Processing Agfa Scala

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by John McCallum, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    I've heard really some really good things about Scala B&W slide film previously. But when I tried looking in to it before now, found that Scala is no longer processed in NZ; it has to be sent to Australia! Whilst a few people are doing this, I would be more interested to know if it can be processed at home. Les' has recently posted an exquisite example using Scala in the Tech Gallery that reminded me about it.
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  3. skahde

    skahde Member

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    Tom,

    i hate to disagree but a good friend uses a lot of scala (his sole b&w film for some time after tinkering with alternatives) and it is defnitely panchromatic. Have a look at the datasheet. Spectral sensitivity curves for APX 100 and scala look as if they used the same chart twice.
    It also looks very close to a contrasty APX with respect to grain and sharpness btw.

    Maco 100 POc is an orthopanchromatic film (probably made by Efke) which has little senistivity at the red end of the spectrum and can be developed in the same process. Grain is larger and contrast reduced resulting in less "snap" compared to Scala, though. One may be able to adjust the contrast accordingly when developing it at home.

    best

    Stefan
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I'll take a look at the spectral sensitivity curves - dR5 claims Scala is orthochromatic. In any case, it can definitely be processed in a home lab.
     
  5. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Thanks very much Tom and Stefan, appreciate your expertise. The binbooks article looks quite straight forward to follow.

    Interestingly (to me) it actually looks like a similar process to reversing FP4+. Thanks again, John.
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Tom,
    The site above is a worthwhile addition to any photographer's bookmarks. There is a WEALTH of information here.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Scala can also be processed as a negative film. Try 8 minutes at 20C in Rodinal Special (Studional) at 1+32.
     
  8. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    That's interesting Kevin. I also wonder how FP4+ processed as a positive compares with Scala. Just might have to give it a try.

     
  9. skahde

    skahde Member

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    As I understand it, there are two major perrequistes for reversal processing b&w films with good results: It must be able to build up enough density and it must have a clear base. Rumours have it that Scala is a thicker layer of the APX-Emulsion on a clear base. This would explain differences as well as similarities. But take this with a truckload of salt.

    best

    Stefan
     
  10. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Stefan,

    that friend of both of us and I spent the last weekend developing Agfa Scala and APX100 in the Foma slide kit and we came to the conlusion that both share the same film base (smells the same, feels the same, both are clear) and have a similar emulsion - but not the entirely same. When you cut of a piece of the 120 film and compare it in light you´ll notice slightly different shades of grey in the undeveloped emulsion.

    Scala at EI125 and APX100 at EI125 need 12min of first developement in the Kit (easy process and quite affordable!) and the Scala slides just looked perfect - deep shadows, structure in the highlights, sharp. The APX had a lesser density, lacked a bit of "deepness" - depending on the motive it might be enough... think of a black and oiled engine in a dark room (like Voelklingen!).

    Roman
     
  11. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Stefan,

    that friend of both of us and I spent the last weekend developing Agfa Scala and APX100 in the Foma slide kit and we came to the conlusion that both share the same film base (smells the same, feels the same, both are clear) and have a similar emulsion - but not the entirely same. When you cut of a piece of the 120 film and compare it in light you´ll notice slightly different shades of grey in the undeveloped emulsion.

    Scala at EI125 and APX100 at EI125 need 12min of first developement in the Kit (easy process and quite affordable!) and the Scala slides just looked perfect - deep shadows, structure in the highlights, sharp. The APX had a lesser density, lacked a bit of "deepness" - depending on the motive it might be enough... think of a black and oiled engine in a dark room (like Voelklingen!).

    I believe Michael has decided to stay with the Foma Kit and Scala in size 120 and Fomapan R100 in 135 rather than pay 4 or 5 Euro at Oschatz.

    Roman
     
  12. Tom Smith

    Tom Smith Member

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    "scala 'is' an ortho film with a clear base"

    That's helpful. Would Scala's orthochromatic character explain why it gives deep and dramatic tonal effects, particularly with landscapes?

    I wonder how it would compare to Maco Ort 25, which is much finer grained and contrasty? (i am asking because I really don't know!!)

