I love cycling. I also love taking pictures. An old Rollei 35mm camera turned out to be the ideal way to marry these two things without putting my fancy digital camera in danger, I even liked the pictures so much that the modern monster now stays at home for most days.

One day I found myself ordering film once again from a famous German retailer, who, as I would later find out, also owns Adox. Normally I would buy some Bergger Pancro 400 or ILFORD HP5 PLUS, but this time I decided that some slower speed film would be fun for the upcoming sunny days. So a strange film called HR-50 from Adox caught my eye.

Curious, I just added them to my “usual” order to shoot with my Rollei 35S.

Opening the package, I already noticed that my 3 rolls looked quite strange, having some inkjet-printed (strangely sticky) labels on the container. The color scheme of the labels seemed pretty off. So I called the retailer and asked if there might be an older batch lying around. And indeed, the film I received turned out to be a prototype-batch that they also sold form the neighbouring Adox warehouse. Mistakes can happen, especially in these quite strange pandemic times, so I decided to just try and stick with what I got.

The Guy working for Adox and that retailer were also pretty nice, warning me that the HR-50 out of the early batch had not received some chemical treatment that reduces contrast. He recommended to overexpose and then pull the film while developing.

Sadly, I made some metering errors and did not do that for the first half of the film…so I decided to try stand developing the film instead, a method that I would normally refrain from using because I found the results to be quite random on some old rolls of film I had laying around. To my surprise, the results turned out quite good, having great tones and sharpness.

After all that talk about cycling, most of the keepers from that roll were not shot while doing that, they are taken on my way to work. The film turned out to produce great shots of buildings, I will certainly return to it for some more architectural projects in the future.

~ Max

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About the author

Avatar - Max Bambauer

Max Bambauer

Photography enthusiast from Kaiserslautern, Germany. Makes some money photographing events on the side. Main interests are car photography and documenting his home town.


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  1. I can’t comment on the film, but I love my Rollei 35S. A classic camera with a first class lens. Mine has been consistently on the nail for exposure too.

  2. Back in the ’70s, among my most prized possessions were a Raleigh Gran Prix and a Rollei 35, so I really enjoyed this piece. I shot various color films and also Agfa B&W, developed in Rodinal.

    Alas, that camera was stolen from my apartment the summer I finished college. I replaced it with an SLR (dumb!) and have missed it ever since.

    It’s been many decades since I’ve used a darkroom, but I still cycle with a camera. These days, though, it’s a Fuji X20–about the closest digital I could get in size and usefulness to my old ’35.