Unsolicited editorials on cameras, lenses, film, developer, and black and white photography in general.

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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fuji Neopan Acros in Prescysol

I shot a test roll of Acros yesterday, not to be testing how it fares with Prescysol. I was testing an old 50/1.4 Nikkor LTM lens I bought off ebay. In a word, the lens' performance is magnificent, better than my pristine 50/1.5 Leica Summarit and better than my recently recoated 50/1.5 Sonnar from the mid-20th century. So the test was for the lens and this blog piece is about the film and developer. There is no need to rave about Fuji's Neopan Acros. In my opinion, it is faster and better than all of the other slow films past and present (Agfa 25, Panatomic X, Pan F, and Rollei 25). Tom Abrahamson likes to develop Acros in a home-mixed Beutler developer. Before resorting to making my own developer, I have been trying some commercial developers. Prescysol appears to be a good mate for Acros.
To test the Nikkor 50/1.4, I shot at the nominal ISO of 100 and used an f-stop of 2.8. I had no tripod and wanted to eliminate all camera shake. The negatives looked fine coming out of the tank. Looking at the scanned TIFF files left me a bit stunned. Very sharp, very fine grain. When dealing with slow films, those two parameters are generally mutually exclusive. Rodinal produces very sharp negatives with very noticeable grain. Microdol-X produces very mushy negatives with negligible grain. The image of the freight car looks unspectacular at normal viewing size. An enlargement of the detail at the top of the white portion of the middle car shows the fine detail that this film/developer combination can yield. Neither of the images is altered in Photoshop other than resizing to 750 pixels and exported to jpg. I have some Acros in 120 that I'm going to load into a Rolleiflex tomorrow. The results just might bring me to my knees.

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