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  1. #1

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    Is Rollei IR 400 and Retro 400s the same film

    I've been using Rollei IR 400 film in 35mm and 120 for a year or two now and have had some pleasing results. I generally rate it at 12-25iso with a Hoya R72 filter on and get a very pronounced IR effect. It is however expensive film at £7 a roll for 35mm and £6 for 120. I know that people have successfully used Rollei Retro 400s for IR work and there are plenty of examples on Flickr with good IR effect when shot at 12-25iso. The retro 400s is marketed as having extended red sensitivity but isn't sold as IR film.

    When you look at the data sheets for the IR400 http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...red400_eng.pdf and
    Retro 400s http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...6_01_09_en.pdf. The shape of the spectral sensitivity graphs is identical and importantly the portion above the 720nm cut of of an IR filter is the same. They are both films made by Agfa and repackaged by Rollei. Is this just a case of clever marketing. Selling exactly the same film at a significant mark up to a niche market?

    If it is, then on the one hand that sucks, although I guess that's capitalism for you. On the other hand, this film is available from First-Call as their own brand film http://www.firstcall-photographic.co...135-36-iso-400 for £2.49 a roll in 35mm. Shame it isn't available in 120 from them.

    So what do people think, is it the same film?

  2. #2
    AgX
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    In general you could neither trust Maco data sheets nor their statements in the past. Both were contradictory.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonh82 View Post

    When you look at the data sheets for the IR400 http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...red400_eng.pdf and
    Retro 400s http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...6_01_09_en.pdf. The shape of the spectral sensitivity graphs is identical and importantly the portion above the 720nm cut of of an IR filter is the same.
    I cannot speak for other countries' laws but if the OP is right then I think that there may be an infringement of the Trades Descriptions Act if it uses the same specifications for what may or may not be different products.

    At the very least it is difficult to see how this can just be a careless mistake. This cannot do anything but damage Rollei's reputation. If it cannot be trusted to give the right specifications then it raises the question of what it can be trusted with.

    The OP having done some research has asked a good question. I hope he gets to the truth of this subject

    pentaxuser

  4. #4
    AgX
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    There are hints that under the same label Rollei Retro 400S different films had been sold. In that case single observations on its characteristics may not be very helpful.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    I cannot speak for other countries' laws but if the OP is right then I think that there may be an infringement of the Trades Descriptions Act if it uses the same specifications for what may or may not be different products.

    pentaxuser
    I don't think this would infringe the Trades Descriptions Act. As long as the actual description is accurate I don't think there is anything to say you can't sell the same thing under two different labels. For instance, lots of supermarket brand baked beans are made Heinz. It is down to us, the consumers, to be savvy in our shopping habits.

    I know Rollei aren't the greatest company when it comes to being up front about their products, however they do continue to support film use so I'm happy to buy their products. Their film is never going to be the bulk of what I shoot but if I can get IR film for £2.49 a roll I will snap it up.

  6. #6
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    It's cheap in 70mm!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonh82 View Post
    It is down to us, the consumers, to be savvy in our shopping habits.

    I know Rollei aren't the greatest company when it comes to being up front about their products, however they do continue to support film use so I'm happy to buy their products. .
    Fine by me if you believe that Rollei is OK to sell effectively the same product at different prices using "clever marketing" which amounts to using a different name. If I had the choice of buying two double glazing products from company X and one was given a name which strongly suggested it was designed for a specific circumstance and was more expensive than the other but I later discovered that the cheaper double glazing did exactly the same job at a cheaper price then it wouldn't be fine for me.

    I don't suppose that Rollei support film out of a sense of nostalgia or philanthropy but do so to make money. This is OK by me but I do want any company I deal with to be honest about its products.

    I take my electricity from Npower but if it sold "more efficient and powerful electricity" at a higher price I'd be upset if the "more efficient" electricity still only powered a 1 kilowatt fire for an hour the same as the "cheaper standard electricity"

    I'd hope the electricity regulatory body would be a little upset as well


    pentaxuser

  8. #8
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    I never bought IR 400, but I know that the current version of 400s is Agfa Aviphot pan 200, an aerial film: http://www.agfa.com/docs/sp/aerial/a...4-06-15_en.pdf .
    It is sold by Maco under the names Superpan 200 and Universal 200 too. Please keep in mind, that it has only 100 ASA in most developers.

    Former versions of 400s was made from other (technical) material.

    Aviphot pan works well with a 720 nm IR filter. With the same filter you can use Aviphot Pan 80, a nearly grain free film: http://www.agfa.com/docs/sp/aerial/a...4-06-15_en.pdf .

    In comparision to Avi 200 it tends to block highlights which requires some arrangments during development. Avi 200 is well tempered and needs not a special development. It's grain is quite smooth for a 100 ASA film.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  9. #9

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    I've done a bit more digging and comparison of data sheets. On the Maco website, which I completely concede may not be accurate, the Rollei IR film looks a lot closer to the Rollei Retro 400s film. As mentioned previously the spectral sensitivity graphs look the same for both. For Rollei Superpan 200 the graph looks quite different although it still has IR sensitivity http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...4-06-15_en.pdf.

    One give away is in the URL of the IR 400 datasheet includes retro 400s and Infrared alongside Aviphot pan400s which is the Agfa name for this film. maco-photo.de/files/images/Retro400S_Infrared_aviphot_pan400S_2006_01_09_en.p df. I'm guessing that at least at some point in the past Retro 400 and IR 400 were the same film. If they are different now that will require some testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by piu58 View Post
    I never bought IR 400, but I know that the current version of 400s is Agfa Aviphot pan 200, an aerial film: http://www.agfa.com/docs/sp/aerial/a...4-06-15_en.pdf .
    It is sold by Maco under the names Superpan 200 and Universal 200 too. Please keep in mind, that it has only 100 ASA in most developers.
    This is interesting, I've hear that the Retro 400s is actually aviphot Pan200 although I don't know why they wouldn't use Aviphot Pan400. I didn't realise that people consider that it is a 100 speed film in reality. Certainly the datasheets online would suggest that this isn't the case. I've used the IR 400 at 400 without a filter and developed in HC-110 for the recommended 8.5 minutes and whilst there was reasonable shadow detail, the mid tones were darker than I would have imagined. I've not printed any of the non-IR images yet but have scanned a few. I guess the test will come when I get in the darkroom.

  10. #10

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    Over the past year or so I've read so many different things about Rollei Retro products, so many claims that one film is "really" another film, that Maco data sheets can't be trusted, that the quoted speeds are way off and so on and so forth.

    The trouble is that no-one who ever claims that one film is "really" another film ever seems to back it up with any evidence that is more (or less) credible than Rollei's (or Maco's) statrments & claims.

    In the end therefore it all just seems a lot more "internet bollocks", unless someone has some evidential support beyond their own beliefs for all these wildly conflicting claims.

    In the absence of anything sold to go on, the best thing to do is shoot it and work out how best to develop at what EI yourself.

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