THE X (ray) FILES
I have been shooting X-Ray film with some very happy results lately.
Compared to my light-insensitive medium of choice (in-camera photographic paper negatives) X-Ray film gives me the luxury of SPEED !!
Its 80 ASA truly feels like 8000, compared to the 3 (!!) of photo paper.There are drawbacks too: X- RAY film has emulsion on both sides of the sheet, hence it can get badly scratched by merely looking at it (inside the box) from a distance…. just kidding here.. but only so much.
X-RAY film, when handled very gently can give lovely results. I develop it in coffee, like everything else, but I place a piece of glass on the bottom of the tray. That appears to reduce, but never completely eliminate, the scratching issue.
Another lovely attribute of X-RAY film is being almost completely insensitive to red light, so, while daylight or fluorescent bulbs must be used to shoot your subject, it can be easily loaded and developed by inspection, under a safe-light.
These images were shot with one of my favorite lenses, a Pentac Dallmeyer Air Ministry 8 inch f2.9 , made in 1919, right after the first World War.
I think there is a lovely creamy sharpness to it and I was able to shoot this portrait simply using a 1×1 daylight led panel instead of my usual 2400 Watts per second bank of strobes !! Oh joy !!