Thursday, July 12, 2007

Agfa Update

Well, I opened up the tin in order to do a clip-test.
Inside was the film, a corrugated card insert and these instructions on a pamphlet:
Click on the image for a larger view, to make texts readable, here is the other side:

I hope some of the info above will be useful to someone:

I cut off a length of film about 6" and loaded it into my spiral no problem the film felt OK and travelled into the spiral very easily.
I then prepared the developer and fixer. I used Rodinal at 1:25, pre-wet for 1 min at 20 degrees C then developed for 5 mins with gentle agitaion for first 30 sec then every min thereafter.
It was then fixed for 3 mins in fresh Ilford Fix.
No stop bath was used just a small rinse in water.

After a small final rinse about 5 mins, I opened the tank...
At first I was disappointed as the film looked completely fogged, but as I held it to the light I saw to my surprise there are IMAGES.
Badly fogged either by age or light at sometime (who knows when in the last 60+ years) but there are images of people.
The film is drying as I'm typing this and I'll try to scan and post them later....
But for now here is a copy from DSLR and a Macro lens:

and closer crop:

All images and text © Mark Antony Smith 2007


Charlie Wood said...


Is your can of film un-opened and you have exposed a short length of film. Or has the film been exposed at some time in the past and put back in the tin?
Bit of a bonus the data sheet being in the tin.
When I was clip testing my HP3 in X-Tol I had to add 15% to the original time to get good results.
The 3 rolls of HP3 were partially exposed, because the camera that took them looked to have had film transport problems. I got some very interesting pictures that could have been taken in Cyprus or somewhere hot in the 1950's (hot in the military sense of things)

Photo–Smith said...

For me this raises more questions than answers.
Firstly the film was packed in corrugated card with the data sheet It felt like it was tightly wound bulk film.
In fact the first length I clipped 'sprung" out of my hands when I took it off the spool and is unfortunately fogged.
The pictures came from another clipped length.
I didn't expect there to be images on it!
I can only think that the photographer was loading his own Leica type cassettes, and had only one spare so he put it back in the tub for safe keeping- to be processed 66 years later by someone on the other side of the earth.
Who knows what happened to the photographer? If it was America in 1941 then did he join the Army?
Did he not survive the war? Leaving the tin with his widow, the tin then being sold to me upon her passing?
Like I said SO many questions- Who are these people?

Charlie Wood said...
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Charlie Wood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Wood said...

Now this is interesting.

Those images are quite good you should get some prints. Ghosts oh yes. I bet that made you look when you held it up to the light.

I use quite a bit of bulk film.
Ilford and Kodak film comes in a box /tin wrapped in a black plastic bag.
The films from the former soviet block do things like they did 60 years ago Metal tin with film wrapped in black paper, it looks like the backing paper you get on rolls of Forte films and foma film.
I should say the cardboard wrapping may well be somthing the preveious owner has used to re-pack the film.
At the time this film was manufatured 35mm was in its early days, bulk film was very popular as it would save you quite a bit of money.
Have a read of a pre WW2 copy of the Leica Manual. great read.
I have just looked at the picture on your tin. it says Agfa loads. This in not bulk film as in a 17m 30.5 length but individually cut lengths ready to load in to your own cassettes. I should say the cardboard will be seperating the exposed lengths from the un-exposed lengths. You might be able to feel on the leaders the exposed ones they will have a fold io them if they have been loaded into a leica?
You have really found something interesting on ebay. Not so evil bay after all. LOL

Photo–Smith said...

I'm still reeling a bit I've got 5 images of the past not sure what to do with them yet.
The film wasn't in a bag inside the tin (which makes the picture survival more remarkable)
The card insert looks and smells 1940s and is cut very precisely I think it's original.
I post some more images later.
Yes I did look when I saw the faint images in the fog of the film.
A real window on the past.

vic vic said...

mark.......... i ahve nothing to say exept WOW ........ what an exitemnt ........ your described it like a good writer.... like roman gary :) i almost felt opening the tank myself :))