APX25: is this film wasted on me?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by perkeleellinen, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Last year I obtained 30 rolls of 35mm APX25, expired 2004. I'd read a lot about this film and many hold it in high regard so I thought I'd be stupid to pass the opportunity, but I've been quite underwhelmed.

    Should I learn to love this film or trade it on?

    I normally shoot Neopan 400, I like grain and contrast - I print 5"x7" on grade 4.

    I shot a test roll of APX25 a few months back on a sunny afternoon walking down a local country lane and developed it in HC-110 for whatever time the massive dev chart recommended. The film is functionally fine, but for me, quite boring.

    I found it difficult to print with much contrast, there's practically no grain at all at 5x7 and without a tripod DoF becomes an issue.

    What does this film excel at?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,520
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It excels at exceptional fine grain, great sharpness/definition & wonderful smooth tonality. I used 120 APX25 in a 6x9 roll film back with my Wista and the enlargements are superb.

    If your only making small prints & want grain it definitely isn't the film for you, try sticking your camera on a tripod, stop down & use slower shutter speeds and the mirror lock (if the camera has one( and then make large prints that's when APX25 excels.

    Ian
     
  3. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,358
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bega N.S.W.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    APX25: Is this film wasted on me?

    Yes indeed....send it all to me! Seriously, APX25 is great stuff, slow down as Ian suggests and enjoy the results. It is a world away from Neopan, great tonality, get some Rodinal and see if it works for you.
     
  4. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

    Messages:
    790
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    East Anglia,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Send me some just a roll I'm not greedy- I loved it. Like others have said it was a very fine grained film with excellent tone, sometimes I think no other slow film has the tonality they all seem to be quite restricted in that area even with low activity developers.
    (to be said in a husky voice) Probably the best slow film in the world....
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It excels in the areas in which you described. It's very low grain, contrasty and you need a tripod. That's just what it was made for. It isn't your style and that's fine.

    Yesterday there was a thread where a poster said he liked Recording Film in Rodinal. That would be the last combo I would ever use, but to each his own.

    Depart with your APX 25. Sell it to someone who will love it. You will have no trouble selling it.
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here's the problem, lots of people love this film but at the moment I don't. Every roll I experiment with could have been a roll that someone else would really appreciate having...
     
  7. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I understand the issue, I would probably sell it myself, and I am not interested in buying it. I actually REALLY wish this stuff was still being made, I would definitely get some to try out, but with 30 rolls I would feel like I was just getting it figured out when I ran out of the stuff. I sold all of my APX 100 once that was gone and moved on rather quickly then, would probably just do the same here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2009
  8. wogster

    wogster Member

    Messages:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Location:
    Bruce Penins
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The issue with the film, it's not wasted on you, it's whether you want to invest time learning a film where you can't get more of it when you run out, because it's no longer being made. Personally I would sell it and use the proceeds to buy another film that is still being made, so that I can get more, when I run out.
     
  9. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    When I used that film, which was 20some years ago before they discontinued it in 4x5, I would process it in Rodinal 1-100 and get just amazing mid tones. To use it you have to be open to seeing different results from your work.

    That said, I just put a brick of 120 Panatomic X on ebay because I figure I can replace it with triple the quantity of some other film that is more to my liking.
    Dennis
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just saw that Panatomic X auction. That's some serious money!
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,520
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    APX25 was never produced in sheet film sizes, I would have used it if it was, I never saw its predecessor AP25 in sheet film either. I used APX25 in a 6x9 back alongside 5x4 APX100 with my Wista and the two films were very closely matched with regards to contrast & tonality. I stopped using APX100 when the sheet film was discontinued.

    Ian
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    14,947
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think Paul Schmidt's advice above is very sound. At the money this film is selling for, you could get gobs of your favorite film instead. It is very special and precious film, if you like its qualities. But it's not made anymore, so why bother? You can't get any more when you're done with it. God forbid you actually started liking it! Use this opportunity before you get the bug, and buy Neo 400 instead and go make photographs the way you like them.

    - Thomas
     
  13. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a bulk loader full of Panatomic X I got from my grandfather... I'm afraid to use it... Might as well put it in my will...
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    14,947
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I actually had AP25 in 4x5, two boxes of it, grossly outdated. But it did indeed exist. No real benefit over the 100, though, as that in itself already is exceptionally fine grained.

     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    APX 25 was in 8x10 as well. Brett Weston was a known user. I used the APX 100 in 8x10 as the 25 was too slow. In my system I shot the 25 at 12.
    Dennis
     
  17. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    It actually wasn't so long ago that it was on the shelf in sheets. At least till 1985. If you still had a box with that kind of dating I would think it might still be good. If I remember right the APX25 notch was just one half moon.
    Dennis
     
  18. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have another brick I am going to put on when that auction ends. Either that or offer it to the buyer. Unless someone on APUG wants it for a similar price.
    Dennis
     
  19. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think ebay might be the best bet for this film, although I may test the water by offering them for trade here first.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,520
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dennis/Thomas, APX25 wasn't manufactured in 1985 (or before), I think the confusion is between AP25 and the newer emulsion APX25. By the time I switched to Agfa films in 1986 AP25 was not available in sheet sizes, hence the reason I never saw it. When APX25 was introduce in the late 80's or maybe 1990 it was only ever available as 35mm & 120.

    The AP25 and AP100 emulsions were excellent and the later APX versions even better.

    Ian
     
  21. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Oh well you might be right about the X part, but agfa 25 was my film of choice in 4x5 till it got discontinued around the same time that Agfa changed the portriga rapid formula which also rocked my world. Actually as I remember the film was discontinued first and I switched to the brand new Tmax 100 and just got comfortable with that when the Portriga paper changed and I was pissed to no end. Which is why I became a platinum printer... to get more control over the materials. I don't know what the X refers to in the APX but I was only referencing Agfa 25.
    Dennis
     
  22. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    OK I just dug up one of my empty film boxes and it is Orange striped label that says Agfa Pan 25 and is fresh dated to July 1990.
    Cheers
    Dennis
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,520
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The X in APX25 & APX100 designated them as newer technology films, much later the X was added to APX400 but this was still older technology & the name was changed to match the range of Agfa B&W films.

    APX100 was always as good as Tmax100 (if not better) while having a true effective 100 EI, while Tmax100 needed to be used at 50 EI to get similar results. I stopped using Agfa films when they discontinued APX100 sheet film.

    Ian
     
  24. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have quite a bit of APX 100 in 120 in the freezer and I have used it side by side with Tmax 100 a lot of times and they are indeed very comparable. In my Beutlers process they both end up with finer grain than Acros or Delta 100 or even Pan F. The reason I have switched to ACROS and Tmax 100 is reciprocity.
    Dennis
     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

    Messages:
    14,947
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This discussion makes me think of the 'old' days when all I used was APX 100 & Rodinal, along with the odd roll of Tmax 100. Then when Agfa bellied up I switched to Ilford FP4+ & Pyrocat, then I started using Tri-X because I took a liking to grain. Then Tri-X in Edwal 12 and Xtol, and now it's Tmax 400 & Xtol. The latest combination I've only used for a while, but it gets me the fine grain of the past, the reciprocity of Tmax 100 (almost, and two stops faster), and tonality that I love.
    Unless something becomes unavailable, I will look no further. But the APX films were exceptional indeed. And I would not have switched from it had they not gone under.

    To the OP - Keep shooting Neopan 400 if that's what you like and what you're used to. It's fun to experiment once in a while, but it's always best to keep things consistent. You vision and your technique are much more important than the film.
     
  26. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I feel ill, my day is ruined.