Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Agfa Ultra-Speed

If you read this blog regularly you'll know that recently I found a roll of Agfa-Speed Ultra on Ebay. The film is a little out of date.... well it actually expired in 1941 which makes it ancient history film-wise.
It was made by Agfa-Ansco in America, Binghamton N.Y to be exact, and according to my google seaches had a Weston speed of around 80.

Here are a few photos:

Above is the Warranty and Warning
Next a rear view of the tin showing the Agfa logo

Lastly a side view.

I shall atempt to use the film in my Leica with vintage Elmars both 50 & 90 mm, I doubt anthything will come out as the film will probably be fogged, but it will be fun (and it's a lovely old tin even if the film is Kaput).

If anyone has any more information about this film, such as a confirmation of film speed or even development time suggestions for Rodinal, it would be most welcome.


Charlie Wood said...

Going on the information in my 1947 edition of The Leica manual (Willard D. Morgan)
Ansco ultra speed pan is listed as a group 1 film 64-125 asa daylight.
The development time for this group of films in D76 is 25 mins at 18 deg c. I have other books in my locker at work published at the time your film was new. I will look into it tomorrow. The books I have do list many developer formulae and times for your film.
Rodinal would be a good start as it has good anti fogging properties. I developed a roll of HP3 last week that was exposed in the mid 50 in stock X-TOL there was very little base fog and good negatives!
I also developed a roll of Kodak super XX pan that according to the handwritten note on the leader was exposed in 1947 unfortunately it was totally fogged.
Microphen and Kodak HC are supposed to be good for old/ found film.
Have you done a clip test just to see what the base fog is like.
I see that the film is not safety film be careful.


Photo–Smith said...

Thanks Charlie
You comments are always welcome, I haven't done a clip yet as I've only had the film about 3 days (got it on evil-bay)
I have heard lots about nitrate films and you can be sure I'll handle it with care.

Charlie Wood said...

I have looked up in my 1949 edition of 35mm (H. S. Newcombe)
It lists your film as a group C film (30-32 deg Sch) and has no information on development in Rodinal, but lists times for many other developers and the formula for making them all up. It gives a time of 25 mins at 18 degC for this speed group in D76.
Rodinal seems to be very out of favour in the late 30 to late 40's (I wonder why)
I also have looked in my copy of Agfa Handbook of development. This little book looks like it was published in the 1940's.
The information it gives for Rodinal is limited but it gives times for rodinal 1-20 of 5 mins at 18 degC 4 mins at 24 deg C 3 mins at 28 deg C This could be a starting point for you?? The 20-1 Rodinal should keep the fog down.
Tucked into the book is the data sheet for a roll of 1940's Isopan 17/10 Din the rodinal times at 18 deg C are for 1 to 20 dilution 5-6 mins for 1 to 40 12- 15 mins.
The book you really need is the 1939 edition of the Photo lab index.
I would go for a clip test in 20-1 rodinal to see what the base fog is like. and see if it is still sensitive to light as well.
I hope the fog is not to bad and it still has some sensitivity.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Charlie. 1-20 should pan out fine;-)
I think I'll clip it this week end and see if its fogged.
Then I just forgot I'll need a cassette as its been a few years since I bulk loaded.
Once again thanks for you time and effort.

Charlie Wood said...

If you are going to shoot this film in a Leica I would use a Proper Leica Cassette, they are easy to load by hand in a changing bag/darkroom if you don't have a bulk loader. They never scratch the film or jam your Leica. Or you can use an Adox/ ERA pan one. I was In Philip's cameras 2 weeks ago, he had some new bulk cassettes and some very expensive Nikon lenses!
Slightly off subject, I have been asked by a friend to get some prints made from 4X5 trannys. I shoot 6X6 trannys but these 4X5's are huge!! I would like to shoot this format for landscapes and other outdoor things (in colour), Any words on 4X5 cameras would be a great help.
I was reading your post's on the Pentax 66. I would really love a SLR that shoots 120/220 film.
Is there a Dealer in Norwich who might have one of these cameras to have a look at????


Photo–Smith said...

Well Charlie
I haven't shot 5x4 for years, but a friend of mine Tom Mackie used to have a Wista Field 45. This seemed like a better camera for landscapes than the Sinar P we had in the studio, much more compact and portable.
Actually if I was to print 5x4 (my DeVere 507 is LONG gone) I would get an Epson v700 and scan then print on my R2400.
Getting hold of a Pentax67 is pretty easy they are cheap as chips now £200 gets you a rough one, but if you can get one with MLU.
If I was to get another 120 camera I'd get the Fuji 6x9 rangefinder and shoot chromes, compact good quality lens and large trans!

Charlie Wood said...

Hello Mark

Thanks for the advise on 5x4 cameras and MF equipment.
I will look into the options.
The idea of the Fuji 6x9 rangefinder is very tempting.
6X9 chromes yes please!!!!!
A pentax 67 for the £200 ish is a steal, MLU yes point taken, use it all the time on my Nikon F & F2 for slow shutter speeds.

I managed to get a fair bit of Agfa RSX 50 earlier this year, I really like this film. There is so much good E6 120 film on the go for silly money.

You might me interested to see what I coaxed out of a roll of 1950's FP3 head over to my blog and look under Found Film.



Winslow said...

Excuse me if you know of this, or someone else has mentioned it to you, but I think - emphasis on think - that there are some anti-fog chemicals available. I forget the exact brand name, but there used to be a product designed to help reduce fog on aged film and paper. Somehow, I think it was made by Edwal, of FG-7 fame.

I am warmed to see your blog and its great appreciation for "real" photography, the old kind, the kind I grew up with and cherish and long for - and yes, still try to keep alive in my own small way. Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

I found this by Googling the film type. You might be interested to see p.182 of 'Unclassified: A Walker Evans Anthology' which shows a contact sheet shot on Agfa 30 Ultra Speed Pan.