Questions about Adox Films

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by EASmithV, May 11, 2009.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Well, In the ever-ongoing quest to find the cheapest film to feed my hungry, hungry, 8x10, I came across Adox. While not the cheapest I could find, it intrigued me.

    After reading the description that they had on it over at Freestyle, I'm curious about your experiences with this film. Does this film actually does give a "retro" look as it was described to? If so, then I definitely want to try this film, however I'm not sure if the description was total BS.
     
  2. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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    I was curious about that claim too, so I tried the 25 and really like it a lot. I think it's the silver content/crystal shape that is similar to some old films. I'll try to get a scan online. I'm no technician, but I think you'll enjoy it if you try it. Good luck, Rory
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    It certainly lives up to it's Freestyle description. The shots have a 50 year old look to them. Certainly some awesome black and white films! When I shoot black and white this is the only thing I will use. Aside from the ocassional Tri-X and TMAX.
     
  4. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Any "look" is pretty much entirely subjective to judge, but it's my experience that they are very very nice to use. I liked the 25 best, in 35mm.
     
  5. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Ok, so Freestyle touts this stuff has having a "retro" look and it seems to have some fans here. What's a "retro" look when it comes to film? How does an Adox negative differ from, say Tri-x or Tmax 100 or HP5+ or... whatever? Can you describe what makes it special to you?

    Mike
     
  6. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    It is tough to describe the "retro look" but it has a 50 year old photo quality too it. Shoot some.
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The biggest difference is between a conventional-technology B&W film (Ilford HP5+, Ilford FP4+, Kodak Tri-X, Foma films, Efke films, etc.) and T-grain films (Ilford Delta, Kodak T-Max, Fuji Acros). The latter have finer grain than similar-speed conventional films, and the grain has a very different "feel" to it. It's hard to describe, but it seems subjectively more regular and artificial. Again subjectively, T-grain films can produce a more "creamy" texture to them, particularly the low-speed films. You might prefer one or the other. Personally, I don't much like the look of T-grain grain, but when it's small enough for the grain to not be very prominent (as in T-Max 100), I like the creamy texture for some subjects. Others have other preferences.

    The differences among conventional-technology films are harder to describe, but can be just as real. One point that's relatively easy to describe is that some brands, such as Efke, are definitely grainier than their like-speed competitors. Efke KB50 is much grainier than Ilford Pan F+ 50, for instance, at least in my subjective judgment.

    As Ektagraphic says, your best bet is to shoot some of these films to see for yourself what they do.
     
  8. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    here's my take on the film as I only have used the 100 speed film...to me it is a pain in the butt compared to kodak;fuji; or ilford films...I've been doing this a long time and if I get problem negs it is the FILM period!! you save money and can get it in unusual sizes but to me it is really just the opposite...you lose money and time because of the defects in the film...just my opinion..try it for yourself and post back here....
    Best, Peter
     
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Some of the Adox/Efke films have slightly reduced red sensitivity---not like ortho films, but enough that Adox/Efke 25 at least has been described as "orthopanchromatic". That seems to have something to do with their distinctive look.

    I've shot a fair amount of Efke 100 in 9x12, and it just has a certain je ne sais quoi that's not obviously attributable to any one thing but that has to do more with tonality than with grain structure. (On the other hand, I was horribly disappointed with it in 35mm.) I'd give much to be able to do the same with Efke/Adox 25, which is one of my favourite films in medium format, but it doesn't seem to be available in 9x12.

    -NT
     
  10. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    actually if you want the older look go and try the Varycon paper...the neg has less to do with it...
    Peter
     
  11. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    I'm pretty sure it is still available. I've got a box of 30+ sheets left of Efke 25 in 9x12cm size. I use it in my old 9x12cm folder, and bought some 9x12 DDS so I could use it in my MPP. I also shoot it in 120.

    Lovely film.

    [​IMG]
    (Efke 25 in a Certo Six folder, souped in Rodinal 1+100)
     
  12. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I like all the Adox films, but the 50 and 25 are the best IMHO. The grain is slightly larger than Ilford equivalents.
    I've never used them in sheet but the 120 is a little curly and harder to load in the spiral.
    I think some call them "retro" because they ARE a 1950's emulsion, coated on antique machinery to a 1953 formulation, as far as I know there has been no recent updated method of manufacture as the factory was in the former Soviet Bloc it probably preserved the old methods.
    Some say that the old machines mean less QC and some find image defects like pinholes, I've not seen one but it's something to consider.
    When all is said and done try a box, see how they work for you.
    Here is my experience 25ART:
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html
    and 50ART
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2007/09/adox-chs-50-art.html
    Mark
     
  13. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    I use the Adox 50 in 120 format quite often and I love the stuff. From what I understand it is the exact same film as the Efke ISO 50 except the Adox version comes in a nice and handy plastic tube that keeps the film protected from light when shooting out in the harsh sun. Very useful. I've started saving these so I can use them with other films when out in the field.

