5 Frames… With Rollei Retro 400s (EI 200 / 35mm format / Agfa Gevabox 6×9) – by Andrew Bartram

The Agfa “Gevabox” box camera normally takes 6×9 images on 120 film, has two shutter speeds and two apertures (mine is the later 1955 version). I tend to dip in and out of Retro 400s and normally shoot it at EI 200 but this was in a box camera so who knows! I keep a 30m length in a Watson bulk loader, I guess because I don’t shoot so much 35mm these days it does kind of get relegated to the back of the fridge in favour of Kodak’s EASTMAN Double-X 5222. But, it’s cheapish and I use it to play around with, which was the case here.

I’d cleaned up the old Gevabox and wedged in a cassette of Retro 400s. Coupled with a spirit level I’d added I so I could do sneaky waist level shots and took it with me as I headed up North to Newcastle for a business trip.


Loitering around Doncaster Station I held this thing at waist level and rattled off a few frames – 5 as it happened!

I knew from previous experience that you need to rate this film at probably 200 or slower to ensure good shadow detail, so I set the Gevabox to 1/50th and f/11 (slowest speed and biggest aperture) and hoped for the best.

Developed the negs in ID11 1+1 for 9 mins and results seemed OK – funky sprockets and not much in focus – maybe the odd way I was holding the camera or, most likely just the camera.

Negs have a nice clear base and the don’t curl so great for scanning WHICH I HATE by the way.

~ Andrew 

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.


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Andrew Bartram
Never stopped using film. Never stopped making darkroom prints. 32 years later I can mostly be found in the Cambridgeshire Fenlands under a darkcloth or with a pinhole camera.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I really like these and will try that film! Must get my Gevabox out and try some 35mm in it and use them adaptors.

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