Rollei RPX 25 - is rebranded something?
Old 07-23-2018   #1
harpofreely
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Rollei RPX 25 - is rebranded something?

I've seen various contentions that Rollei's RPX 100 and 400 are rebranded Kentmere. I like the look of the RPX 25 but don't want to pay a Rollei markup if I don't have too - is there any consensus on this film being cheaper under another brand, or is it really a unique emulsion?
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Old 07-23-2018   #2
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Rollei used to be produced by MACO. While it has similarities to kentmere, I believe that it’s a new formula that was produced by Maco. Years back I tried to look into it but rollei never released the data sheet. Let me do some google digging and see what I find.
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Old 07-23-2018   #3
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It sure seems like a Harmon/Ilford product to me. This is in 120 format... The spool, the foil package, the gummed label, the paper backing. All identical to standard Ilford products. But they might just be the supplier with someone elsewhere in the EU making the film.
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Old 07-23-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agiknee View Post
Rollei used to be produced by MACO. While it has similarities to kentmere, I believe that it’s a new formula that was produced by Maco. Years back I tried to look into it but rollei never released the data sheet. Let me do some google digging and see what I find.
Maco does not produce anything by themselves. They are just the license holder of the brand name "Rollei-Film".
All of their products are produced by other companies.

As to RPX 25:
Yes, it is just repackaged film. It is Agfa Aviphot Pan 80, so the same film as Rollei Retro 80S. Just at a much, much higher price!

Some time ago two independent German developer manufacturers, Wehner and Spur, tested RPX 25 and Retro 80S side by side. Including tests of the characteristic curve with a densitometer. Result: Only some minor batch-to-batch variance but indeed the same film type!
After I've read that I did my own direct comparison test and got the same result.
The RPX 25 data sheet is a fairy tale to cheat the customers.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-23-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
It sure seems like a Harmon/Ilford product to me. This is in 120 format... The spool, the foil package, the gummed label, the paper backing. All identical to standard Ilford products.
That is because RPX 25 = Agfa Aviphot Pan 80 is converted (cut, spooled and packaged) by Harman technology / Ilford Photo.
But the film itself is just Agfa Aviphot Pan 80.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-23-2018   #6
css9450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Just at a much, much higher price!

Just what I didn't need to hear.... I just re-stocked!

Oh, well, I like what I've shot with RPX 25 so I won't complain.
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Old 07-23-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Just what I didn't need to hear.... I just re-stocked!

Oh, well, I like what I've shot with RPX 25 so I won't complain.
I my neck of the woods, at least, RPX 25 isn't much more expensive than the 80s, and the original Aviphot appears unavailable. But the price difference for the 100 & 400, vs Kentmere, is kinda crazy.
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Old 07-23-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
...
As to RPX 25:
Yes, it is just repackaged film. It is Agfa Aviphot Pan 80, so the same film as Rollei Retro 80S. Just at a much, much higher price!
...
This is pretty much what I came to find out. How does it work out, with rating the same film at two different ISOs? Is it really around 64 or so, and the lest is trusting to latitude?

I still kinda want to try it, but it's annoying to think of supporting this kind of nonsense.
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Old 07-23-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Maco does not produce anything by themselves.
All of their products are produced by other companies.
Yes, it is just repackaged film.
Nothing wrong with being a contract manufacturer or a value-added reseller, is it?
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Old 07-23-2018   #10
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Nothing wrong with being a contract manufacturer or a value-added reseller, is it?
Agree. As long as product is of suitable quality and competitive price I will buy.