    I agree with freestyle's assesment that this film has a "retro" look. In my experience a large part of this is that the film does seem to be slightly less sensetive to red and the grain quality is very pronounced but not overbearing, especially in a developer like rodinal.

    I've personaly never once experienced defects in the film. It is a bit on the curly side once its developed, but its worth the extra effort to me.
     
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  15. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Do you remember where you got it? Freestyle sells Efke 25 in 6.5x9 but not in 9x12; I'd love to have a pointer to your source. (Even if it's remote from me, I can probably work something out through friends in various random parts of the world.)

    Thanks

    -NT
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Can't say that I've ever found Adox films have a Retro look, and I've been using KB14, now known by it's ISO rating as KB25, in various formats (KB, R & PL) for over 30 years, Verichrome Pan was the last film I used that had a Retro look.

    However the drop in red sensitivity compared to other films might be more important with certain subjects but I've not found it a problem with landscapes or portraits.

    Ian
     
  17. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    Adox

    I would tend to agree with Peter. The Adox films are reported to need hardeners because of a more sensitive emulsion. Also, with Adox films,one is advised to limit developing temperatures to below 75 degrees in order to prevent potential emulsion problems ( although some here have reported no difficulties with developing Adox films at such higher temperatures ). Finally, much advice on APUG centers about using only one or two films with one developer until the characterisitics of one's materials are thoroughly understood, and reproducibel results are achievable. Such caveats withstanding, many here are simply hobbyists who enjoy tinkering and comparing various films, developers, papers, etc. Thus, grab a few rolls or sheets or whatever film you want, be prepared for some angst, and have fun!
     
  18. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    I bought mine from Retrophotographic some time ago. Fotoimpex lists it (or at least they did last time I checked). Europe, and especially Germany, is the best place to find 9x12cm films.
     
  19. acoljub

    acoljub Member

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    EFKE (Adox) films

    Well,

    1. EFKE is from Zagreb, Croatia, which at the time was in Yugoslavia, which newer was a part of Soviet bloc.

    2. I newer saw pinholes, either. QC was awful in ORWO factory (East Germany), which produced some films with old AGFA technology.
     
  20. Markus Röhling

    Markus Röhling Member

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    Yugoslavia was an associated member of Comecon and thus economically in a certain sense part of the Soviet bloc.

    I had some pinholes on 35mm film years ago.

    I have used Adox/ Efke (CHS) 25/50/100 in the past. When looking at some pictures people said indeed "it looks like from the fifties". No idea why it has this look.

    I'm still sometimes using the Adox/ Efke (CHS) 100 in 9x12 cm (I would like to use them more frequently but with hand held cameras in 9x12 cm it is always useful to be able to stop down the aperture, thus I use mostly HP5+).

    In any case, the Adox/ Efke (CHS) are wonderful films.

    Markus
     
  21. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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  22. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I have never encountered quality problems with Efke films, except I don't like the sausage curl of the 120-films. Ten years ago they were perfectly flat. Perhaps Fotokemika changed the film base, or they stopped coating the back with a non-curling layer?

    Regarding pinholes in the emulsion, do you get that on the 100 ASA film as well, or only on the slower thin emulsion films? Do you use an acid stop bath?
     
  23. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    There was the former soviet union, which disolved into the CIS and now a group of independent countries, Russia, Ukraine, etc.

    Then there were the "Iron Curtain" countries which were Not part of the soviet block, but had close relationships with the former Soviet union and less trade with the reast of europe. DDR (est Germany) Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and several other countries mostly in the Baltic regions. Some were invaded from time to time by the USSR to keep them in line mind you, (Hungary comes to mind)

    Many of what we think of as Russian cameras were actually made elsewhere in the former soviet union.

    The difference is important as many of the Iron Curtain countries are now part of the EU and in some cases NATO. FOMA for example marks their products made in the Czech republic as "made in Europe"
     
  24. Markus Röhling

    Markus Röhling Member

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    It may be my lacking understanding of English, but I would make a difference between the Soviet Union and the Soviet block (which in a military sense I would roughly define as the Warsaw Pact and in an economical sense as the Comecon).

    But there is a big difference: Yugoslavia was not part of the the Warsaw Pact like the GDR and Czechoslovakia.

    So, where's the difference? Some of the former states of the Soviet Union are also part of the EU and the NATO.

    Markus
     
  25. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I never meant to stir up any trouble, possibly I should have said Former communist eastern european country.
    I understand that Tito was much more open to the west and parts of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were quite liberal. But there was some repression I think of the Croatians in the early 70's and a student movement was put down just as in Prague a few years earlier (although by Tito not by Russia).

    But my point was mainly that as far as I know the machinery used to make EFKE films in the 1950's is the same machinery used to make Adox films in this century- capitalist western nations obviously didn't invest heavily in Fotokemika.

    Sorry if I upset any Croatians, that was not the point of my post please accept my apologies.
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Fotokemika started in 1947 but used that former Adox machinery not earlier as 1970.

    They took it over from Dupont who themselves acquired the Adox company in 1962.