Seeking Advice on Adox films: what I should not do
Old 06-17-2014   #1
ashfaque
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Seeking Advice on Adox films: what I should not do

Hello Everyone,

I am thinking of getting some of the Adox 35mm(and possibly 120 films) and some their chemicals from Germany.

So far I have decided to get the gorgeous CMS 20 II through Fotoimpex (as it will be delivered in Germany). I am also thinking of trying Adox's other films - more specifically Silvermax and CHS 100 II. Since I have no experience of dealing with Adox films, I was wondering if could advise me:
- what I should not be doing during exposure
- if I should buy Adox chemical as well. If you think there is a better alternative, please let me know.
- what I should be careful about during developing them on Adotech II (Adox's only recommended developer)
- anything else I should be aware of as far as CMS 20 II, Silvermax, CHS 100 II
- I am also thinking of getting some Rollei APX 25 (17 m. bulk roll) and Rollei DIGIBASEŽ CR 200 (30.50 m. bulk roll) from Macodirect whilst at it! Please advise me on the DOs and DON'Ts on these too.

Is there any other German eShop that offer similar products with less overall cost to be deilivered within Germany.

Kindly treat my queries from someone who is quite new. So please advise me as much as possible and the more easy-to-understand (less film techi) explanation, the better. Thanks for your time.

Bests,
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Old 06-17-2014   #2
Mlehrman
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I am also quite new to the film, but have occasionally used Silvermax. My local lab uses D76, 1:1 for 12.5 minutes, or so they tell me.

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Old 06-17-2014   #3
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Thanks for the information, Mlehrman.
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Old 06-17-2014   #4
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CMS-20 is an Agfa Gevaert Ortho micro film. Very difficult to handle in any high contrast light situation. Hence the special low contrast type developer for it.
RPX-25 is a classical B&W film but all slow speed films tends to a higher contrast.
Good results I had with this film in R09/Rodinal 1+50 and Rollei Supergrain 1+15- 1+19.

Rollei Digibase CR200 pro is an old type Agfa RSXII 200 E-6 film emulsion, technical over 10 years old technology. Good for cross processing but pretty grainy for an iso 200 E-6 film. Good for Lomo.

On my Flickr stream you can find all different examples. And on my Fotohuis Gallery incl. all data how it was done.
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Old 06-18-2014   #5
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Thanks Fotohuis. I'll have a look.

In the mean time, can the kind hearted RFFers please advise me what I should avoid. For e.g., can I use CMS 20 II during torrential rainy season, or on a sunny day, or a very sunny day, etc? In short I'm seeking information on common mistakes to avoid, and useful tips to improve.

I know practise is the most useful way of learning in photography. But I just cannot afford to do too many mistakes I have limited budget.

Bests
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Old 06-18-2014   #6
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Those are all pretty esoteric films. If you're new, why not stick with some mainstream choices? Tri-X or HP5+ come to mind...

These days, the 400 speed films are much finer grained than they were 30 years ago and thus can really be considered general purpose films -- usable in virtually any setting.
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Old 06-18-2014   #7
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I use CMS 20 II and prefer it in even light situations, such as when the sky is overcast. So far I have not been happy with it in very sunny or partially cloudy situations. Even using Adotech to develop (which is an expensive developer btw) I haven't quite mastered this film.

I would agree with Rolfe on this one. If your budget is limited you may be better shooting an ISO 400 film like Ilford HP5+ or Rollei RPX 400.
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Old 06-18-2014   #8
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I think, that you should go on flickr and look at the film/developer combination pool for a while.
Then, before you decide what you like, you should also say if you wet print or scan. In case you want to scan, the film/developer combinations will be somewhat less critical, because post processing gives you a lot of flexibility.

If you want to begin film photography with some joy, my advice would be, to start with an EASY film and developer for shooting in ANY light, and learn how to use that well.
As an example, TRi X or HP5+ can be exposed between EI 50 and 1600 and will give you appreciable results with only little tweaking of the development. I would begin with a developer like HC110, which is liquid, keeps forever, and can be diluted in various ways to give you desired effect. The key for you will be to test everything yourself, and gain confidence from a simple, well controlled situation.
To begin with: buy 1 type of film and developer, test the film at various EI's and develop for various times to understand how it behaves in terms of shadow detail, contrast, sharpness and grain. To keep things simple do NOT use a stop bath, simply develop, fix and wash. Use one shot developer and fixer.
If you are hooked on landscape photography and ABSOLUTELY need finer grain and high acutance, go with FP4 or RPX100 (from maco) and Rodinal.
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@ Rolfe, Pioneer, and Marek
Old 06-18-2014   #9
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@ Rolfe, Pioneer, and Marek

@ Rolfe, Pioneer, and Marek

Thanks a lot for your advices. I should have mentioned that I will be getting some HP5+ and Tri-X as well.

The reason why I mentioned those Adox and Rollei films is because I'm in south asia (BD) now. Getting them from EU or NA is very expensive. A school friend of mine will be travelling from Germany and so I thought I should get those through him. Hence I asked for your advices in the hope of getting myself at least aware of the unique things in relation these films.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
I use CMS 20 II and prefer it in even light situations, such as when the sky is overcast. So far I have not been happy with it in very sunny or partially cloudy situations. Even using Adotech to develop (which is an expensive developer btw) I haven't quite mastered this film.
...
Thanks for the tips, Pioneer. Adotech II chemical is very expensive indeed. I asked Adox about larger quantity of both film (bulk) and chemical and they told me that even then, as things stand, the price will be the same. I don't mind supporting small companies when they produce such unique films though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
I think, that you should go on flickr and look at the film/developer combination pool for a while.
Then, before you decide what you like, you should also say if you wet print or scan. In case you want to scan, the film/developer combinations will be somewhat less critical, because post processing gives you a lot of flexibility.
......
...... To keep things simple do NOT use a stop bath, simply develop, fix and wash. Use one shot developer and fixer.
If you are hooked on landscape photography and ABSOLUTELY need finer grain and high acutance, go with FP4 or RPX100 (from maco) and Rodinal.
Marek: Thanks a lot for reminding me Flickr thingy (completely forgot about it) and other tips. Could you please tell me why I should not use a stop bath? Sorry for asking possibly a newbie question.

Yes, I have a weakness for landscape photography, even though I'm not sure if my current ones are within that category. A very nice person once told me, it's more like very people in my photos. I hope to learn as much as possible though.

Please keep your advices coming.

Bests
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Old 06-18-2014   #10
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If you can buy from Germany, look at macodirect, and order some RPX 25 and RPX 100. These are general purpose films, and it looks like they will be around for a while. I would also get some Rodinal for these, as you will sooner or later want to see how it works. I have decided to limit my film range to Tri X and RPX 100, as I am completely satisfied with both. People in the know say, that stop bath can increase the grain, and in my opinion anyway, it is simply a waste of time, and would only be essential if you develop for such a short time ( less than 5 minutes), that you really need to control the development time critically. My rule is, I never develop shorter than 5 minutes, and if necessary, dilute the developers more to get longer times.
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Old 06-18-2014   #11
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I really like RPX 100, and gonna try CHS 100 II when someone finally decide to import it here.

As guys said, CMS 20 is tricky but it can reward you with great results. If you dont like to use Adotech you can try Rodinal 1:300 12min.
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Old 06-18-2014   #12
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RPX-25 is a very interesting film for architecture and landscape photography. For micro films in general you are running into problems over 8F stops in light contrast. Rollei ATP-1.1 is also a type of extended Red sensitivity micro film ( also from Agfa Gevaert ) but also here you have to use a special low contrast type developer and which is speeding up the iso rate to 20-32.
Both Adotech and ATP-DC developers are made by Spur for Adox and Rollei.

In case of BD and having good contacts in Europe I think these films are still interesting in price. However you can skip the German 19% VAT or Dutch 21% VAT.
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Old 06-18-2014   #13
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I had reasonable results with ATP-1.1 and R09/Rodinal 1+150 but the film speed is going down to iso 12-15. Rodinal is also working as low contrast type developer over a dilution of 1+100. You can also use Caffenol or POTA or the Film Low Gamma from Udo Raffay, sold under Rollei Low Contrast.
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Old 06-18-2014   #14
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Thanks for the explanation on the stop bath, Marek.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotohuis View Post
..... Rollei ATP-1.1 is also a type of extended Red sensitivity micro film ( also from Agfa Gevaert ) but also here you have to use a special low contrast type developer and which is speeding up the iso rate to 20-32.
Both Adotech and ATP-DC developers are made by Spur for Adox and Rollei.
Thanks for the tip on ATP 1.1 and the chemicals, Robert. Could you please let me know the equivalent alternatives from SPUR for ATP 1.1 (Rollei) and CMS 20 II & Silvermax, if any. SPUR's prices seem quite reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotohuis View Post
In case of BD and having good contacts in Europe I think these films are still interesting in price. However you can skip the German 19% VAT or Dutch 21% VAT.
I'm afraid, afaik, he will still have to pay. I don't know about NL, DE, and other EU countires, but in UK, only a Non-EU passport holder can claim back the VAT amount (by filling out a form whilst departure, provided he leaves the EU within 12 months period. If they've changed the law, I will be very happy!

Thank you all again for your helpful comments.

Bests
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Old 06-18-2014   #15
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The materials have to be sent outside the EU with any valid transport company and papers. If the people have any EU or non EU passport is not important when sending from the Netherlands.

Spur is selling the same CMS20 film and their own low contrast developer under their own name. Of course for a little bit less money then Adox/Fotoimpex.

The Caffenol developer you can simply make yourself and is also not too bad with these microfilms.

Adox Silvermax is an exact copy of the Agfa Scala film. They made it once in 35mm only.
A good quality and cheaper films are the RPX-100/400 films, especially made for Rollei-Maco by Ilford/Harman. They push well too. A very good push developer is the RPX-D, also made by Spur for Rollei. A complete brand new semi- compensating developer, look alike AM74 Amaloco the Netherlands is the Rollei Supergrain developer. Before Rollei had this Amaloco developer (AM74) under OEM. Now Spur made a eco friendly and modern type version for Rollei.
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Old 06-18-2014   #16
ath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashfaque View Post
CMS 20 II
Silvermax
CHS 100 II
Rollei APX 25
Rollei DIGIBASEŽ CR 200
some HP5+ and Tri-X as well

Kindly treat my queries from someone who is quite new.
Here's my advice: choose one or two films and get experience with them. Worry less and shoot more.
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Old 06-24-2014   #17
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Just an update. I ended up buying these from Maco Direct.
- Films: Rollei RPX 25 (17 m.), RPX 400 (17 m.), Retro 80S (30.5) and Ilford HP5 Plus (17 m.)
- Developers: SPUR HRX, SPUR Acurol-N and R09 Rodinal.

After some thoughts, I decided not to get Adox CMS 20 II now (even though I really wanted to). As you said, I should get used to relatively easier B&W films. Thank you all for your help - especially Bruce, Rolfe, Pioneer, Marek and Robert.

Bests,

Ashfaque
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