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Marcelo
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Old 07-23-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miha View Post
Nothing wrong with being a contract manufacturer or a value-added reseller, is it?
Nothing wrong, if value is actually added. But if Rollei is selling the same film as a ISO 80 and as a slightly more expensive ISO 25, hard to see the value in at least one mis-representation of the product.
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Old 07-23-2018   #12
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Reminds me when I was turning wrenches at a dealership that sold Rolls Royce cars down in New Orleans. The water pumps had GM clearly stamped on them and they sold for $35 at a Chevy dealer. At our place they sold for $230. Saw the same thing at a Porsche dealership when a common 1157 taillight bulb sold for nearly $5, or you could walk down the street to the independent auto parts store and buy it for about 80 cents. Caveat emptor.
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Old 07-23-2018   #13
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Originally Posted by harpofreely View Post
Nothing wrong, if value is actually added. But if Rollei is selling the same film as a ISO 80 and as a slightly more expensive ISO 25, hard to see the value in at least one mis-representation of the product.
Well, you decide on the value
If Jan is correct on the origin of the film (Agfa Belgium) and the pancakes are being converted by two different contractors (Harman vs Foma Bohemia) some price difference is to be expected. Just speculating...



edit: post corrected, sorry Jan for calling you Henning.
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Old 07-23-2018   #14
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Originally Posted by harpofreely View Post
I my neck of the woods, at least, RPX 25 isn't much more expensive than the 80s, and the original Aviphot appears unavailable. But the price difference for the 100 & 400, vs Kentmere, is kinda crazy.
At the macodirect shop 35mm Retro 80S is 4,95€, and RPX 25 is 5,75€.
A price difference of 80 Cents.
In 35mm both films are converted by Harman (easy to see in comparison to Foma). Therefore no quality difference.

In 120 format: 5,35€ for Retro 80S.
And 6,15€ for RPX 25.
A price difference of 80 Cents.
Retro 80S is converted by Foma, and RPX 25 is converted by Harman (easy to see in direct comparison, no secrets here).

And I agree with you: The price difference of RPX 100 and 400 to the original Kentmere 100 to 400 (= to the same film stock) is really quite huge. Using the original Kentmeres is the much better deal.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-23-2018   #15
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This is pretty much what I came to find out. How does it work out, with rating the same film at two different ISOs? Is it really around 64 or so, and the lest is trusting to latitude?
All Agfa Aviphot Pan films have a lower real ISO sensivity! The reason for that:
The sensivity for aerial films is measured differently! Aerial films are measured at Zone III with logD 0.1, not at Zone I as regular films we normally use.
And they have a very strong S-shaped characteristic curve with a "hanging toe" and significantly less shadow detail.

Therefore in normal photography on the ground the real sensivity / speed of these aerial films is significantly lower.
Aviphot Pan 80 ist not at all a real ISO 80/20° speed film. I've got sensivities in the ISO range of 20/14° to 40/17°, depending on the developer.
ISO 80/20° is a strong push with this film.

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Originally Posted by harpofreely View Post
I still kinda want to try it, but it's annoying to think of supporting this kind of nonsense.
Understandable.
Adox is soon introducing a new film in this speed range of ISO 25/15° to 50/18°. First experienced photographers are already testing it. I am very curious concerning the results.
As soon as the film is officially out (it is said to be at Photokina in September) I will try it, too

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-23-2018   #16
Roger Hicks
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You can use any developer you like to establish ISO speeds, provided you say what it is. It might be interesting to see what developers Maco use for 25 and 80.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-23-2018   #17
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Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
ISO 80/20° is a strong push with this film.
That was my thought also. More than a stop...

I was pleased that I am not over-exposing this film, but seeing that I am using a 60-year-old meterless camera, I could've just as easily erred in the other direction too. So, so far so good! I like RPX 25.
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Old 07-23-2018   #18
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For Rodinal 1:50, The Massive Dev chart lists:

RPX 25= 11 min
Retro 80s=14 min

My own use of both films shows somewhat lower contrast on the film exposed at 25 and developed for 11 min, which would make sense
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Old 07-23-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
Reminds me when I was turning wrenches at a dealership that sold Rolls Royce cars down in New Orleans. The water pumps had GM clearly stamped on them and they sold for $35 at a Chevy dealer. At our place they sold for $230. Saw the same thing at a Porsche dealership when a common 1157 taillight bulb sold for nearly $5, or you could walk down the street to the independent auto parts store and buy it for about 80 cents. Caveat emptor.
Which is why I bought the Olympus EVf-2 for my Leica M240, instead of the double the price Leica one. Where the only difference is the badge.

