Efke Film in General

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by asaphoto, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. asaphoto

    asaphoto Member

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    Hey all,

    I have recently been experimenting with Efke film and I have had overall pleasing results. I have some comments, questions, and some small complaints that I wanted to address. Firstly I wanted to see what people that have used this film in general think of it? I like it so far but I have only used the 50 speed developed in D-76 1:1. I want to know if anyone has any suggestions for development? I first developed for the suggested 8 minutes and got slightly thin negatives. I tried 12 minuted and got much more satisfactory results although not yet perfect. Also I hear not to use stop with it. Dose anyone know anything about this and what the effects of using stop may be? The other concern I have is that it is going to be available in the future? One complaint I have is that it tends to curl up a lot. I am shooting 120 roll film and it is a pain in the neck to deal with. I don't think anything can be done about this though. Anyway i am looking forward to your comments. Thanks a lot.

    Asa
     
  2. BrianPhotog

    BrianPhotog Member

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    Efke is currently known as Adox, yes?
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I shoot Efke R50 almost exclusively in the studio and have been developing it in D-76 1:1. It has excellent reciprocity characteristics for long exposures and I like the grain and tone, especially with metalic objects.
    I always use a stop bath and have never had pinhole problems and have never experienced the scratching problems that many have mentioned with these films although I did switch to a hardeng fixer just to play safe.
    As far as curling, I haven't experienced any problems that I would consider much beyond normal. This is just my personal experience, there are wide variations between darkrooms and localities ( I understand that it is just a bit hotter and dryer in AZ than it is here in NY :smile: ).
    As far as availability, remember that this film is now sold under the Adox name so if Efke appears to be unavailable, just get the Adox R50.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Sounds to me like you may be underexposing - check your shadow detail - is it weak or thin?

    I shoot a lot of 35mm and 120 rollfilm Efke 100 and Efke 25. I don't have any problems with neg curling. I use the Ilford fill, soak and dump method of washing after fixing. I do a final rinse in distilled or deionized water with 2 or 3 drops of low foam wetting agent added (I use Edwal LFN). I hang my negs to dry with weight attached in a dust free environment. When the negs are dry I store them flat in a NegaFile.

    I use a water rinse instead of an acid stop bath (because I normally use Pyrocat which is a staining and tanning developer).

    However, there's nothing wrong with using a stop bath with the Efke films developed in D-76 or other non-staining developers. In fact, an acid stop bath may be required for development control (to stop the development) if your development times are short.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    It depends from whom you buy it. If you buy it from fotoimpex.de or jandcphoto.com, it's Adox. If you buy it elsewhere, it's Efke.
     
  6. asaphoto

    asaphoto Member

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    Is there any difference at all though between the stuff packaged as Efke and the stuff packaged an Adox?
     
  7. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I cant notice a single bit of difference. I dont have experience with roll film in efke/adox.
    Although I have a pretty extensive experience with it in sheet film, both the Efke PL100 and the Adox PL100. I just finished (last night) labelling all my 7x17 negs, and realized... theres alot of them.
    Almost exclusively Efke/Adox 100 with about 50 sheets of JandC 200 thrown in there when I first started shooting 717.
    I used a weak stop bath of Kodak indicator stop in the beginning and have noticed the negs using the stop bath have a slightly less apparent stain (Ive used the efke/adox with PyroHD only)
    It prints wonderfully well in my opinion. I have done some silver printing with it, but mainly I use the negs for printing in pt/pd. The tonal range and scale seems perfectly suited with this film, pyroHD, and pt/pd contact printing. Ive found that a majority of the time when I print in pt/pd I have to use very little Na2 to increase contrast.. usually it ends up being 1 drop of 5% solution for a coated area of 7x17. This to me says, in a really unempirical and technically immeasurable way, that the range of the negs is pretty good. Might have alot to do with good exposure or whatever but I think it also has a bit to do with the good film.
    One of the things Ive noticed is that Freestyle website mentions that efke film shouldnt be "pulled". Im not in the least bit technically oriented, most everything is by feel with me. But I expose the PL100 film at about an EI of 50/32 as Ive found it gives me a better tonal range and negatives with good thick highlights and a nice long density range (sometimes too long). Im not sure but this to me sounds like "pulling" .. and Ive found it works well to expose at an EI about onestop less in speed.
    hope that helps. Just my limited experience but my be pertinent to your situation a little.
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Agree with Matt, although I do silver printing not alternative process. Matt, I think the issue about "pulling" (less development to reduce contrast) stems from the two different films, Efke 25(50) & 100 and their properties. Efke 100 has a very nice ability to contract a scene with loads of contrast, so "pulling" isn't a problem at all. On the other hand, Efke 25 is as close to the opposite as you can find. It will expand contrast beyond most needs, but doesn't really like to reduce contrast, very limited in this respect. As usual, the "hype" used in selling film (cars, laundry detergent, etc.) has a grain of truth, but is spoken with no understanding. tim

