Comparison of Mamiya CMS 20 vs 4x5, 8x10 and other stuff

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by timparkin, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    I've been playing with some alternative films to see just how much detail you can get using the Mamiya 7 system. This followed on from the Big Camera Comparison

    http://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/12/big-camera-comparison/

    .. that I ran last year. Well having read about Adox CMS 20 I thought I'd give it a go with the same target. The results were quite dramatic. Here's the big picture showing that the result is definitely 'pictorial' and not just a lith film (developed using the Adotech II developer recommended by Adox).

    http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/scans/cms20-full.jpg

    Excuse the scratches - I wasn't particularly careful with this as I was only interested in a small section.

    Well the film outresolved 4x5 delta 100 (oh, and trounced the IQ180 on the way there) and started on toward 10x8 - didn't get too close but it was definitely trying.

    The amazing thing about the film that I was stunned by was the fact that it has almost zero grain and also no halation. To give you an idea of just how much detail it shows - you can read the engraving on the watch strap of my colleague Mark Banks..

    Here's a comparison of various microscope shots and scans..

    http://static.timparkin.co.uk/static/tmp/cms20-vs.jpg

    Tim
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Holy smokes! You have a lot of time and equipment! But glad to know those lenses are that amazing and the film...wow.
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Nice comparison. It doesn't look like the CMS20 has a lot of dynamic range (shadows are going funky with tones falling into blackness that perhaps shouldn't) despite using their special developer.

    Pony Request: have you done this test with 4x5 TMX, Acros or CHS25? They all seem finer than Delta 100 to me, but I've used very very little of the latter.

    And do you have similar results in C41, e.g. with Ektar and Portra 160?
     
  4. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    CMS 20 has extremely fine grain and high resolving power, true, but remember it comes at a severe price. The film has a very short scale, and extremely low speed, far lower than EI 20 in my testing. This film is in no way a substitute for large format (or small format) TMX, Delta etc.
     
  5. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Thanks Tim!
    I have been using Adox CMS20 for years. Its great that Adox decided to offer 120 format since last year and also larger formats as well.
    Did You exposed it at box speed? I usually shot it ~ ISO 10 but if I want contrast, then box speed is ok.
    Agfa Copex Rapid is another great film, panchromatic sensitivity and goes up to ISO 40 in SPUR developer. Available in various formats.
     
  6. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    No I haven't tried 4x5 T-Max, Acros or CHS25 (is acros and chs25 still available in 4x5). I have tried T-Max in 120 in the Mamiya and it got nowhere near the CMS20.

    I didn't expose for the shadows and as other people have mentioned, I should probably have exposed it at 10ASA instead of 20 as the highlights seemed fine.

    I have used Portra 160 and it's included in the 'Big Camera Comparison' test if you take a look. Not tried Ektar - might give that a go in the Mamiya at some point.
     
  7. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Agree completely - however I'm going to give it a bash at a lower iso to see what happens. I'm not sure it would be that great with large format although the lack of any halation and also the lack of grain would give the strong possibility of being able to sharpen aggressively but that probably isn't appropriate for this forum :smile:

    Tim
     
  8. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Hi George, What do you think the dynamic range is like when exposed at 10? And how do you think it compares with Agfa Copex Rapid in terms of halation, tonal scale and grain?

    Thanks!

    Tim
     
  9. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    You get better details shadows at 10 highlight are ok but You have to watch it, its a bit more demanding towards changes in development but You probably already know that. Using distilled water help to isolate issues, if any. I distill water for my darkroom entirely anyway..

    Agfa Copex Rapid tonality is better, no issues with halation, is a bit grainier than CMS20 but Copex is faster film.

    Last year there was a thread about the highest resolving films, papers that might be interesting for You.
    On page 6 Henning Serger joined us and shared some info from his lab testing of various films, CMS20 and Copex among the many.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/94547-highest-resolving-power-bw-film-chemistry-paper-6.html
     
  10. DarkMagic

    DarkMagic Member

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    The dynamic ragne is good when you learn the film to know. Here is the 135-version developed in Neofin Doku: http://tmax100.com/bilder/arkivbilder/moldefjord.jpg

    I get similar results when developing it in Rodinal 1:300 The developer from Adox gives me nothing but shit, so that developer i have dumped in the sewer. Also my tests with BTZS plotter shows me that Rodinal or Neofin Doku is the developer suited best for my way of creating an image.
     
