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Re: [Rollei] [slight OT] tonality of Agfa Film
- Subject: Re: [Rollei] [slight OT] tonality of Agfa Film
- From: email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 13:14:43 +0200 (CEST)
> > Emmanuel wrote ...
> > I have developed APX25 in ID-11-D76 diluted, in Agfa rodinal 1+50 and
> > in Agfa Atomal. All those developers yield a different tonality. The
> > very fine grain makes Rodinal OK although the generated grain is less
> > fine than other brands.
> Emmanuel, do you mind sharing your subjective experiences on tonality. I'm
> in the process of going over to Agfa for 120 work. I've had decent results
> with APX100 and Xtol. I have a bottle of Rodinal that I have used on
> occassion, but I haven't used D76 for about a year now, and that was
> before I started using Agfa APX.
Well so let's go to some subjective notes, for me my B&W printing
experience is associated with Rollei negatives (there is some Rollei
contents here), but totally self-taught reading from books.
When I bought my R-TLR (a T) in 1977, I had absolutely no idea of MF
photography, so B&W negative tonality was out of my understanding. As
a developer, I used what was available in my favourite parisian store,
the 3 classical brands I have mentioned. Soon after I was a Ph.D.
student manipulating Kodak High resolution plates and I became
obsessed by the 'no grain' issue. So my evaluation of home-made B&W
prints was totally biased by this no-grain approach and the most
pleasant I found was APX25 plus Atomal (I do not find this developer
any more, except the Atomal FF designed for large tanks). Atomal did
an excellent job on APX400.
But for APX25 and APX100, looking back to some old prints, I think I
like Rodinal very much, when you do not look at the enlarged print
with a loupe, a useless test I used to do frequently in my Kodak HR
plates days ;-);-) Frankly the difference in grain between APX25 and
100 is not so big, up to 10"x10" prints.
So this is a bit limited as an experience, in fact I never could
finish a bottle of Rodinal, I had doubts about the efficiency of the
1/3 left. For this reason I moved to re-used Atomal, which is not very
satisfactory either --I established a workable protocol of +5% per
film, one litre of solution in a 500ml tank, always at 20 deg C -
68F-- and eventually I moved to the good ol' non-reusable ID-11 1+1
(=D76) which I eventually use now. I had some trouble with reusable
un-diluted ID11, so I did not want to work with re-usable developer...
for a while. As you see some practical considerations made the
decision, and I did not exactly do what a good B&W addict should do :
sticking to a single film an developer combination and learning
expertise without changing film + developers at random, something I
did too much in the past.
I do not find so much difference in tonality between Atomal and ID11
1+1 on APX ; clearly the "color" of negatives seen with the naked eye
look very different between Rodinal and ID 11, but using both brovira
(cool) and record rapid (warmer) paper in those days, it is difficult
for me to say what has the major influence of the neg or paper on the
final 'blacks' and mid-tones in the image. Probably the no-grain
approach yields images that lack of some "strength" given by Rodinal,
although I have read enthusiastic reports on using APX+Rodinal for
portraiture. I have not been pleased by rodinal 1+25, probably the
grain was too coarse, 1+50 suits me better. For landscape I like the
smoothness and no-grain very much.
In the recent years I have been doing less B&W by lack of time, APX100
and ID11 is my present combination, except for some APX25 rolls on
special occasions. The problem with special occasions is that Murphy's
law usually does not give you the good opportunities you would expect
the day when you have an APX25 roll in your 'flex ;-);-)
Also, the incredible improvement in colour slide films is difficult to
resist ; but clearly printing a 16"x16" (40x40cm) image from the
combination of a Rolleiflex T-Tessar, APX25 in Atomal or ID 11 1+1,
Schneider Componon 80 and Agfa Record Rapid is an unforgettable
experience, the one that "sells" you to "Rolleigraphy" for a lifetime.