When it comes to classic films, Kodak has plenty of options that you can still get. But one of my personal favourites is a genuinely classic film, and that is Efke 100. Any Efke. But of all the Efke flavours the one I’m most familiar with is Efke 100. The 100 flavour is a silver rich film, fantastic tones and gives you that mid-century look that you see in the snapshots of your parents in your grandparent’s albums. These days while no longer produced if you check on eBay and find the right seller you can get a great deal on some new-old-stock that the seller has stockpiled.
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 50-400
Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, Sheet
Roll 01 – Rodinal
I’m not going to give you any early impressions of the film, but for a 100-speed film, it does not have the finest grain you would expect from modern emulsions. But when you combine it with Rodinal, you are going to get one of the best results image-wise. But not just any Rodinal you do want to spend the extra time and use the 1+50 dilution, though I’m sure the film would work wonderfully stand-developed. Yes, you will still have a grainy image, but it’s such a wonderfully pleasing grain that you don’t even worry about it next to the amazing tones and contrast you get on this film. And you get images that have that classic look about them.
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Ekfe KB 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C
Roll 02 – Kodak D-23
What better way to treat a classic film than in a classic developer. And while Rodinal does an amazing job, I find D-23 right on par and gives an even more classic look about the images than Rodinal does. Where Rodinal gives a sharp edge, there’s less grain and softness about the images as a result. But you have that same rich tone and contrast that blows away anything you find in modern emulsions. While I have not tried the film in D-76, I’m sure the results would be about similar.
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C
Roll 03 – Pyrocat-HD
A couple of years back I purchased a partly-used box of Efke 25 from my usual camera store, Burlington Camera. One of the store’s owners, Joan, warned me that the film was fairly grainy. Yes, even in 4×5 Efke 25 is grainy. But the film sang in PMK Pyro. And since Pyro is a magic bullet in my magazine, I decided to try it out with Efke 100. I’ll have to say the results are not bad, but not what I was expecting. The grain is pretty heavy in these images, and that could be due to the 35mm size, and the images are fairly contrasty, you lose a lot of shadow detail, and the highlights are blown out. Could be the strange lighting that day, but not my first choice for Efke 100.
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C
Roll 04 – Kodak HC-110
If you want to see Efke at it’s worst, then perhaps HC-110 is the developer you want. The only thing that I can use to describe the images are grungey. Probably would work great to capture those gritty urban decay like images. The grain is heavy, so is the contrast. But it gives a rich image! The film would probably do better with a Dilution H on the HC-110 over a Dilution B. But even with E, it may see some improvement.
Kodak Pony 135 Model C – Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5 – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C
When Efke’s manufacturing company, Fotokemika, shut down operations in 2012 the photography community mourned the loss for a good reason. Two amazing film lines lost their lives, Adox CHS and Efke. If you get your hands on any films from the Efke line than you have silver in your hand and don’t just save it for that special occasion, get out there are shoot it now, shoot something you love, shoot something important because the film will deliver amazing results!