View Full Version : Efke 8x10

Luca Merlo
2-Oct-2005, 12:49
I have recently bought a 8x10 camera and I need now to purchase the first batch of film. Due to the limited availability I have to restric my choice to the Efke 25 and Efke 100 film. Considering that I will shot mostly landscape, what film do you suggest me to start with?

Mike Davis
2-Oct-2005, 13:39
You will likely want 100. 25 can work (I've used other 25 ISO film in 6x6 and 6x7), but the 100 speed is much more general purpose. You don't really need to worry about grain with 8x10 (unless you plan on 4-5 foot enlargements). So, the 100 would make sense.


Aaron van de Sande
2-Oct-2005, 13:56
Read everything you can about film-shuffling technique. Both films scratch easily and it takes some practice not to scratch it.

Michael Kadillak
2-Oct-2005, 14:04
My recommendation for the first box of film with 8x10 would be to use the highest ASA film possible to not be in an exposure condition where the wind in the landscape can be a spoiler.

Both Efke PL100 and Efke 25 are really great films that you need to explore later on, but I would without hesitation recommend Kodak T Max 400 for your first go at it. Beside the additional film speed that can be a godsend, the film soups marvelously well in any developer, has fabulous reciprocity characteristics and is more scratch resistant in the darkroom than the Efke.

For 8x10 I use PL100, T Max 400 and Ilford FP4.

The big groung glass is like a big screen television. Have fun!


Donald Hutton
2-Oct-2005, 14:46
I agree with Michael - Efke 100 is not easy film to develop without scratches, and I also think that you will find a faster film much more convenient to learn with. Tmax400 is fabulous stuff and if you feel like saving some cash, I also like the J&C400.

John Kasaian
2-Oct-2005, 15:03
I think Luca is saying that wherever he is working, only Efke films are available at reasonable prices.

I like both 25 and 100, but I agree that the 100 ISO Efke will give great results for most landscapes.

As for scratching, just be careful--- or develop your film in a drum or tube instead of trays.

Efke is a great film to start out with, since its likely you'll probably end up with preferring it anyway!


Luca Merlo
2-Oct-2005, 15:17
Thanks to all of you. John put it down clearly. The only feasible possibility is here either Efke or Foma film. So I will start with the highest ASA available that is 100 in this case. I will develop in drum with an hardener fixer so I think that it will be sufficient to prent the film from getting scratched.

Ciao and thanks to all of you for the encouragement.

Michael Kadillak
2-Oct-2005, 15:24
I have always been in a fog when it comes to our friends in Europe and LF sheet film costs.

All of the big mail order houses ship overseas and the costs for me seem to be very competitive. I suspect that some form of tax is collected on the other end but Luca should be starting from the same price reference point. For 50 sheets of PL100 the cost is $110 US. For 50 sheets of T Max 400 the base cost is $146 from Badger and others.

If I were to be forced to one film for all of my photography it would be T Max 400 because I feel that it is the best all around film produced today. It has a short toe, builds density on a straight line to the moon, responds to every developer imaginable and can be shot at a full 400 speed with some developers like Pyrocat HD. And yes as long as the differential is tax, I feel that it is worth the extra cost.

Am I missing something here? Help me out.

tim atherton
2-Oct-2005, 15:35
"Am I missing something here? Help me out."

Shipping costs to many parts of Europe can be rather high. Add on 17 - 25% VAT + often import duty as well (usually to the total cost including shipping) and it quickly adds up (yes you will be paying VAT on any film bought in Europe, but you would have to add that to the US price). Cheapest shipping is probably goiung to be around $30.00 -40.00

I eneded up ordering from B&H to Portugal once (after a bag with film went "missing") - a $120.00 box of film became around $190.00+

tim atherton
2-Oct-2005, 15:39
Anyone else stock this in the US? I see J&C is out

Michael Kadillak
2-Oct-2005, 16:00
Could you not have a friend ship it to you and avoid the high tax? Surely there must be a way to get around the unfortunate need of the government to get in our pockets unnecessarily.

