Films, Uncategorized

AGFA Process 41

Let me talk a bit for Agfa Process 41. There will be pictures, too.

In the heaven of slide films, on the stairway to E-6 one of the last steps was this very process. It was in a firm use in the ’70s before Agfa introduced Agfachrome 200 film in about 1981 and, logically, Agfa Process 44. Process 44 was Agfa’s E-6.

Recently I found an excellently kept set of chemicals for AP-41.

The set contains following baths:

  • First (black and white) developer
  • Stop bath
  • Color developer
  • Bleach
  • Fix

Here is the leaflet with mixing instructions:








Reading the leaflet, I remembered another very similar process, ORWO C-9165. It follows same steps (first developer, stop, re-exposure to strong light, color developer, etc.).

So I decided to compare the recipes for the two processes. As I have all the details about C-9165, that was not the case with Agfa Process 41 — very limited information is available on the internet. I think Agfa never published the complete set of recipes. Thanks to Photomemorabilia web site ( and Maurice Fisher who runs it, I could get the formula of the first developer only — here it is (scroll to the end of the page). (BTW, have a look at this great site, there are tons of information and details about old Agfa, Kodak and many other photo materials, photo chemistry, etc. Thank you, Maurice!).

Here is (almost) side-by-side comparison for the first developer of AP-41 and C-9165:

Besides Sodium salts replaced by Potassium (I know there are replacement ratios, but never went to calculate if these are exactly applied here), Metol was replaced by Fenidone. Here I found the ratio — Fenidone shall be added at about 10% or less of the quantity of Metol. Another difference is Borax (Sodium tetraborate), added in C-9165 version of the first developer. According to my Russian photo chemistry book, Borax acts as an alcali and accelerates development for slow-working formulae.

To me, Agfa Process 41 looks very similar to ORWO C-9165, somewhat 20 minutes shorter (C-9165 takes more than 90 minutes, AP-41 is about 75). Just for comparison, home user kit of E-6 would do the job for about 30 minutes (coffee breaks and cigarettes not counted).

The main difference between E-6-like processes (AP-44) and their predecessors was that E-6 is doing the reversal (or creation of the positive image) chemically, whereas the latest rely on re-exposure of the film to strong light (500 W bulb for at least 2 minutes, each side of the film, 80 cm to 1 meter distance).

Here is the leaflet with developing instructions (click for full screen view):



 says that any E-6 film is not compatible with AP-41, perhaps at least not with the designed results. Without trying to dispute this, I threw a bunch of E-6 films in it and had interesting results.

Let me first start with the films definitely designed for AP-41.  Here we go.

1. Agfachrome 50S

Expiration date: March, 1973. Shot as ISO 50.
FD: 18 min. @ 24º C (slightly pushed)

In the leaflet of AP-41 they’ve mentioned specifically development times exactly for this film. So I decided to start here my examples with an emulsion designed for this process. AGFAChrome is balances for daylight. However, there was not much daylight this November.





The next two images are with the same film, only shot as ISO 25 and developed in the FD for 15 min. @ 24º C:







2. ORWO UT-18

Expiration dates: 1980 – 1985. Shot as ISO 25 – 50.
FD: 12 – 15 min. @ 24º C

My stash of ORWO UT-18 has a vulnerable psych and a lot of character — we’ve got many happy hours and  a lot of disillusionments. Normally I would wash its feet in ORWO C-9165, here I decided to bath it in AP-41.

ORWO UT-18 has been considered compliant with Agfa Process 41. However, these rolls of UT-18 had taken 30+ years of vacation and no one knows what kind of fate they’ve been sporting.











3. ORWO UK-17

Expiration date: ’80. Shot as ISO 25.
FD: 12 min. @ 24º C

UK series of ORWO are very similar to UT, only balanced for artificial light. Shot with no warming filter and heavily post-processed to get any observable image.

4. ORWO UT-21

Expiration date: 1988. Shot as ISO 50.
FD: 12 min. @ 24º C

When new, this film had sensitivity of ISO 100. I hope I developed it without any push.

5. Agfachrome RSX 100

Expiration date: 1991. Shot as: ISO 100
FD: 15 min. @ 24º C

This film has a newer version, indicated RSX II 100. Mine was the previous one, but still is said to be  Agfa Process 44 (E-6) compatible. Its development in AP-41 was a lot of fun and rewarding.





Shot with Pentacon Six camera and Biometar 80/2.8 lens.

6. Kodak E100VS

Expiration date: 1991. Shot as ISO 100.
FD: 15 min. @ 24º C

That is a well known E-6 film. Here’s what I got in AP-41:

I had my Mamiya RB-67 camera with 65 mm and 127 mm lenses with me on the beach on this cloudish November afternoon – great for no-ND-filter low speed shots.











7. Agfa RS100 Plus

Expiration date: 1994. Shot as ISO 100
FD: 14 min. @ 24º C






8. Agfa Chrome 1000 RS

Expiration date: 1987. Shot as ISO 500.
FD: 15 min. @ 24º C






9. Kodak Ektachrome 64 6117

Expiration date: 1984. Shot as ISO 25.
FD: 15 min. @ 24º C

This is a sheet film 9×12 cm that I used to cut down to 6×9 to accommodate in my Mamiya sheet film holder type J. This film is daylight color balanced.

Below are two picture with the same Kodak Ektachrome 64, only with 6118 index, e.g. tungsten light balanced. Shot it again with RB-67 as ISO 25, no warming filter.

10. Kodak Ektachrome 160T

Expiration date: 1988. Shot as ISO 160.
FD: 14 min. @ 24º C

Another tungsten balanced emulsion, shot without warming filter.

11. Fujichrome Provia 100F

Expiration date: 1995. Shot as ISO 100.
FD: 17 min. @ 24º C

This one film came as the biggest surprise of all — I can’t measure the ratio between the beginner’s luck and the development mode. This is by far the best results I had with Agfa Process 41.














Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *