Efke KB 25 vs TechPan

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Andrey, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I know what Efke can do and approximately how big it can print.

    And having landed a brick of techpan, I'm wondering how/when I should use it. :smile:

    How would the grain compare between them? I'm developing efke in undiluted D76 or HC110... as I do every other film. :D

    For those who have experience, how would the two films compare? Pictorially? Contrast? Grain?

    Thanks

    Andrey
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I found Efke to be a pretty easy film to process in Pyrocat HD; things just fell into place very quickly.

    With Tech Pan I found the contrast very hard to tame and gave up on it. IIRC, the best results I had were with Technidol, but I don't remember if the good results were from the liquid or powder; I used both.

    Formulary sells a version of Technidol.

    I also tried HC-110 at Kodaks suggested dilution, but I didn't care for that.

    What I really noticed about Tech Pan was that it's a copy film with built-in high contrast. When exposing it to "normal" scenes with "normal" devs, you're asking the film to do something it wasn't made to do.

    With Efke, it's more of a normal film and you may find that you get more "normal" photos out of it.

    Just my $.02
     
  3. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

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    I shoot Efke25, Rollei Pan25, Rollei ATP, and only recently have I been able to seek out the situations I wanted and accumulated Tech Pan for. I've looked at many, many TP images on line. Efke 25 has the lowest resolution of the lot which I like for landscapes, portraiture, isolated subjects with lots of pretty bokeh. As you know it has a nice tonal range and contrast is fairly consistent in the several developers I've used it in, Rodinal, D-76, Tmax. I've developed TP in Rollei RHS and RLC and it behaves...or I should say Rollei ATP behaves more like TP. Contrast gets out of hand in RHS and everything I've seen and read, Rodinal as well unless you use very high dilutions (300:1).
    I will use TP for architectural, some portrait use, and product photography. I don't like TP at all for many landscape applications (leaf and twigs, babbling brooks, yuck, too busy), but I think a lot of the stuff done lately is processed with too high of contrast. There are people here with waaaay more TP experience than me, will be interesting to read their responses.
     
  4. trexx

    trexx Member

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    KB25 and TP are very different. KB25 is 25 speed film and TP is a 400 speed film you shoot at 25 when you want a lot of expansion, like N+4 and more. When handled right TP is virtually without grain. Technidol is hard to come by and I am searching for an alternative. RLC seem promising but I've yet to try it. I have used TD-3 and I am yet to nail down the process to get results I like. Most any common developer will give contrasty negs that will disappoint. I like TP for the twigs and brooks, but the composition can be tough. TP is can be good for portraits.

    As for contrast, TP can capture more stops the KB25, but the right deveolpment is needed.
    Grain KB25 I have done 20"x30" prints with slight grain. TP at that size I have not noticed.

    You say you got a brick, what format. If it is 35 mm I'd shot a few frames, open the back in the DR, clip it out and do a test. Try HC-110 Dil.F or Rodinol 1:300, or make some POTA ( phenidone (1.5g) Na2So3 (30g) Water (1l), or RLC
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    KB25 will give far better tonality than Technical Pan which has a strange unique look of it's own compared to conventional films. KB25 may not be as fine grained but the resulting images have an edge over TP images due to its tonality, acutance etc and also look sharper..

    I started using KB14 (14 was the DIN speed its now KB 25 as the 25 is the ASA speed) back in the early 70's and a well exposed 35mm neg with a good lens & the camera on a tripod will easily blow up to 12"x 16" with no apparent grain. It would certainly match many 120 100 ISO films for quality again at around 12"x16". But then it's also available in 120 - R25 & sheet film PL25 and so I now use it for 5x4 & 10x8 work were it's exceptional properties allow huge enlargements.

    Ian
     
  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Ian,

    Does KB25 film have much curl when processed? I tried a roll of Rollei Pan 25 and the curl made it very difficult for me to keep the film flat in scanning.

    Would you think there would be any advantage for KB25 over Tmax-100 or Acros in 6X7cm format where final print size would not be greater than 18X24"?

