Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rollei RPX-25

A couple of years ago a new large format film was introduced to the market.  Rollei has put out this film, as well as a couple of others.  This one in particular, RPX-25, is rumoured to be very similar to the old Agfa APX-25 emulsion that was discontinued over a decade ago.  That film was one of my favorites in medium format roll film, but was never manufactured in sheet format.  When the new Rollei material hit the market I promptly bought a couple of boxes.
This emulsion is coated on an extremely thin plastic base.... like toilet paper thin...!!  It is quite difficult to handle and load into film holders.  Processing is a bit of a challenge as well.  When I opened and loaded he first box that I used, I almost discarded the first sheet of film as I thought it was a tissue paper interleave.  Then I realized that there was no interleave, and this was the film.  Rollei infrared film seems to be coated onto the same base and is equally challenging.
For the past several months I've been shooting duplicate shots on this film, for comparative processing in a couple of different developers.  Half the images will be processed in Rodinal developer.  This was my favorite with the old APX emulsion.  The duplicate images will be processed in Perceptol.  Back in mid-August I got around to processing six sheets of film in Perceptol.  I diluted the developer 1:1, and processed for 12:00 minutes at 24C.  The film was metered with a spot meter and exposed at 25 iso.  I couple of the images... landscapes shot in clear direct light seemed over exposed and over developed.  The others were interiors and softly illuminated shots and they were better.  In the future I think I will give slightly more exposure to better support the shadow values, but reduce development by about 15 to 20%.  For now, here are scans of a few of those images.  In the future I will compare these to the ones that I process in Rodinal...

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