It was raining in the city by the lake, a hard rain. A hard rain would wash the silver halides off any type of film. I was looking for something or someone for that matter. Someone contacted me about something new hitting the streets. A film stock would deliver the look of those old detective movies from the mid-century. I spent hours in the old one-screen cinema watching these films when I was a kid, growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. He called himself Shadow, Agent Shadow, although, given his love of cloak and dagger, I think the “agent” part was made-up,Read More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

When it comes to Film Washi, they certainly have gotten their hands on some interesting film stocks. And after enjoying some of their products last year, one of their products I’ve wanted to try. But with any repurposed film stock, you have to wait for the raw materials to become available. Thankfully after watching out on the Film Photography Project’s store I saw them come back in stock thanks to their email newsletter. Type “F” is a special X-Ray film used for mass lung disease diagnoses; according to the Film Washi website, it is truly a unique film that offers, coated without an anti-halation layer,Read More →

Some films carry with them a particular cult following. While I’m not one to follow these cult followings when I’ve never shot the film stock before and usually don’t play into these followings. At least until I see a trusted and respected photographer rave about the film stock. And Fujicolor C200 is that film stock, and I can see why people love working with the stock. C200 is a film that fills a gap that provides a rich, almost perfect colour reproduction and blends well with the current digital age and is one of the most straightforward colour films to scan and run through post-processing.Read More →