Possible defects in Adox films
I think it's time for Adox to address the growing number of APUG posts that are reporting possible issues with the emulsions of Adox 25 and 50 ASA films. Apparently more and more members are describing pin holes in negatives made with Adox films. Some of us are eschewing the use of Adox films until the issue of such pinholes is addressed, and corrected. Can Adox make some comment now as to a possible cause ( or causes ) for such pinholes? Are members making some errors in the darkroom with processing, or are there indentifiable problems with certain emulsions from certain "batches"? If there are problems with darkroom techniques, then Adox should consider providing more definitive guidance as to techniques that should be avoided (e.g.various chemical formulations, certain developers, etc., etc. ). If the problem is in certain emulsions, then such emulsions should be replaced. There is no shame in finding that certain batches are defective, and taking steps to repair the manufacturing errors that have led to such defects. All on APUG would applaud the diligence and honesty of such an approach. If the fault is not in the manufacturing, then please consider providing some help to those here who are having problems using Adox films. Thanks for helping.
Last edited by Mahler_one; 05-26-2009 at 08:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: typo error
We respond to all questions and claims which are brought to our attention.
Our email adress is info(at)fotoimpex(dot)de and for claims also reklamation(at)fotoimpex(dot)de.
Sofar no one has filed a complaint with us for pinholes in any recently produced 25 or 50 ASA film so I would be interested in actually seeing the artefacts you describe.
For now I can only comment in a "general way" and wait for your images or links to be posted.
There are two known main reasons for holes:
1) Bubbles in the emulsion during coating before stiffing
2) Emulsion lift off during processing
Actually only number 1 is generally refered to as a pinhole.
That is because it will be a small round hole with a circular shape and defined border.
When the emulsion is beeing remooved during development the holes are rather undefined with a random border and look "dirty".
If the pinhole was produced during the coating process obviously nothing can be done about that by the customer. Itīs a manufacturing defect and somehow slipped through the QC. The films you describe (ADOX CHS line of films) are produced in a museum-like facility in Croatia.
The facility does everything in a way it was done 60 years ago. The quality inspection is carried out like it was done everywhere before computers and laser detection came up. This way you take a sample, expose it to medium grey and develop it. Then you make 1000 films. Then you take a sample again. If both samples (beginning and end) are fine you assume the rest in the middel is fine as well and release the films to the market. If anything shows you discard the films and keep checking every few meters to see if the defects stop showing. Then you go on. There is nothing else you can do. 100% control means exposing and developing (=destroying) 100% of the film. Itīs a light sensitive product after all.
The CHS films represent the true old ADOX emulsions and are true classic films by all means. This refers to the way they are produced, images they reproduce and the way the film behaves.
Differences to modern films are for example:
- a unique colour reproduction which is giving the images its own characteristic feel. Portraits look differently on an ADOX CHS than on a more modern film, clowds separate better from the sky etc.
- an old fashioned grain style and an historic "dump in the bucket" way of precipitating the raw emulsion
- an old fashioned way of coating it in one layer and drying it over wooden sticks in a Festoon drying tunnel (the last one of this kind in operation)
- an old protective layer which is made acording to the original 50ies recipes of the film
This last point leads to a higher voulnerability of these emulsions compared to more modern film which are hard like a rock.
So theoretically an ADOX CHS film will scratch and show defects/artefacts caused by the process much faster than a modern film will.
There are several ways to prevent this from happening:
1) Donīt use a high alkaline developer together with a stong acidic stop bath (we also mention this in the box instructions). What can happen is that gas will be produced within the emulsion on the neutralization reaction and tiny patches of the emulsion are literally blasted away from the base.
2) Harden the emulsion in the stop bath by adding hardener if needed
3) Keep al things like rust, dirt, sand etc, filtered out of your water
I am telling you al this technological background because I want all of you to understand that with ADOX there are two different qualities available under one brand. All the stuff we sell at very competitive prices is made for us but not made by us.
Our possibilities to control the quality are limited to what the actual manufacturer has in place.
These products are for example:
CHS line of Films
PAN 25 films
ORT 25 films
The "Premium Line" products however are made with us beeing deeply involved in the manufacturing side and with our own quality management in place.
These products are for example:
MCC (coming soon)
ADOX Pan 100 and 400 films (coming soon)
I hope this could help for now. More detailed answers to come when I can see the artefatcs.
Fell free to ask if any of the above is unclear.
Last edited by ADOX Fotoimpex; 05-28-2009 at 12:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Do you have any date range in mind for the MCC, I've been holding off buying hoping to see this product in the market.
But, I'm getting low on supplies and need to stock up.
Thanks for the informative reply. As an enthusiastic user of some of these films (I haven't had pinhole problems personally), I'd be interested to know if you see any likelihood of the Croatian facility becoming less "museum-like" in the foreseeable future.
I wouldn't want them to change the process in ways that would impair the "classic" character of the film, but I would imagine that, for instance, more modern approaches to the coating/drying stages and the protective layer could improve the consistency and usability of the film without a real change of character. But I have no idea if such developments are at all on the horizon, and if you're at liberty to share your impressions it would be interesting to hear them.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
You can sometimes distinguish coating pinholes by their comet shape. This is a dot as Mirko describes but with a tail.
This is a very distinct and recognizable coating defect. If it is not comet shaped, then the defect has a lower chance of being a coating defect and a greater chance of being something else.
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PE is right, I forgott about the tail.
Adox Pan 100 and 400
Can you tell a little about the new Adox Film, what formats do you plan on releasing?
Is Adox 25 the same film as Efke 25 ?
Mirko, yet again you speak from the heart. There can be no doubting you are 110% committed to doing your best to supply us as photographers, trust works both ways.
The only other company to be as honest (on the Internet) is Ilford/Harman Technology.
You don't give us bull-shit and excuses just plain facts. I've used EFKE (Adox) films since the 70's I haven't yet seen a coating problem that's ruined an image, and haven't spotted any on other negs recently. I am fully aware that in the panic when Ilford went into administration quality controls were ignored and anything coated went flying out of the factory mainly to J&C. Some people thought that was the final melt-down and the nblast production of B&W materials !!
It needs to be borne in mind that the Original Post in this thread isn't about actual problems just what's been read on the internet/APUG.
Sure Adox/EFKE films aren't perfect but they are extremely good, and different, are they classic, old school - no they aren't at all, they were the most modern and advanced film of their time, if Kodak or Ilford had made them it might be a different story today, Pan F is the nearest equivalent.
I use CHS and have not had pinholes. I note that the last posting on the subject a few days ago showed the user had not pre-soaked as recommended or used water as stop as recommended. That is the likely source of the problem in that case. Please keep making it the way you do.
I think individuals who have an issue should deal directly with photoimpex, but I for one appreciate the opportunity to voice my support for what you do and how you are doing it...Kal