Tag: RPX 25

CCR:FRB – Review 16 – Rollei RPX 25

CCR:FRB – Review 16 – Rollei RPX 25

Through 2016 I did a 52-Roll project where I shot the Rollei RPX films for each week, out of the three flavours available my personal favourite remained RPX 25, a spiritual successor to the iconic Agfa APX 25. These days in film photography there aren’t many offerings below ASA-100, Pan F+ is a solid choice, but sometimes you want something sharp, fine-grained, and slow. And for that, you have Rollei RPX 25. While the thin polyester base might make it hard to handle in the bag and widely thin in sheet formats, the results are worth the trouble.

CCR:FRB - Review 16 - Rollei RPX 25

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester (PE)
Film Speed: ASA-25, Latitude: 12-50
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, 4×5

Roll 01 – Rodinal
Where best to start with a slow film known for its sharpness is Rodinal. And honestly, it doesn’t matter which dilution you use, 1+25 or 1+50 it depends on how much time you have to develop it. You see clearly the fine-grained nature of the film and the sharpness. I mean the negatives are sharp enough to cut yourself on. Plus you see a touch of the extended red-sensitivity in the film as you get the darkened blue skies.

52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak D-76
Sometimes you want a film to be sharp, sometimes you want it to be soft. For the most part, RPX 25 is a sharp film, yet in D-76 it tones down the razor sharp edge, but don’t think this is a bad thing. The film itself is fairly high-contrast, not so much here, the contrast is toned down to a pleasing level but you don’t lose the tonal range at the same time. In generally I rather like RPX 25 in D-76 if I’m looking for a more normal look rather than a deathly sharp contrasty punch in the face you tend to get. If I had to pick a word, smooth comes to mind.

CCR:FRB - Review 16 - Rollei RPX 25 - Roll 2 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 16 - Rollei RPX 25 - Roll 2 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 16 - Rollei RPX 25 - Roll 2 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 16 - Rollei RPX 25 - Roll 2 (D-76)

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T* – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak HC-110
When you have a film stock this fine, you really don’t need to be concerned about the developer, and honestly, think HC-110 works well on the film. While I used the B dilution, looking back I think the film would look even better with E or even H. You do get a crank up on the contrast you don’t lose the fine-grain or sharpness with the film and as an everyday developer for the film, you cannot beat HC-110.

52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
So when working with slow, fine-grained films, there are some developers that you just know are going to make the film sing, and with RPX 25 the one developer I knew I had to try with the large format version of the film, Pyrocat-HD remained developer number one. And the wait was well worth it. Any grain that even showed up earlier is gone, I mean I don’t even want to try and print this film as I don’t know how well I could get it in focus. You have insanely sharp images that will blow you away. Not to mention a tonal range to die for.

Mill Water FallsThe Leftovers7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer ArtThe Prison Yard

Technical Details:
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Multiple Lenses – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
I honestly say, having RPX 25 available these days is wonderful, as I never got to shoot APX 25 in anything other than 35mm, and now that I can shoot it in 120 and 4×5 if I need that slow speed in the summer or to get that rich velvet of running water I can. While the film’s latitude isn’t the best, you don’t really expect much from a slow film. If I want latitude I’ll shoot 100 or even 400 films before a slow film. And the best part is that the RPX line is available through most brick-and-mortar photography stores and online through Maco Direct or Argentix.

Large Format in the Park

Large Format in the Park

The trouble with photo walks is that you’re walking, this pretty much takes the idea of bringing large format cameras and tripods along. I mean, I love LF and have a press camera which allows me to shoot the Crown Graphic Handheld as I did back at the Summer Toronto Film Shooters Meetup. But again, when making a meet up especially for large format, you can’t call it a photo walk because it’s hard to walk with an LF camera and I know that many members don’t shoot press, technical, or field cameras they use monorails. You don’t walk around with a monorail, while you can, just not quickly. Thus was born, the Large Format Lugabout.

Remains of a Face

A Lovely Day

The Toronto Film Shooters have been to High Park many times before, so it made sense to use this urban park in Toronto as the base of operations for the walk, moving from the Southern Entrance at Colbourne Lodge to the northern terminus at Bloor Street. At about two kilometres it’s an easy enough walk even when you have an 8×10 on a monorail to lug with you.

The Howard Tomb

The Chimney

As I loaned out my Crown Graphic out to a good friend, I made a point to shoot the eight sheets of 4×5 while I wanted down through the park towards the meeting point before the main event. Even my lovely wife put up with the constant stopping. It proved to be a perfect day to shoot large format and there turned out to be a decent attendance. The highlight for me is finally seeing Colbourne Lodge. The lodge is another one of those hidden museums in Toronto, and one I certainly will be checking out again. But with the meeting starting, I turned over my Crown Graphic to Wu and switched to my Nikon F5 to take photos of the various people in attendance.

Nancy!

It's, it's...taller than me!

Another Big One

Trio of Tripods

A Common Sight

The trouble with such a meet is that everything spreads out in a long thin line, Heather and I along with Wu and Joe formed the front of the line while the long trail of photographers lugging every type of camera came up behind, even some folks carried medium format beasts. But since it was tripod friendly, it gave folks a chance to slow down.