  11. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Are You talking about Adotech I or II?
    I never had issues with any of them.
    Neofin Doku / Tetenal Dokumol works too, as it worked with Tech Pan back in the days, now with ATP.
    IMHO, Neither Rodinal nor the Tetenal could squeeze as much as the developer that SPUR made for those films.
    However, I sometimes like to use Rodinal or Dokumol with CMS20 or Copex, If I am in mood to shoot at ISO 3 :D
    Rodinal gives some interesting sparkle with any film, even at a cost, hands down.
     
  12. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    It would be interesting to see a roll of tech pan 120 in technidol compared to CMS 20 and the like.

    Ed
     
  13. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Thanks for the info, I'd like to play with this film as well and the Rodinal looks doable. Beautiful picture! Wow.
     
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  15. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Sensitivity is different (superpan vs orthopan), speed as well.. as for granularity CMS20 wins, no chance for Tech Pan.
    I liked the extra sensitivity in Tech Pan, very interesting film...
     
  16. timparkin

    timparkin Member

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    Hi George! It's Henning I've been talking to about this and has provided lots of advice :smile: Might try the Spur developer next..
     
  17. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Hi Tim, good to hear You got in touch with Henning!
    CMS20's, Copex and ATP got lots of admirers in Europe.

    Have fun
     
  18. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello Tim,

    as always, excellent work from you! Congrats. And thanks for sharing!

    I know this film very well: In combination with the dedicated developer, it is a league of its own.

    I am using high resolution BW films since 1985. At that time Kodak Technical Pan, developed in Tetenal Noefin Doku.
    During the last years I've intensively tested this film (it is current Agfa-Gevaert HDP microfilm) and its brother, the Agfa Copex Rapid.
    And I've tested all the special developers from Spur (photo engineer Heribert Schain in Germany).
    The Adotech developer is also designed and produced by Spur / Heribert Schain for Adox.

    With the Agfa HDP / Adox CMS 20 film I successfully reached the physical diffraction limit at f5,6 with both my Zeiss 2/50 ZF and my Nikkor AI-S 1,8/50.
    240 Lp/mm, clearly separated lines, and that at an object contrast of only 1:4, two stops !!
    That is simply breathtaking!

    I've projected these 35mm images at about 4,5 meter x 3 meter with a slide projector. And you can see every tiny detail when you put 'your nose on the projection screen'! There is no real enlargement limit for this stuff.

    Dominique Ventzke ( www.high-end-scans.de ) and me have compared this film (and Copex Rapid) in 35mm with medium format 6x6 and large format 4x5".
    35mm CMS 20 surpassed 4x5" Adox CHS 100 film! More detail with the 35mm CMS 20.
    We needed Acros to get a little more detail with 4x5" compared to 35mm HDP / CMS 20.

    Agfa Copex Rapid 35mm, developed in its dedicated Spur Modular UR New developer, outperformed 6x6 FP4+, 6x6 APX 100 and 6x6 RPX 100.

    Some test results from our resolution tests (Nikon F6, MLU, MC-30, 1/250s, focus bracketing, Zeiss ZF 2/50, f5,6, object contrast 1:4; the first resolution value represents the number of clearly separated lines, the second one the resolution limit where still a contrast difference can be seen):

    Adox CMS 20 / Spur Orthopan UR developed in: Spur Nano Edge, Spur Nanospeed UR, Spur Modular UR, Adotech: 240 - 260 Lp/mm

    Agfa Copex Rapid; ISO 40/17°; Spur Modular UR New: 165 – 180 Lp/mm

    TMX, developed in HRX-3: 135 - 150 Lp/mm

    Fuji Velvia 50: 110 – 125 Lp/mm
    Fuji Sensia 100: 120 – 135 Lp/mm
    Fuji Provia 100F: 120 – 135 Lp/mm
    Fuji Astia 100F: 120 – 135 Lp/mm
    Fuji Velvia 100: 125 – 140 Lp/mm
    Fuji Velvia 100F: 125 – 140 Lp/mm
    Kodak E100G: 120 – 135 Lp/mm
    Kodak Elitechrome 100: 120 – 135 Lp/mm
    Fuji Provia 400X: 105 – 115 Lp/mm

    Fuji Superia Reala 100: 105 – 115 Lp/mm
    Fuji Pro 160 C: 100 – 115 Lp/mm
    Kodak Ektar: 90 – 105 Lp/mm

    To get the best tonality (ideal characteristic curve) with CMS 20 I recommend (same as with every other film-developer combination) to do the classic zone system exposure series to evaluate the characteristic curve.

    At ISO 20 and normal development times CMS 20 show a very strong S-shaped curve with loss in shadow and highlight detail. This film is not a real ISO 20 film.
    To get a much better, more linear characteristic curve and both better shadow and highlight detail reducing the exposure (lower ISO) at reduced development times is the way to go.
    Then you get very good tonality with good shadow and highlight detail with this film.

    Agfa Copex Rapid is much easier to handle in this respect:
    With its dedicated Spur Modular UR New developer you get excellent tonality (linear characteristic curve like normal films) already at ISO 40/17° (with 35mm) and ISO 50/18° (with 120; the current roll film charge has 1/3 stop more speed).

    Grain of Copex Rapid is comparable with T-Max 100, developed in a fine grain developer (maybe Copex is even a bit finer grained, depending on the developer used for TMX, but the difference is small). But resolution and sharpness are much better with CoRa, compared to TMX, Delta 100, Acros.

    Agfa Copex Rapid (CoRa) is also very good reversal processed as a BW slide. Photostudio13 in Germany www.photostudio13.de is offering that in their Scala reversal process.
    CMS 20 can also be reversal processed in the Scala process. Results are a bit contrasty, with less detail in the shadows and highlights compared to CoRa.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  19. Bruce Robbins

    Bruce Robbins Member

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    Thanks for that Henning. Have you made darkroom prints from 35mm CMS and compared them with same size prints from 5x4? I'd be interested to know if CMS has greater sharpness and better tonality than the large format in a print.
     
  20. Henning Serger

    Henning Serger Member

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    Hello Bruce,

    yes, I always make darkroom prints from 35mm CMS 20. With excellent APO enlarging lenses you can print this film as big as you want, the sky is the limit. The bottleneck for big enlargements with this film is not the film itself, but more the printing capabilities of the photographer / printer. Exact focus, optimal flatness of film and paper are of course essential to fully exploit the outstanding potential of this film. But as I always work very exactly in my darkroom, no matter if I print from PanF+, Delta 100, TMY-2, CMS 20, CoRa or any other film, at least for me there is no significant difference in printing workflow with these films compared to conventional films.
    35mm CMS 20 prints compared with CHS 100 4x5", then CMS 20 is the winner. Compared with 4x5" Acros, Delta 100, TMX, I give the conventional films in LF the higher rating.

    Best regards,
    Henning
     
  21. Bruce Robbins

    Bruce Robbins Member

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    That's quite incredible Henning. I have shot a couple of rolls of CMS 20 but my darkroom went out of commission around the same time (long story) and I just scanned a few negs to see what they were like. I ddn't like the tonality but then I hate scanning. That was rating the film at 20 ISO and developing in Adotech. I might try again, rating it at 10 ISO and using my Zeiss lenses with the camera on a tripod to see what it's capable of.

    Sorry to keep asking questions but have you tried CMS 20 in any other developer? I was wondering how Barry Thornton's two-bath might work. I've also read that some people get god results with Diafine.

    Bruce
     
  22. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    After testing with several developers the "best" results (still overall poor tonality and abysmal speed, but to each his own) I was able to get with this film were with TD-3 developer (a dilute catechol-based formula) so perhaps this may be an additional option for some people to explore. I did this work before "Adotech II" was available, but Adotech I was crap.
     
  23. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    How it was crap, Michael?
    If I am not mistaken Your ride with CMS20 was very brief.
    System like CMS20 will always multiply operator errors, a lot. CMS20 requires knowledge, experience, discipline and it's definitely not the average Joe, McDonald's kinda film.
     
  24. Bruce Robbins

    Bruce Robbins Member

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  25. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Operator error and McDonalds are always nice excuses for these films, but I assure you there was no operator error, and testing was extensive, backed by plenty of "knowledge, experience and discipline". So I wanted to put TD-3 out there as another developer people might want to try if they are serious about using this film. It's just an alternative. Relax.

    I have nothing personal against CMS20. Why would I? In the end it simply depends on what one wants out of a film - the ultimate in potential (not necessarily realized) resolution, or a long tonal scale (and resonable film speed). There is no way around that, and I have never seen any evidence (image scans, prints, densitometry) to the contrary. Sorry. The images people post only confirm my test results. CMS20 is not a substitute for larger film in any way other than sheer resolution and granularity. That statement needs to be made for the benefit of less experienced workers.
     
  26. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    I asked in regards to:
    Is Your answer encoded in what You just wrote? I still cant figure out why You think it was crap..:wink: