Efke Frustration--Advice Needed, Please.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by sunnyroller, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    I bought some Efke 25 and 100 in 120 roll film and have been using it over the past couple of months. It seems everyone else loves this film and I have seen beautiful examples of what others have done with. I do not seem to be having the same the experience. Even in the 25 I have very visible grain in 8 x 8 enlargements. With the 25 I rated it at 25. I developed it in Rodinal 1:100 for 18 minutes at 21 degrees C. As far as grain goes it is better looking grain than other films, but 400 speed Tmax and Tri-X that I have shot during the same sessions under the same conditions exhibit MUCH less grain.
    The one exception is the time that I accidently underexposed it by 4 stops and developed it 1:100 for 20 minutes. The negs were so thin they made Kate Moss look obese, but they scanned pretty well. Am I taking the wrong approach in my development. I garnered my times from the responses I received from a thread I posted when I first got the film.

    Generally I am shooting outside either under overcast skies or in the shade. Contrast has not been a problem, more a lack of contrast. I will try to post some examples, but I never could get the file size right when I tried it the other day. I will see what I can work out tonight.

    One factor may be that I am scanning the negs and printing the D-word way. It is for school and we are printing that way this semester and I HATE it! I am going to try to get in the darkroom this week and see how they look in there, but I don't know what difference it will make.

    Any advice you guys might have would be appreciated. I know this film is capable of amazing results, I just need to figure out how to obtain them.

    Thanks in advance--I know someone will have the answer for me!

    Sunny
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I get my best results shooting Efke 25 at 12, and developing for nine minutes in Rodinal 1:100 with normal agitation. I know you can shoot it the way that you are, but I've gotten amazing results by slowing down the film and shortening the development time. (The time is at 20C, by the way.) Since it's already such a slow film I imagine that you're using it on a tripod...another stop shouldn't kill anything.

    The fact that you're not seeing much contrast leads me to believe that you're not getting the real quality that the film is capable of regardless of the grain issue. Efke 25 is a high contrast film by nature, so if you're getting low contrast then you've got some pretty big problems. Give ASA12 a try and see if that doesn't clear up your problems.

    (By the way, I sometimes scan negatives in place of making proof sheets, and I've never had grain issues with Efke 25...I don't think it's anything inherent in the film.)

    Best of luck,
    Dave
     
  3. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    This thumbnail is an example.

    Dave,

    I will try down rating it and see what happens. Thank you.

    Most of the time I shooting the Efke handheld in my big clunky Kiev trying to keep up with two daughters under the age of 4--I have less out of focus shots than I do with my AE-1 and a zoom lens.
     

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  4. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    On what planet did you buy this film? The only film on planet Earth exhibiting finer grain than Efke 25 is Kodak Technical Pan. Unless you used Martian Efke, I'd say somebody slipped a ringer in on you.

    I don't get grain visible to the naked eye with 400TMax 120 roll film enlarged to 8x8, even when the film is developed in ABC pyro which is notorious for exaggerated grain.

    The attached was shot on Efke R50, which is the same orthopanchromatic emulsion as 25 with one stop more speed. The enlargement was about 8 x 8. No matter how much you zoom in on it, you won't see any grain. This negative is also quite thin. I had to use grade 3-1/2 to get a good print out of it.

    BTW, I didn't see any grain in your attached photograph. I zoomed in quite a bit. The tones are muddy as hell, but it seems quite smooth and sharp.
     
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  5. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Don't think I did that right

    Oops! I guess I don't know how to attach a thumbnail. I will read through and figure out how to do it.
     
  6. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    I got it from J & C. I figure it is something I am doing wrong. My dad always said I could tear up a steel anvil with a feather! :smile:
     
  7. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Here is the one that is 4 stops underexposed.
     

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  8. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Finally here is an example of one that is really grainy. Thanks for your patience with my uploading learning curve.
     

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  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Actually, it was better as an attachment because then it opened in photoshop and I could zoom in on it. I can't really enlarge the thumbnail to see the grain.

    Would it be possible for you to scan the negative? That would tell us more, I think.
     
  10. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Those are from scans I did earlier this week. 300 dpi from 2.25 x 2.25 to 8 x 8
     
  11. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Here is the 2nd one as a PS file.

    Would it be better if I scanned it and left it the same size as the negative. I can go up to the computer lab and rescan them this weekend if it makes a difference.

    I am doing my contact sheets in the darkroom and this film is a b**** to work with to get a decent contact print. I don't think it is the film so much as the way I have processed it.

    Thanks.
     

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  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Looks pretty good to me. I'm just not seeing the grain you're talking about. Look at the specular highlights on the edge of the stove. If there were any appreciable grain you'd see it there. Where is it?
     
  13. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    These two might show it better. The one of caitlin in the cart corral has been worked over in PS for contrast d & b etc, just not spotted. Please forgive the PS part, the only raw scan I have of this is in my apug gallery. I think that working the image in PS makes the grain thing worse. Although other images shot on other film worked in PS does not have this problem.

