When people hear the name ORWO, they mostly think of their brilliant motion picture films, UN54 and N74. Their newer offerings include the recently announced but yet-to-arrive NP100 and NP400 plus NC500. But that is only a small cross-section of their original offerings. ORWO, or rather ORiginal WOlfen is built in Wolfen, Germany, the original Agfa plant that ended up on the eastern side of the iron curtain and continued to produce films and developers after World War Two through the Cold War. Their films became popular among photographers in East German and the Soviet Bloc. My first experience with ORWO films is one ofRead More →

This isn’t my first experience with Tasma film, I have shot NK-II in the past and their Type 25L. As a company, Tasma or Тасма has been producing photographic products since 1933. The name is a shortened version of Татарские светочувствительные материалы or Tatar Sensitized Materials, and they have carried that name since 1974. Originally operating under the name Film Factory No. 8, the Kazan-based factory continued operations through the entirety of the Soviet involvement in World War II and earned the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1944. Following the collapse of the USSR, the company reorganised as a private firm inRead More →

If you’ve been in film photography for a while, you’ve seen big companies come and go. And a pile of companies were rarely seen here in North America. The iron curtain, for many years, divided the world in two, between the west and the east following the Second World War. The Cold War kept western films out of the east and eastern films out of the west. One such brand is Forte. I’ve only seen one roll of Fortepan before; I remember using it, but it’s not on my film log, so maybe I ended up giving it away. Kodak opened a photochemical plant inRead More →

Here I go again, sticking my nose into a speciality film. Copex Rapid, as the name on the tin says, is a high-contrast copy film that requires a special developer. Copex Rapid is a faster version of the original Copex. So a stop faster can be helpful in the right conditions. The trouble is that the special developer is not readily available in North America and is even harder to get in Europe. But that hasn’t stopped me before, so I took a chance. You’ll notice that I decided to drop one of my usual developers, Ilfotec HC, as it stated it was high-contrast, andRead More →

I always enjoy working with a film that isn’t used in everyday photography. And one type of film that I have only limited experience with is surveillance film. Sure I’ve shot with Derev Pan and Streetcandy. But never a Kodak surveillance film. Kodak Plus-X Aerecon II, despite having the name Plus-X, is not related to the normal Plus-X; the data sheet describes the film as a panchromatic, black-and-white negative aerial film having extended red sensitivity and medium speed. This film has a fine grain and relatively high contrast and is intended for medium- to high-altitude reconnaissance. Its ESTAR Thin Base provides flexibility, moisture resistance, highRead More →

In full disclosure, I have technically already reviewed Adox Scala 50, but in its HR-50 branding. But as I’m developing the film in a completely different way, I figured it would be worth reviewing in its Scala livery and developing HR-50 as a Black & White slide film. These days a dedicated b&w slide film is a rare stock; there’s only one out there, Fomapan 100R, but in the past, one of the most iconic was Agfa Scala 200X. But I was using negative films as the positive stock was common, with Kodak also producing their reversal kit for TMax film. Adox also released theirRead More →

When it comes to instant film, there isn’t much that draws me to the medium. Other than the fact that it’s an instant film, it’s amazing that after Polaroid pulled the plug, someone was able to backwards engineer and recreate it. And I’ve been with them since the beginning from those early steps and some pretty terrible prototypes. And while Impossible Project turned to Polaroid Originals to reclaim the Polaroid name, the spirit of this has remained and started to produce normal repeatable products. Sure they may have lost their spirit of adventure, having a colour instant integral film in the 21st Century is somethingRead More →

I love black & white in all forms, film, digital, and even instant. And up until only recently, the only way to get B&W instant film was through Polaroid (formerly Impossible & Polaroid Originals). From the start, the B&W stocks from this new generation of the instant integral film have been the strongest performers. But it only got better as the formulation was improved. Today the new BW600 is perhaps the instant film I reach for the most, although not too much due to the cost of the stock. It gives pleasing images and is always a fun go-around and works in almost all generationsRead More →

There is a legendary film that many professional photographers whisper about in hushed tones of reverence. Part of a lineup of professional films held near and dear to many photographers’ hearts. Especially regarding its sharpness and fine grain, that film is APX 25. I have shot this film many times; it’s one that I always will seek out when hunting through boxes of expired films or in the fridges at camera stores or when offered up by former professional photographers. Despite being a slow film, it is fun to use in almost any situation, and though it has been gone for twenty-two years now, itRead More →

It’s been a long road getting Silberra films; from their initial crowdfunding campaign, delays, communications blackouts, and other released products, I doubt I will ever see any of the 120 films I initially backed. But then I got word that I shouldn’t expect them, and I was offered up an alternative, replacing the rolls of 120 of Pan50 with rolls of 35mm. I’ve wanted to try this film for a while now, so I jumped. And the rolls arrived in a timely fashion; sadly, because there has been almost no stock reaching the wider world, there is not much information online, including processing times. Thankfully,Read More →