Fujifilm Acros 100 in D76 1+1

Been wanting to shoot more B&W film this summer. I recently gave Silvermax a try but somehow that didn't work for me. I'm sure it would've if I gave it a bit more thought or tried their dedicated developer. But! Silvermax is not readily available in Japan. There's only one online retailer in Japan that sells this film and it's out of stock right now. It's summer and I wanna shoot. So this didn't work for me and I decided to give Acros a try. 

Acros is readily available in Japan and it's cheap (585 yen/roll) . I know Fuji recently announced the discontinuation of Acros but it is still available now. 

I decided to just stick to D-76 1+1 for my developer. I expect to shoot this film only in harsh contrast on sunny days anyways.  

Basic Test: 

  1.  Find rough developing time
  2. Shoot test shoots at different EI
  3. enlarge test shoots onto paper and pick best one.  

 

 bracketed test roll exposed at different EI settings for N, +3, -4. We are looking for a set of the frames where the -4 exposure barely starts producing density on the film. The +3 exposure should be nearly black. Anything greyish here would mean underdevelopment and probably a low contrast final photo. 

bracketed test roll exposed at different EI settings for N, +3, -4. We are looking for a set of the frames where the -4 exposure barely starts producing density on the film. The +3 exposure should be nearly black. Anything greyish here would mean underdevelopment and probably a low contrast final photo. 

 blank piece of film enlarged onto paper to determine min time for max blacks. 2s, 4s, 6s, 8s, 12s etc. Around 12 seconds we're reached max black. Longer exposure will not give deeper blacks. This means that exposing my negatives onto this paper for 12 seconds should be enough to give nice deep blacks.  

blank piece of film enlarged onto paper to determine min time for max blacks. 2s, 4s, 6s, 8s, 12s etc. Around 12 seconds we're reached max black. Longer exposure will not give deeper blacks. This means that exposing my negatives onto this paper for 12 seconds should be enough to give nice deep blacks.  

 meter at 100 ISO, +3 stops over exposed frame enlarged onto paper to determine dev time. top: 11'15", center: 10'30", bottom 12'30". Here we are exposing the near black super dense negative onto paper. Right half is covered up completely and hence purest white the paper will produce. The left side is the dense negative at 12 seconds. This should be dense enough to barely produce any tone onto the paper. Just a shade away from white is what we are looking for. Anything darker here would mean low contrast final results. 

meter at 100 ISO, +3 stops over exposed frame enlarged onto paper to determine dev time. top: 11'15", center: 10'30", bottom 12'30". Here we are exposing the near black super dense negative onto paper. Right half is covered up completely and hence purest white the paper will produce. The left side is the dense negative at 12 seconds. This should be dense enough to barely produce any tone onto the paper. Just a shade away from white is what we are looking for. Anything darker here would mean low contrast final results. 

 bracketed shots at 150ISO, 100, 75, 50, 32, 25 top to bottom, left to right. All exposed at min time for max blacks (12 sec here) with grade 2 filter. These pictures prove the theory. Too dark means underexposed. Too dense highlights mean too much development. 

bracketed shots at 150ISO, 100, 75, 50, 32, 25 top to bottom, left to right. All exposed at min time for max blacks (12 sec here) with grade 2 filter. These pictures prove the theory. Too dark means underexposed. Too dense highlights mean too much development. 

As you can see from the above tests, this film works best at an exposure beteeen 75-100 ISO.  At 100 the final print is too dark. At 75 I get prints that don’t look dark anymore and at 12:30 mins developing time I get nice contrasty highlights without the need to burn anything in. 

This film is very fine grained in D76 1+1. Maybe a little too fine grained for my taste. I usually only print on 5x7 and at this size the film just looks too clean. For bigger enlargements it is probably a nice choice. If that works for you I highly recommend this film. Get it while you can. Fuji stopped making B&W films and it’s only a matter of time until the current stock runs out. This is the end of a long era. Fuji Neopan films were superb!