Rollei Retro 80S - 35mm Film
An interesting black and white film that can be shot down to ISO 32 and up to 100 - so a very interesting emulsion for situations that are guaranteed to be bright (sunlit holiday destinations or extreme studio set-ups). Great detail and wonderful image quality, your photos will look fantastic in 35mm.
To understand more about the details above you can check out our film guide or if you want some inspiration then head over to our page on choosing your next film. And if you want the full details about the film, including technical information, read about Rollei Retro 80S over on EMULSIVE.
As a company Rollei is most famous for it's cameras - particularly the iconic twin-lens Rolleiflex - but this German-based company founded in 1920 has also had a long history of making B&W films. Unfortunately the parent company didn't survive the digital revolution of the 90s/00s but the brand survives today under licence to AgfaPhoto - who continue to support emulsions old and new.
For more information about the brand check out our bio of Rollei
Sample images (c) Tom Hart
Where we ship
When you buy your camera film from us we can ship it across the UK, Europe, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Canada (more countries planned soon!) So buy your Rollei Retro 80S Film 35mm B&W ISO 80 today and dive back into the fun of 35mm film photography!
I decided to give this a try after seeing results some friends had with it. They reckon it is at it's best when shooting portraits or street photography and i am inclined to agree with them. But.....
I develop my own B&W film these days and I had a nightmare getting this film to load on a spiral. It didn't want to know on a Paterson spiral and I even had a hard time loading it onto a steel spiral. maybe it was just me or maybe it was the hot weather I don't know. Would I use it again? Probably, but I would send it to a lab for developing.
I bought a roll of this to try out but didn't hold out much hope for it, I'm happy to say it exceeded all expectations! Smooth grain, sharp, nice tones and quite a thin neg that scans very nicely, I have since bought more of this before it sells out!
This is easily my favourite B&W film for detail in all sorts of situations. It gives super sharp results - as with another reviewer, it's practically medium format level when printing - and the high red / low blue sensitivity darkens skies in an attractive way for landscapes. Cloud shots look fantastic. Also, unlike some others such as Acros and T-Max 100 IMO, it's a "human" film, with skin tones looking right and people not looking like mannequins.
The obvious barrier to using it everywhere is the low speed, though it's workable for street photography with a fast lens. It isn't ideal for telephoto shots except in bright conditions. Also, shadows can be very deep, though I've found I can generally get the detail I need out of them.
Many years ago I used to shoot Kodak Plus-X 125 because of it's great tonality, contrast and well-managed grain structure. When it was discontinued I never found another film to replace it for my photography style - until I tried Retro 80S. Wow. Just... wow! So much contrast, steep gamma transfer curve but with full preservation of full whites and deep, deep blacks. The transparent base makes it so easy to scan. For home processing you do need to be more careful loading it onto the spiral as the substrate is thin.
I have had one problem which is common to all transparent base films; if loaded into the camera in bright ambient ligh,t you will see some fogging along the sprocket edges for the first few frames.
Processing in Rodinal or D76 gives exquisitely detailed negatives that have virtually no grain. This film is as close to a photographic holy grail as it's possible to get... and it's cheap!
Use it for everything except street / portraiture - the extended IR response does not render a good skin tone and it's just not fast enough for street photography. For landscape / architecture, pop a yellow or orange filter on for the most dramatic skies.
I just shot my first roll of Retro 80S in 35mm, and I'm a fan! It's contrasty, yet renders midtones evenly and smoothly, resulting in a medium-format-like look. It's similar to Fuji Acros 100, but the film base is very clear, which makes it a breeze to scan. Looking at the clear, punchy negatives is a delight in itself, almost like viewing transparencies. I'll wait to shoot a few more before I can say this with certainty, but it might just be my new favourite BnW film.