Has anyone tried Efke or Foma films?

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I've been hanging around Ed's site a little bit lately, and I keep running into his developing times for Efke films. When you follow the link to learn more, you find Foma films, too. Has anybody tried any of these Eastern European emulsions? How do they compare with other films of similar speeds? And has anyone tried them in PMK? If you could enlighten me, I would sure appreciate it.

-- Brian Hinther (brianh@onewest.net), July 02, 2001


I use Efke films all the time! Efke films (except the KB 400) are the old Adox emulsions someone might remember from the 50's - 70's. Efke KB/R 25 and 50 have thin ortopanchromatic emulsions, very fine grain and fun to use. KB/R 100 is an old style panchromatic film, and I have heard that it works well in PMK. Efke films are my favorites together with Agfa APX films.

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), July 02, 2001.

Where can you still buy Efke films in the US at a reasonable price?


-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), July 03, 2001.

I LOVE FomaT200. I use it in place of Tri-X. It seems to have loads of SILVER, with the deep blacks I used to get with Tri-X. I rated my TX @ 200, and find this film is honestly rated at 200, so they're interchangable [in speed] for me. Can't recommend it high enough!!!!! Just hope they get enough sales to stay in business. It is a hassel to order from Germany, though.

-- Alec (alecj@bellsouth.net), July 03, 2001.

Efke makes the last B/W film in 127-size, and I wonder how long this film will be on the market. No one makes the 127-spools anymore so Fotokemika, that makes Efke films, buys used spools and roll the new film on them. Take a look and my auction for Efke R 100 in 127:


-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), July 03, 2001.

I have not yet tried Efke films, but in response to Ryuji's question above, I can contribute the news that Efke films are available direct from the Berlin-based distributor. See wwww.fotoimpex.de for further information; the last time I checked, they charged a flat rate of 15 Euro for shipping to the USA and Canada.

-- Charles Ruberto (charles_ruberto@attglobal.net), July 03, 2001.

Many german internet-shops are difficult to deal with. If you email them you can have to wait weeks for a reply, if you get one at all. I have emailed Brenner-Photo and asked them about their chemicals, but they seem hopeless.

-- Patric (jenspatric@mail.bip.net), July 03, 2001.

To anyone who is interested: We sell efke and Foma films to anywhere in the world. It should not be a hassle to order. All you need to do is to send me an email and I usually respond within 2 days maximum. The reason why the response takes normally one day is very easy: when you sende your email at lunch time we are at home or sleeping. Thatīs due to the time difference. we acn also sell to you all fine european chemicals etc. Our prices are very low and if you buy more than 5 films the postage is already compensated. Mirko (info@fotoimpex.de)

-- Mirko Boeddecker (info@fotoimpex.de), July 10, 2001.

Efke is not the only 127 film left on the market.

Makophot now sells 127 panchromatic B&W film. I bought a bunch from B&H photo a few weeks ago and the results are great. Makophot also markets 120 and 4x5 Infrared film for those who are interested.

-- Ronald Gratz (rkgratz@mtu.edu), July 17, 2001.

ref: Macophot 127 films. These films are efke films. Maco has efke make films for him in a different packing. Same applies to Jessops 127 rollfilm. Fotokemika does not use old spools. Fotokemika handcrafts the spools. Thus the price for 127 film went up a little and is now at about 3 USD. Anyone whos interested see: www.fotoimpex.de

-- Mirko Boeddecker (mirko@fotomirko.de), July 29, 2001.

T-200 is the best. I use 120 size with Rodinal ( F09 from Foptoimpex) diluted 1 to 100 for 14 miniutes. True ASA is around 64. Excellent tonal range. Prints on slightly hard paper with unsurpassed tonal range. Further----Mirko of Fotoimpex is an superior dealer. Speedy, honest, informed and has a line of European products that are excellent. I have purchased from him for several years. Highly recommended.

-- Don Spangler (dspang@siscom.net), August 24, 2001.

Both Efke and Foma films are excellent and provide characteristics that the "modern" modified crystal films do not have: High accutance and incredible tonal range. They respond well to different developers. I particularly use the Foma T200 and the Efke 50. Other than many films these films do not "blow out" highlights or block shadows if correctly developed. Using these films drastically reduced dodging and burning in, since the effects I get on straight prints is close to what I previsualise. I can recommend Calbe R09/Classic F09 (the same product) as outstanding developer for these films in dilution 1:100. I purchase films and chemistry from Fotoimpex in Berlin and never had any problem. In fact it often is cheaper to purchase products from Fotoimpex from the US rather than in Europe because the high value added tax is not added. I can read film speeds with a densitometer. As with most films speeds are often very different to what the box says (especially true for Ilford). The true rating for Foma T200 is around ISO 64 to 80 in F09 1:100 12-14 minutes. Efke is the only manufacutrer were films speeds are very close to the stated speed. In the case of the Efke 50 I measured ISO 40, the exact speed of Adox 17.

-- Volker Schier (Volker.Schier@fen-net.de), August 25, 2001.

I forgot to add that the developing time of 10-12 minutes in R09 /F09 1:100 for T200 refers to the contrast range for "normal" graded paper in AGFA parlance (used by most European manufacuters, e.g. Foma, Forte, but not by Ilford, the European grades are "soft" [ISO 110], "special" [ISO 100], "normal" [ISO 80], "hard" [ISO 60]). Graded "Normal" is grade 3 with an ISO contrast range for printing paper of ISO 80. With variable contrast paper according to the Ilford standard this is roughly filter 3 (ISO 90) to filter 4 (ISO 80). I can highly recommend to stadardize on on this contrast range with Foma T200 and Efke 50 films (as with all other low and medium speed films), since the overal contrast rendition greatly improves, also the tonal rendition in comparison to the "Anglo-Saxon" system (Kodak and Ilford) to use a grade 2 (ISO range 100-105) as standard. Especially contrasty scenes benefit. An additional benefit is finer grain, but one loses a little film speed (according to my measurements this is not dramatic). R09 /F09 is the classic form of Rodinal (the manufacturer Calbe was formely part of ORWO, which was East German AGFA. ORWO gave up the trademark AGFA only in th 1960s), no longer sold by AGFA. The current AGFA product is very different in forumlation and working qualities. One last comment to Brenner: According to their latest catalogue Brenner do no longer sell outside the European Union. I guess that this is the reason why they do not respond to queries from the US. The excellent range of Fotochemicals by Calbe which they carry can easily be purchased through Fotoimpex though.

-- Volker Schier (Volker.Schier@fen-net.de), August 25, 2001.

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