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  1. #1

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    APX 100 , what made this film a classic?

    Hi Guys,

    When AGFA went bankrupt a friend gave me 70 rolls of APX100 120, they have been in the freezer since. It would be great to hear from people who loved this film, so I can start using them with some of your insights.

    What did you like about this film, what made this film a character of its own, and does it need special treatments?

    Here is a nice example from Ellen von Unwerth: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly...zy8o2_1280.jpg There is bright blacks and whites but it doesn't look like the typical grade 5 print, or overdeveloping for high contrast, where you would loose so much detail in the whites, that stil seems to be in these APX pictures.

    (I tested 2 rolls in rodinal 1+50, 0.5 over exposure, normal dev time, they seemed a bit dull, mostly midtones, a steep histogram in the middle I suppose, so maybe the film is strongest in high contrast light.)

    stories or tips would be great!
    Quinten
    Last edited by Quinten; 09-25-2012 at 07:50 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    APX100 was probably the best B&W 100 ISO film available, unlike Tmax 100 it's a true 100 EI emulsion, I used to use the two side by side and the results in 35mm through to Sheet film were identical in terms of fine grain, sharpness, tonlaity (contrast). The main difference was I needed to use Tmax 100 at 50 EI to get similar results.

    I never liked it (or Tmax) in Rodinal at 1:50 instead I always used it at 2:75 which gave me far better results, it was my main film from the mid 1980's until Agfa discontinued sheet films.

    Ian

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    First of all - its color rendition is different from other films out there. So if you shoot lots of portraits you would have to employ filters to get a similar grayscale from similar colors.
    Second, it does give a nice grayscale, as you mention, which is very desirable for many photographers. If you use a developer like Rodinal 1+25 you get the best of both worlds, as Ian mentions, 1+50 might be too dilute to give the energy to the negative that you're looking for. Shorter developing time gives less shadow detail, and more active developer gives more highlight contrast.
    My advice would be to try exposing the film at EI 100 and then use Rodinal 1+25. Cut your roll in thirds and try different developing times until you find just the right contrast for your process.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #4

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    I agree with the recommendation of Rodinal 1:25. I had tried APX 100 with Rodinal 1:50 and I was not thrilled. Just recently I tried a 120 roll with Rodinal 1:25 just to cut down on the developing time and the results floored me. I am sold on that film. The mid tones are fantastic and the pictures just pop. Wish it was still available.

  5. #5
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    APX 100 , what made this film a classic?

    I've still got some APX100 in 35mm and 120 and have been liking my results in Rodinal 1-50 (as below) but will give 1-25 a try after reading some here.


    GGP San Francisco Rolleiflex2-8EPlanar RolleiRetro100(APX100) Rodinal1-50 04-2012 VSmac 9000 Scan-120429-0001 FFw by rich8155 (Richard Sintchak), on Flickr
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    First of all - its color rendition is different from other films out there. So if you shoot lots of portraits you would have to employ filters to get a similar grayscale from similar colors.
    Indeed a sharp peak at 550nm in the spectral sensitivity http://www.agfaphoto.com/appc/_uploa...et_F_PF_E4.pdf. Thanks never expected that, but it's quite apparent! I am trying to get my head around this since my subjects are always people.
    I can imagine the greens in nature being a lot lighter with this film, and skin being slightly lighter than you would expect. Did you use a light-blue filter for portraits with this film? Or slightly underexpose if there was enough brighter white in the picture, well the filter seems less scary

    PS Rich are those leafs still green in the picture above?
    Last edited by Quinten; 09-25-2012 at 12:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys, I will test with some stronger delutions of rodinal! For more highlight contrast would a different developer work better with this film? After all the tonal variation in the lighter grays seems to be one of the film's strengths.

  8. #8
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinten View Post
    Indeed a sharp peak at 550nm in the spectral sensitivity http://www.agfaphoto.com/appc/_uploa...et_F_PF_E4.pdf. Thanks never expected that, but it's quite apparent! I am trying to get my head around this since my subjects are always people.
    I can imagine the greens in nature being a lot lighter with this film, and skin being slightly lighter than you would expect. Did you use a light-blue filter for portraits with this film?
    No filters. It was more a thing of adjusting to other films once there was not more APX to be had. But I eventually just got over it, by using, like Ian suggests, the TMax 100.
    Why not just try it for yourself and see if there's enough of a difference between APX and the other film you're using; see if it's a classic to you too.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinten View Post
    Thanks guys, I will test with some stronger delutions of rodinal! For more highlight contrast would a different developer work better with this film? After all the tonal variation in the lighter grays seems to be one of the film's strengths.
    Rodinal will do very well what you're asking of it.

    It's a very powerful developer, but a little bit slow working. It will keep developing and developing, basically until you stop, so you must use a bit of caution to insure that you don't over-develop and block up the highlights. But that's what testing is for, to see at which negative highlight density your prints have that brilliance you're looking for, and where they start to block up.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the tips Thomas, shooting time! And a great excuse to post some more actual pictures here soon!

    Wouldn't recognize this as APX but a really mysterieus picture you created there: http://www.flickr.com/photos/monolig...in/photostream

    BTW it's nice to see how light the leafs in Rich his example above are, shot with APX 100, and than how dark they are on this picture he took on 400TX http://www.flickr.com/photos/rich8155/7115953957/ Could be the greens, but again, not sure if leafs are always green in California...

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