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Agfa Copex Rapid: experiences?
Old 01-10-2012   #1
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Agfa Copex Rapid: experiences?

Hi,

I'd like to give Agfa Copex Rapid a try.
If I understand correctly, it should work OK at 40 ISO if processed in SPUR UR Modular New A1 + B: is it correct?
Any advices about processing time, temperature, special tricks etc?

More in general: personal experiences with this film (both in 35mm and 120 format)?

Thanks!

Fernando
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Old 01-10-2012   #2
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I got good experiences with this film, developing in rodinal 1:100 for 20m, at iso 25. Never tried with spur, but I read here that one has good results with that combo.







I love the film, but it's expensive and I can not find it here. I got a few old rolls loaded from a bulk from a old photo lab.
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Old 01-21-2012   #3
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Hello Fernando,

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Hi,

If I understand correctly, it should work OK at 40 ISO if processed in SPUR UR Modular New A1 + B: is it correct?
Yes.
With 120 you get even 1/3 stop more speed, ISO 50. The roll film emulsion is 1° DIN more sensitive than the 35mm version.
That is official by the manufacturere and I can confirm this because I am using this film / developer combination both in 35mm and 120.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Any advices about processing time, temperature, special tricks etc?
As with any BW film / developer combination it is best to calibrate it for your own workflow, especially depending on whether you use a diffusor or condensor enlarger for your prints.
I am developing 12:00 minutes, my enlarger has a combination of diffusor with a double condensor.

Tricks? Not necessary. My only recommendation is to agitate very soft. Than you get an ideal linear characteristic curve with outstanding tonality and both excellent shadow and highlight detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
More in general: personal experiences with this film (both in 35mm and 120 format)?

Thanks!

Fernando
Well, Agfa Copex rapid with Spur Modular UR New is one of the best BW film / developer combinations on the market.
I can highly recommend it.

Compared to famous Agfa APX 25, Rollei Pan 25, Efke 25, Ilford Pan F+ and pulled at ISO 50 TMX, Delta 100, Acros you get
- much higher resolution
- better sharpness
- little bit finer grain
- partly higher speed (compared to the ISO 25 films)
- partly better tonality

In 35mm you achieve medium format quality with this film / developer combination.
I've compared it to Plus-X, APX 100, Fp4+, Fomapan 100 and Rollei RPX 100 in 6x6 and have got better image quality with 35mm Copex Rapid / Spur compared to these standard films in 6x6.

As you have to stop down about 1,5 stops more in medium format to get the same depth of field in 120 compared to 35mm, the speed of ISO 40 in 35mm is comparable to ISO 100 - 125 in medium format.

In 120 you get close to 9x12cm LF film quality.

Another advantage of this film: I can be also developed in the Scala reversal process as a high resolution BW slide.
ISO 64 in 35mm and ISO 80 in 120 in the Scala process.

As you are located in Italy, sending the films to Germany to Photostudio 13 for reversal processing in Scala process is not a problem. Excellent lab with excellent service.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-21-2012   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes View Post
I got good experiences with this film, developing in rodinal 1:100 for 20m, at iso 25. Never tried with spur, but I read here that one has good results with that combo.







I love the film, but it's expensive and I can not find it here. I got a few old rolls loaded from a bulk from a old photo lab.
You can order both film and chemistry at www.macodirect.de, www.spur-photo.com or at ars-imago or generalphoto.
They are all shipping to Portugal.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-21-2012   #5
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I know, but a expensive film, but probably will buy 2 or 3 for sumer! I was referring to not be able to buy here in Portugal!
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Old 01-22-2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes View Post
I know, but a expensive film, but probably will buy 2 or 3 for sumer! I was referring to not be able to buy here in Portugal!
Sorry,
expensive????

One reason (besides the excellent quality) I use this film / developer combination are the low costs of it.
Price is 4,05€ per film if you buy ten films, and only 3,75€ / film if you buy the 20 film pack.
That's cheaper than a Ilford PanF+, FP4+ or Delta 100.

