Peeling EFKE 120

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Whiteymorange

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I wrote a while ago about a problem I had with the emulsion on EFKE 50 film in 120 literally peeling away from the base on rolls that I had developed some 3 months earlier. On the advice from another APUG'er (Thanks, Don Miller!) I wrote to John at J and C about the problem and then sent him a piece of the film. After sending both the film and the chemistry I used to the factory in Croatia, he finally got the word back that it seems to have been a matter of the hardener content of my fixer.

I processed this film in Rodinal and fixed it with Sprint Record Speed Fixer, 1:4 with Sprint Record Hardening Alum Converter added (I believe) to the specs on the box. The doubt expressed there is a reflection of the fact that I share a darkroom in a school and somebody may have remixed the fix while I was out - don't think so, but it could have happened. All other film processed at the same time was fine - mostly HP5. No peeling.

EFKE, through John, advised me that the R50 film, in particular, is delicate and needs careful handling in this. He suggested that I use a hardening fix, but that care in the mixing is very important.

I thought I'd pass on the word - and thank John publicly at the same time. He went out of his way to solve a problem here for a small-time customer. It's true that it is in his interest to make sure that problems with the product he sells get solved, but I believe he put a whole hell of a lot more care and concern into this than most of the suppliers with whom I deal on a daily basis would have done, and I wanted to make sure people heard about it.

Whitey Morange
 

McCarthy

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Whiteymorange said:
He suggested that I use a hardening fix, but that care in the mixing is very important.

Good to hear that JandC takes care of their customers. I am a new customer having placed my first order recently. I bought some Efke 25 and exposed it, but have not developed it yet. What do you mean by "care in the mixing is very important"? Do you mean that the film in the fixer should be mixed gently or that care should be used to prepare the chemicals properly?

Thanks, Michael
 
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Whiteymorange

Whiteymorange

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Michael,
I think what he's telling me is that hardener is difficult stuff to judge with this film. I will reduce my concentration of hardener in the future and just be really careful with my wet negs. The 35mm version of the film has given me no problem at all and, though the sheet film is delicate, I've never had a problem and have heard of no problems like this from anyone else.

To be fair, I'm the only one who seems to have had this problem with the 120! It is great film for a certain look, so go for it. Thousands of rolls have been done without incident, so just heed my call for careful formulation of the fixer and shoot away.

Glutton for punishment and dedicated amateur that I am, I'm still buying it.

Whitey
 

Pete H

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Hmmm ... I've just shot & developed my first 4 rolls of Efke 25 (120). In two of the rolls, the film has apparently moved inside the backing paper (or was mispositioned to start with or something) so the first 4-5 frames are missing and I have a length of blank film at the end :-( . On the other hand, the tones (dev in Neofin Blue) are beautiful, so it seems worth persevering,

Peter
 

Donald Qualls

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Pete H said:
Hmmm ... I've just shot & developed my first 4 rolls of Efke 25 (120). In two of the rolls, the film has apparently moved inside the backing paper (or was mispositioned to start with or something) so the first 4-5 frames are missing and I have a length of blank film at the end :-( .

What kind of camera were you using? This sounds like something that could happen if the film were incorrectly positioned at loading with an automatic frame counter, of if the self-starting frame counter in a camera so equipped failed to correctly detect the start of the film.

Can you examine the backing paper and see where the tape is/was? The tape strip should normally be about 7 cm ahead of the first number on the 6x4.5 framing track. If that's where it is on the rolls with the problem, it's a camera or loading problem.
 

Pete H

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Hi Donald,

It was a Contax 645. I've shot hundreds of rolls of Ilford, Fuji & Kodak film through the camera and this has never happened once, so it seems like an odd coincidence when it happens with 2 out of 4 rolls of Efke. The backing paper has been binned, but I'll have a look next time I shoot some (there's still plenty in the freezer).
 

jandc

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Pete H said:
Hi Donald,

It was a Contax 645. I've shot hundreds of rolls of Ilford, Fuji & Kodak film through the camera and this has never happened once, so it seems like an odd coincidence when it happens with 2 out of 4 rolls of Efke. The backing paper has been binned, but I'll have a look next time I shoot some (there's still plenty in the freezer).

