Adox CMS II and Adotech Developer Review

Ayr, Scotland. 22.08.2016 Hasselblad 205TCC; 80mm Planar; Adox CMS II; Adotech

Ayr, Scotland. 22.08.2016
Hasselblad 205TCC; 80mm Planar; Adox CMS II; Adotech Developer

I spent most of today trying to work out how to shoot Adox CMS II and develop it in Adotech developer.
It’s been a long day but I think I got there in the end.This is not a film for the fainthearted or darkroom newbies!
It’s stated box speed is ISO 20, however I don’t think I managed to get over 12-15 and due to it’s seriously slow speed, unless you have a lot of light and can keep exposures to no more than 2 seconds, you have to add time to combat reciprocity failure (this image was 9 minutes in total – 4.30 mins on the light meter at f/22 and I guessed at doubling it for reciprocity correction).
So shooting it is not straightforward.
Developing it is worse!

There is no “defacto” dev time. I’ve researched it a lot and the times vary at a 1:14 dilution between 9 minutes and 12 minutes. I gave it 11 to be safe and it seemed to work. I also agitated very, very slowly every 45 seconds.

The bit that got me was that development MUST be stopped in an acid stop bath, so I had to go to the kitchen for the vinegar and make up a 2% solution to stop the dev.

Here’s the really tricky bit. Adox CMS II can be fixed in standard fixer but only for between 30-60 seconds (not the recommended 5 minutes that almost all other films use). If you give it more than 60 seconds the fixer blows your whites.
I had to give it 60 seconds as it takes me 20 seconds just to pour it in. It seems to have been enough as I didn’t get any squeegee scratches.

The film dries very quickly but it curls like mad which is a nightmare when you come to scan it as keeping it straight on the film mounter means you have to touch it and this gets it covered in dust (which I have removed in photoshop).

However, due to the tiny grains of silver in the film, it scans beautifully and you have a lot more sharpening control than you would with standard grain film.

So, the film is amazing, but beware, the developer is ridiculously expensive. £15 for 100ml which allegedly could do 6 rolls if you could work out the replenishing routine. I couldn’t and used it as a one shot which means shooting and developing one 120 roll cost me about £14 in total.

adox cms 11 in adotech test (3)-Edit-Edit.jpg

Here’s the recipe and the darkroom procedure:
Developer : 33ml Adotech + 467ml Boiled Water @ 20ºC
Stop Bath : 2ml White Vinegar + 1ltr Boiled Water @ 20ºC
– – –
No rinse!
11 Minutes Development with soft 2 turn agitation every 45 seconds
1 Minute Stop Bath
1 Minute Fix
5 Minute Wash
1 Minute Photo Flow
2 Hours Hang Drying

Overall I’m really pleased with the result though and sort of glad I don’t have to shoot it every day!

If you’re looking for a film that will out perform 100mp Phase and Credo digital backs, this is it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you ;)

adox cms 11 in adotech test (4)-Edit.jpg