But the major point for me: With 35 mm Copex Rapid developed in Spur Modular UR New I get better image quality compared to standard films like FP4+ or Plus-X in 6x6 medium format.
And I have about 40% lower costs per image with Copex / Modular 35mm compared to 120 FP4+ / ID 11 (I need three 120 films to get the 36 exposures I have on one 35mm film).

It is really a very cost efficient option for photographers on a budget who want medium format quality, but not medium format costs.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 01-22-2012   #7
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Yes, expensive, since my memory failed me and I thought that the price for a single roll was 6.12€!!!! I was confusing with some other film, probably.
With the price of 4€, will buy some.
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Old 01-29-2012   #8
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Thanks a lot to everyone!

Jan, precious infos, many thanks.
I process film myself (BW and C41) but I don't print chemically anymore: I scan the film and then print digitally.
No problem about the sensitivity, 40-50 iso are plenty for my use (tripod only).

Interesting tip about soft agitation.
Do you think it's a good idea to prebath? Does it have an antihalo layer?
And is it OK to perform a stop bath in distilled water, as to reduce fixer contamination?

Thank again. :-)

Fernando
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Old 01-30-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Thanks a lot to everyone!

Jan, precious infos, many thanks.
I process film myself (BW and C41) but I don't print chemically anymore: I scan the film and then print digitally.
No problem about the sensitivity, 40-50 iso are plenty for my use (tripod only).

Interesting tip about soft agitation.
Do you think it's a good idea to prebath? Does it have an antihalo layer?
And is it OK to perform a stop bath in distilled water, as to reduce fixer contamination?

Thank again. :-)

Fernando
I have some Bluefire and the Bluefire developer.. Take especial notice of the warning to agitate vigorously for the first 60-90 seconds. Streaking of the areas of similar gray will result if you're not careful.
With the Bluefire (H&W) developer they claim an EI of 80 but you should experiment with that yourself.
Have fun.
I have to say the Spur UR sounds a lot better, but then it's made with 40 years more experience than Holden and Weikert had! I have seen complaints that the old SPUR was a bit prone to streaking so the warning on agitation may be relevant.
I, too, will look forward to hearing about your experiences with this combo.
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Old 02-01-2012   #10
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Hi Fernando,

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Thanks a lot to everyone!

Jan, precious infos, many thanks.
I process film myself (BW and C41) but I don't print chemically anymore: I scan the film and then print digitally.
honestly, by scanning you give away most of the outstanding quality of this film.
With a good prime lens you can achieve resolution values with this film developer combination in the 160 - 185 linepairs per millimeter range (at medium contrast subjects).

With a 4000 ppi scanner (Nikon Coolscan) the effective resolution limit is at only 70 linepairs per millimeter.
And grain is enhanced by scanner noise.

By scanning you loose a lot of quality.

With optical printing you don't have this loss, you can fully exploit the potential of this film: Full resolution, fine grain, no additional scanner noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Do you think it's a good idea to prebath?
Does it have an antihalo layer?
And is it OK to perform a stop bath in distilled water, as to reduce fixer contamination?

Thank again. :-)

Fernando
No prebath / presoaking! It is not recommended.

Yes, the film has an antihalation layer.

As stop bath you can either use water or citric acid, like with any other film.

Fixing time is quite short with this film, only about one minute.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-01-2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Kelly View Post
I have some Bluefire and the Bluefire developer.. Take especial notice of the warning to agitate vigorously for the first 60-90 seconds. Streaking of the areas of similar gray will result if you're not careful.
With the Bluefire (H&W) developer they claim an EI of 80 but you should experiment with that yourself.
Have fun.
Hi Murray,

the Bluefire stuff is a completely different animal!

The Bluefire film is a very old (more than 20 years) frozen stock of a former Agfa HDP microfilm version.
It is not Agfa Copex Rapid film which we are talking about here.
And the Bluefire developer has nothing to do with the Spur developers.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-01-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Hi Murray,

the Bluefire stuff is a completely different animal!

