Monday, June 15, 2015

Discontinued Agfa APX400 Film - Testing and Tuning Up

My friend Dennis Gallus gave me a 100' roll of Agfa APX400 that he had in his freezer. I shot my first roll of it at the indicated speed of 400, and processed it alongside a roll of Ilford HP5, which I developed for 11.5 minutes in Kodak D-76 developer at 1:1 dilution. Those negatives came out pretty thin overall and very low contrast (underexposed and/or underdeveloped). After reading some old posts online, I learned that APX400 was known to need additional exposure, with some people treating it as iso 320 film, others at iso 200. I also found development guidelines that indicated it needed more development.
So, a test roll ensued. I shot a short roll of the film, capturing the same scene exposed for iso 100, 200, and 400. I also changed my development protocol to 10 minutes in full strength D-76. Here are a couple of the results.
Scenes exposed at iso 400, 200, and 100, APX400 Film
From this, I conclude two things - 1) additional development in full-strength D-76 definitely helped, and 2) somewhere between iso 200 and 320 is probably best for this film.
On the same day, I guessed and exposed a full 36 exposure roll at iso 200. It looks pretty good overall. I think I've figured out this film. Not that this information is much use to anyone else; as far as I know you can't get this film any more, though I do see single rolls for sale in some places. But, 100' of it will keep me busy for a while!
Thanks again, Dennis!