Kodak Double-X film 5222

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Anybody out there ever try this as a film for still photography and have any opinions or recommendations? I just won an auction for 4 rather old 35mm x 100' rolls, real cheap (cheap enough for me to bid on a whim--maybe it will be interesting for some retro effects, and I'll certainly have enough to experiment with). I know that Kodak still makes it in 35mm x 400' and 1000' rolls for motion pictures, and Freestyle in L.A. lists developing times for it in various developers, suggesting that they might sell it spooled up for still cameras.

Is it the same emulsion as Super-XX, which was a popular thick-emulsion film for large format, especially for Zone System users, at one time? It is rated at ASA 250 for daylight, 200 for tungsten, but given the age, I'll do my own tests.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), November 13, 2000


Well, if anyone is curious, that film I picked up turned out to be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. From the serial number I determined that it must have dated from 1972.

First experiment: Developed about 2 feet unexposed in D-76, 1:1, 12'. Base fog looked pretty serious--about 1 stop.

Second experiment: Bracketed 5 exposures, half-stop increments, of a Kodak gray scale, middle exposure would rate it at 200 (Kodak's rating for tungsten), developed for the recommended time of 10', D-76, 1:1, with 1 oz/quart of Edwal Liquid Orthazite anti-foggant. No base fog this time, that's for sure. No images either. Nothing. Absolutely clear except for the exposed leader which was slightly grey.

Third experiment: Cut off about 2 feet of film in roomlight, and put into straight D-76. In about three minutes it became moderately grey, maybe two stops past middle grey, probably would reach a full black by 8 minutes. I would say that rates this film as somewhat slower than fiber-based paper, an E.I. of about 0.5-2.0, maybe.

So, for my $15 expenditure, I learned some interesting things. I did some research on movie films and the effects of benzotriazole. I have some nice metal reels if I ever want to try spooling some film from movie-sized reels onto 100' reels for bulk loading. Not a total loss. That doesn't rule out trying some fresh XX at some point in the future, but nothing's coming from this batch. Anyone need about 390 feet of 35mm streamers for the Christmas tree? New Year's? How about some super slow film for photographing nuclear explosions?

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), December 05, 2000.

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