX and 320TX are now.

You are correct PXP has a curve a lot like TX without as much of a shoulder PXT has a curve similar to TXP with a slightly shorter toe but a very long strait line portion. In my exposure situations they were really not that different.

RB
 

MattKing

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Based on the code (6057) in the rebate, as I understand it the example shown by the OP is 120 or, potentially, the no longer available 220.

Matt
 

mopar_guy

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I have looked at a few rolls of 35mm and 120, no blue. I use indicator stop, no hypo-clear. Also, I wash for about 15 minutes.
 

SchwinnParamount

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I've used it in 35mm and 120. That brilliant blue color has always come out in the fix and wash. My Plus-X winds up with a virtually clear base. Maybe just a hint of blue. There is a deep blue anti-hilation dye that comes out in the pre-soak. Do you pre-soak your film?
 
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