Rollei R3 Tests Update

Flash Bulb, originally uploaded by brad|gillette.

I have been experimenting with Rollei’s R3 black and white film, and have so far developed two rolls. One at ISO 200 in their Low Speed Developer, and the other at ISO 400 in their High Speed Developer (Amalco AM-74). So what are my initial impressions?


– Grain is definately noticeable, about the same as Ilford HP5+
– Great dynamic range.
– This film is very sharp with great accutance when used with the High Speed Developer.
– Long developing times, especially when at the high ends of each developer’s range (25 minutes for iso 200 in RLS!!!)
– It is difficult to tell when the film is dry, due to the non-curling base. I have been judging by the cloudiness (the clearer it is, the dryer it is).

For those of you who are even more unfamiliar with this film than I am, here is what Rollei has to say about it:

– ROLLEI R3 is a low to high-speed black-and-white negative film of high acutance, based on the use of classical cubic crystals. The film speed actually used is a function of the type of development.

– In conjunction with depth developers, optimum results can be attained above all between ISO 25 and 200.

– In conjunction with fine-grain compensating developers, optimum results are possible primarily between ISO 100 and 6.400.

– ROLLEI R3 is highly responsive to specific developer properties. As a result, the selection of the developer is decisive for adapting the material to individual requirements.

– Sensitization goes up to about 710/730 nm, which makes the material SUPER-APOCHROMATIC. Its sensitivity to infrared can be utilized photographically only if a black filter with a cut-of wavelength of 700 nm is employed.

– The emulsion of ROLLEI R3 is made up of three extremely thin layers with silver halides of different size and three different degrees of sensitivity. This technology leaves a very wide margin for controlling the properties of the material by suitable selection of developers and development time. As a result, ROLLEI R3 allows the entire spectrum from fine-grain low-speed images (ISO 25/15°) to maximum-speed images (ISO 6400/39°) to be used with considerably better shadow detail and finer tonal rendering than with films pushed the conventional way.

– Another specialty of ROLLEI R3 is its antihalation layer that is coated directly on the transparent film base. This results in greater sharpness, since reflections are not allowed to penetrate the film support before being reduced, but are eliminated even before they can enter the base.

– ROLLEI R3 is suitable for all kinds of pictorial applications. This applies above all to portraiture, but also to theater and available-light photography.

– A new field of application for this type of film is architectural photography. Here, sheet film and very low ISO values are widely used in order to attain extremely high resolution and fine grain.

– The film may be processed in many different B+W developers, with a wide margin of control.

– The glass-clear material of the PET support makes the material suitable for use as B+W slide film. A special protective SUPERCOAT results in greater resistance to aggressive photo chemicals.

– The polyester film support guarantees the highest level of archive stability.


2 comments so far

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