First my Thoughts:
Rollei Retro 100 is a nice film with good classic grain structure and good tonality…photographers who like classic grain and film with a bit of punch will love it with Diafine. The film has a usable EI from around 50-200 (in Diafine) but I found that at 100 I got the best shadows and midtone separation and it gave me a bit of margin for meter error. The highlights are clean, bright and open even in the brightest areas.
For photographers who want that classic street photographer look this would be a good choice…however, if you were raised on Fuji Acros for breakfast and TMAX for dinner and love those films this probably won’t be your cup of tea.
Both images were made using a Leica M7 with a 50mm Summilux Lens at F5.6 – in camera meter at an EI of 100. Scans were done on an Imacon Scanner at 3150 dpi, no sharpening or noise reduction was applied to either file. File prep/ workflow in Photoshop CS3 is my standard for all Diafine developed test negatives which is to apply just a bit of an “S” curve and make sure my white and black points are fine.
The sharpness of the film is good but again not like TMAX 100 or the New TMAX 400. But I do like the film alot! It won’t be my first go to film for general shooting but it is something that has a unique look and has found a place in my film bag.
Processing Technique, Diafine Developer and Rollei Retro Film:
- 4 Minutes Part A, 75F – 2 inversions every minute.
- 4 Minutes Part B, 75F – 2 inversions every minute.
- Wash 30 Seconds
- Fix 5 Minutes
- Wash 30 Seconds
- Perma Wash 1 Minute
- Wash 10 Minutes
Final note: There has been conversation (gossip) on the web that Rollei Retro 100 is AGFA APX 100 or something very similar…as I don’t have any AGFA APX 100 to test I can neither confirm nor deny this BUT even if it is just a slightly tweaked version of APX – as AFGA is no longer in business- it is nice to have a “similar” film still being made.
Viva la Revolution!!!
Link to a conversation on Flickr where information on the maker of Rollei Retro (old AGFA) can be found as well as exciting information on the NEW film release set to replace this film as of Photokina 2008: