So did Agfa change APX 100?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by db1, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. db1


    Just wondering, did agfa change APX 100? I've checked their website
    and did not see anything. If so, what was changed?
  2. David,

    There was a discussion on this forum a while back about updates to Agfa APX 400. The conclusion of the various contributors could be summarized as follows: Agfa 400 was updated to use the same technology previously applied to APX 25,100 to improve scratch resistance and consistency. APX 100 remained the same.

    I shoot APX in 120 and my experience is that it has not been changed significantly, if at all, in the last 5 years. I developed 2 rolls together, one from the old style box, and one from the new. I did not see any noticeable differences in the films even though the packaging was changed.
  3. The only way to know for certain is to compare an older roll with a newer roll, expose both identically (preferably using recognized, accepted test targets) and process both identically. Examine both under a microscope and, possibly, using a micro-densitometer.

    Otherwise we're dealing with speculation and anecdotes.

    Case in point: Tri-X Pan (TX). I keep hearing about how Kodak has changed it, possibly "ruined" it. I dunno. Been using Tri-X for years. Only significant difference I see is the film base tends to remain more bluish depending on the developer used. The old Tri-X base tended to be a more neutral steel-gray shade.

    Anything else I could say would be speculatory and anecdotal.

    Is it true the new Tri-X has finer grain, possibly finer than TMY? I dunno. Since I have only a 16x loupe I wouldn't want to swear to it.

    Any difference in effective speed? Again, I dunno. Seems to work the same in Diafine, for which I prefer to expose 35mm Tri-X at EI 1200-1250. If Kodak had somehow magically or surreptitiously transformed Tri-X into a tabular grain film I'd think it would show up immediately in Diafine since the EI for TMY in Diafine is around 500, hardly any faster than TMY's nominal ISO.

    And all this is *after* hearing reports from former Kodak employees about the new Tri-X.

    Oh, yeh, then there's the speculation that Kodak has also changed the formulation for HC-110, which supposedly accounts for the dramatically shorter times recommended. Who knows?

    Anyway, if folks are basing their opinions about APX 100 on how the film seems to perform under typical shooting conditions, rather than controlled testing conditions, they'd have to be willing to admit that this usually isn't the most valid way to evaluate a film with any real credibility. A film would have to be radically different - like sneaking TMX into an APX 100 container - for most of us to sit up and immediately howl that something's wrong.

    I'd make an exception for folks who tend to reshoot the same subject matter under the same or substantially similar conditions and process their film the same way, time after time. For example, my goat skull or bucket photos on my back porch - I know that lighting like the insides of my eyelids and how certain favorite films will respond. If Agfa has changed APX 100 I'll know it the first time I shoot those subjects *on that porch*.

    But if I move my goat skull or buckets to the garden where the lighting is different, forget it. I won't have a clue whether the different results are due to the lighting or changes in the film.
  4. "Anyway, if folks are basing their opinions about APX 100 on how the film seems to perform under typical shooting conditions..."
    BTW, Barry, my comment, above, wasn't directed at you. We were writing our responses at about the same time and I hadn't even read your reply.
  5. Despite Agfa's contradictory pdfs, uncoordinated updates and typographical errors, it seems really clear to me that APX400 changed (from a stated batch number) and APX100 did not.
  6. Dear Moderator (Lex),

    Thanks for your concern. Don't worry, I wouldn't have taken your comment as a slam anyway. There have been times when I have made claims that I could not reasonably support and for which I was subsequently rightly slammed; this was not one of them. Frankly, I lack the transmission densitometer and first-rate microscope with camera adapter that would be needed to back up my casual, yet somewhat critical observations about the films I've used. That won't stop me from passing on my observations though. I like the information exchange on this site, and particularly in this forum. I love reading all of the anecdotal accounts from all the inveterate experimenters who contribute to this forum. Keep it coming!
  7. Agfa has announced that the mechanical properties of APX400 have been improved (a new base, if I remember correctly), there was a news item about this in fotoMagazin, IIRC. However, I have not seen any similar for APX100; my understanding is that despite package changes, the RSX-line and APX100 remain unachanged (Optima was updated).

    Otherwise, I agree with Lex.

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