$550 vs $200.
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Old 07-23-2018   #20
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You can use any developer you like to establish ISO speeds, provided you say what it is. It might be interesting to see what developers Maco use for 25 and 80.

Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger,

in general yes.
But that is not the problem here with this particular film!
Agfa Aviphot Pan 80 is a real "Diva", a completely different film to any other normal BW films we know and use!
This film always has a very strong S-shape characteristic curve. Even in developers which normaly produce an excellent linear characteristic curve.

Aerial films have to be different:
If you photograph from high altitudes to the ground you have a flat light: Almost no shadows and no highlights. Therefore you need a film with very good separated midtones, and higher contrast in the midtones.
Therefore aerial films are designed to have a strong S-shape characterictic curve.
And Aviphot Pan 80 has an even much stronger S-shape curve than Aviphot Pan 200.

Just evaluate this film, make a Zone row and measure it with a densitometer. And use different developers.
Then you will immediately see!
Developer manufactuerer Moersch has given up on this film because it was impossible for him to get a more linear characteristic curve with his developers. for this reason you won't find this film in his datasheets.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-23-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
At the macodirect shop 35mm Retro 80S is 4,95€, and RPX 25 is 5,75€.
A price difference of 80 Cents.
In 35mm both films are converted by Harman (easy to see in comparison to Foma). Therefore no quality difference.

In 120 format: 5,35€ for Retro 80S.
And 6,15€ for RPX 25.
A price difference of 80 Cents.
Retro 80S is converted by Foma, and RPX 25 is converted by Harman (easy to see in direct comparison, no secrets here).

And I agree with you: The price difference of RPX 100 and 400 to the original Kentmere 100 to 400 (= to the same film stock) is really quite huge. Using the original Kentmeres is the much better deal.

Cheers, Jan
Jan,

Thanks again for your help on this. From what I've seen, I love the look of the this film and am excited to try it - I'll just go on and save a few pennies by getting the 80s packaging.

Best,
-Paul
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Old 07-23-2018   #22
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Dear Roger,

in general yes.
But that is not the problem here with this particular film!
Agfa Aviphot Pan 80 is a real "Diva", a completely different film to any other normal BW films we know and use!
This film always has a very strong S-shape characteristic curve. Even in developers which normaly produce an excellent linear characteristic curve.

Aerial films have to be different:
If you photograph from high altitudes to the ground you have a flat light: Almost no shadows and no highlights. Therefore you need a film with very good separated midtones, and higher contrast in the midtones.
Therefore aerial films are designed to have a strong S-shape characterictic curve.
And Aviphot Pan 80 has an even much stronger S-shape curve than Aviphot Pan 200.

Just evaluate this film, make a Zone row and measure it with a densitometer. And use different developers.
Then you will immediately see!
Developer manufactuerer Moersch has given up on this film because it was impossible for him to get a more linear characteristic curve with his developers. for this reason you won't find this film in his datasheets.

Cheers, Jan
Dear Jan,

Indeed: I am not arguing. I do not know enough to be sure that you are right, but it seems extremely likely.

All I meant was that some people have fetishes for more or less speed, and that ISO speeds are somewhat manipulable.

Also, straightening/emphasizing the S-curve is an interesting and semi-magical art. The late Geoffrey Crawley was a great believer in trying to straighten curves, even to the extent of using three developing agents together. Grant Haist, on the other hand, maintained that there was often little or no point in using even two. I had the privilege of discussing the subject with them both -- which is why I say I don't know enough to be sure that you are right.

Like many people, I don't have the equipment to do ISO testing, but I can do pretty convincing comparisons and plot characteristic curves with a densitometer. As I get older, though, I find that increasingly I can't be arsed. I have no reason to imagine* that either you or Moersch are lying (and Frances knows Moersch much better than I) but there are others whose assertions I do not accept quite so lightheartedly, hence my observations on "cooking" ISO speeds, quite independently of ISO standards for general-purpose and aerial films.