    Cheers,

    Tom
     
  13. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    David,

    Defining Scala as ortho instead of panchro is intriguing. I had always thought that ortho materials were sensitive to blue and green only - implying that the spectral response doesn't extend beyond about 600 nm. Agfa's curve for Scala only begins to drop off at about 630 nm, diminishing rapidly to just over 650 nm. In this part of the curve it looks similar* to 100 Delta, XP2, Pan F+, HP5+, Tri-X, Plus-X and probably others that I haven't looked at.

    Have I misunderstood the definition of ortho, or do you class all the above films as ortho? Or is the Scala spectral response curve really a representation of a pile of horse muck? And why does Scala still work with a Wratten 29 -the red tricolour?

    Thanks,
    Helen

    *I write 'looks similar' because Kodak, bless them, are the only manufacturer to give enough details in their literature to permit anything like quantitative comparison.
     
  14. Tom Smith

    Tom Smith Member

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    Thanks Helen

    - that's what I was wondering, but didn't quite have your clear thinking to put into words. You're right about the Agfa and deep red - I've seen some gorgeous work with it. I wonder if the above poster meant that it was an orthodox pan negative film, which because of its clear base, can be done in reversal or negative chemistry, just like Maco Ortho 25 (which can't be used with a deep red filter).

    Maybe I need to try it out for myself.

    Great hair do by the way.
     
  15. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    David,

    Thanks for the reply.

    "i will work on a more technical response to these questions that frankly few of you will likely care about, at a later date, it will be lengthy."

    I look forward to reading it, and especially to bringing myself up to date about meaning of 'ortho' in 2004.

    "helen, unless you have info that i don't [maybe you should share] your suggested reply is incorrect."

    I am genuinely interested to learn what is 'incorrect' about my reply - I was actually asking for your advice on where I was wrong, not stating that you were wrong. That's why I wrote "Have I misunderstood the definition of ortho?"

    All the info I have is there in my post - the sources are the publicly available manufacturers' literature. It seems like you are the one who is shrouding this in mystery. Would you like to share your source?

    Your condescending attitude ("ok, before i grade the papers you might want to bone up on some book work.") is unnecessary. However, if you would like to refer me to the books I should read, I'll read them. If you wish to take the role of professor, at least aspire to being a good one.

    Bottom of the class, again,
    Helen
     
  16. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    condescending?

    Yes it was. Your knowledge/info provided - valueable Undoubtedly. The approach will scare anyone off who reads it dr5chrome.
     
  17. Tom Smith

    Tom Smith Member

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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    dr5chrome

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    Default helen & tom needs to do their homework...
    ok, before i grade the papers you might want to bone up on some book work.

    there is no reason an ortho film cannot have a spectral range close to a pancro film. this is 2004, not 1950. all the maco ortho films will respond to filters as well, try it. agfa sets its curve to the scala process and this is why the film responds as it does. trust me, scala is an ortho film.

    don't confuse these in-camera film types with art type or lith type films.

    agfa keeps the scala process and film info very secret. there are some things we don't even know about the film.

    i will work on a more technical response to these questions that frankly few of you will likely care about, at a later date, it will be lengthy.

    helen, unless you have info that i don't [maybe you should share] your suggested reply is incorrect.

    regards

    www.dr5.com
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Forget I even asked Dr5chrome. I'll use negative film instead.

    Tom
     
  18. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    David,

    I apologise wholeheartedly if you found my replies offensive or 'know-it-all'. They were not meant to be. I was not offended by your replies, just bewildered, so there is no need to apologise. However, your reference to the difficulty you would have in explaining why the sky is blue has helped me to appreciate your position, so thanks for that illumination.

    Regards,
    Helen
    PS I notice that you have requested my private email address. I look forward to hearing from you.
     
  19. skahde

    skahde Member

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    That's the wavelength the atmospheric N_2 oscillates in.

    Ok, now. Where is your reasoning that a film that has red-sensitivity up to 650nm should be considered as being orthocromatic. As long as you don't disclose your information, please apologize when I stand by my point that Scala is panchromatic.

    If it wasn't what would the defintion mean anyway?

    best

    Stefan