Re: Question about Efke KB B&W film

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Posted by David Foy on July 08, 2003 at 07:54:29:

In Reply to: Question about Efke KB B&W film posted by Jeff Jarboe on April 12, 2003 at 20:10:38:

Efke makes 3 films and coats them on two substrates.

Two of them, rated EI25 and EI50 in tungsten light, are a version of the thin-emulsion films pioneered by Adox in 1951. They have reduced red sensitivity. Because of this, you can expose them at EI50 and EI100 in daylight, which has proportionately less red than tungsten.

The third, EI100, is more conventional, the same emulsion thickness but ordinary red sensitivity.

These 3 films are coated onto a thin substrate for 35mm use, identified as the "KB" films, and a thicker substrate for 120 roll film ("R") and sheet films ("PL"). The EI100 is also made up as 127 roll film. The different substrates give them slightly different processing properties, but their exposure properties are the same.

There is nothing "soft" about their EI100 film, so I suspect your results had to do with your camera, and possibly your processing.

Since 1953 other manufacturers have matched the thinness of the original Adox emulsions, so thinness of emulsion is no longer a distinguishing feature. A thin emulsion is a sharper emulsion, generally speaking, because of reduced internal light scattering.

In terms of photographic properties, Efke films are not superior. They are, however, different, partly because of their unique red response and partly because their emulsions are richer in silver (according to the manufacturer). More silver does not necessarily give a better film, but it does give a film different image properties.

I have tested them extensively, since I re-sell them on my commercial web site, and when they are properly exposed and processed they give images that I like very much. I find that, for the photographic effects I want, given my methodologies, Efke is a very good choice for me when I want to shoot a fine grain, slow or medium speed film. I get excellent gray scale (it seems "pearly" to me). I get good latitude, comparable to other good b/w films, and an image noticeably unlike what I get with other films.

It is this "difference," which you can see for yourself on testing, that makes them an alternative to Ilford, Agfa, Kodak, and Fuji. Not some hypothetical superiority.

If you are highly involved in b/w photography and want a good command of the palette available to you, it would be well worth your time to experiment with Efke films in D-76.

I have posted technical data on Efke films at:

David Foy

: Question about Efke KB B&W film

: The Questions:
: 1) Has anyone here used Efke KB 35mm (other that dealer that sale Efke), what kind results did you get?

: 2) Is worth my time to try is film or would it be a waste of time

: Efke manufacturers “KB” 35mm B&W ISO 25, 50 and 100 films, they clam to offer “tremendous exposure latitude and superior grayscale”.

: Is this just a sales line are does Efke KB 1950 emulsion film really offer some thing that Kodak, Ilford, or Fuji don’t.

: I have used Macospot UP 100 by Mahn a few times in my 127 Baby Rollei, it produced very soft images, I don’t know if is a result of the film or camera, I think this film has the same emulsion as Efke KB.

: I typically use Ilford XP2 Super for B&W in both 35mm & 120 with good results.

: The Questions at last!
: 1) Has anyone here used Efke KB 35mm (other that dealer that sale Efke), what kind results did you get?

: 2) Is worth my time to try is film or would it be a waste of time

: Quote:
: Efke films, manufactured in Croatia, are old-school emulsions with very high silver content. They have tremendous exposure latitude and superior grayscale reproduction. Efke 25, 50 and 100 are made using the ADOX formulas that were first introduced in the 1950’s. They quickly became the favorites of travel and landscape photographers”

: Jeff Jarboe
: Hollywood, Fla USA

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