The Bluefire film is a very old (more than 20 years) frozen stock of a former Agfa HDP microfilm version.
It is not Agfa Copex Rapid film which we are talking about here.
And the Bluefire developer has nothing to do with the Spur developers.

Cheers, Jan
Thanks, Jan, I am corrected. If you re-read my comment about the SPUR developer you will see I expect it to be better than the H&W of 40 years ago.
I have read elsewhere that the Copex Rapid and previous SPUR products were not entirely blameless as regards the 'banding' (for want of another word) but the complainant could get no satisfactory explanation from the manufacturer about it and they suggested he wasn't agitating sufficiently for the initial 90 seconds.
I really expect the new developer to have overcome this deficiency, if it is true.

Murray
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Old 02-01-2012   #13
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Hi Murray,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Kelly View Post
Thanks, Jan, I am corrected. If you re-read my comment about the SPUR developer you will see I expect it to be better than the H&W of 40 years ago.
I have read elsewhere that the Copex Rapid and previous SPUR products were not entirely blameless as regards the 'banding' (for want of another word) .
that is right. The first version of this developer had this problem sometimes (depending on agitation and tank type).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Kelly View Post
I really expect the new developer to have overcome this deficiency, if it is true.

Murray
The new version, Spur Modular UR New (with part A1 + part B) has been used by me and some other friends for more than a year now. Results have always been perfect, a very homogenous development if you use a soft agitation as recommended in the datasheet.
We are very satisfied.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-01-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
honestly, by scanning you give away most of the outstanding quality of this film.
Believe me, I'm not. ;-)
I have many years of professional experience in scanning; I operate myself 3 drum scanners (2x Dainippon Screen 1030 AI and a Scanview ScanMate 11000); and now with some friends we're working on a new scanning system which is quite promising. :-)
I can reach 160 lp/mm and beyond; combine this with proper signal processing (Lucy-Richardson deconvolution and wavelet-based noise attenuation) and there's really no limit in extracting informations from film. ;-)
I know the Nikon 8000, I have one (and a very interesting Minolta 5400 too), but there's no contest vs. a good drum scanner.

Fernando
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Old 02-02-2012   #15
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Hi Fernando,

that sounds quite interesting!

I hope you get the 160 lp/mm not only with a high object contrast, but also with medium or lower object contrasts (which are much more relevant in photography).
That is the problem with the current professional drum scanners:
For example the Imacon X5 is claimed to get 160 lp/mm.
But in reality it gets this resolution value only at high contrasts. I tested it myself:
I've got about 170 lp/mm with Copex Rapid at medium contrasts in the 1:3 - 1:5 range.
With optical printing and slide projection (the Copex is very good as BW slide) I've alomost got these values on paper and on screen.

But with the X5 there were only about 110 lp/mm.
Despite the claim of the manufacturer of 160 lp/mm at medium contrasts the resolving power is much less.
One reason I prefer optical printing and slide projection. Much better detail rendition with medium and lower object contrast details.

There are many other test reports of well-known photographers in Germany and the UK which did even more detailed tests than me who have got the same results.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-02-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Hi Fernando,

that sounds quite interesting!
Indeed! I like scanning and scanners. I can't seem to have enough scanners (also have an Epson V700 and had a Umax Powerlook 3000 too, strange beast).
The Imacon is not a drum scanner BTW. It tries to be.
I'm sure you know that already, but there's a sizeable difference between a CCD scanner and a drum.
A CCD does not cope well with grain because you can't adjust the relationship between sampling frequency (which is fixed and determined by the sensor pitch) and maximum optical frequency, which is determined by the lens and its aperture.
So without this kind of control you can have aliasing issues which translate in apparent "grain amplification"; which does not cope well with nicely drawn fine details.
A properly done drum scan has no such issues.
The ScanMate can sample at 11'000 spi, with optical frequencies worth 8500-9000 spi on fluid (higher when dry mounted, but with other issues).
Yes, as mighty Erwin Puts has shown, with a state-of-the art optical enlarger and very good technique you may beat that (IF you manage to get perfect focus on the paper, IF you manage to have film perfectly flat in the carrier, etc.), but only for 135 and with less control on micro contrast etc.
With scanning you get the same resolving power up to 8"x10" if you want.