I hadn't even realized that Equivalent Aerial Film Speed had been incorporated into an ISO standard, but then, I suppose I never needed to!

*Aaaargh! I originally wrote "doubt" which is of course the exact opposite of what I meant.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-24-2018   #23
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Hi Roger,

just have a look at the following sensitometric values (just two of my several tests of this film), the characteristic curve and it is immediately obvious:

1. Example: Retro 80S at ISO 20/14° in Rodinal 1+50:
I: 0.01 logD
II: 0.09
III: 0.23
IV: 0.46
V: 0.7
VI: 0.89
VII: 1.05
VIII: 1.15
IX: 1.21
X: 1.24

2. Example: Retro 80S in DD-X 1+4 at ISO 40/17°:
I: 0.03
II: 0.13
III: 0.30
IV: 0.55
V: 0.78
VI: 1.00
VII: 1.14
VIII: 1.22
IX: 1.28
X: 1.32

The density in Zone I to III is too low: Lack of shadow detail.
The density in Zone IX and X is also too low: Bad highlight separation; somewhat "muddy", not brillant highlights.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-24-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Hi Roger,

just have a look at the following sensitometric values (just two of my several tests of this film), the characteristic curve and it is immediately obvious:

1. Example: Retro 80S at ISO 20/14° in Rodinal 1+50:
I: 0.01 logD
II: 0.09
III: 0.23
IV: 0.46
V: 0.7
VI: 0.89
VII: 1.05
VIII: 1.15
IX: 1.21
X: 1.24

2. Example: Retro 80S in DD-X 1+4 at ISO 40/17°:
I: 0.03
II: 0.13
III: 0.30
IV: 0.55
V: 0.78
VI: 1.00
VII: 1.14
VIII: 1.22
IX: 1.28
X: 1.32

The density in Zone I to III is too low: Lack of shadow detail.
The density in Zone IX and X is also too low: Bad highlight separation; somewhat "muddy", not brillant highlights.

Cheers, Jan
Dear Jan,

Until you posted that, I wouldn't have said I could visualize a characteristic curve just from the numbers, without plotting it. Fascinating! Thanks.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-24-2018   #25
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Interesting, I'll keep this film in mind for low contrast subjects like tele shots in misty weather or crushed-shadows-street-photography-look, it should deliver in these situations with much less pronounced grain than pushing a normal contrast film, right?



Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Hi Roger,

just have a look at the following sensitometric values (just two of my several tests of this film), the characteristic curve and it is immediately obvious:

1. Example: Retro 80S at ISO 20/14° in Rodinal 1+50:
I: 0.01 logD
II: 0.09
III: 0.23
IV: 0.46
V: 0.7
VI: 0.89
VII: 1.05
VIII: 1.15
IX: 1.21
X: 1.24

2. Example: Retro 80S in DD-X 1+4 at ISO 40/17°:
I: 0.03
II: 0.13
III: 0.30
IV: 0.55
V: 0.78
VI: 1.00
VII: 1.14
VIII: 1.22
IX: 1.28
X: 1.32

The density in Zone I to III is too low: Lack of shadow detail.
The density in Zone IX and X is also too low: Bad highlight separation; somewhat "muddy", not brillant highlights.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-24-2018   #26
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Dear Jan,

Until you posted that, I wouldn't have said I could visualize a characteristic curve just from the numbers, without plotting it. Fascinating! Thanks.

Cheers,

R.
You're welcome, Roger.
I think when you are doing these sensitometric measurements quite regularly as I do (for every film-developer combination I am using), it is very easy to visualize the characteristic curve just by the numbers.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-24-2018   #27
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Interesting, I'll keep this film in mind for low contrast subjects like tele shots in misty weather or crushed-shadows-street-photography-look, it should deliver in these situations with much less pronounced grain than pushing a normal contrast film, right?

