Rollei Retro 100 Tonal

Published by dirk on

Recently I wrote an article about an extremely cheap film, the wonderful Lucky SHD 100. Today I will post some images from a film that is on the more expensive side: Rollei Retro 100 Tonal. With EURO 5.36 It’s still cheaper then Ilford HP5,  but more expensive then Ilford Delta 100 which is EURO 4.99 and shares the same boxspeed.

The Rollei Retro 100 TONAL is a medium speed black-and-white orthopanchromatic film with highest standard in grain quality and sharpness and highest dmax and a beautiful tonal range.
This film is the best choice for photographic applications like portraits, landscape, architecture, and duplication works.
Because of its clear support it is a best choice as slide material.

The emulsion is coated onto a transparent synthetic base providing excellent long-term and dimensional stability. This films has to be loaded in the camera and unloaded in subdued light. Before and after exposition always store the films in the black light-tight film-container. Not following these advices can cause light infiltration through the base material to the exposed pictures.

So what exactly is the difference between a panchromatic and a orthopanchromatic film?

  • Orthopanchromatic film differentiates between reds and blacks, but reds come out darker then on panchromatic films.
  • Because blue light adds more to the exposure (reds are partly missing), hard shadows get lightened up a little as they are brightened up from blue skies.
  • Lips in portraits are darker, so there is no need of additional Lipstick.
  • Skin blemishes are not accented as in pan films
  • Haze and atmospheric perspective gets accentuated, so layered mountain shots get more depth because each layer will be brighter and bluer.
  • Blue skies com out brighter

In former times there where more orthopanchromatic films, so shooting on Rollei Retro 100 might give your shots a nostalgic touch. Nowadays the only orthopanchromatic films are Fuji Neopan Acros and Rollei Retro 100. All the rest is panchromatic.

This film has a clear film base and should be pre washed before developing to get rid of the antihalation layer. I might experiment with a pre wash in coffee later.

Let’s have a look at the pictures, developed in Delta-STD for 15 mins.

As usual, if you want to show your caffenol images here on, want to share your knowledge, or (even unsuccessful) results of your experiments, feel free to give me shout using the contact form.


Dirk Essl is the founder of And has done a tremendous amount of coffee development in the past.


Dan · January 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm


Where do you buy your Rollei 100? Is there anything online?

b.r Dan

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