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Thread: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

  1. #1

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    Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    It seems that with the collaps of efke all 25 ASA sheet film disappeared from the market. But yesterday I talked to some people from a small company in Germany that still could make this film. They took over parts of ORWO, the Eastern German branch of Agfa after WWII, and ORWO developed the original recipe for the efke 25. I was told that they still would be able to produce this film and cut it to any size one could wish for, even ULF.

    Of course there is a catch: They don't see enough demand for this film and don't have enough money to invest into a very uncertain deal. If they coat one master roll of this film it would cost them 10-15k. I guess that's about 500 boxes of 4x5/25. I'm afraid that even if they'd team up with Adox, there wouldn't be nearly enough demand in Germany or even continental Europe to get their investment back in finite time. So, the only chance would be if there'd be a real demand overseas with a strong and committed partner for distribution.

    So, what are the chances? Would there be enough people to buy and use this film? What about distributors like freestyle, could they be interested in making a commitment? This might be the last chance before this film and the ability to produce it disappears forever.

    Peter
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    "The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera." (W. Eugene Smith)


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  2. #2
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    I'd love to try some in 7x17" for outback/desert shooting where reciprocity is minimal due to brightness.

    Also love it for wide open portrait film in 4x5.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  3. #3
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    10-15K for a master roll? Sounds like a bargain. I wonder what they would charge for IR. I do know that there have been a number of people bemoaning the lack of slow films. But here's the real question: how good is their coating process? The Efke films weren't flawless. I got occassional gaps between the size of my pinky to my thumb. (yeah, right, scan into Photoshop and use the "bandaid" tool. Sure...) I would have to look at their defect rate for film coating before I put up money for the product. I think my results for Efke products was about 10%, just enough to keep me on my toes.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    I spent last Sat up a pretty hill taking side-by-side shots with Efke 25 and Fuji ACROS. I
    already knew basically what to expect: the Efke has greater range and significantly more
    contrast (superb shadow separation), has a bit more razor sharpness, and much more risk of flaws (and in the case of roll films, of light piping). In PMK pyro, ACROS is just one stop faster for similar target values. Both are orthopan in sensitivity. But it looks like ACROS is
    about as realistic a substitute as I'm going to find. And I've already shot and printed it
    quite a bit, so feel quite comfortable with it, esp for high-altitude use, which is the only
    place I might typically be tempted to use roll film anyway, where a high level or magnificaton become an important issue printing. I only have about one serious trip's worth
    of ACROS Quickloads in the freezer, and maybe only a third of a box of 8x10 still on hand.
    Still have quite a few rolls of Efke 25 left, but getting annoyed with certain shots spoiled
    by the unpredictable quality. For extreme range sheet film for contact printing etc I used
    Arista 200 (Foma 200), which also gave incredible shadow separation, but likewise suffered from a lot of blemishes. In that category I've adapted to TMY400.

  5. #5
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    I shot Efke-25 exclusevlin 8x10, 11x14 and 8x20 when I could get it. I have a decent supply and with my stock of x-ray film I have a good supply. I would use the 25 all the time if I could get it in ULF sizes up to 14x17.

  6. #6

    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    I used Efke-25 exclusively for the last eight years and have been going through 10-15 boxes a year. I would like to try waphoto's iso25 film but can't seem to order it here in the US.

  7. #7
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    10-15K for a master roll? Sounds like a bargain. I wonder what they would charge for IR. I do know that there have been a number of people bemoaning the lack of slow films. But here's the real question: how good is their coating process? The Efke films weren't flawless. I got occassional gaps between the size of my pinky to my thumb. (yeah, right, scan into Photoshop and use the "bandaid" tool. Sure...) I would have to look at their defect rate for film coating before I put up money for the product. I think my results for Efke products was about 10%, just enough to keep me on my toes.
    You mean 10% of it had problems, or only 10% didn't? The statement reads to me like only 10% was acceptable.
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  8. #8
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    About one in 10 had a problem. Most were good, but there would be at least two bad sheets per 25. So if I made two exposures per subject, I could still blow a shot, if the defective sheets were sequential. And the emulsion problem would always be large, not something that could be touched up just a little bit.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  9. #9

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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    I've used Efke 25 in 35mm and 120 and it's one of my favorite films (not top five, though.) I can say for sure I'd use it in 4X5, but my few boxes won't be enough to convince anyone. Why can't they gauge interest from their existing distributors? Someone has to be selling their film outside of Germany.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is there still demand for 25 ASA film?

    Hi Peter,

    I am interested in some in 8x10 and 4x5.

    Regards,

    Tim

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