The event turned out much better than I expected and I certainly plan on running with the idea again as people took to the idea of a limited area shoot and allowing us to bring out the big guns.

Techinal Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135, Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125
Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Summer Film Party – Part I (June)

Summer Film Party – Part I (June)

Not doing an overall film project over the course of the year has not stopped me from getting out and shooting and it’s freed me up to join in on the year’s film contests that the fine folks over at Emulsive have put on, well, for the most part, I joined in on their TMax Party for the two months, although I missed the Acros Party. But with the sun finally starting to shine I decided to make a point to get in on the Summer Film Party. Running the three summer months here in North America with June being the first up. Now the trouble is that the summer the light gets pretty harsh by the middle of the day, I made a conscious effort to get out earlier in the day before the sun got too high in the sky and the temperatures skyrocket. The first stop is the small village of Kleinburg located north of Toronto, Ontario and a part of the City of Vaughn. While the village downtown was rather busy I decided to head down into Bindertwine Park. Big Mistake. There was a 5K run happening along the trails, and the bugs were bad, four sheets into the eight I had brought along I was done. Between the bugs and the heat, I made my escape.

Sometimes I shoot Flowers
Some flowers along the path that a camera club was shooting.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

High Voltage
While the trails through the park show a great piece of nature, but I do enjoy catching man’s influence on the natural environment.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Tree By the River
A more peaceful scene than what I was actually feeling, itchy and sneezing.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

I wasn’t going to let this stop me so Sunday morning before heading to Church I decided to finish off the remaining four sheets in downtown Milton specifically Victoria Park which sits just off of Main Street and our historic town hall the former county jail which was restored between 1982 and 1985 after sitting abandoned. Again I had been blessed with some beautiful morning light.

7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art
Milton’s Great War Trophy, a German 7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art, captured 28 September 1918 on the Arras-Cambria Road.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The Victoria Park Gazibo
At the center of Victoria Park is the Gazebo, a great place to hold an outdoor concert.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The Prison Yard
The former prison yard, now a garden, great for wedding photos or outdoor events.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Last year I completed a 52-Roll project using only Rollei RPX films, one of my favourites was RPX 25, so when a local film supplier brought in a small number of boxes of RPX 25 in 4×5 I jumped on the chance and then let it sit. I’m glad I saved the box and now that it’s cracked I hope to bring it out more this summer for large format fun! Of course, the film is hard to handle, thin polyester base, and the notch code isn’t always stamped out. It makes for trouble figuring out how to load it up. Part II coming next month, with the Hasselblad 500c, Ilford Pan F+, and Niagara-On-The-Lake!

Film Review – Rollei RPX 25

Film Review – Rollei RPX 25

When I first learned about the RPX line of film I was pretty excited, these days we often get news of discontinuation of films more than the addition of a new film stock. I was also excited when I learned that these would be the modern reincarnation of the legendary Agfa APX films and what a return to the photographic stage. Now these films are produced by Agfa but marketed under the Rollei Name. So with my on going 52-Roll project just past the halfway mark I figured now would be a time to give them a bit of a review! So to kick it off I’m going to review the slowest of the three flavours, RPX 25 and so far my favourite of the lot.

7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art
Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 50 - Burlington Races
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
  • Base: Polyester (PE)
  • Film Speed: ASA-25, with a Latitude between ASA-12 and ASA-50
  • Formats Available: 35mm/120/4×5

The Good
I’m not going to lie; I love slower films these days, and the RPX25 doesn’t fail. The film delivers on its promise of being a fine grained film and sharp. I mean razor sharp. I’ve had excellent results developing this film in Rodinal and HC-110. It really likes Rodinal at 1+50 dilution and delivers super sharp negatives and fine grain which is something coming from a sharp developer. In HC-110 the high contrast nature of the film really shines but still provides a sharp image with a bit of an uptick in the visible (but beautiful) grain and you still have some great mid-tones. A huge plus for the RPX 25 is that it’s available in both roll film and sheet film, that’s right an ASA-25 sheet film. Something that hasn’t been seen natively in a long time.

52:500c - Week 10 - Capital National
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 (Yellow) – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 17 - No Place I'd Rather Be
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

The Bad
There are a couple of points against this film, which isn’t really all that bad, they’re a minor annoyance. The first is developing times, often if you’re getting into highly-dilute developers, even 1:1 you’re looking at 10+ minutes but the results speak for themselves. And these are just the results using medium format, I haven’t had a chance to shoot this film in 4×5 but I’m sure the results will be even better. Another thing that might be an issue with some folks is that if you’re developing for under ten minutes you will want to use a chemical stop bath. And continuing on the theme of developers there are a limited number of times available for this film stock. But it is still the new kid on the block, so it is just a matter of time.

52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 40 - Grand Old House
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

The Lowdown
If you’re a fan of slow films, this is not one to overlook, or if you’re in the old school and loved APX 25 then this film is certainly a real winner for you. A future classic for sure. Ideal for landscape and architecture work as you do want to use a tripod to get the full experience with it. Although even on a sunny day you can hand-hold it. And being available in the three top sizes for photography it certainly is an excellent product that I plan on using in the future. And plan on expanding that list of developing times.