    Sandy King




     
  7. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    The Efke 135 (and to some amount also the 120) curls like crazy. A friend of mine loved the film (in 135 that is) but stopped using it due to the very strong curl.
    Also, I would say it's on par with TMX when it comes to graininess, given proper processing (Hmm, imagine me saying that last comment to Sandy. :smile: )

    //Björn
     
  8. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    as far as these low grain 35mm films come in, how does adox 25 fit in here?
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    From a purely measurement point of view, Technical Pan had much finer grain and greater sharpness than KB25 (KB14). From a practical point of view, you wouldn't notice it in 35 mm photography. The lens and camera problems pretty much overwhelm the film problems with those 35mm films. KB25, while more contrasty than most black and white films, has much less contrast than Technical Pan. You can successfully process KB25 in pretty ordinary developers, but Technical Pan needed special developers to tame the contrast. A result is much better gradation and a more pleasant look to your prints from KB25. The degree of enlargement you can get from KB25 depends on the negative. With a good tripod, an excellent lens, and careful work, 11X14 is not unreasonable from 35 mm and 16X20 may be possible with an excellent negative of the right subject. With most 35mm equipment, a good 8X10 is about the limit before lens and camera problems affect the image quality. But the right negative may be able to go bigger simply because the subject and composition allow you to ignore the defects.
     
  10. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Another aspect of KB25 and its 120 stablemate is that the emulsion is very soft when wet. You have to handle it very carefully and, in my experience, a squeegie is not a good idea. I had one go at processing Tech Pan. It was so thin I had a lot of trouble loading onto the spiral and, following Kodak's vigorous shake agitation method found that the film had fallen out of the spiral's grooves and was ruined.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Sandy,

    As has been said the Efke films curl a little, but not as badly as Fomapan, I don't scan negatives except for low res images so can't really comment, and I have to admit that I mainly use the sheet film version of KB25 - PL25 now.

    While there is a significant difference between the KB25 - 35mm and Tmax 100 in terms of grain etc I rarely use it now, best results are always with a tripod & I only shoot 35mm hand held, if I'm going to use a tripod then I shoot LF. I've really only shot a few rolls of R25 - 120 probably less tan 30 rolls in 30+ years, because I preferred the Agfapan 25 and then APX25 and I'm mainly shooting the LF cut film PL25 anyway :D

    EFKE 25 is not fully panchromatic, it's about half way between Orthochromatic & Panchromatic. So on balance I preferred using Tmax 100 which I've used since it's release until the middle of last year, mainly because it's a robust reliable film and was once easily available off the dealers shelves. I've only switched from Tmax because I'm finding Kodak B&W films much harder to find than Ilford, Fuji & Foma, so I've gone for Delta 100 & 400.

    My take on EFKE 25 is KB25 is superb for tripod based 35mm work with good prime lenses, and a big jump in quality over Tmax100 on a 20"x16" print, R25 - 120 is much the same you would get a decrease in grain etc on a 18"x24" print but the differences would be far less noticeable.

    In sheet film sizes the major advantage is a very significant saving in material costs :smile:

    It's worth trying a few rolls of 120, but the emulsion is soft and needs tighter temperature control during processing and extreme care handling when wet. You might decide it's worth it but you should also look at Pan F, but with a 6x7 Tmax 100 or Delta 100 are both excellent choices. I process them all in a little known developer Pyrocat HD :D

    The best slow film available was probably Agfa APX25, the KB24/R25/PL25 isn't far behind.

    Ian
     
  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Yes, Pan-F is a great film and certainly better QC than Efke, but Pan-F, IIRC, is not available in sheets and I believe that Sandy is a LF shooter only?

    And yes, long may APX 25 live in our hearts.
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Jim,

    Not at all. I don't use 35mm but I have been using MF (Mamiya 7II, Fuji GW690III and Fuji GA645Zi) as much or more than LF over the past year or two.

    I like Pan F a lot, only problem I have with it is that one needs to increase exposure a lot for reciprocity in low light conditions.

    Sandy King


     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You'd run into similar problems with EFKE 25, it's one of the reasons I much proffered shooting with Tmax 100.

    Ian
     
  15. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    In a direct comparison, I only have experience with TMX and TP. I began with TP as it replaced S0-410
    for photomicroscopy in the late '70s.

    As TP began to be difficult to supply, it was very easy to replicate its performance in photomicroscopy
    with TMX. As a copy film. TMX proved the Kodak MTF charts, that the films MTF are virtually identical.
    TMX is NOT inferior to TP in the image it can put down on the film. For many of the technical jobs TP was designed,
    TMX is much better.

    The film curves for continuous tone photography can be similar, except that TP is VERY hard to work with,
    and has no flexibility. TMX is dead easy to work with, two stops faster (at normal CI) and it has a more normal color rendition.

    TP has a slightly lower granularity than TMX, with Technidol.
    With HC-110, they are the same (this is Kodak's data, using TMX in D-76)

    For normal photography, there seems to be no point in TP.

    I would trade the overall image quality of 35mm TMX (Delta 100, Acros), Pan F (or Agfa 25) for TP,
    developed in anything.

    For high acutance, using Pyrocat with those films will beat TP like a drum.
    For finest grain, using Edwal 12. Same beating, same drum.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Hehe. This is what I was thinking about all along. Is the whole TechPan hype worth it? I don't even print larger than 8*10 most of the time and if I were to do it, I think I'd have no objection to grain from TMX100.

    I think the TP is going to be sold off piece by piece.
     
  17. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    In several attempts with Tech Pan for general pictorial use, I found it contrasty, hard to work with, and not worth the effort when compared to TMX or other 100-speed films. It was great for its intended purposes, copy work and microscopy, where you needed the contrast. It was amazing when enlarging the 120 or 35mm negs, though. No grain to be found at 11x14".

    Peter Gomena
     
  18. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Am I right to assume that Rollei Pan 25 is a copy film similar to TP?



    Sandy King
     
  19. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Sandy, no, at least not acording to the Freestyle catalog. They state, "Rollei Pan 25...a fine grain, high res, pan film..."

    There IS also Rollei Advanced Tech Pan, ATP.1 ..."worthy of the title, 'Tech Pan Replacement'"

    Two different films, all made by Maco.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2009
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    " Is the whole TechPan hype worth it? "

    Tech Pan came out somewhere around 1978. And in THAT era, it was amazing,
    I think as much because it brought the performance of exotic, special order films
    (wouldn't YOU run out and buy Solar Flare Patrol film if you could ?)
    Well, it was never available at the camera shop,
    but one day SO-115 became Technical Pan and a star was born.

    So, folks began messing around with it. Dick Delagi wrote an article about the film,
    with his nice variation of POTA, and it became every Leica shooter's Holy Grail.
    Of course, I tried it out and found that it didn't work for me. But it was good for a lot of folks
    who liked something kind of special.

    Well, 25 years of cult status doesn't die easily. I don't think it is so much HYPE as Momentum.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Was it ? It was a very American thing, some of the New Topographers used it as a reaction to the LF Zone system, a way of getting high quality from smaller negatives and also with subject matter that was the opposite of the Adams, Weston etc approach.

    Meanwhile in Europe we had films not imported into America, that was the era when films were mainly made and sold in local markets and not all distributed world wide.

    So when Tech Pan came out & I compared it to Adox KB14 (now called KB25) which I'd already been using for a few years and Tech Pan was quite poor in comparison needed a special developer gave quite flat prints.

    Of course everything I found wrong with Tech Pan the New Toplogists loved :D

    Ian
     
  22. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I recall trying Tech Pan a couple of times some years ago, and probably still have a couple of way OOD rolls around. I recall it being a bit pernickety in Technidol, but an article in Darkroom User magazine told all about the wonders of using C-41 developer, and I subsequently found this to be a better bet. You'll get times and other info in the Discontinued data at the Massive Dev Chart, then all you need is a friendly minilab and a bottle! :smile:

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.html

    As an aside, it had a total absence of grain which resembled the type of B&W digi shots we see so much of nowadays. Hmmm.
     
  23. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    "And in THAT era, it was amazing"

    4x5 Tech Pan, in a Zeiss Ultraphot II ?
    Umm, oh, yeah. Amazing.