The new Acros is here.

This is a film that I've wanted to use ever since I started trying to see if I could use film to do what I like with digital cameras. It's fantastic for long exposures, which is very important for me.

Every other film I've used needs extra time added to its exposure after about a half-second or so. That's the metered shutter speed to the power of 1.25 for Ortho 80, 1.26 for Delta 100 and FP4, 1.31 for HP5 and XP2, 1.33 for Pan F and Delta 3200, and 1.41 for Delta 400. That's a lot to remember, so I have a table of values saved to my phone, which I also need to calculate the corrected times.

Let's say I'm starting with a thirty second exposure, which is reasonable for me. For Ortho, D100, or FP4 that works out to a bit over seventy seconds; with Pan F it's just over ninety. A minute-long exposure shifts those numbers to about three and four minutes respectively. Now, I like hanging out in the dark as much as anyone, but those times start to interfere with my ability to be somewhere more interesting.

With Acros that's simply not an issue until the metered exposure reaches three and a half minutes. That will cover almost anything I want to do, and when I do need more time than that, the formula is "add half a stop". I can do that without a calculator.

None of the long exposures here are stretched enough for the reciprocity characteristics to make a difference. The slowest here is a half-second, and a couple of others are 1/6s. That's enough to blur people and traffic without making them go away, so it's a good speed for the city. But for my next roll I'll work a little harder.

Incidentally, I'm not a fan of Toronto City Hall's architecture. It's interesting enough if it was a bank or a prison, but the symbolism of it turns me off. It has windows only on the side that looks inwards, toward its own meeting chambers and square named for a former mayor. The only part of the city that the people responsible for it can see is the financial district; its back is literally turned to the entire rest of the city.

Fortunately I do really like the look of Acros. It handles midtones and transitions really nicely, and keeps lots of range in its highlights. I'm also impressed by its general look – despite being a modern t-grain film, like the delta family, it doesn't seen quite as clinical as D100. It's an odd thing to say, perhaps, but it lets things and scenes look older, or that perhaps the photo wasn't just taken last week.

This is only my first roll, so there's still lots to learn, but eventually I'll be able to get out and use it properly – at night. And I suppose I'll do some sort of a comparison between "Fujifilm Acros: The Film" and its counterpart "Acros: The Fuji Film Simulation", provided that the internet isn't flooded with them by the time I get around to it.

Personally, though, I never bother using digital cameras for black and white.