Yes.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-24-2018   #28
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You're welcome, Roger.
I think when you are doing these sensitometric measurements quite regularly as I do (for every film-developer combination I am using), it is very easy to visualize the characteristic curve just by the numbers.

Cheers, Jan
Dear Jan,

Thanks again. See also amendment to Post 22. Sorry!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-24-2018   #29
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Dear Jan,

Thanks again. See also amendment to Post 22. Sorry!

Cheers,

R.
Thank you, Roger.
All is fine .

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-26-2018   #30
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The spectral sensitivity strongly suggests that RPX 25 is Aviphot 40, not 80, but irrespective, you can get it a lot cheaper another way.

Marty
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Old 07-26-2018   #31
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The spectral sensitivity strongly suggests that RPX 25 is Aviphot 40, not 80, but irrespective, you can get it a lot cheaper another way.

Marty
Hi Marty,

RPX 25 cannot be Aviphot Pan 40. Because Aviphot 40 is only produced as PE0 film with a 0.06mm PET base.
But RPX 25 has the standard 0.1 PET base.
Aviphot Pan 80 is produced both as PE0 and PE1 film. PE1 has the 0.1 PET base.
Just have a look at the original Agfa tech-sheets:
http://www.agfa.com/specialty-produc...raphy/aviphot/

Another evidence: Detail rendition of Retro 80S and RPX 25 is identical.
If RPX 25 would be Aviphot Pan 40 it must be finer grained and higher resolving. But that is not the case.

The Rollei RPX 25 data sheet is wrong in many aspects to hide the real source of the film.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-26-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
RPX 25 cannot be Aviphot Pan 40. Because Aviphot 40 is only produced as PE0 film with a 0.06mm PET base.
But RPX 25 has the standard 0.1 PET base.
Aviphot Pan 80 is produced both as PE0 and PE1 film. PE1 has the 0.1 PET base.
Just have a look at the original Agfa tech-sheets:
http://www.agfa.com/specialty-produc...raphy/aviphot/

Another evidence: Detail rendition of Retro 80S and RPX 25 is identical.
If RPX 25 would be Aviphot Pan 40 it must be finer grained and higher resolving. But that is not the case.

The Rollei RPX 25 data sheet is wrong in many aspects to hide the real source of the film.
I measured the spectral response, I didn’t rely on the data sheet. The Aviphot 80 data sheet must be inaccurate. Strange. I have plenty of RPX, and both Aviphots, so I might do some more testing. Either way, there is plenty of Aviphot still around, and is the cheapest way to buy it, although finding it cut to 135 size is hard unless you buy Rollei branded film.

Marty
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Old 07-26-2018   #33
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Well as said already above, I've tested the films in direct comparison. And concerning several technical parameters: characteristic curve, fineness of grain, sharpness and resolution.
Result: Both RPX 25 and Retro 80S are Aviphot Pan 80.
Aviphot Pan 40 is finer grained and has higher resolution. And of course has less speed.
And I've talked to several others who also did detailed tests and they got the same results.
And photo chemistry producers Wehner and Spur have had also the same results after their intensive tests.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 07-26-2018   #34
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Here we have one company selling food by two store chains. One is for sissy people, with more fancy store and another is for working folks, with shelves and nothing else stores.
Trucks of both store names bringing food to both stores. And nobody calls tomatos as pomidoros la grande in sissy people store. They just sell tomatoes for more, because it is fancy store.
This is value added re-selling.

So, the only value Maco added is correct ISO for made by Ilford film.
I could call it as act of "value added re-seller".

But then Ilford makes same emulsion, same speed film and tossing it around under another name through some speculant, who is using using long gone none existing original manufacturer name or just some name... It is shame. Basically, they are in the agreement to fool people to buy same film while been unknown what they are buying same film, not trying different one. This is what Ilford'O'maco does with Kentmere 400 film.
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Old 07-26-2018   #35
Roger Hicks
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Here we have one company selling food by two store chains. One is for sissy people, with more fancy store and another is for working folks, with shelves and nothing else stores.
Trucks of both store names bringing food to both stores. And nobody calls tomatos as pomidoros la grande in sissy people store. They just sell tomatoes for more, because it is fancy store.
This is value added re-selling.

So, the only value Maco added is correct ISO for made by Ilford film.
I could call it as act of "value added re-seller".

But then Ilford makes same emulsion, same speed film and tossing it around under another name through some speculant, who is using using long gone none existing original manufacturer name or just some name... It is shame. Basically, they are in the agreement to fool people to buy same film while been unknown what they are buying same film, not trying different one. This is what Ilford'O'maco does with Kentmere 400 film.
Maco will buy pretty much anything from anyone, and according to someone who knows more than I, they have even been known in the more or less distant past to sell different films as the same kind. The film described here is NOT an Ilford product: they make nothing like it.

Ilford doesn't like to admit it but they do make "own brand" products, because there are far more resellers than coating lines. Twenty or more years ago, an ex-Ilford employee told me of a head-to-head competition between their own label and a "premium" brand (the same thing, re-branded) "and we were delighted to be narrowly beaten by our own product."

Kentmere is a "second line" for Ilford so it would certainly make sense for it to be re-branded as an economy film, just as their top-of-the-line stuff is often re-branded as "premium"; but you won't find better materials than Ilford's own, unless you have a particular weakness for e.g. Tri-X.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-26-2018   #36
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Really interesting, I never would have guessed that RPX25 and 80S were the same emulsion. I am a big fan of both films, so I guess that makes sense....

Guess I will save a few cents and just buy 80S from now on.
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Old 07-26-2018   #37
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Really interesting, I never would have guessed that RPX25 and 80S were the same emulsion. I am a big fan of both films, so I guess that makes sense....

Guess I will save a few cents and just buy 80S from now on.
Likewise! would have never known either! And to love both...

Here's one shot with RPX25...

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Old 07-26-2018   #38
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I would try the Aviphot Pan 80 that Skiff is referencing here but I do not see a source for it this side of the pond. Does it go by another name here in the U.S.? If not, that's not the end of the world since I can get other favorites like Delta 100 locally (and of course RPX 25 at B&H).
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Old 07-27-2018   #39
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Hi Roger,

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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Maco will buy pretty much anything from anyone, and according to someone who knows more than I, they have even been known in the more or less distant past to sell different films as the same kind. The film described here is NOT an Ilford product: they make nothing like it.
Correct.
RPX 25 and Retro 80S are Agfa Aviphot Pan 80. The film itself.
But the the converting (cutting , spooling into cassetttes, packaging) of 135 format RPX 25 and Retro 80S, and 120 format RPX 25 is done by Harman technology (Ilford Photo).
120 format Retro 80S is done by Foma.
As each manufacturer has his own specific converting techniques and materials, everyone can directly see which company is doing the converting. And the Maco staff has also told customers at their Photokina booth about the converting.

Maco (license taker of the brand name Rollei-Film) is a pure distribution company. They cannot produce anything by themselves. They don't have any own production capacities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Ilford doesn't like to admit it but they do make "own brand" products, because there are far more resellers than coating lines. Twenty or more years ago, an ex-Ilford employee told me of a head-to-head competition between their own label and a "premium" brand (the same thing, re-branded) "and we were delighted to be narrowly beaten by our own product."

Kentmere is a "second line" for Ilford so it would certainly make sense for it to be re-branded as an economy film, just as their top-of-the-line stuff is often re-branded as "premium"; but you won't find better materials than Ilford's own, unless you have a particular weakness for e.g. Tri-X.

Cheers,

R.
Correct.
Their Kentmere 100 and 400 are sold to lots of other distributors for being sold as their housebrands:
- Rollei RPX 100 and 400
- Agfaphoto 100 and 400
- Fotoimpex CHM 100 and 400
- Oriental 100 and 400
are all repacked Kentmere 100 and 400.

Cheers, Jan
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