June 1, Copex Damage, and even more whining;

Before I get to the damage part of this article and whine even more about my troubles with developing tanks, I have to say that the name Copex sounds vaguely obscene to me. Not to dis the film, I like Agfa Copex Rapid a lot. It can be tack sharp, has really nice contrast, develops well in Caffenol and is almost dirt cheap. Maybe $6.00 a roll isn’t literally dirt cheap, but can you even buy a cup of coffee for six bucks? I also appreciate the (unintentional?) irony in the name, Copex is rated at ISO 50 and that’s what I usually shoot it at. To be fair, maybe an ISO of 50 is fast for a microfilm. The other microfilm I shoot, Adox CMS 20 II is rated at both 20 and 12.

Regarding the damage evident to this roll. I’m pretty sure that this was caused by improper spooling into the Ars-Imago Lab Box. A process that’s not very user controllable. I blame the device.

From the start with using the Lab Box I’ve incurred occasional damage to various rolls of 35mm film. With 120 though, virtually every frame was damaged by the Lab Box. I finally ditched the 120 attachment and now use the Lab Box for 35mm exclusively.

35mm damage has been pretty rare though, to be honest, I don’t always even mind the damage. Sometimes the shots come out more interesting for it (I don’t want to think about what that says about my photos).

This roll though, was consistently damaged, at first I didn’t mind it much, but after looking at several shots, it started to wear on me. Were they all going to be like this. Mostly, yes. If the next roll I run through the Ars-Imago is damaged like this, it’s to the recycle bin with the Lab Box.

I don’t currently even have another tank to develop in. I ditched my leaky old Paterson tank last week. I definitely need another tank to develop 120 and 127 in at least. I have my eye on a Jobo. I “think” it will accept my Paterson reels, which I do like, and I’ver heard rumor that they’re less leak prone than the Paterson tanks (fingers crossed).

Enough whining then, here they are, In all their bubbly glory. Agfa Copex Rapid shot at ISO 50 with a Voigtlander 15mm Super Wide Heliar on my Leica Ic, developed in Caffenol.

Towering Two Story
Not much damage apparent to this one, there were only a few from this roll that were undamaged.
Tiny shed, this one escaped damage too.
Parking Shed

3 responses to “June 1, Copex Damage, and even more whining;”

  1. […] think these were quite as interesting (if indeed the first batch was interesting?) as the first batch. Nonetheless, here we […]


  2. Funny thing seeing those bubbles on the film. I experienced that with Cinestill Monobath once, I blamed the developer, but someone told me that it can happen if your tank didn’t have all the residual photo-flow cleaned out. I definitely rinse my tanks after developing … I only had this happen once … so can’t say how or why with any authority!!!


  3. Yes, I’ve seen many different kinds of film damage with the Lab Box, but nothing quite like this. The photo-flo theory wouldn’t apply in this case, as I wash outside the box primarily. I was wondering if it might be the very short fixing time that I used for the first time. The recipe recommended a 1 minute fix, so I gave it a try. Who knows? If it keeps happening and I don’t figure it out soon, I’ll ditch the Lab Box.


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