Became acquainted with this film while searching for an alternative to my usual slow film choices, Agfa APX 25 and Kodak Technical Pan. For a while, Efke 25/KB14 was a good find, right up to it was terminated by the Foto Kemika Zagreb factory. Ilford Pan F50 became a solution for a while, but I did not like the look of it when shot lower than 50. Its a brilliant film, but best when shot around the box speed, at least my results tell me so.
Reverted to Agfa Copex and Fuji SHR for a short time, but what with the hellish curl of the Copex and the almost impossible to tame Fuji’s high contrast, I came onto this Rollei slow speed film, and I gave it a try.
Minox IIIs, Rollei ATP 1.1 @ 20ASA – Bucharest Old Centre
This Rollei negative, a monodisperse crystal type, is said to be extremely sharp, with a spectral of up to 700nm. Although it’s box speed is that of 32 ASA, I never shot at this speed, choosing to use a lower speed, that of 20. It suited me very well, given the subjects of the photographs taken. It seems to work better for architecture and close shots, less for landscape and such. No idea why, but I believe it is more suited to this sort of photography.
Minox IIIs, Rollei ATP 1.1 @ 20ASA – derelict old hotel
The grain is not seen, but if developing goes south for some reason, you’ll see it all right. It’s not the boulder size though, but it’s there. Of course, when shooting and processing this film in 8×11 format (Minox size), one may and should expect some grain, at times. But in 35mm or 120 format, the grain is invisible. And yes, I develop Rollei film in a Minox daylight developing tank, not on a reel of some sort. This may change in the future.
Minox IIIs, Rollei ATP 1.1 @ 20ASA – dinner time
Caveat here: it would appear that the use of tap water for your processing creates black spots on your negatives. Not myriads, but you’ll get them. This is because the tap water will react with some components of the emulsion, creating iron oxides, which will show up as black spots, the size of needle point. It happened to me twice, the first rolls, and I switched to distilled water, which cured the problem. So, forewarned is forearmed, as it were 🙂 .
Minox IIIs, Rollei ATP 1.1 @ 20ASA – old centre in Bucharest
I processed my first roll in Atomal 49, and that negative was an ugly thing to behold. That is why I purchased a bottle of Rollei RLC developer, which is not cheap, I don’t mind telling you. But this low contrast developer tamed the film, and created beautiful negatives.
Some stuff I’ve learned processing this film in Minox format: it doesn’t like stop bath, the fixer needs to me more diluted than you normally use (I use 1+9 instead of 1+4, regular fixing time, Ilford Fixer), temp of dev and fix should be the same, and the washing can be done anywhere between 18 and 22 *C. A bit surprised at that, as normally temp variance is something that brings out the grain, but with this film it doesn’t. Go figure.
If you’re using any photo flo stuff, ensure you dilute it way more than usual. I normally dilute the Adox Flo I use at 1+200, but in this Rollei case, I do it at 1+300. No idea why is this necessary, but trying it didn’t hurt and the results are good and consistent. If it works, then I am not questioning it, right?
Minox IIIs, Rollei ATP 1.1 @ 20ASA – old buildings
One more thing: for some reason, it likes temps under 20*C, the usual bw processing temp. I have very good results at 18*C, and I also have very good results at 20*C. Lower temperature is probably inhibiting the apparition of iron oxide spotting, would be my guess. Nonetheless, using distilled water cures this issue anyways.