Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mistaken identity Agfa APX developed in ID11

Agfa APX negatives developed in Ilford ID11
This is not the post I was expecting to write. I recently made up five litres of ID11 so I could develop a roll of out date HP5+. An extravagance you may think but really it was the catalyst for me to bring back an old friend into regular use. 

The other day I processed a roll of 35mm monochrome film but there was something wrong with the results. For starters the negatives looked wrong they didn't have the round look you get with a fisheye lens.  I could not get my head round how the fisheye two from lomography could change the look and shape of the negatives so completely. I'm going mad! a senior moment! brain in neutral! I need help! Up to this point I had been completely convinced that it was the roll of HP5. Then I noticed a black film canister on my desk, opened it and found a reel of HP5!! What the ...! what was developed then?? It turned out to be a roll of Agfa APX 100, that I had forgotten all about and mistakenly processed as HP5. Now this is a first for me, get it wrong and land on your feet! this has got to be one of the jammiest balls up ever!

Now I'm over the shock, I do not know why I should be surprised that they are a good set of negatives. Film emulsion has a large latitude of forgiveness before it looses its temper.  I checked what the timing should have been for Agfa APX and believe it or not my notes say that APX in ID11 at ISO 100 should be developed for thirteen and a half minutes at 20C. I had decided to process the out of date HP5 to fourteen mins.
Agfa APX  Film ISO 100
Developed in ID11 for 14 mins
Printed on silverproof matt
Developed in Moersch 6 blue tone.

So this has turned into a post about Agfa APX 100 developed in Ilfords ID11 results!

The method used:

         I did not use a pre-soak. 

         Develop for 14 minutes instead of 13.5. It would not have made much difference to the quality of the negatives.

         Invert for the first thirty seconds and then for ten seconds every minute (which is about four inversions)

         stop, fix and wash as usual.

The main test of a good negative is when it is printed. Showing you how much detail there is to be coaxed out of the high lights and shadows by dodging (holding back) and burning in (extra exposure) to arrive at that stunning final picture. 

For a film I had mistaken for another make, the results are excellent, I have no complaints!... except one; check what's written on the film canister first!