View Full Version : Efke PL 100 5x7 film

19-Oct-2003, 12:04
I am just getting into the 5x7 field and am wondering if there is anyone who can tell me about the Efke line of films? Are they really like the silver rich films of the past as they are advertised?

19-Oct-2003, 16:29
The Efke films are indeed an old-style film, but don't think Super-XX or anything like that, they are an Adox formula. I'm using PL100 in both 4x5 and 8x10, so I would assume 5x7 would be the same. I like the film a great deal, especially in pyro developers. I really glows. But almost everyone using it has had problems with scratches. The emulsion is really soft. A lot of people are developing one sheet at a time. Others are very careful to shuffle with two hands and be sure to put the center of the film down first - to avoid a corner digging into the sheet below. With this one caution, I highly recommend it.

19-Oct-2003, 19:13
I've had a lot of trouble with scratches, fog and great difficulty fitting Efke PL100 into my Lisco and Fidelity holders. And it will absolutely not fit at all into my old Kodak holders. HOWEVER, it's such good film that I put up with all of these problems and find workarounds for them. It'll certainly improve your tray technique. It's just beautiful film.

Tim Curry
19-Oct-2003, 20:24
I've used Efke 25 in 35mm & 4x5 at this point. After using it with PMK pyro this year, I'm very pleased with the results. Contrast with this film I liken to Velvia, it is very contrasty and development times are crucial to proper prints. It can be pushed or pulled. When the times and exposures are correct, it prints itself with little dodging or burning necessary and yields a full tonal scale. I'm using an old Yankee agitank for processing with the 4x5, so I have no trouble with scratches or uneven staining.

I now have an 8x10 to start on, but I'm running tests with ABC pyro first to get proper times for development. I've been told that ABC will yield a cleaner, sharper negative than PMK, so I'm giving it a try to see what works best. After hearing about scratches, I'm planning on starting slowly with single sheet tray development until I'm a bit more comfortable with this soft emulsion. Can't wait to see contact prints on Azo paper with Amidol to really get an idea of how it looks in a larger format.

As long as you're considering Efke, take a look at the feedback on J&C Classic 200 as well.

Ole Tjugen
20-Oct-2003, 07:09
The problems with getting the film int the holders is because EFKE uses European sizes - 13x18cm is not identical to 5x7". If you measure a 13x18cm sheet you will find that it is almost exactly 5"x7", while the 5x7" sheet film size is a good bit smaller.

But I agree that the film is beautiful - so I've stocked up on both 5x7" and 13x18cm film holders.

20-Oct-2003, 08:34
Well, I have had no problem whatsoever with the film fitting my holders. I have Lisco, Riteway and some old Graflex wooden holders in 4x5 and Kodak/Graflex wooden holders in 8x10.

I believe there was an issue with size soon after J&C began importing the film, and John said he had talked to them about being more careful with cutting to US sizes. Maybe Jim got an earlier batch and I got a later one.

Also, PL-100 goes ballistic in pyro developers. A lot of people, myself included, when using Michael A. Smith's ABC-pyro use the 2:1:1:15 dilution.

20-Oct-2003, 12:35
I just developed a pair of negatives in the 2:1:1:15 dilution. I did this because they were marked N-1 and I didn't want to risk blowing out the highlights. However, one developed for 9 minutes is very thin and the other one developed for 11.5 minutes has perfect highlights but is very weak in the middle tones and shadows. Next time I think I'll take my chances with short times at the 1:1:1:7 dilution. Bear in mind if you've never developed PL100 in ABC pyro that at the normal dilution it goes utterly nuclear.

David A. Goldfarb
20-Oct-2003, 12:52
I'm testing it now, first in PMK for enlargement with a cold light head and then in ABC for contact printing on Azo. Jim and J.E., what are your development times and temperatures for each dilution, respectively?

Matthew Hoag
20-Oct-2003, 14:54
Jim: I'm curious, what e.i. the PL100 was rated? Did you do testing to determine it?

I'm considering this film but want to get as much info as I can before I try it.

Many thanks,


21-Oct-2003, 04:20
Matthew, I rate PL100 at 50. I've heard some folks say 64 works better for them.

David, I develop by inspection and begin looking at about 9 minutes. That's beginning at 70F in Florida where the temperature always goes up. I'd say my normals are at about 10:30- 11 minutes.

I've never used PMK with PL100, but I am trying Pyrocat HD with brush development. N seems to be at about 9:30.

Francis Abad
22-Oct-2003, 11:35
Efke PL 100 8x10 and Classic 200 8x10 is all I use. Both serve different scenic purposes but certainly Efke PL 100 is extremely fragile. I rate it at 100. For subject brightness ranges (SBRs) 7 to 9/10 (around N+1 until N-2) I use Pyrocat HD 2:2:100 (6 mins 30 secs for SBR = 9). But for SBRs greater than or equal to 10 (N-2 and more) I have discovered how well Efke PL 100 8x10 works with PF TFX-2 developer on a dilution of 5:5:100 (SBR = 12, 10 mins). Incredible detail everywhere! First time in a long while I have encountered a film-developer combination that can take such severe contractions. And in my opinion, the resulting negatives are visually superior to Pyrocat HD (at least when developing for silver printing). I develop film one at a time in BTZS tubes.

Gary L. Quay
17-Jan-2006, 13:00
I'm trying some Efke PL50 4X5 film for the first time, and Gordon Hutchin's PMK for the first time. Does anyone know of a chart that wil give development times for the different dilutions? Also, I read in the posts above that someone develops "by inspection." I thought that film had to be developed in total darkness. Granted, I am still relatively new to the darkroom. Any help would be greatly appreciated.