Agfa APX 400

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by michael9793, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I have been a LF photographer for a long time and just started getting into having a 35mm around and want to do some street photos. I have some T-Max 400 and Tri-X. They seem okay but expensive since the big yellow god increased the price on T-Max. But I got a good deal on some APX400. what is your thoughts regarding this film and the ones above. I'm not too concerned with grain. I use Micro-x for developing. I have looked up peoples options but found only those who love a film really give their option.

    thanks

    michael andersen
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I've used this film off and on over the past few years. Lately, I've been shooting with it a lot. I like the film because it holds the shadows nicely. Grain is nice and predictable.

    It's somewhat like Tri-X, but to me it seems a bit softer. Of course, the camera that's being used plays a role. In general, though, I've been very pleased with the film.

    I've been processing it in Rodinal, 1+50. I think the film should respond well in Microdol-X. which is similar to Adox ATM-49, which is similar to Agfa Atomal. It should give you finer grain than Rodinal.

    Here's one shot with APX 400 (processed in Rodinal,1+50):

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,001
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,256
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Oh dear Peter, I have just looked at your shot and if this is how I can expect APX400 to turn out then it's the last roll I'll buy. I second your sentiment entirely . This is not the look I want either. Just used the whole roll today at a village fete and only bought APX400 because I thought I owed it to myself to try out Agfa B&W film.

    Looks as if I should have gone along to the fete with my bulk loaded HP5+ instead. It looks very flat and grainy - so grainy it's almost painterly in effect.

    I'll have to hope that in your shot, it's the "Rodinal wot did it". I bought some of this as well a while back and was singularly unimpressed - so grainy.

    I still like Agfa paper but it looks as if that's as far as the love affair will progress:sad:

    pentaxuser
     
  5. canuhead

    canuhead Member

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I believe Peter's photo is an exception. Scanned APX shouldn't look that flat. I've been using APX 400 for the last while and have gotten good results from it with Rodinal 1:25. What scanner were you using Peter ?

    Back to Tri X now that my stash of APX 400 has dried up.Always been a Tri X shooter but the price of the APX was too good to pass up for the time being.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,001
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual iii and I've used it for all of the 35mm shots in my portfolio, including the Leanach Cottage one which shows it can do sharp and in focus. :smile:
     
  7. canuhead

    canuhead Member

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Peter, that's a big difference in scans. The Xp2 shots look terrific. I guess for the OP, the issue may well be academic since remaining stock of APX is probably close to being sold out.
     
  8. CuS

    CuS Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Don't give up on agfa

    Yes, the apx400 is rather junky but the apx100 is amazing - especially in rodinal!

     
  9. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,405
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's a great film, but why start using a film which is no longer around?
     
  10. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Isn't Adox going to return this film to market soon?
     
  11. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,405
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had not heard that, but I hope so.
     
  12. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Why not use a film like this. Even if it is going out of production, which i find hard to believe so many people are selling it. I notice that most of you use Rodinal. I had graininess with Rodinal. Or should I say that Rodinal gives great sharpness but along with that you get sharp edges to the grain and this increases the grainy look. I use Microdol-x to give the film a low grain factor. I did this back when I took a trip to Bermuda and used Bergger 100 which I found to be very grainy when developed in, HC 110, Rodianl, and Pyrocat-HD. This was 120 film I'm talking about and even when printed as 8x10 it showed a lot of graininess. But the Microdol could be printed to 11x14 without despair. T-max 400 could go to 16x20 without grain. So my 120 and 35mm are developed in microdol and my 4x5,8x10, and 8x20 are developed in pyrocat-HD.
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,256
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Not much value to those not in the U.K. but Mr Cad in Croydon appears to have secured 30 metre rolls of both APX100 and 400 and if you buy two the price is £25 per bulk roll. So that's 36 to 38 films for about £1.32 per film. Expiry date of 2010. This looks very good compared to Mathers who want £2.95. Mind you I have just seen Retro's price for a 10 pack at £1.60 per roll so the price benefit drops to about 30p per film there.

    Once again it pays to shop around. How is Retro able to make a profit at £1.60 but Mathers needs £2.95? Normally Mathers is very competitive but clearly not so with APX.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Agfa's APX line of films are already out of production! They died with Agfa (or at least with the division that made consumer films) about two years ago (give or take a bit). There's still a lot of the old APX in the supply pipeline, though, so it's still readily available -- at least, via various online retailers. Some of the expiration dates I've seen on the stuff seem a bit optimistic, given that it must have been coated quite a while ago.

    Fotoimpex is currently resurrecting some Agfa B&W products for sale under the Adox brand. They've begun with papers, with the MCP line already gone through one coating run and going on market very soon. MCC papers are planned next. I've heard no dates for the APX films, and their appearance is dependent on good sales of the papers, from what I've heard. Try doing a search here on APUG on words like "Adox," "MCP," and "MCC" to find discussions of this. Oh, I believe "resurrection" may be another good search term; IIRC, that word's in at least one relevant thread's title.
     
  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,255
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    APX400 = wonderful film

    Agfa APX 400 is wonderful film. It is somewhat grainy, but you said you didn't mind. I find that the film base is muddy so get a strong light source when you enlarge.
    The photo linked to earlier in this post is hardly representative of how APX400 normally looks. I think it looks a lot like Foma 400 but with less grain. The toe is pretty mild and highlight separation good. I've had good results in Rodinal and great results in Pyrocat-HD and DD-X. I've also tried Xtol but can't remember what it was like now, and a bunch of other developers that escape me. (The photo attached is a 120 neg dev in DD-X and is a direct scan. The print exhibits less grain).

    Most of all it prints nicely. I don't think it's inferior to HP5 or Tri-X, but it is a bit slower. I would be equally happy with all three of them.

    - Thomas
     

    Attached Files:

  16. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

    Messages:
    511
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you want Tri-X tonal range at a bargain price, why not use the new Arista Premium from Freestyle? Rumor is that it is Tri-X, and the test rolls people have put up show a very Tri-x-like tonal range. It is WAY cheap and likely to be offered for quite a while.
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,256
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a time for DDX but being a "grainophobe" I am sorely tempted to go for Perceptol and am encouraged by your comment on 35mm in microdol which I hope is close enough to Perceptol to make the latter's use OK. I had a look at times on the Massive Dev Chart and in both cases the APX times were in stock solution in both cases and at EI 320 in both cases. So the good news is that if there are these similarities then Perceptol may be OK but the bad news is that EI320 is all that lwas listed.

    Have you experience of Microdol at box speed and is so what was the time? Better still if there is a Perceptol user out there who has successfully used it at box speed, I'd love to hear about your times.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  18. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    East Anglia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mirko (from Fotoimpex) stated so, I pushed him on it and he said the film is in ripening and will be ready when most of the APX dries up.
    I don't think they will introduce it until the field is clear.
    APX 400 is a great film similar tonally to HP5 (with marginally less shadow detail at normal dev times) and has slightly more grain than Tri-x.
    [​IMG]

    and this church window with a 1950's 90mm Elmar F4
    [​IMG]

    I don't know how Peters shot looked so bad, it looked underexposed to me, APX certainly is better than that.
     
  19. jmcd

    jmcd Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Wow, Mark Antony.

    Nice APX photo, beautiful tonal range.
     
  20. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    East Anglia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, I think the old Leica lenses also have a lot do with the tone. APX is a wonderful film, when its gone, its gone gotta try it at least once.
    Mark
     
  21. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,001
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Having seen all of the good results in this thread compared with the shot I had posted, I figured it was time to revisit the combination of APX400 in Rodinal to see how things would turn out. The result is at http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=37888 and shows well controlled grain and a level of detail unimaginable from my earlier shot, a pleasant surprise considering it was the same batch of film and same bottle of Rodinal. Maybe it just needed another year or so of ripening.:confused:
     
  22. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    East Anglia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That looks much better Peter, sometimes we get the odd unexplainable results often user error, sometimes just planetary alignment ;-)
    Mark