5 Frames with Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

I honestly do not know what possessed me to buy this film. While I shoot a number of film speeds my usual go to is 400. Other speeds less often but I usually stay between 100 and 800. Very rarely 3200. So 25. I assume some part of me just wanted to try something new.  That is justification enough initially. Then I read this on a FB post from The Darkroom:

“Orthochromatic film sees blue (outdoor) light and renders reds much darker which results in darker skin tones. Panchromatic film (the most common type of B&W) sees a wider spectrum of light, rendering B&W tones closer to what we see in everyday life.”

Ok then. Count me in. What was now clear was the camera and lens I would choose to use with it. Camera first.

With an ISO 25 film it would seem to make sense for me to choose a camera that also makes me slow down a bit. And conveniently this same camera can be set to ISO 25 so no external lightmeter would be needed.

Konica Hexar RF
Konica Hexar RF

A favorite of mine that never disappoints. Now for the lens. While my usual go-to is the slightly goofy but I love it anyway 7Artisans 50mm f/1.1 I was looking for actual sharpness, not character with this film. But I did not want to go too wide. So the choice was an easy one. A lens nearly as bright to deal with ISO 25 that is also as sharp as a tack.

Konica HEXAR RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4
7artisans Photoelectric M35mm f/1.4

This lens never puts a foot wrong. And if I were a sensible man this would be the lens I would use most often instead of the 50mm f/1.1… But I am into photography. Film photography also at that so that ship has sailed. Anyhoo. Put them together and they make for a fantastic pairing. Not as much of a camera nerd beacon when hanging around my neck as the attention-getting square hood having shiny silver TTartisans 21mm f/1.5 but it cleans up nicely.

Konica HEXAR RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4
Konica Hexar RF + 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Gear sorted. On to the experience… I did not like it. So much so that while finishing the roll I swore I would never choose this film again. Why? Well I am glad I imagined you asked. I was intimidated by the low ISO and was convinced that every shot would be a mess of motion blur. What also did not help was that Ortho film was nowhere on the Cinestill df96 monobath film list. All documentation I found pointed to other developers and trying monobath with films not listed have not worked out so well in the past. So, no developing at home for me. Which also means a wait time instead of near instant gratification. Was not bad. Took about two weeks for my favorite camera shop to develop it. But I have been spoiled by doing it at home myself.

The result? Fantastic. So much so that when I saw the negatives…

Rollei Ortho 25

…all of my prior apprehensions were immediately erased. Here are 5 of my favorite exposures (more of the roll here).

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4

Ok. One more outside of my local camera shop.

Konica Hexar RF - 7Artisans 35mm f/1.4
Immediate result? A complete change of heart. I went from swearing I would never shoot an ISO that low again to asking if they had any more in stock before I left the store once I saw the negatives. They did not so I picked a roll of Ilford Ortho 80 instead.

So overall a success I would say. Will definitely be using this film again in the future.

I appreciate having this opportunity to share my experiences with this film.

Eric L. Woods

I shoot a variety of new and old digital and film cameras. Industrial Engineer by education, IT is my vocation, and I really enjoy using, testing, and writing about cameras. All three of the latter are very therapeutic exercises for me. If you are so inclined my blog address is ewoodsphoto.com and I can be found on twitter and Instagram. All the best to you.

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15 thoughts on “5 Frames with Rollei Ortho 25 Plus”

  1. I like this film a lot, in combination with German Spur developer TRX 2000 the film can be exposed like 125-160 ASA.

  2. Eric

    Nice article. I recognized that camera store 🙂 I have never tried 25 iso before and would also be intimidated as 100 is a challenge. I did recently shoot ortho on an Exakta and the review will be out on this site later this month. Keep up the great work! John

  3. Very nice and crisp images. Rollei Ortho 25 is one of my preferred films, mainly in the summer.

    I was wondering what chemistry and times did they used in the lab, but this may be something you do not know. Just curious.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you.

      Katherine at my local camera shop provided details.

      “I ran it in Kodak HC-110 for 6 minutes and Dilution B for 1:31.”

  4. Nice results. ISO 25 is speedy compared to what I have been using – Slow Your Roll ISO 1.6 film from Legacy Photo Lab. No issues in daylight – just shoot wide open. Plus my Leica M7 and Nikon F6 can meter 1.6 – just set them to their lowest ISO rating which is 6, then dial in two stops exposure compensation which both allow for.

    An example using ISO 1.6 with a Lomo Minitar 32mm 2.8 lens:


  5. David Dutchison

    That film is really nice when you can work within it’s limitations. I just wanted to encourage you to try conventional developing. It isn’t any harder than monobath development – just keep the stop (strictly speaking, not usually necessary), fix and wash within a couple of degrees of each other and pay attention to exhaustion with two more chemicals, and you can open up a whole new world of control and experimentation.

  6. I am on a trip to Australia and for the first time in a long time I would say that I could use a 25 ISO film here. I went out this morning with a 400 ISO from and a Leica M-A and had forgotten that the max shutter speed on that camera is only 1/1000th so my aperture was f11 using the Sunny 16 rule. Take four stops off and I would still be able to work with the light that is here on a sunny day. So maybe I could have picked up a role or two before I came. Would probably struggle a bit more back in England where I am normally as it is not sunny so often as here.

  7. I really liked the roll of Agfaortho 25 I shot – and these shots are awesome. I’m interested by Dr. Ko’s indication that you can get up to 125-160 in Spur TRX2000. I guess I’ve never really felt the need to push my luck on these slow speed films but cool to know that I could if I really wanted to.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures; I really like the architectural ones.

  8. Hi Eric!

    These shots are fantastic! I too don’t shoot super high or low speed films, though this article makes me want to change that! I don’t live in a particularly sunny place so a tri-pod would be necessary, but I think the results you’ve shown prove its worth the hassle. I’d be curious what the 50mm f1.1 could produce with this film; that lens seems really interesting and a fascinating source of some character.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your experience with the film!

    1. Thank you very much. I have recently been a bit obsessed with low ISO film. Also tried FPP Sun Color ISO 1 film recently (https://flic.kr/p/2oBfahH) and have also ordered two rolls of their ISO 1.5 Color film. Next up is a roll of Ilford Ortho 80 I picked up from my local camera shop and my second roll of FPP Sun Color ISO 1. More fun than I thought it would be.

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