For a tax to be the go or no go determinant between a large format sheet film decision between us and our European friends is just wrong. If I lived in Europe, I would find a way to remedy this situation to shoot T Max 400 one way or another. To not have it in film holders for when I need it I find completely unacceptable - but that may just be me.

Cheers and Good Shooting!

Janko Belaj
2-Oct-2005, 16:27
My vote goes for Efke 25... They are comlitely different in rendition and I like 25 more. Will try 50 too (same kind as 25, just one ie more). I have just bought few boxes Fotokemika have in warehouse, and have been told they will go with new batch in production in just few days... So it is very likely all distributers will have it before the end of this month (well, except as a buyer, I'm not connected with Fotokemika and don't take my word as a Fotokemika's promise!). Btw, my best friend will go this week to Fotokemika and he can ask for more details.
(it is not impossible for me to buy and send efke film, but lazy and occupied as I usually am, maybe it won't be the best idea to offer such think... last time I promised similar thing (for 120 format) my virtual friend had to write me dozen mails...)

tim atherton
2-Oct-2005, 16:36
Kodak film is getting harder and harder to find in Europe in bigger sheet sizes (even 4x5) - at least last time I was back.

A box of 50 TMax 400 8x10 will cost you around US$200.00 + in the UK as I recall

Mike Davis
2-Oct-2005, 17:52
I know at least one Norwegian who buys his EFKE from J&C here in the US. He says its cheaper that way than buying in Europe (even with shipping and VAT). In that case some J&C 400 could be a real bargain at the sale prices John has right now ($69/50 sheets). I bought some last week and hope to shoot a few sheets tomorrow.

You might look into it Luca.

I agree that 400 could be better than 100, but the 100 is nice. Another option more classic than tmax would be some tri-x from b&h or adorama.



2-Oct-2005, 17:58
Hi. I just bought an 8x10 also, and since my favorite film (Neopan 400) is not available in 8x10 ANYWHERE, I chose to go with Ilford HP5. It's a great film. I develop it in Tmax developer. Grain? What's grain?

Dave Moeller
2-Oct-2005, 18:19

If you are indeed limited to the Efke 25 and 100 films, then you should know that they are very different films. Both are excellent, but they will give you very different results. The Efke 25 does not have much sensitivity to the full red portion of the spectrum, while Efke 100 is panchromatic. You can find the graphs for the sensitivity of these films at the J and C site, under "Efke Tech Data".

Only you can decide if this matters to you. Personally I shoot Efke 100 in 8x10. I tried Efke 25 in 4x5, and although it is extremely fine grained, I simply didn't like the lack of sensitivity to reds that I got with it. Efke 25 has amazingly small grain and with the proper developer delivers negatives that could be enlarged to massive sizes, but since I contact print 8x10 and the Efke 100 gave me the images I wanted, I stuck with the 100. For contact printing the grain really doesn't matter (at least to my eyes), but the representation of the colors does matter to me.

Again, these are my personal opinions. I know of others who are extremely happy with Efke 25. If you shoot 4x5, you might consider picking up a box of each to try out, to see if one or the other is more useful to you. 4x5 film is much cheaper than 8x10 for experimenting. (I still shoot Efke 25 in 4x5 from time to time depending on the subject, because I still have some from when I compared the two films in 4x5. I find that I use it mostly for still-life work, where I can take better advantage of the film by controlling what's included in the picture.)

One other thought: If you have access to Foma films, Fomapan 200 is available in 8x10 (at least in the US). That's one stop faster for you. I have used a lot of the Fomapan 200 in 120 size and I'm very happy with it. I recently purchased my first box of Fomapan 200 sheet film, but have not yet had the time to test it. If it's as good in sheet film as it is in roll film, I'll probably start shooting it in 8x10 along with the Efke 100.

Be well.

tim atherton
2-Oct-2005, 19:03
"Hi. I just bought an 8x10 also, and since my favorite film (Neopan 400) is not available in 8x10 ANYWHERE, I chose to go with Ilford HP5. It's a great film. I develop it in Tmax developer. Grain? What's grain?"


give it a try in Ilford DD-X and see how you like it

Michael Kadillak
2-Oct-2005, 19:48
I have no idea why a very popular sheet film that is readily available here in the US is both hard to find in Europe and that expensive.

