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 →

The first thing you’re going to think when you take a look at a C220f is that this is going to be a heavy camera, and then you’re going to pick it up and notice that it is relatively light for its size and form factor. I love a good system camera, but outside of the SLR world, there isn’t much in the way of system cameras in the medium format realm. At least until you look up Mamiya’s rather interesting C-Series of TLRs, they are proper TLRs in every way, but it’s also a complete system camera with interchangeable lenses, grips, and finders; theRead 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 →

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 →

When it comes to assistance with long processing times or the need for constant agitation, there aren’t that many options out there today. Sure there is the original Jobo system, but these are completely closed systems that often carry a high startup cost. And on the opposite end of the spectrum are the Besler and Unicolor Cibachrome bases and tanks. But what about something new, using modern solutions. Last year I had the chance to try out one such system, the AuRA film processor, and it certainly made an impression on me and my processing. Sadly these aren’t yet for sale, and given the technologyRead 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 →

This month, we’re sticking to an X-Ray theme with a new film stock from Film Washi. While I use the term ‘new’ only to indicate that it is a newly available stock through Film Washi. I found this film through the Film Photography Project Store through their email newsletter and was drawn to the fact it was available in 120 formats, so I jumped at the chance. The film stock was initially used for industrial non-destructive tests like welding quality checks. Being coated on each side of its thick blue polyester base and without an anti-halation layer will give the pictures a unique look. AndRead More →