    I am not trying to make this about PS at all, so please forgive the references.
     

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  15. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    The one of her in the kitchen was the one underexposed by 4 stops that did not exhibit grain. On the others it is in the midtones more than anywhere else.
     
  16. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    c6h6o3--
    BTW, that is a great portrait. Thanks for the help. Maybe I need to underexpose more than I am doing.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    One thing that has to be understood is that Eastern European films seem to be running about 1 generation or more behind the films of the major manufacturers. Therefore expect to see films more like you saw in the 60s from EFKE. This includes softer emulsions, more curl, less sharpness and more grain at a given speed and etc. You will probably see a higher level of coating defects per roll as well.

    This is in no way putting them down, it is just a statement of the level of technology. The major manufacturers of today were at this level in the 60s. Nothing wrong with it, just a natural order of progression as they move up the learning curve.

    PE
     
  18. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I still don't see much grain. I really like the Efke films, and couldn't care less if they're 1860's technology, much less 1960's.
     
  19. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Ahhh the 60's. My parents loved it, hence sticking me with the name Sunny in 1972 :smile:

    I think the whole hybrid thing is part of the problem. I am going to try to work with these negs in the darkroom and see what I get. Also, gonna develop for less time on the next roll. I believe in Efke--I have seen the results others get out of it--I just have to figure out how to get it to work for me.

    Thanks to all who chimed in.

    Sunny
     
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  20. panchromatic

    panchromatic Member

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    i shot efke 25 and have cropped, and printed 8x10 with ZERO grain. I'd have to look at my notes but i think it was stand development in rodinal 1:100... don't remember the time, but someone here on apug recommended it.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Hey, I don't object to the 60s look either. The emulsions I'm working on look more like the 40s or 30s. Who am I to complain?

    I was just pointing something out. Thats all.

    PE
     
  22. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    The dev. temperature should be 20 deg. C.

    Maga dev. chart states about 4.5 minutes for Efke 25 at dilution of 1+50, so 1+100 would be closer to 9 minutes, instead of 18, which you used - PLUS you used 21 deg. C., which means your dev. time should have been even shorter than that (by at least 20%).

    You have overdeveloped the film by waaaay too much - particularly if it's intended for scanning, where you usually aim for "thinner" negative. I wonder how you can see ANYTHING on/through those negs :smile:

    A few days ago I developed some Efke R25 (shot at EI 25) in Rodinal 1+60 at 20 deg. C for 5 minutes - the results were quite nice.

    I don't know where you got those times for Efke R25 and Rodinal, but those are quite excessive - those times might work OK for Efke R100 (shot at EI 100), but should be MUCH shorter for Efke R25, shot at EI 25.

    As I said, try Efke R25 with Rodinal 1+100 for about 9-11 minutes (max!) and at 20 deg. C. Then let us know the results.

    As a general guideline, I use Efke films with Rodinal 1+50, and the (general) times are:

    R25 = 4.5 - 5 min

    R50 = 7 - 8 min

    R100 = 9.5 - 10 min

    All films shot at nominal EI (i.e 25, 50 and 100), times are for Rodinal 1+50.

    For thinner negatives (for scanning), use the shorter of the two times listed, i.e. for Efke R25 use 4.5 minutes, insted the longer listed time of 5 minutes.
    Naturally, dev. time depends also on the lighting of the shots - for contrasty scenes (sunny) develop less, and for low contrast scenes (dull, overcast light), develop a bit more.

    DISCLAIMER: the above works for me, and the way I work, in my darkroom, with my chemicals, my thermometer, the water I use, etc...
    YMMV (your mileage may vary), as they say :smile:

    Regards,

    Denis
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have recently developed some EFKE films in Rodinal, and ... Sorry Morten, but I'm not going to do it again. Neofin Blau is so much better! Grain structure is very much tighter, while still bitingly sharp where Rodinal gives "clumpier" grain. I like the tonalities from Neofin better too, the negatives are far easier to get good prints from. BTW, I used a microscope at 100x enlargement to check the grain structure, and there really is a difference.

    I have never seen grain in a print from EFKE 25 or 50 at the sizes I enlarge to. In fact I have never found grain to focus my grain focuser either, so i have to resort to things like eyelashes and threads in the clothes. That is - developing in Neofin.

    Neofin also gives full film speed or a little more, so you should not overexpose.
     
  24. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    Hi Ole!

    I have some Neofin Blau lying around somewhere, so I would like to try it out with KB25. What development times are you using?

    Trond
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use about 4½ minutes, unless I feel like doing more. Sorry, can't be more helpful.... The R50 looks great (contrasty, but controlled and sharp yet virtually grainless) at 8 minutes.
     
  26. sunnyroller

    sunnyroller Member

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    Denis-

    Thanks so much! I will give the shorter times a try.

    Sunny