July 12, 2011

Rollei Retro 80s again

Hi everybody,

the Rollei Retro 80s, that in fact is an aerial film from Agfa-Gevaert/Belgium, I used it once before and the film shows extraordinary sharpness and finest grain together with an unusual tonal range. The 80s is extended sensitized for the near IR-range, not as much as the Efke, but still shows the typical IR effect. I supposed that optimal results would be achieved if an EI of 50 - 100 will be used at about 40 - 50 minutes stand development and it seems to be the sweet spot for this film. Gerald already has shown beautiful infrared pictures with this film on flickr, and Yannick uses a slightly different setup with a IR-filter that probably is not as strong as Geralds, and also does fine regular, non-IR photography with this film. It's a matter of taste, but I prefer the decent wood effect over the one from the Efke. The latter may look a bit overdone, the 80s has a more "natural" look imho.

Also non-IR photography works beautiful with the 80s, due to it's sensitization it's predestined for landscapes, but also portraiture works very nice and eases some skin irritations due to the low blue sensitivity. So this film behaves quite contrary to an orthopanchromatic film. A great film for many purposes and with a unique look. But now let's read and see what Yannick did with
this film. Thank you very much for your contribution, Yannick. Cheers - Reinhold

"Thanks to Gerald Figal, met on Flickr, I decided to use Rollei Eetro 80s film as he did, with an infrared filter and then developed in Caffenol-C-L. For this try, I wanted to use a twin lens reflex in order to see exactly what I wanted to photograph. I used a Rolleiflex old standard from the mid thirties because I had a push on infrared filter made by Agfa for Rollei in the thirties to.

I shot with the IR filter during a sunny day, at f/16 and 1 sec exposure (actually near 2s because the shutter is a bit tired). It means that the film was exposed for 3 iso. On the same roll, I exposed the RR80S without filter at 80 iso. The sniper was shot at f/8 and 1/5 sec, camera on a table. I stand developed the film as Gerald did, in Caffenol-C-L, at 20°c for 50 minutes.

Washing soda"Phoenix" (not waterfree!) : 20 g
Vitamine C : 6 g
KBr : 0,6 g
Instant coffee Granarom (Lidl market) : 24 g

Kind regards from Troyes/France.


Note: Yannick uses a hydrated washing soda. He determined the water content and recalculated the needed amount. So it's a standard Caffenol-C-L recipe with 1 g/l pot. bromide. If you want to use iodized salt I suggest starting with 10 g/l (Reinhold)

July 11, 2011

the salt in the soup

Hi coffeeholics,

good news, using regular, non-iodized salt works as a restrainer and can replace iodized salt or potassium bromide.

For the test I made a demanding setup, Rollei RPX 400 @ 800 stand developed @ 24 °C in Caffenol-C-L urgently needs a restrainer, without you will have huge problems concerning massive fog and uneven, cloudy, streaky development. Last afternoon I shot the 35mm film and cut it into 3 peaces. One was developed with 20 g/l regular non-iodized table salt aka sodium cloride. For the second piece 12 g/l iodized salt (0.0025 % iodate) was added and the third piece got the addition of the well working 1.2 g/l potassium bromide aka KBr.

Regular table salt without iodine (20 g/l) works good enough to prevent any streaks or uneven clouds in the image, that you will get with stand development if no restrainer is used. Yellowish stain and quite a lot base fog can be noticed. Again, base fog is not as evil as often told as long as the develoment is even. I guess that 30 or even 40 g/l will be fine for fast films.

Iodized salt (12 g/l), although much less is used, works slightly better with a bit less base fog, but still even enough developed that the image is not disturbed, only some unevennes at the borders where the spiral covered the film during development. And the stain is also less. Iodine does a good job. I would now adjust the salt to 15- 20 g/l for fast films, slow films need less salt.

You can see that KBr (1.2 g/l) gives the least fog and no stain, perfectly even developed, no surprise at all.

I couldn't notice any significant differences in grain or effective film speed. EI 800 was fine.

Here's an example with the regular table salt, no post processing exept a bit unsharp maskening and scaling. The neg was really quite dark due to the high base fog level. Do you notice any drawbacks? I can't. And increasing the amount of salt will probably reduce the fog. But most important, the development is even, no streaks, no clouds, simply fine.

It was a rainy day, so an orange filter was used. Probably I overdeveloped a little bit. It was really war in my lab and temp increased up to 25 or 26 °C during development. There's a break point in time and temp, if you exceed it, the RPX 400 shows immediately increased fog and grain. So that was probably a little bit too much. But all three chunks were developed simultanously under the same conditions.

These are my very first experiances. Go and try regular table salt and let me know how it works for you. It will work with other Caffenol variants to. Sharing your experiances via The new Caffenol Home on flickr is much appreciated.

Cheers - Reinhold

important update: my flickr buddy Rob showed that salt (sodium cloride) causes dichroic fog. Since iodized salt is widely available it's recommended to use it because you need much less salt and dichroic fog is less. Adjusting the amounts for your needs is quite easy. Potassium bromide still is the best restrainer but I love the idea of using commonly available agents.