Anyway it's apples and oranges, a fully chemical print is just different, you can't just "measure" the difference with bare numbers (that would be like the endless debates film vs. digital, it's not just resolving power and megapixels and exposure latitude).

A friend of mine prints chemically with a large format enlarger from 8x10" originals and his prints are absolutely beautiful, with a balance of details, contrast and tones I really admire.
This suits very well his needs, his tastes and his kind of photography.

I know I can extract nearly everything from any original of any size, be it negative BW, negative color, positive, whatever.
And I know I can selectively enhance or suppress spatial frequencies, alter hues, local contrast, balance, in a way which would be very very difficult to do chemically (I had my years in the chemical darkroom as well).
And all in a short time.
This suits very well my needs, my tastes and my kind of photography.

To each his own. :-)

Too much off topic
Now back to hires BW film: you said Copex Rapid in 120 format is more like 50 iso, while in 135 size it's true 40 iso.
Why is that? Different effect from the developer, or is film itself slightly different?

Thanks, I really can't wait to have fun with this film!!
Too many Acros 100 and Efke 50 during last years, now it's time for something different.

Fernando
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Old 02-02-2012   #17
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Hi Fernando,

the X5 was one example, I've had tested real 8000 ppi drum scanners as well. Their resolution was even a bit worse compared to the X5, but they have less noise than Imacon's X5.

You may have a look at Tim Parkins recent test on landscapegb, very interesting read.

Speed of Agfa Copex Rapid: Yes, the roll film has 1°DIN higher speed than the 35mm film, that is official and also my test result.
Other photographers have confirmed this.

Why it is? Honestly, I don't know. And I think it doesn't matter. As long as you know it. And it is clearly described in the data sheet of the Spur Modular UR New developer.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-02-2012   #18
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Quote:
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You may have a look at Tim Parkins recent test on landscapegb, very interesting read.
Yes, I know that test very well. I've also exchanged some emails with him time ago.
He used an Howtek drum for the scans. Let's say there are better scanners; but that's what he owns and knows so it's all right.
At least he showed the world how good our beloved film can be.

I've been impressed by the resolving power of 8x10" lenses he used. I would have thought you would have to give up lots of resolving power having to cover such a large image circle, yet that glass did 70+ lp/mm on real film.
My view cameras have some issues with focusing (ground glass focus not perfectly equal to film plane focus) so I never managed to reach good resolutions, too bad since there are a lot of details in 4"x5" potentially.

Very precise focusing is a nasty beast. I don't even want to touch the argument (nightmares with my Leica M6 and Mamiya RB/RZ 67).
I think 'll try the Copex Rapid on the Pentax 645 first, which focuses precisely enough.
Does the film tend to curl a lot?
Efke is terrible in this regard, curls like crazy.

Fernando
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Old 02-03-2012   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
Yes, I know that test very well. I've also exchanged some emails with him time ago.
He used an Howtek drum for the scans. Let's say there are better scanners; but that's what he owns and knows so it's all right.
At least he showed the world how good our beloved film can be.
Yes . But photographers like me who have done such tests before already know how good film can be if you use it right

There have been very interesting independant scientific tests done in Germany by Zeiss, Mr. Seemann, Mr. Serger and Mr. Ventzke, which have clearly shown that modern films significantly outresolve digital sensors at medium and higher contrasts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
I've been impressed by the resolving power of 8x10" lenses he used. I would have thought you would have to give up lots of resolving power having to cover such a large image circle, yet that glass did 70+ lp/mm on real film.
My view cameras have some issues with focusing (ground glass focus not perfectly equal to film plane focus) so I never managed to reach good resolutions, too bad since there are a lot of details in 4"x5" potentially.
In one of the tests mentioned above LF lenses reached 140 lp/mm on Kodak Imagelink film.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XFer View Post
I think 'll try the Copex Rapid on the Pentax 645 first, which focuses precisely enough.
Does the film tend to curl a lot?
Efke is terrible in this regard, curls like crazy.

