May 6, 2013

more microfilms - Copex Rapid

Microfilms are a little bit delicate to process, because the extremely thin emulsions are very contrasty as they shall be regarding the original purpose. Anyhow, for pictorial use we don't need specialized and very expensive developers as some distributors want to make you believe. Simple Rodinal 1:100 or 1:200 already gives nice results. And Caffenol-C used in an adapted manner produces state-of-the-art results.

Here we talk about the Copex Rapid from Agfa Belgium. I got it in an older package as the so called "gigabitfilm", and yes, the naming imho was a serious aberration of taste and the film was sold together with an expensive and very doubious developer. That initially brought the whole category of microfilms into discredit.But enough wining about people who only want to empty your pockets. This blog is ad-free and will stay so as long as the host will allow it. Caffenol strikes again!

Caffenol-C-L is a weak or compensating developer ideal for extended stand development or for a low contrast development in some minutes. Here I used Caffenol-C-L with no restrainer (no KBr or salt) for 13 minutes/20°C, regular agitation (30 sec initially, 3x every min) and the film was exposed at EI 50. The strong backlight is a challenge for any film/developer combo and of course you need a proper exposure.I metered the foreground, added 3 stops (for the zonies: it was set to zone 2) and still have a good tonal resolution in the sky. The Copex Rapid is told to handle a contrast range of 14 stops, try that with your full format DSLR ;-) Grain is virtually not existent or not resolvable with my humble Canoscan 8800F. The density range of this negative is D = 0.2 - 1.8, so it should be printable perfectly on silver paper.

The very thin emulsions of microfilms only need a very short fixing time, maybe less than 10 seconds, in normal strenght fixer, so you should dilute your fixer much more to get at least a fixing time of 1 minute to not overfix the negs. Make a clearing test!

Best regards - Reinhold


Jordan said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have been given some TEM film (Agfa Copex too!) and it is great to get some advice from you about it. I'm excited to be trying the film (unsprocketed, yelp!) and will be also experimenting for the first time with Caffenol. I have over 1000ft of film to play with, though the person who has given it to me thinks I'm crazy for trying to develop in coffee. He used a modified version of Kodak D19 before getting a digital camera for the TEM that I now work with.

imagesfrugales said...

Hi Jordan,

thank you for your interest in my Caffenol blog. I'm jealous for your 1000 ft of Copex, it's a great film.

Because this is your first Caffenol experiance, please keep in mind the accuracy you need for the Caffenol-C-L recipe. You need a reliable scale and have to check the soda for water content if it's not cleary anhydrous or you experiance any problem.

But no worry, you will make it, so I don't have to wish you good luck. Film developing how I understand it is no matter of luck.

Best - Reinhold

Anonymous said...

Hello Reinhold,

just developed and scanned my first roll of Copex in Caffenol LC+Cnew. :-)
Results are great! I have a direct comparison with Velvia100 and Efke25 (is there a way to send the crops to you?).
Next time I'll try raising the development time a bit since the negatives are a bit thin.

Thank you SO MUCH!!


imagesfrugales said...

Hi Fernando, thank you very much for the credits, but they belong to another guy who made Caffenol LC+C. I have no doubt that you can also get great results with this developer.

The developer I use is Caffenol-C-L. Usually used for stand developing 30 to 70 minutes regular films, but 10 - 15 minutes with agitation for microfilms. Use no pot. bromide or only 0.1 g/l or instead 1 g/l iodized salt for microfilms if you get uneven development or too much fog.

Here are my recipes:

Robbedoes said...

Hi Reinhold,

I have shot several Copex films with my Minox B. Excellent results using Spur hrx and the traditional Minox development tank.

I am wondering if anyone, visiting your blog, is using caffenol for developing Minox 8x11?

Best regards,