Efke 25/50 - Usage compared to the "alternatives"

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by corposant, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. corposant

    corposant Member

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    A very nice man in Croatia sent me some of the last Efke 25/50 he could find- a brick of each. I have been using Acros and FP4+ in the studio for portraiture for a time, but every time I look in my fridge, the Efke is staring back at me. I am having a hard time deciding what I should be using it for.

    I have done a few image searches and it seems like people use it for everything, but is there a specialized use that I should be saving it for?

    I was thinking about doing a fun long exposure for a new band, but then I wonder if it would just make sense to use an ND 0.9 with Acros and save the Efke for something else. I can't save it forever and I am not interested in selling it, so I am curious if you use or have used either emulsion, what prompted you to turn to it over, say, PanF+, etc.
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Build a shrine.
     
  3. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I never used Efke, but a lot of folks at Flickr did. And they often tell how they used it.
    Fir instance (at random):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinzimelka/5761476004/
    or
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/brinberkeley/2641498366/
    or
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14431664@N03/2960217117/
    or
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaletaylorphotography/5692947875/

    To see "all" Efke 25 or Efke 50 images, use this link, brows and ask questions:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=efke 25 50#page=0

    You'll find the discussions in the Efke group here:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/46638350@N00/discuss/

    Back to your original question: what to save/use it for? As I said before, I never used Efke, but when I look at all the images, my first guess would be street photography.

    But the better question might be: what kind of photography do you like - or would you like to try once? Since you probably won't be buying\getting Efke film again, I would use it only for a single (ongoing) project, to get an even style in images.
    Your own "oneshot Efke project". ;-)

    I'm not sure if I was any help, but let us know what you'll decide and will use it for. Would be nice to follow your project.
     
  4. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Interesting idea...to do a one-off "Efke project" (or even a one-off "Ektachrome project"). I did my own little "Kodachrome project" over the last two years before processing ceased in Dec 2010, shooting about 200 films. If nothing else, I found how much better (at least technically) one's pictures become by concentrating on one film and learning all its characteristics and querks. This would probably apply even more with B&W, not only getting to know a film but also keeping to standardised development techniques, rather than always experimenting?
     
  5. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    I've used it all along (I'm in Croatia...) for all kinds of stuff: from 35mm for "Leica-style" street photography (gritty, large grain in Rodinal with ASA100 using rotary processing), to 120 format with a Rolleiflex and other medium format cameras (Efke R25 is great for outdoors/landscapes with yellow or orange filter, very sharp), to portraits in large format (4x5 and bigger)...

    It's a film like any other, there's no "special purpose" that it should be used for. Shoot it before it goes bad :smile:

    If you want to do a project with it, go ahead... I'd just recommend using Efke R25 (you don't say which format you got) for shots requiring high resolution - it's a nice film, once you learn to "tame" it :smile: I find it delivers nice results with Rodinal.
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I really like Efke 25 for portraits; skin tones look a little different from a panchromatic film, in a way that to my eye works really well. But it's a good general-purpose film and I can't think of anything about which I'd really say "no, wrong film for the job". (Well, it's going to be tough to use any 25-speed film for shooting a basketball game or a dim stage, of course.)

    Because the grain is so fine, you can use really high-grain developers without any grain concerns. I've really liked it in Caffenol C, and I've seen some very, very good results from Efke 25 in Rodinal. I imagine it would be a winner with pretty much any acutance developer.

    -NT
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I used KB/R14 from the mid 70's and really liked it, later the name changed form the DIN speed to the 25 asa Tingsten speed. I still have some boxes of 10x8 EFKE PL25film.

    They were unique films as they were single layer very sharp but poo hardening and the slower films weren't fully Panchromatic by moder terms particularly the 25 ISO emulsion which was close3r to 50EO in daylight.

    Mandle well these films gave exceptional quality.

    Ian
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    :blink:

    -NT
     
  9. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I don't have a lot of experience with it so far, but I did buy a couple boxes of 25 and 50 for using in my old Kodak 3A. I've been working with the 50 first, it does seem to have some contrast and Adox says not to overexpose. ( I have Adox CHS 25 and 50, but I think it is the same film. ) Anyway, so far I've tried stand development in dilute HC-110 and I've also tried diafine, both compensating development. I liked the results of both .. the diafine is a bit punchier and the tones in HC-110 were smoother. Highlights were not blown out in either. I like the way it looks and am looking forward to working with it more... but now feel a little like you, that I want to use it only for special shots since I can't get any more. I'm using it one 4x5 sheet at a time.

    Have fun!
     
  10. corposant

    corposant Member

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    It's a good idea - with the big exception that B&W chemistry is not disappearing the way K-14 did. Between that and the space in my freezer, I am not in a huge rush!

    Since I have never shot anything below ISO 50, I was thinking this could be a cool film for longer exposures and for use in the studio where I can kill the background and still light the subject with a monolight. I guess aside from that, it's just another slow film...
     
  11. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    :laugh:
     
  12. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Well, it has an unusual spectral response, which differentiates it a little bit from being "just another slow film". And if I'm not mistaken it's slower than anything currently available apart from ortho films and microfilm-based exotica.

