Jump to content

KODAK 4125 Professional Copy Film - what you cannot do with it.


Recommended Posts

About 4 years ago I discovered by chance this 4125 film. The description

of its characteristics, especially the claim of 'Increased highlight contrast'

caught my attention. Since I am a skier, I had a project in mind - 'The

Great White Silence' - scenic photography of the High Tatras in winter.

What a better material one could ask for to shoot snowy scenery than on a

film with extended highlight contrast? This must be something for me!



Here is the film description:

KODAK Professional Copy Film is an orthochromatic film (sensitive to

blue and green light and ultraviolet radiation) designed for copying

continuous-tone originals.

This special-purpose film works differently than other

black-and-white films. Generally, the contrast of negatives is controlled by

development. However, with this film, contrast in the negative is controlled

by both exposure and development.

Speed Tungsten: ISO 12/12




* Fine grain, medium resolving power

* Highlight contrast largely controlled by exposure

* Increased highlight contrast

* Avoids the flat look typically associated with camera films; retains

highlight tones of the original



My joy was short-lived, however - the next thing I learned was that: 'KODAK

Professional Copy Film/4125 will be discontinued in April, 2002 when

stocks are expected to be depleted'.


So I rushed to the stores on Manhattan and ebay. I was able to acquire

enough, I hope, 4x5 sheets and related sizes, to complete my project. I

still have some 1000 sheets of this film. And here we are. What you (or I?)

can do with it.


After some experimentation in winter 2002 in the local park and

developing for 4 to 5 minutes, according to Kodak recommendations, in

HC-110 developer, I concluded that the prescribed time was too short to

achieve uniform density over featureless areas like cloudless sky. I then

switched to my favorite fine-grain soup of Microdol-X. Developing for 8-9

minutes gives you what you need.


This film is built up of two different emulsions. As a result, if you increase

the exposure, the contrast in the highlights changes at a greater rate than

that in the midtones and the shadows. The latter is determined primarily

by the development time. What a marvelous opportunity for



There is a complicated procedure to determine the correct exposure and

development time, which works with a constant source of illumination.

Out in the field you need to work around those standardized steps and

develop your own recipe. Knowing all the technicalities I was ready to go.


Unfortunately, my working schedule became such that I have to teach the

Spring semester here in the US and I cannot go to Europe in winter.

Instead, I am there through every summer and I managed to complete the

?Silence of the Rocks? project, which I am going to present here later.

However, in 2005 I took a two weeks break in March/April which I spent in

the Tatras. Actually I spent in the mountains 3 days; 2 days shooting and

the third one I could not resist, but to ski only. What a torture, either you

ski, or you shoot, cannot do both at the same time!


Here are several examples of photographs captured with Linhof Technika

(and skis) on the 4125 film, during that one memorable day of Palm

Sunday of 2005, up, up and away...<div>00JoSJ-34790284.jpg.d5f88cff054da082b4d34b723b731b22.jpg</div>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a scanned image of the original 16x20 (40x50cm)

enlargement on Agfa Classic paper. (The negative was too

dense to be scanned successfully. Scanning in itself was a pain

in the neck - took some 3 hours to wrestle with an image 16x20,

400ppi, 200 MGb file.)


The Agfa print was toned in Se and subsequently in a blue gold

toner. I think this combination of toners perfectly suits the snow

scenery, where the blue sky is reflected in the snow on the

ground. The toning, which on this particular electronic image

quite faithfully imitates the original, at least on my Apple

computer screen, in reality provides, very subtle, tactile,

opalescent touch to the print. A small size shown here is inferior

to the original, however, and here is another bigger size of the

same picture.<div>00JoSX-34790584.jpg.dc336a7282c85e981fd2e2fb9daa714a.jpg</div>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am providing additional photographs taken at the same time,

all toned in Se+Au (colors simulated in Photoshop). These are

scanned 4x5 negatives. Please note the dark sky on the

orthochromatic film! It should be white, shouldn?t? No, I did not

burn in the sky, true I used a polariser, but the polarizer itself

would not darken the sky to this degree. There is another

reason for that. Anybody got an idea?<div>00JoSy-34791084.jpg.201cfde929b234e4738dfda4a7eb5931.jpg</div>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am afraid I have exhausted the memory on server with this post.

I appologize.