    P.S. Need to get some Efke 50 and see how I like it. The others are great.
     
  9. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Ive been curious about it as well. I noticed that JandC and Freestyle now carry the PL50 in 7x17, but am a bit aprehensive to try it as I already shoot almost entirely at F45 or F64 for DOF on the big sheet... imagine my exposures even in broad daylight will get to be TOO long :smile:
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wouldn't talk about "Efke in general," since 25, 50 and 100 are really very different films. I don't think you can generalize from one to the other.

    I also suspect you may be underexposing a bit, but it's like any film--do the normal tests for speed and development time, and you can figure out what works for you.

    I've been using Efke and Adox PL100 in 4x5" interchangeably and haven't noticed any systematic differences. If you order them from different suppliers, you may notice differences due to age and storage conditions, but it starts out as the same film.
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    According to JandC, just the packaging.
     
  12. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I've read that a hardening fixer is recommended with the adox/efke films because they have more fragile emulsions. I also undestand that Pyrocat HD is best used without hardener in the fix because the hardener reduces the stain. So... Do you use a hardening fixer when you develop efke/adox with pyrocat HD? I'd also be interested in opinons from others on this question.

    -Dave
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have posted on this subject many times before. I use a lot of 8x10, 5x7 and 4x5 Efke sheet film. The Efke emusions are soft so they require careful handling. If you scratch the emulsion before or during development, post development hardening will not help!

    I develop Efke films in Pyrocat-HD which tans and slightly hardens the emulsion gelatin.

    In general, I would not expect a hardening fixer to reduce the amount of Pyrocat's stain - however, if the fixer's pH is too low (i.e. if the fixer is too acidic) that might reduce the stain.

    I do not use a hardening fixer with Efke films. I use a buffered neutral pH ammonium thiosulfate based rapid fixer. When I Develop film By Inspection (DBI) I use a weak acid stop bath to stop the development process, otherwise I use a water rinse instead of a stop bath.

    I do not have problems with scratched, nicked or gouged emulsions - the secret is in being careful and learning good film handling techniques.

    At Michael and Paula's Sedona (AZ) workshop (January 2006) I watched Paula Chamlee tray develop a large stack of Efke 8x10 sheets (10 or more) in Pyrocat - without a single emulsion defect.
     
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  15. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Wow! 10 sheets. I'll have to remember that.

    Sandy King has been the one who advocates using a non-hardening fixer with Pyrocat-HD. Seeing as he invented the developer, I highly respect his opinion concerning hardening fixers and reduction of stain.

    The other alternative to tray developing is using one of the tube techniques. Unless I go on a several-day binge, I rarely have enough sheets to develop 6 or more sheets at a time. And I don't like having to wait several weeks until I do. I've been using the Extreme Minimal Agitation technique (got a sheet cookin' as we speak) with Efke/Adox. Believe me, it works well (excuse me for a minute while I go agitate). Nary a scratched neg. To learn about this technique, search the B&W Darkroom forum for and look for posts by Steve Sherman or Sandy King.
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Since going back to the basics and meticulously developing film in trays exactly as Paula showed us during the workshop I haven't scratched a single sheet of Efke film.
     