    I'm not sure that long exposures are its forte especially (unless the point is "slowest film possible in order to make the exposure long"---but you could do that with a neutral density filter too), although as far as I remember it has good-looking reciprocity data. I think it would be a good film for your "kill the background" idea or for light painting, though.

    -NT
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Adox/EFKE 25 -the 25 in the name was the Tungsten speed, it had a Daylight speed of 40-50 EI which is the same as I used Tmax 100 at (50EI), in fact I exposed both the same and developed for the same time sometimes together.

    So I never thought it was the slowest conventional film that to me was AP25 & later APX25, and also PanF

    Ian
     
  14. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Ian is that also true of the 50 ?
    (i.e. that the rated speed is tungsten and the "real" ei is closer to 100)
     
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Efke 25 was unique - very long scale, relatively high contrast, very fine grain, orthopan sensitivity.
    No other fine grained film had these characteristics. ACROS is about the closest. Pan F, but comparison,
    is ordinary pan and has quite a short straight-line to the curve. And so-called micro-films are really soot
    and chalk when it comes to the toe and shoulder, and often have poor edge effect. So I don't see any
    direct substitute on the horizon yet. I still have quite a few rolls of Efke 25 120 in the freezer. I liked it
    under strong lighting in the mountains. But you gotta be carefully loading it - it edge fogs easily.
     
  16. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Ian - I routinely expose Efke 25, Agfapan 25, and Pan F at the same speed (ASA 25) for PMK development. I expose TMX100 at 100. What on earth kind of developer are you using?
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Over the years I've used EFKE 25 in ID-11 (D76), Adox Borax MQ (FR 2), Xtol and these days Pyrocat HD. See the EFKE datasheet for these films (old DIN names) but aside from slightly better hardening the films haven't changed:

    adox-Efke.jpg

    Yes, at one point in the UK these EFKE films were packaged as Jessops own house brand B&W films and sold as 50, 100 & 200 EI emulsions

    Jessops 50 = EFKE 25 (old 14)
    Jessops 100 = EFKE 50 (old 17)
    Jessops 200 = EFKE 100 (old 21)

    This is the data for Jessops R50 (EFKE 25):

    jessopsR50a.jpg

    So as you can see EFKE recommended 100 ASA (EI) in FR24 developer with KB/R14 (now called KB/R25), however FR E24 was a speed enhancing developer like ID68/Microphen, and the lower speed 40 ASA (EI) was in FR 5 a fine grain metol based developer which gave a slight drop in film speed compared to ID-11/D76. So taking that into consideration it's no coincidence that Jessops were selling EFKE 25 packaged as a 50 EI emulsion.

    I did my own speed tests back in the 1970's with KB14 and although I've switched to Pyrocat HD I still expose at the same EI, I mainly use PL25 in my Agfa Ansco 10x8.

    Drew, I mainly used TMax100 before I switched to Pyrocat HD, and with some films I've found a staining developer gives me a slightly higher effective speed compared to Xtol, so I'm shooting Delta 100 & 400, also HP5 at box speed. Tmax films have been revised since I stopped using them (due to lack of availability).

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2013
  18. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Ian,
    If this isn't too much off topic, I would like to ask something about developing.
    You speak of "speed enhancing developer" and "drop in film speed". This is a concept that I’m starting to grasp, but not yet fully understand the WHY of it (and that bugs me).
    I can understand that any developer works differently and gives different results. So – to get (almost) even results i(n density and contrast )with the same type of film – one must adapt developing times accordingly the use of the type of developer.
    But how does a developer enhance or drop a film speed? Is this a way of saying that – instead of increasing developing times – we overexpose the film to compensate the enhancing effect? I suspect there is more to it than that.

    Somehow I have a feeling it has to do with the effective ISO (EI) of the film, the type of developer used and also the adagio: “Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights”. I think it has probably to do with the chemical proces of converting silver during developing: higher speed in the first seconds (called: toe?), then a steady development for some time and then a suddenly drop in speed at the end.
    But I can’t put my finger on it yet and that’s bothering me. I want to understand the concepts and thus test & improve my developing qualities (i.e. eliminating more variables like chance) into a standard process.
    Like I really grasp the WHY of the concept of “Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights” since a few months, so now I can explain it and use it in my upcomming tests with Ilford PF4+ in 4 different developers.

    I’m a self-educated developer since 2001, but never learned the technical backgrounds (curves, chemistry).
    So could you please tell me what you mean with speed enhancing or drop in speed?

    (And yes: I should probably dig out and reread my copy of Ansel Adams book “the Negative”, but that is still in storage for now…)

    Thanks,
    Bert
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Bert, in very simple terms.

    A normal developer like D76/ID-11 should give you a good overall balance of fine grain, film speed (box ISO) and good sharpness with an excellent tonal range.

    A super fine grain developer like Perceptol or Microdol X does this at the expense of film speed, usually just Metol based they need increased exposure to achieve the same tonal range, but garon is significantly smaller.

    A speed enhancing developer like ID-68/Microphen gives a higher effective EI at the expense of slightly coarser grain and slightly different tonality.

    So choice of film, say Pan F, FP4/Delta 100, or HP5/Delta 400 and then choicer of developer Perceptol. ID-11 or Microphen gives a wide range of possible combinations and of course there are others.

    It's why people say find a film/developer combination and stick to it learn all the variables.

    Ian