Efke film does not have the bar codes on the paper as some other films. In the Contax an automatic infrared system senses the bar code at the beginning of a roll of film and starts the frame counter at the proper place on the film.

If you are using brands of film without bar codes you must line up the arrows on the backing paper with a white index mark on the insert before replacing it in the film magazine.
 
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noseoil

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Efke fixing. Do your film tests with a water stop bath, no need to have pin holes or acid problems. Water works fine, just be consistent. This film is easier to scratch than some others, so care in handling is a must. That havng been said, results are excellent.
 
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Whiteymorange

Whiteymorange

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There was no problem with pinholes in my film, though I have had some spotting problems with the sheet film in 4x5 (not enough to make me stop using it yet.) The emulsion peeling was post development, post printing. It was noticeable first at the ends of the film exposed the most to air. The film affected was all processed within one week back in the fall.

I have now gone to water stop, as you suggest, with almost all of my processing. Fill, agitate, dump - 4 times - then on to fix. The results are so nice when it works out that I am working hard to improve my handling of this stuff. I love the look of R50. When it doesn't work, I have to admit it's usually because I screwed up; not the film's fault at all. I'm a painter, used more to barging about until I get it right than to careful technical assessments and incremental experimentation my photo mentor's nightmare. But hey, I have fun and make some great images. My attitude is that if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.

Whitey
 

Pete H

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jandc said:
Efke film does not have the bar codes on the paper as some other films. In the Contax an automatic infrared system senses the bar code at the beginning of a roll of film and starts the frame counter at the proper place on the film.

If you are using brands of film without bar codes you must line up the arrows on the backing paper with a white index mark on the insert before replacing it in the film magazine.

I always line up the arrows with the index mark - it's not that.

Whitey, sorry for diverting your thread. Have you tried developing in Neofin Blue? Fine grain and beautiful tones - it's great. The film's definitely worth persevering with, despite its vulnerability to scratches and the vicious curl on the 120 format (maybe that's the origin of my loading problem ???).
 
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Whiteymorange

Whiteymorange

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Pete,
Neofin blue is on my "gotta try" list. Thanks for the pointer. And, as for the diversion... aren't conversations better when they wander a bit?
Whitey
 

kaiyen

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Pete H said:
The film's definitely worth persevering with, despite its vulnerability to scratches and the vicious curl on the 120 format (maybe that's the origin of my loading problem ???).

Huh. I find that Efke (r50 at least) is less curly than the Forte stuff I use. That stuff is curly enough to attack you when you pull it out of the sleeve.

I have never had loading problems with Forte.

allan
 

rusty71

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One really nice thing about Efke (and FOMA) is that I can load it in my Kiev 60 120 and it gives precise frame spacing. Guess it was designed for these 120 films to begin with.
I have found JandC to be one of the most customer oriented and just plain nice retailers on the web. Thanks to them for making all this wonderful stuff available.
 

Donald Qualls

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rusty71 said:
One really nice thing about Efke (and FOMA) is that I can load it in my Kiev 60 120 and it gives precise frame spacing. Guess it was designed for these 120 films to begin with.
I have found JandC to be one of the most customer oriented and just plain nice retailers on the web. Thanks to them for making all this wonderful stuff available.

Well, more likely it was designed for film of a particular thickness for film and backing -- some cameras, rather than using a toothed roller that measures the film travel directly, advance by turning the takeup spindle a set number of degrees, and compensate for the increasing radius as film winds onto the spool by reducing the number of degrees for each successive frame. If the film is thinner than what they were originally designed to use, the spacing will get closer and closer as you work through the roll (even to the point of overlapping frames). My Minolta 16 II does this, but I've read that some 120 cameras and film backs work the same way -- in some ways, it's simpler than a toothed roller, and there's much less chance of damaging the image area of the film.

This is relevant mainly because Kodak and Ilford films are on thinner base than they used to be. Foma and Efke are probably thin base now, too, but their backing paper is thicker, which compensates.
 
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