  17. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I think that I have only processed Efke roll film and 35mm. The reels tend to protect the film through the process although I do give it a wipe before drying to remove the excess photo-flo. I never had an emulsion damage problem but switched to using a hardening developer after hearing all of the warnings.
     
  18. skillian

    skillian Subscriber

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    I shot Efke PL100 8x10 exclusively for quite a while (probably 400 sheets) but ran into some serious quality control problems with two different batches of this film - namely uneven emulsion or some other defect in the emulsion that caused mottling or uneveness in the highlights. I have two colleagues who experienced the same phenomenon. The first time it happened, I chalked it up to a defective batch. However, it happened again about a year later and ruined many photographs from an extended trip to Death Valley so I swore off the stuff. J and C was aware of the problem, but Efke was unwilling to take any responsibility for it. Since then, I believe they have changed this film slightly. A friend who has used the "new" version has noted a change in development times. Otherwise, it was a great film. You can push it farther than any other film I've used without the highlights blocking up. Since then, I've been using Tri-X and have found it to be much more contrasty and unable to handle scenes with wide a tonal range as compared to PL100. However, like any film, they all have strengthes and weaknesses you can exploit if you take the time to learn how to get the most out of them.
     
  19. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    My problem with PL100 is incredible fog. I ran out of 8x10 TMY and really can't afford to buy any for a while, so I've been using the last of a box of PL100 I bought two or three years ago. There is no expiry date on the box.

    I noted considerable fog in semi-stand negatives I made from this box of film for Steve Sherman's workshop in January of this year. I did one last night in Harvey's (semi-stand) and it's much worse. The edges look to be about Zone V.

    I'm wondering if DHS is x-raying the containers carrying this film when it's imported. My Efke seems to be deteriorating rapidly.

    I've always called it my second choice film after 400TMax because it's nearly as expandable, but any more buying Efke film seems to be like Forrest Gump's proverbial box of chocolates.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My understanding is that storage is an issue with some of these films and is the tradeoff for increased density range in films like Efke PL100 and J&C Classic (Fortepan) 400, so the base fog with age may just be normal. I try not to buy too much at a time.
     
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Although they are different films, in general I rate them at 1/2 box speed to get satifactory results with normal development times, with PMK. Satisfactory for me (YMMV), means a good dense neg with good contrast. The 25 tends to give more contrast than the others, so I tend use it more in low contrast situations.
     
  22. frugal

    frugal Subscriber

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    Didn't J&C announce that the were testing each batch of Efke/Adox film when they receive it in order to check for production issues?
     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Low fog levels and no emulsion defects seen when I developed these Efke films Semi-Stand 1+1+100 at 21 deg C in Pyrocat-MC:

    1. KB100 #310493 Exp 2006-1
    2. PL100 #410609 EXP 2007 10
    3. R25 #310588 EXP 2007-1
    4. PL 25 M #310596 EXP 2007-1


    Some of this film was shipped via DHL some via USPS, all shipping boxes were marked DO NOT XRAY - PHOTOGRAPHIC FILM.
     
  24. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    The emulsion number on my box is 210582 with no expiry. That in itself inspires little confidence.

    The X-raying I'm referring to is when the film enters the country, not during its domestic transport, which should be ok. I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in any assurances given by DHS about their not zapping it. Absolutely none.

    I think Dave Goldfarb has the best explanation. Don't buy too much of this stuff, and use it fast.
     
  25. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    I have a pretty good supply of this film. Will freezing it help with the 'aging' and fog issues? Thanks.
     
  26. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I haven't had any issues with the Efke/Adox PL 100 film or JandC classic 400. This film is just slightly over a year old. But I've heard this before from someone else. I haven't frozen any so I can't attest to if that would help with the fogging or not. I love both of these films. I'm planning on giving the PL 50 and 25 a try.