High resolution radiographic techniques for imaging the peripheral skeleton (hand and foot) have gained wide clinical acceptance. The two procedures receiving widest attention are non-screen techniques: one uses medical film (Kodak RP); and the other uses industrial film (Kodak Type M) combined with optical magnification. The imaging properties and clinical applications of these two techniques were examined. The modulation transfer functions (MTF's) of the recording systems, Wiener spectrum analyses of noise, and film sensitometry were obtained. Clinical comparisons were made from 200 consecutive patients radiographed with both techniques and the relative merits in metabolic, arthritic and traumatic afflictions were assessed. The results demonstrate the superiority of the industrial film compared to medical film technique in all parameters of image quality. However, the inconveniences of special processing and viewing necessitated by this technique, as well as the increased radiation exposure, limit its clinical application to small, selection groups of patients as determined from the clinical comparative study.