I have a habit of browsing for cheap films on eBay. At the time I was impressed by the results I got by shooting my first slide films, namely Provia, Velvia, and even Fujichrome 50 expired in 1991, so I was searching for a cheap slide film from time to time.

This was when I stumbled upon some unbranded film in blue canisters. There was an uppercase “FILM” and later a line in German: “für Farbdiapositive” and another line in English: “for Color Slides”. Then the line “Process E6”. The other line in tiny letters was “CS 36 · ISO 100/21”. I contacted the seller and asked which film is inside the canisters and when it expired, and he answered he has no idea. Inspired by the results I got using Fuji slide films, I decided to try this unknown film. I was stunned, amazed when I first projected the slides and saw pictures on the wall. My scans were never even close to what I could see on a real positive.

I wanted to understand what is the “final work”, and how my film photos would look if printed analog way. I was searching for such a service in my city, but all the labs were printing from scans. Though the printing would be done with an analog RA-4 process involving chemistry, that wouldn’t be the same image as projected right from the film. The positive film was eliminating the questions like what is the “final work”, and how would it look. That is why being able to see the positives was extremely important to me.

I shot the first roll in the town of Vanadzor, browsing, as I often do, in unfamiliar backyards. I also met friends who stayed in a camp in the nearby forest and were heading home.

I wasn’t impressed by this film, as I was impressed by Fuji slides. It didn’t have that vibrant palette I was expecting, and the slides had some dirt on them. On the developed positives I found the real name of the film: “Jessops CS100”, but my search revealed almost no information about the film on the net. It has its taste, and I don’t regret getting these canisters. Till now I only shot one roll and kept the rest in the fridge. Now after more than 3 years I feel excited to revisit it, loaded the film into two of my cameras.

~ Norayr

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About the author

Avatar - Norayr Chilingarian

Norayr Chilingarian

I am a software developer living in Yerevan, Armenia, who is passionate about film photography, cameras, and trying himself in the area of electronic music.

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  1. Jessops is a UK camera store chain which went bankrupt a good while ago but then re-emerged a few years ago. I understand they have closed their stores but are still selling on line. I have an expired Jessops Diamond Max 400 colour print film C41 awaiting a good excuse to use. Exp date 11/2006.