Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Agfapan 400

Another film from the now defunct Agfa. The Agfapan range of films were hugely underated in my opinion, and APX400 probably suffered in that respect more than the rest of the range, living in the shadow of both Tri-X and HP5.

'Wensum Emporium' APX 400 at 1:50 18 mins in Rodinal (Duotone Record Rapid effect)
Personally I feel that's a shame, as it has the wonderful tonal range of the rest of the Agfapan films, with a lovely grain structure and accutance which compares favourably with Tri-x, and to me is preferable to HP5.

Below is a 100% crop of to show the grain pattern:

After Processing the film has a grey base colour, this is normal not due to base fog or poorly stored film, and although it prints/scans well, it may look strange if your normal film is something like Neopan.

It really is a shame about the demise of Agfa. I nearly didn't bother testing their films, but they are just SO good! If I hadn't given them at least a mention it would have been unfair as they are still available though many retailers.
When the current batch are gone one of the truly great photographic emulsions will be history.
So one to try out of curiosity but not a long term prospect.

All images and text © Mark Smith 2007


Bill Smith said...

I concur about Agfa APX (Silvertone) films. I have shot my share of APX 100 and 400 over the years and it processes well in D-76 and Rodinal.


Charlie Wood said...

Yes APX 400 is a great 400 speed film, I love it in Rodinal Special and Aculux 2.

Photo–Smith said...

Thanks for reading and your comments guys.

Ian said...

I agree absolutely about APX400. It was always hugely under-rated and has a lovely vintage look to it. You might want to try pulling it to 200ASA and developing it in Rodinal 1+100 for 16 minutes – beautiful tones. It'll be a shame when it goes.

TR said...

Like you I work exclusively with analog photography. Agfa has become my film of choice and I have been working on building up a cache of the film and Rodinal developer. I prefer slow fine grain films and Agfa 25 is my favorite. Love your blog.

Photo–Smith said...

Thanks for your comments TR
I visited you blog and liked it. I had a Mamiya TLR too; in the 1980s we used to shoot weddings with them.

Isä said...

Hmm.. I like more Agfa APX 100 film, you can push that as 100@400 and develope (in Rodinal) it 50% more time than normal, and results are better than using normal Agfa APX400. Try and you could bw surprised.

Photo–Smith said...

Thanks for your comments. Yes I have tried APX 100 rated at EI400 in both Rodinal and Microphen and do like it. But the 100 speed version is my favourite film at it's rated speed, and I must admit that tonally I prefer the 400 rated at EI200 than the 100 pushed.
For me the strength of the Agfa films is their tonal range which can be superb at box speed and under, with care in developer choice.
Also I should add that the 100 is getting rare especially in 120 so my preference for 400 speed films is normally either Neopan or HP5.