Fernando
In 120? No significant curl problems. Drying with enough humidity in the air, as with all films, is recommended. Most films get a bit curly if the air is too dry.
If there is a bit of a "rest curl" just put the film under a big book for a day or two and the problem is solved.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 02-04-2012   #20
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Interesting thread. I need a new slow film after having shot Rollei Retro 100@50 for many years. The Agfa Copex Rapid + Spur developer is a tempting option. I'm even thinking to order some Spur HDR-3 for my remaining RR 100 stash.
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Old 02-05-2012   #21
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Jan, I have taken your recommendation and ordered some SPUR UR from maco. I have a bunch of Imagelink HQ as well as the (old) Copex Rapid so it will get a good workout.
Thanks
Murray
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Old 02-06-2012   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Kelly View Post
Jan, I have taken your recommendation and ordered some SPUR UR from maco. I have a bunch of Imagelink HQ as well as the (old) Copex Rapid so it will get a good workout.
Thanks
Murray
Hi Murray,

the Spur Modular UR New developer is designed and optimised for the Agfa Copex Rapid film.

For Kodak Imagelink microfilm Spur is offering a dedicated developer, Spur Imagespeed. http://www.spur-photo.com/

I don't know whether you get satisfying results if you use Modular UR New with Kodak Imagelink. I've never tested this combination.
Most probably you will get the best results by using the dedicated developers for these films.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 06-13-2012   #23
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Let me stipulate that I am a complete cheapskate whenever possible. With that out of the way, I shot my first roll of Copex Rapid last week and, contrary to all the good advice here, I developed it in Rodinal. Why? Well, at $34.95 for a 250ml/125ml Part A/Part B kit at Freestyle that will process what five rolls ... ten at most of Copex Rapid, I just focused on skinflint attitude about spending money.

I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised. I can't say delighted, but at least the results weren't horrifyingly bad. Nothing ruined beyond scan-ability.

I am not careful with temperatures. If I can get close to 20 deg C, great. If not, I push ahead anyway. I know, I know. That's just a terrible practice.

These were shot with a Nikon S2/Nikkor 50/1.4. They were souped in Rodinal 1+50 for about (yeah, I'm not all that precise about timing either when the cycles are more than 5 or 6 minutes) 18 minutes semi-stand. Scanned with an Epson V700 using Epson's software. (I'm not too careful there either.)







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Old 06-13-2012   #24
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Old 06-16-2012   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robklurfield View Post
Let me stipulate that I am a complete cheapskate whenever possible. With that out of the way, I shot my first roll of Copex Rapid last week and, contrary to all the good advice here, I developed it in Rodinal. Why? Well, at $34.95 for a 250ml/125ml Part A/Part B kit at Freestyle that will process what five rolls ... ten at most of Copex Rapid, I just focused on skinflint attitude about spending money.

I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised. I can't say delighted, but at least the results weren't horrifyingly bad. Nothing ruined beyond scan-ability.
Well, it is not surprising that you get not so bad results.
It is well known that this film can be developed in Rodinal.
With 1+50 the contrast is very high, with 1+100 or 1+150 you get less contrast.
By far the best results with normal contrast, excellent tonality, optimal characteristic curve and highest speed of ISO 32/16° to 40/17° you get with Spur Modular UR New.
By far the best developer for this film.

And it is the cheapest option concerning quality: With this film - developer combination you get medium format quality with 35mm film. But you have 40-50% less cost per shot compared to shooting medium format Fp4+ or RPX 100.
You can also lower your cost significantly by using the cheaper bigger bottles.

Another excellent option: Using this film as BW slide film, developed in the Agfa Scala reversal process by www.photostudio13.de
You get BW slides with very good tonality, medium contrast and absolutely outstanding resolution and sharpness.
ISO 64/19° for 35mm film, and ISO 80/20° for 120 film.

Cheers, Jan
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