So I can claim that I have perfected the use of the KODAK 4125

Professional Copy Film, but to no avail. The film is gone, and the

photographs presented here are unique. I normally do not make

more than 2-3 final prints from a given negative. The Agfa paper

is gone as well. And Illford behaves differently than Agfa. All one

can do is to experiment with something else.<div>00JoTA-34791184.jpg.22775af06d18d5b411d28fb2bffc511e.jpg</div>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I just finished printing in my darkroom and am back here.


At that winter day the intensity of light was extreme, beyond the

scale of the exposure meter. Most of it was reflected by the white

snow, much less by the sky, which was intense blue. The

proportion of light coming from the sky was thus less, and hence

we have a rather dark sky, further enhanced by a polarizer. In

summer, with green grass on the ground, the sky would have

been much lighter on a print because there would be less light

reflected by grass, and more coming from the sky. We adjust

exposures accordingly.

On an orthochromatic film you may have very dark skies indeed,

almost like on an IR film, if you shoot towards the sun (especially

sunsets). In such orientations the sky radiates more red

wavelengths and since the film is not sensitive to red, it will

appear very dark, as you can see below.<div>00JpQf-34823884.jpg.bd4ce2050e19d4d1b125504ad771930e.jpg</div>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Great shots. I have been in the Tatras in 2003, but in summer. Great area for holiday!

Due to the fact 4125 is discontinued and it seems to be you're working on 4x5" sheet film I can recommend you the Rollei Ortho 25 on 4x5". For I.R. film there is the Rollei IR-820/400 and soon there will be a new Rollei IR-820C (850C (??) based on extended APX100 sensitized material till 820-850nm. Also available on 4x5". Above mentioned Rollei films can be also bought on 35mm and 120 rolfilm for those users who are interested in these kind of films.


Very impressive pictures and nice photographic work. In case you're travelling via the Czech Republic to the Tatras (Slovakia/Poland), the Rollei film material is also available in Prague, FotoSkoda Vodickova 37, Praha 1 (centre). They have also the Amaloco chemicals from the Netherlands and of course a lot of Foma stuff from Hradec Kralové, the Czech photographic factory.


Best regards from Holland,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is OUR Dutch price for the Rollei IR-820/400 which MUST be used with a RG695nm or RG715nm filter. Cokin 007 (720nm polymer filter) or Hoya R72 (720nm) is also possible. Also the Ilford SFX filter is working fine.



Some examples:



If you want to compare the older Maco IR820C (which was based on and extended I.R. emulsion from Efke (100) in Croatia) and the new Rollei IR-820/400, in fact an (industrial/military) aireal film from Gevaert in Belgium, the former R&D lab from Agfa, you can look here in the web site of my collegue Wolfgang Moersch, the fine-art photographer from Hürth, Germany:


(Gallery/Galerei --> Vergleiche --> Filme)

There you can also see why the Rollei IR-820/400 needs an IR "black filter" where the Kodak HIE or Maco IR820C was able to produce 'wood" effect with a dark red filter only.


In case you need to order here are our special Rollei prices (incl. Dutch 19% VAT):


We can sent out EU packages up till 500grams for Eur. 4,25 or 2kg for Eur. 8,00 ; of course also to countries like Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Oversea an airpack enveloppe till 500grams will costs Eur. 8,00.

I.R. photography on classical film material is in the mean time in a very small niche market therefore only Kodak and Rollei are offering infra red films. At this moment the Kodak HIE is in Holland about Eur. 18,00 each 35mm film and MUST be ordered with a pack of 20 pcs. Therefore the Rollei film is very populair overhere, but of course that depends on the market strategy of each manufacturer.

Latest Rollei dev. info:




Best regards from the Netherlands,




Dutch Rollei/Maco dealer and responsible for the export for Amaloco photochemicals to middle Europe. (http://www.Amaloco.nl)







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert, these are very interesting links.

I am fortunate that I have a good selection of photographic

material from the time when $ was worth its value. But if I would

have to pay over 20$ for a roll of 35mm, B&W film, then I have

other options.


I rather move to Buenos Aires where a dollar has retained its old

good value (for example public transportation is 0.25$ ) and

instead of worrying about Kodak HIE, for a 20$ I buy myself a

bottle of CATENA-ZAPATA wine and will dance tango. I am not




Try this wine in Holland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...