Low ISO, which way to go....
So about 4 years ago, I started stocking up on low ISO films starting with Techpan before it disappeared for use in projects in the distant future. I have about 200 rolls of TP in 35 and 100 in 120. I also have 100 rolls of APX25 in 120 only. I have tested a roll of each in both formats to make sure it is good and it is fine ( brilliant actually ).
Here is the thing. To shoot for now to get my darkroom and black and white shooting skills really up to snuff, I have a good supply of Pan-F in 35mm and 120. Now while I like this film a lot, even APX 25 is noticeably less grainy ( at least in Rodinal 1+50 ). In fact, it is truly a tragedy that it is gone because it might be my favorite film yet.
I have heard good things about Efke 25 and I have heard bad things in terms of quality control. So we now have ADOX 25, Rolliepan 25 and even a brand new Rolliepan ATP V1 technical pan film coming out in 120.
If one were to try to replace APX 25 or even Techpan in 120 with a super sharp and tight grained variety to shoot along side of Pan-F, what might it be?
You may also want to give Fuji Acros 100 a try. It gives sharp, grain-free results, but obviously has a totaly different look c/w Efke 25. I process it Rodinal 1+100 or PC-TEA 1+50 and get lovely results. I always shoot it at box speed, but some people prefer to shoot it at a lower EI. The prices in the US are pretty good for Acros.
If you really want the slower speed film, go with Efke/Adox 25 as it is readily available, and not too expensive either.
I don't know how grain can be a problem with PanF 50. I like this film very much, and there's no question that quality control is miles above anything you'll get with one of the Eastern European films. Try it in D-76 1+3 to keep the contrast from going over the top. Don't like that? Try TMX. The grain is even finer that what you'll get from PanF 50. Quality contol is first rate as you'd expect from Kodak. Is the tonal scale different? You bet it is. It's also nothing that can't be handled with some skill and patience during printing or digital editing.
Last edited by fschifano; 01-24-2008 at 07:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Another possible answer to your question is to consider Adox 20 CMS. It is reputely a very fine grained film, exceeding that of Efke 25. The maker of the film have claimed Adox 20 CMS is able to resolve up to 800 l/mm. However, in practice you'll never get much more than 300 l/mm. A Zeiss lens, however, has been reputed to obtain nearly 400 l/mm with this film. Adox 20 CMS is orthopanchromatic, which means it can distinguish between colors but with reduced red sensitivity.
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I use Efke 25 and have never had a problem with it in the quality department. It is a soft emulsion compared to today's films, but has a very nice look. Since you are into stocking films, this would be an excellent candidate. It responds very well to pyrocat and dilute development. One problem some people have with it is the rapid development with "normal" strength processing. Slowing things down will allow you to take advantage of it's wonderful tonality. Great for general shooting or portraits, has a look that is unique. tim
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Thanks so far.
I actually have about 50 rolls of CMS20 in 35mm, it is cool stuff and aside from needing Adotech to soup it, it is a good replacement for Kodak TechPan as far as grain goes. But unless things have changed, it only comes in that format.
But what I am really looking for is the next best thing to APX25 in 120 format for landscapes in my Hassy. I love the tone and sharpness of Pan-F thus far, but in looking at APX-25 along side of it tonight, I feel like I should put the feelers out there some more and use the Pan-F for a book project of local portraits I am about to start working on. I was just blown completely away by how much fine detail was rendered with the APX-25. I have 100 rolls of it and now wish I had 1,000!!
I have plenty of film backs so I can have a proverbial "Whitman's Assorted Sampler" of films at the same time.
Last edited by PKM-25; 01-24-2008 at 09:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
If you are really nuts about sharp and grainless, go ortho.
ADOX and Rollei Ortho 25 films are simply astonishing. It's not cheap (10$ / 120 roll) but it's good. It's on sale at Freestyle.
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I would suggest Pan-F or Efke 25 as I've never cared much for the document films. With Pan-F, you'll get a good film with quality control, although it took me awhile to nail down dev times and EI's.
Efke is a great emulsion with superb tonality. I nailed it on the first roll with Pyrocat HD. However, the QC stinks. I had light leaks with the 120 rolls and pieces of emulsion missing in places. Be prepared to take 2-3 shots of everything and to crop out the light leaks. I've NEVER had QC problems with Kodak, Ilford or Fuji, only with Efke.
Try a little of everything. Be certain to try Fuji Acros. I have gotten great results in Xtol, Rodinal, Beutlers and PMK.
as you indicated, a size-120 highest-resolution film is going to come. And there are at least four developers on offer for this film, three of them specially made for this very film by three diffferent laboratories.