After months of research, note taking, image comparisons and lots of admiration of other's results, I decided to finally pull the trigger on shooting some X-Ray film in my 4x5 large format view camera.
I bought a 100 sheet box of Fuji HR-T 30 green medium speed X-Ray film and a 12" rotary paper cutter from Amazon and started cutting each 8x10" sheet down to four 4x5" sheets. It's a process that definitely takes some practice to get the final dimensions correct while cutting but since the film is an orthochromatic film and much less sensitive to red light, you can cut the film, load and unload holders and develop all under an 11 watt Kodak Junior red safe bulb placed about four feet from the work surface. I experienced no film fogging from the bulb. The film is a double sided emulsion and susceptible to scratching in tray development if you are not absolutely careful. I normally use the Taco Method for my 4x5 development but that wasn't going to fly with double sided X-Ray film. I chose to use a Mod54 six sheet spindle insert for a three reel Patterson tank for my developing. I found no scratches on the film at all after development. I had laid a thin white poster board on top of the rotary paper cutter surface and taped it down to prevent scratching while cutting the film down to size. Earlier, I had also tried a 12" guillotine style paper cutter with terrible results so I switched to the rotary cutter and had no problems after that.
The photo was shot with a Calumet 45nx with a Fujinon-W 210 F5.6 lens in a Copal B shutter. 1/4 second @ F16 with the film rated at ISO 100(ish). It was outside in our backyard next to a small waterfall and pond we have and it was drizzling at the time.
Development was with Rodinal in a 1:100 dilution for six minutes at 20 degrees Celsius with very careful and slow inversions for the first twenty seconds and ten seconds of inversions each minute after that. Tap water stop bath, Ilford Rapid Fixer, five minute tap water rinse followed by two minutes in Photo-Flo bath, Hung up to dry for five hours and scanned in two passes on an Epson V600 then merged the pieces together using Photoshop's PhotoMerge function.
Final cost per 4x5 sheet... about 11 cents. Still lots of room for improvement. The experimenting rolls on...
Some links to items used:
Fiskars 12-Inch Rotary Paper Trimmer:
Fuji Super HR-T Medium Speed Green 8x10 X-Ray Film (100 sheet box):
Paterson Multi-Reel 3 Tank #116:
Mod54 3 Spiral Tank Insert (goes into Paterson tank):
Delta Brightlab Junior Safelight 11W: