Agfa APX 25 processing for fine grain and sharp image
I've got a single 50 foot roll of Agfa APX 25 in Super 8mm. I doubt there are many of these cartridges around anymore. This may be one of the very last in existence.
I'm going to use a good camera. A Beaulieu 6008. I'm not sure yet what I'll film with it, whether I'll shoot high or low contrast scenes, indoor or outdoor, etc. No matter what, though, I want all 2 minutes and 30 seconds of it (or 3 minutes 20 seconds if I shoot 18fps) to be the sharpest, finest grained, highest resolution result that APX 25 is capable of.
Yes I know there are some tradeoffs there. Most important to me is fine grain because the Super 8 film format is so tiny. But I don't want anything as mushy as you get with Microdol-X.
I've used Rodinal 1:50 and 1:100 before with APX 25. It was Minox film, and still a bit grainer than I'd like. I've used Rodinal 1:100 with a little sodium sulfite mixed in, and gotten slightly finer results.
I've heard XTOL will produce fine grain, but I'm concerned about the much discussed random developer failure, and reports of really grainy results in some specific cases.
I've also developed APX 25 in PMK and in Pyrocat HD, and been less than overwhelmed. Once again, this was APX 25 Minox film, 8x11mm format. But since that is roughly comparable to a Super 8mm frame size, it gives me reason to be concerned.
Can anyone offer some developer and processing technique suggestions to help me get the most out of this film? I get only one shot at it. BTW, I have three rolls of 120 format APX 25 in my freezer than I can experiment with if necessary. Although I hate to waste one of those on experimentation if I don't have to.
First, the xtol issues are from several years ago. Don´t worry about it.
Second, I´ve been doing my medium format APX 25 in rodinal 1+100 for 14 minutes with minimal agitation. The time is about right but another minute might be better.
Give it a try.
You will be making a positive, right? Remember there are big issues concerning the inter-process. IMHO you really want sharpness with well controlled light so you have no blocked highlights. Rodinal 1:100 is a good choice.
david b, I've been considering Rodinal 1:100 as my first choice since it is what I'm most familiar with for APX 25. Thanks for the minimal agitation time suggestion. I'll almost certainly test with a roll of my 120 before trying this Super 8 cart.
jjstafford, I have processed reversal regular and Super 8 films exclusively to date, and projection is my preferred means of viewing. But this film was not designed for reversal, so I'll be processing it to negative. I'm not going to make a positive print of it and the film won't be projected. It'll be telecined on a Rank Cinetel or a Spirit or something similar, edited on the computer, and output for DVD playback.
I've been told that negative black and white cine film is often grainier than positive films like reversal Plus-X or Tri-X, and that is one reason I'm concerned with grain. But yes, I want sharpness, too.