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Re: [Rollei] [slight OT] tonality of Agfa Film

Thanks Emmanuel,

I haven't switched films for years. It's the Rollei that brings up the
issue in a way. I've been using 35mm and Tri-X with D76 for about 30
years. When I got the Rollei, I didn't really like the 120 variant of
Tri-X and it cost quite a lot, so I went for Neopan400, another EI 400
film. Grain has never really bothered me. I push films quite a lot, so I
like to have that capacity. Here in the north I regard 1600 as standard
during the winter half of the year.

Now I tote the Rollei around quite a lot and realize that I usually have a
tripod too, so I'm no longer tied to EI 400. Agfa APX 100 has turned out
really nice, so for EI 100 it's going to remain Agfa. I've heard that Agfa
films behave nicely across the speed ranges so that is what has actualized
the EI 400 issue. If I'm going to have APX 100 I might as well give APX
400 a try. If it works out well, I can use the same combination in 35mm
(but 30 years of Tri-X is not going to retreat with a shrug of the
shoulders ... particularly when the new stuff is really, really nice). I
may very well just settle for EI 100 only with the Rollei and live with
it. The only problem is that I really like the impromptu hand-held stuff
I've been able to do.

Thanks! If anyone is interested in how it goes they can drop me a line. I
won't be working with the Rollei for another week (I left home without it
... a crying shame).


On Mon, 19 May 2003 bigler  wrote:

> > > 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.
> --
> Emmanuel BIGLER
> <bigler