T Max 400 is readily available here in the US as I found it in stock at B&H, Badger, Calumet, Freestyle and Adorama. The price when shopped around however was all over the board. Highest was $172 at Calumet and the cheapest was $140 a box at Badger Graphics. Quite a difference in a free market of choice.

But whatever brand you chose to shoot, you still have to be able to get your hands on it.

Thanks God for big chest freezers. I keep them stocked to the gills.

tim atherton
2-Oct-2005, 19:57
"I have no idea why a very popular sheet film that is readily available here in the US is both hard to find in Europe and that expensive. "

My be a bit less expensive in Euroland

Other than that, Kodak have been scaling back their distribution (and manpower) in Europe for a few years now, especially in Professional products

3-Oct-2005, 15:57
1) What exactly should I expect from DD-x.
2) Where might I purchase it?

I use Tmax because: 1) I am too lazy (sometimes) to mix perceptol, and 2) it is worlds beyond what I consider to be one of the crappiest developer ever concocted: Ilfosol S.

I'd be interested in knowing what DD-X might do that Tmax does not.

Christopher Nisperos
3-Oct-2005, 18:20
Luca, Ekfe 100 is a very good film for general use. As others have said, be careful handling the wet emulsion —drum processing is preferable. Fotoimpex-Berlin currently lists the 8x10/50 sheet box of Adox/Efke 100 for €90.48, plus a fixed-rate shipping charge of €10.00 (If you get more film the shipping is proportionally cheaper). This price seems to be equal to the U.S. price Michael mentioned. I haven't tried Foma films in 8x10, but I have had good experiences with their T200 in 120 size.

I am surprised to see Mike Davis' post that J&C sells to Norway, which is FotoImpex 'territory'. I was under the impression that the two branches of this company didn't cross over. I know that FotoImpex won't send to the states, for instance.

Here in Paris (and by mailorder all over Europe) Prophot currently sells Kodak TMY400 8x10/50sheets for a mere €355.89 incl. tax but not incl. shipping. They give a 10% discount for pros. See www.prophot.com. Have fun.

It would be difficult to find a higher Tmax price anywhere (but I sure it exists!). But Tim hit it on the nose about getting U.S. film shipped over here . Shipping, customs and duties can often kill any price advantages. Some packages arrive unscathed, but it's hit-or-miss. Michael's idea of having a friend send stuff over is a good one, but friends tend to get tired of doing their "Mailbox, Etc." routine more than a few times. Plus, if they send it the quick way (UPS, FedEx) instead of via USPS, the package risks having customs tacked-on anyway. It seems that the express services systematically pass all packages under the customs nose to deliberately pay all fees and prevent any delays. Last year I had to pay €40.00 for a Christmas gift of a scarf and gloves. Ho, ho, ho. As a hint to anyone sending packages to European friends, use USPS and make sure the package DOESN'T look commercial (hand-written label, individual stamps, dirty box). Don't forget to check the box on the green customs label marked "gift"!

In general, we Euro-residents are kind of trapped. Fotoimpex seems to be one of the few resellers on the continent still discounting in a shrinking market. Because of that, Luca, maybe it's a good idea for us to support them, no?

Christopher Nisperos
3-Oct-2005, 19:01
" I have no idea why a very popular sheet film that is readily available here in the US is both hard to find in Europe and that expensive." --Michael Kadillak

Michael, I forgot to offer one simple, probable and obvious explanation: the market is smaller and the demand is less here than in the U.S.


Michael Kadillak
3-Oct-2005, 19:31
I understand what you are saying Christopher and it is most unfortunate for the sheet film consumers overseas.

All I can say is that I am damn glad that we get to use this film here in the states.


Luca Merlo
3-Oct-2005, 23:54
Thank you to all of you. Fotoimpex is certainly doing a very good job not to leave the LF dying in the old Europe. I will try to support them with the purcahse of Efke 100 to start with. Christopher, I will be in Paris for an exhibition in November (almost 10 days) and I would like to exchange some words about LF over a couple of wine glasses. In case you are interested, kindly contact me.

Ciao to all.