A German Wonder Film: Adox CHS 100 II

Adox has a line of films, papers, and chemicals that seem to me an attempt at recreating the aesthetics of early 1900s photography. The history of the brand Adox, starting in Germany in the 1860s, is a pretty remarkable story itself and they continue to thrive with inventing and reinventing photographic supplies. The story can be found on their website here. Not too long ago, Adox had to discontinue a CHS 100 film because the availability of a spectral sensitzer (I have no idea what that means) became harder to produce. So, this is their answer for those who miss the original CHS 100, the CHS 100 type II.

CHS 100 II is an orthopanchromatic film, which means the film is sensitized differently than panchromatic films. (Reading about the differences in film types just might be the next thing on my list. It gets pretty difficult to understand, but a very interesting topic.) The technical aspects of the film can be found here.

I shot the Adox in my K1000 and on a rather sunny morning. I wish I had gotten out sooner to get better lighting instead of harsh sunlight, and maybe even a grey, rainy day could be fun for the other roll. Anyway, I did get a few good photos, but had an issue with bleeding on the negatives. Something that may have caused the bleeding, just before pouring in the developer, I realized the lid wasn’t on correctly. I was pretty angry with myself, but I don’t think it let in enough light to really ruin anything. (I need to learn to slow down sometimes, but the entire film process makes me antsy.)

Adox CHS 100 II is an 8$ per roll film. On the expensive side considering I just enjoyed a 2$ Kentmere 100 pushed to 400, so you can imagine I wanted to hate the Adox to keep photography costs low. I didn’t.

I really enjoyed this film. I took a lot of nature photos, so the bark of trees and any kind of detail was really exaggerated with the CHS 100. The film gave a lot of character to maybe an otherwise bland composition. And that can really make or break a photo. Just because I see a really interesting tree doesn’t mean it’ll make for a great photo, unless the film’s characteristics can bring the photo to life.

For development: ID-11 at 1:1, 6:30 minutes, 20’C

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I really enjoyed Adox CHS 100 II. It was characteristics different from regular, everyday films and it’s fun to see those results. Next time, I’ll definitely be careful when dealing with my reel lid, and I might even wait until flowers start to bloom and there’s more interesting subject matter to capture.

Use Adox products? Let me know! They seem like a great company trying to keep the art of film photography alive. I’m interested in any reviews of their paper, films, and chems!

Happy Shooting!

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