Efke 25 not satisfied

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Alessandro Serrao, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Here are some pics from my first Efke 25 roll (35mm - shot @25) souped in fresh home-brew Kodak D-76 for 6,5 minutes, 19°C, 4 inversions every minute.
    They are taken during late afternoon (about 6:00pm) with a yellow filter.

    Here they are:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37785580@N03/3477845778/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37785580@N03/3477038463/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37785580@N03/3477038957/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37785580@N03/3477039527/

    They were processed in Gimp, with some sharpening (about 80) and an auto-adjust. Scanned in a flatbed Epson.

    Now the question: is my fault or the scans are muddy? The negatives look quite thin, I've followed the recommended Fotokemika times for D-76 (undiluited).
     
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with them on my computer. If you want snappier images, either print on contrastier paper or bump up the contrast in your scanning program.
     
  3. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Of course, the final proof of your negatives is printing them.

    And why did you use a yellow filter with afternoon sun? A yellow filter would lower your contrast with morning or afternoon sun, which has a lower color temperature than middle daylight.
     
  4. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Unfortunately I don't have an enlarger. I've used the yellow filter just to render the sky a little bit more...
     
  5. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Flatbed scanners sometimes have focus issues, the negative holder may need to be raised or lowered slightly to get better focus. Raised is easier in that you can stick paper to the bottom of the holder to hold it slightly higher. Two scanners of the same model may need different adjustments for focus. With paper documents this usually isn't critical, with film images that are blown up it can be very critical.

    Best is to print one of the images using a darkroom and see what it looks like.
     
  6. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    I think the red sensitivity of Efke 25 is somewhat lower than the other emulsions. I've shot these pics late in the evening so I've de facto underexposed them but I've used the regular 6,5 minutes (adjusted for 19°C) as if the roll was exposed right.

    In fact the negatives are thin.
    Next I try to soup then more (say 8-9 minutes) and see what happens.

    Lesson leaned: overexpose 1 stop when you take pictures late in the afternoon or early in the morning if you use Efke 25...
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    They look okay to me...Try some of the Adox films.
     
  8. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I second that. I bought an epson 4490 to do my 120, as I have a dedicated one for 35 (plustek 7200i). I could not figure out why my 120 negs scanned so bad, compared to my 35 mm stuff. When I received my ANG kit from http://www.betterscanning.com/, which has adjustable mounts, I realized the lack of sharpness was actually lack of focus. I was surprised that epson had no adjustment for this.

    Sadly I gave away my V350 because it was never sharp. Had I realized what it was, it would have been fine for 120 work.

    It seems it's the little things that can make equipment useless.
     
  9. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Would seem to make sense to add a focus control to the scanner just a little thumbwheel on one side that can focus the lens. A 5 cent sheet of paper can do wonders though.
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *****
    There is very little sky in your images.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ******
    Of course, you changed exposure, also, because of the filter factor of your yellow filter, I assume.
     
  12. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    I didn't change anything because of the ttl meter of my Nikon N90.
    Am I wrong?
    :confused:
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Adox Art and Efke are the same emulsions.

    The pictures look good to me, from an aesthetic POV. They do look like they are prints from thin negatives, however. Maybe your metering is underexposing them. What is your metering technique for the shots?
     
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  15. JPD

    JPD Member

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    You can use a yellow filter as a standard filter with Efke 25 and 50, since they are orthopanchromatic films that renders red darker and blue lighter.
     
  16. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    They are merely test shots and have been scanned directly from the negative.
    Maybe are they fogged?

    I rely entirely on the Nikon built in meter, put the camera in A mode and fire the shutter :D.

    Another problem comes to mind: the D-76 I have and used is homebrew, stock. The developer is actually 2 days old, the formula is the classic D-76. Maybe I have old metol or hydroquinone powders left?

    When I was preparing the developer I didn't heated water at 52°C but it was at room temperature.
    Maybe this caused overoxidation due to prolonged stirring (I've had difficulties dissolving hydroquinone).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2009
  17. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    Too many variables. To judge your first roll of a new-to-you film, dev in a new 'from scratch' dev(that's a minefield right there), with filter, not printed but scanned, on a questionable scanner then go on an analogue site and want them to guess what's wrong, when the pics seem OK but the subject matter is somewhat less than "ideal". Shoot 5 more rolls, under various settings and conditions, PRINT them if you can find an enlarger(there so cheap now), pick some that stump you THEN we'll have a chance to help. This way, with enough info we won't mind looking a bit awkward. Give us something to argue and disagree strongly about, that's the fun part, 'cause it's when we all learn.
     
  18. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Yes, I agree on everything.
    But a cheap scanner is all that I have, I used reverse b&w so I didn't need the enlarger.
    The funny thing is that even reversing that roll yelds underexposed, low dmax (dmin if negative), muddy slides...
     
  19. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Too much variables and unknown parameters.

    Try to search out a new film with a known, proved developer. Then make a suitable print and upload it to the internet.

    I suspect a failure in your developer. Efke 25 with E.I. 25 should normally give regular negatives. I can advice you Rodinal 1+50 or 1+100 or a Beutler type developer: Tetenal Neofin Blau/Blue or Amaloco AM50.

    When this is succesfull you can go back to your home brewed developer and try to reproduce simmular results.
     
  20. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    It's difficult to mess up the d76 formula even as homebrew.
    Metol and Hydroquinone last almost indefinetly as powder so I really cannot pinpoint the problem here. Plus, the same very roll processed as a slide yields underexposed slides so I'm inclined to think of underexposure problem.
     
  21. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    MQ are the basic active developing compounds so if you have messed up this step I doubt the developer is trustable.

    But a good double check is to develop a known film in your D76 homebrew and look at the negatives.

    I never start with a home brew developer and an unknown film but I have only 41 years film experience :smile:
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Without seeing a contact print or enlargement to a graded paper I don't see how to judge whether your contrast index is good or poor.

    If you're not going to do trad'l prints then use 'curve' or 'levels' adjustment in your photo editor, whilst paying close attention to the level of noise in the shadow and highlight details. If you start to see a lot of noise when you curve to the contrast that you want, then you may indeed have an issue. If not, well then fahgedaboudit.

    N.b. if scanning is going to be your workflow for now, then consider dev'ing in wd2d+. The negs will look kinda blah to the eye but they will scan very well (considerably better than you'd get with a non-pyro developer). With pyro negs you'll have plenty of latitude to 'curve' the scan. Just google around: pyro + scan and you'll get the story.

    But overall I agree with the above- too many variables, and it's almost impossible for us to advise something without actually seeing your negs. What an experienced b&w use can say straight away, if he/she has the neg in hand, is whether the contrast index is on track. But apart from adjusting the exposure/dev combination, there are many other ways to build contrast and so many different kinds of contrast, you just need to do some reading and maybe look for a result that you like and find out how it was done.

    Look up the spectral sensitivity chart for the efke and ask yourself what your yellow filter did.
     
  23. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    You cannot be guaranteed that exposue settings through a filter are 100 percent accurate. I always use the standard filter factor and do not rely on the meter. Morover, the color temperature of the light shall also affect the filter factor. As others have stated, you have too many variables involved for someone not looking directly at the negative; or with negatives you have not actually printed, to come to a definitive conclusion about your negatives.
    Since the overhwhelming number of poor negatives shot on this planet are caused by under exposure, and since your choice of film, time of day, metering through a filter on the lens all can compound an underexposure problem, just try to retrain your thinking to the obvious. Many experienced photographers, after doing a simple film-speed test, come to the conclusion that no film, when used outside the testing laboratory exhibits its true film speed; some of us routinely shoot all films at one half ISO because an underexposed negative cannot be corrected: if the detail is not there, it cannot be created using blue smoke and mirrors. A neg that is a bit heavier can always be printed down.
    Lastly, you have chosen a film-type which is notorious for being unforgiving of exposure error. The slow black and white films are the films for which accurate (tested under your particular conditions) exposure is vital.
    I know from experience EFKE 25 is capable of outstanding pictorial results. I have been shooting it since the old days when it was made in Germany by Schleussner, a Dupont-owned company. But it is not tolerant of error: typisch Deutsch perhaps.(vbg)
     
  24. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    A good question!

    [​IMG]

    Up from 620nm (red) the sensitivity is completely gone. A reason to check the film out without (Yellow) filtering.
     
  25. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Yes, I see lotsa noise when I bump up the contrast. So for what I've understood I've got real underexposed negatives here. It makes sense: messing up the homebrew d76 formula is real hard!

    Now the only thing that I can do is to develop another strip with d76 but for 8-9 minutes instead of 6,5...
    Let's see what happens, I will post the results tonight...
     
  26. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Yes, Sir it is if you know how to handle it. Dr. Schleussner was in the 50's and in that time this film was a revolution.