--> Skip to main content

From the Archive: Obsolete Film Data Sheet Scans - ORWO Information

Here's a sheet I got from writing ORWO Technischer Kundendienst back in the 1980's. It lists development times for all the ORWO Black and White films sold for export at the time (NP15, NP22, NP 27) combined with western developers Microphen, Atomal, Rodinal, Refinal, D-76, & ID-11.

A little bit of ORWO history- Germany's big photo film/paper manufacturer up until Germany's losing WWII was AGFA (short for AktienGesellschaft Für Anilinfabrikation - or corporation for some sort of plastic manufacture.) Germany was occupied by the winning powers USSR/USA/GB/FR and the rift between the USSR led to some complications for industries.

Depending on your view of history the US and western allies were much friendlier to the land they occupied (remember the USSR lost many millions of their citizens to the NAZIs which made them much less tolerant.) In any case, some factories in the east moved to the west with many key employees. Most photo enthusiasts know of the two different Zeiss factories (Oberkochen/Jena.) Well AGFA moved west to Leverkusen and the remaining factory in Wolfen was renamed ORWO short for Original Wolfen.

The more astute readers may have noted the meaning of those ORWO film names. For those of you who didn't recognize it, the number associated with those ORWO films are their DIN speeds. Back in those days- before we used ISO to describe film sensitivity, here in the US we used ASA. ASA is short for American Standards Association, ISO stands for International Standards Organization, and DIN stands for Deutsche Industrie Norm or German Industrial Standards (or so...)

DIN relates to ASA/ISO like this



That's to say they are the same at ISO 12, and while ISO doubles, DIN adds 3.

Somewhere I have much more detailed papers from ORWO that I hope to post here when I find them in my copious piles of papers.

I should also note, that ORWO NP20 (the GDR domestic version at ISO 80) and the export NP22 remained my favorite film for about 15 years. My first discovery of NP20 was on a day trip to Berlin, GDR on a day visa in 1987. Back then you had to buy a visa for DM5 (ca. US$2), then exchange DM20 (ca. $8) for "East Marks" (or officially Mark der DDR.) With that $8 I was able to eat, buy a magazine, and still had enough money left over to buy a few NP20's at a Berlin camera shop.


Popular posts from this blog

Linhof Serial Year List - Salomon Says

Recently I've acquired a few Linhof cameras. I got a 5x7 view camera from Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale. Later I stumbled upon a Color Kardan 90 Jahre Jubalaeum edition on Craigslist. And more recently, I found a "baby Technika" 2x3 (6x9) at Oakland's East Bay Depot for Creative Re-use. Not knowing much about Linhof large format cameras, I tried getting more info online, and came across a strange thread on the Large Format Photography Forum . Basically on this thread various Linhof owners ask a guy named Bob Salomon what year their Linhof was made. And the thread is over 100 pages long! Sifting through that thread is mindnumbing. Why Bob doesn't just publish the list of serial numbers is beyond me. Maybe it's just nice to feel needed. So I started compiling a spreadsheet of the serial numbers and the answer Bob gives. If you don't feel like spending a couple days reading this thread to get a hint as to the age of your Lin

How to stop annoying Corel pop-up ads

Corel has done something extra sleazy. For those not familiar, Corel has been making image editing software for as long as I can remember. The Canadian based company is known for budget graphics software including Corel Draw! (Similar to Adobe Illustrator) and Paint Shop Pro (Similar to Lightroom) as well as some other products. The price of their software makes it hard to resist. I bought a few of their products years ago. Recently ads started popping up in Windows (not on a web browser, but just in the right corner of my monitor. Those ads were for Corel products and would float over all other panes in my Windows. How sleazy is that?! So I found a way to get rid of the ads for good. Or at least until you install another Corel product. If this happens to you, and you find it as annoying as I do, follow this instruction. First, hit control (+) alt (+) delete and select task manager at the bottom. If you look at your task manager, you'll see something called "background

Who Makes Ultrafine Film?

One of these 120 paper backings stands out as being different. Not a big surprise, since one is Kodak, and another is Ilford. But our mystery film Ultrafine has the *exact* same backing paper as seen in this scan. What does this mean? There are a few possibilities that come to mind. It's always possible that the backing paper is made by a third party I suppose. Not likely, as there isn't much of a market for 120 film anymore, and I've never seen another non-Ilford film with the same backing paper. So is this mystery film, Ultrafine actually Ilford then? Another, more likely theory is that it is made by Kentmere. Kentmere and Ilford are both part of the Harman group . In researching this I just read that Harman was the name of the founder of Ilford company in the late 19th century. So how is are the Ultrafine (E)Xtreme films? I bought a bulk roll of the 400 speed. Frankly it's pretty grainy and soft. I don't hate it, and I'm trying to work with the grain.