In a previous article I talked about the difficulties of scanning B/W film. However, I've found a lab that produces relatively 'clean' scans and decided to give Rollei RPX 25 Black and White Negative Film a go. And certainly not having to spend hours getting rid of dust spots make me like using B/W film a whole lot better. Particularly when it's as sharp and fine grained as this film. The above were shot with my Leica M7 and Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1. It was a dull day so I was using the lens wide-open or pretty close to that.
The scans have a slight tone, as they must have scanned it as colour film, but I've left that as it suits the subject matter.
Images above were shot with my Fujifilm GW690 III (6×9 Medium Format) camera and are very sharp and detailed.
There is no doubt that this is a very impressive film, however I'm not sure that it's really for me and what I want to do with black and white. This is more a film for self processing and print making. For example the scans I got back from the 120 film were quite high contrast and it took some work to adjust that. Since I'm not going to develop film myself as I dislike doing that, I wouldn't be able to come up with a different result. Also I do prefer 'creating' black and white myself.
The above image was shot on Fuji Provia 100 Colour E6 film, again with the Fujifilm GW690 III (6×9 Medium Format) camera. It's actually sharper and after editing in Photoshop reveals more detail that the 'native' B/W film. It's also much more to my taste in terms of the 'look'.
So, if you are someone who likes darkroom work then I can thoroughly recommend Rollei RPX 25 Black and White Negative Film, but then if you are you've probably used it already. It is a film that can produce great results with the right treatment and if you are a black and white enthusiast there is no doubt that you could produce some very attractive B/W prints with it. It's rare these days to get a 'slow' film like this and it's certainly a good thing that this choice is available. I'm glad I tried it and at some point I may well come back, but at the moment for me and what I do, there are other more 'flexible' options.