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Adox CHS 100 II a few shots

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Thanks to SFLaB Patron, Tim Soderstrom, Texas, that sent me some 3D Printed negative carriers for my enlarger in the darkroom and also a roll of Adox CHS 100 II to shoot.

I have shot this film before but many years ago. From what I remembered

Adox state on their website the following –


We have tried to match CHS 100 II as closely as possible to CHS 100 type I featuring:

  • a rock solid classic emulsion system which has been out there for decades
  • a sensitization close the one of the old CHS 100
  • a single layer emulsion
  • the same base material including the option of reversal processing
  • an optimized backside coating to fully prevent light piping if the film is loaded in subdued light
  • a special anti halation layer between the emulsion and base for enhanced sharpness
  • a full set of formats from 35mm to ULF off the shelve
  • a state of the art cascade coating avoiding all problems associated with older 

I guess they have to say something and out of all the above I like the “a rock solid classic emulsion system which has been out there for decades” quote.

Looking at the data sheet for this film and reading that, as Adox say, “ADOX CHS 100 II is an orthopanchromatically sensitized B/W film with classical grain and a sensitization optimized for greyscale separation” I was interested in the visible spectrum. I always look at this of a film if the information is available.

It’s Orthopanchromatic as, unlike Pan Film, FP4, HP5 etc, it has a reduced red sensitivity. So in a sense you are getting a slight mix of the two.

Check out that dip in the purple/blue area compared to other films. That’s packing in some contrast!

So with that in mind I went out on a sunny day with the film loaded in a Nikon F5 to find some subjects where I could see good separation. I developed these in XTOL 1:1 at 20° for 8 minutes as recommended on the data sheet. I can’t see a recommended developer for this film. But it’s a start.

All of these photographs were taken in aperture priority mode and centre weighted metering. Locking the exposure where I needed, developed and scanned using my DSLR.

Palm Trees. Wonderful separation here. I metered between the shadows and the sky for an average.

Swings. A dark silver chain and jet black seat and floor. Sun was bright. I can almost see a silvery look in the seat. Again good separation.

Clock Tower against a blue sky. The tonality is great. And I can now see that steep dip at the blue end of the spectrum in the sky. FP4 would have rendered the sky a bit lighter.

Back to the Swing. That silvery look on the black seat is more detailed here.

A Brick Wall. This wall is a light red with distressed brickwork making a lot of the bricks a shade of pale. So not a deep red where we will see the Ortho kicking in but the darker bricks in this scene are red. Nice face too. What a great way to spoil this classic brickwork.

Deck Chairs. Back to the Blue again. These Deck Chairs are Blue and White Stripes. Along with a blue sea and sky. Harsh shadows but separation is still there. Again the blue’s appear darker giving the appearance of contrast.

See Saw. The seat is Yellow. I metered on the seat which was bright in the sun. I can still see detail in the photograph.

Beach Huts. The doors are Blue.

Kayak. A total blue scene.

I really want to give this film another try so will be looking at getting some more in time. And maybe try with Rodinal and also Adox’s FX-39 developer. And also find scenes of Red and Blue. Or maybe a portrait!

Straight away I can see the images with good contrast and tonal separation and… sharp too! And it’s not a bad price when you look around. I can see some online stores selling this film for around £6 -£7 a roll. That’s if they have it in stock! But a film well worth having a look at.

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