Greetings Comrades! I am back with another “5 Frames” feature to further your capitalist decadence. This time I am shooting the superior German film type N74 plus produced by ORWO. I am using my glorious and efficient and Chaika 3 16×24 format camera. Just as our bountiful five-year plans could not be constrained within a mere half-decade, so too the prolific Chaika cannot be held to conventional boundaries.

I counter your five decadent western double-wides with eighteen industrial single frames joined in solidarity! I began this endeavor to honor the workers of the world on May Day, 2018. Despite the machinations of imperialists who conspired to impede my effort, the people have prevailed in 2019! Glory to the Revolution!

Pull up a seat and let me tell you a story. It was the time of Perestroika, reform was in the air, ORWO N27 was in the camera, and Kodak D-76 was in the developing tank. It was the time of bromide streaks, edge effects, halos and stout grain and so I soon moved on. But this N74 plus is not your Comrade Secretary’s film, no! It is a modern emulsion and does not display the traits of the previous, save for a hearty grain to keep your textures moving. One detail I note, N74 plus has oval “BH” sprocket holes, an apparent concession to Western standards and a reminder to me of the motion picture linage of all 35mm film. 

My ruminations often wander to the cinema when I endeavor to work with a so-called “half-frame” camera, running the film across the gate as it does in the manner of a cine camera. Although (try as I might) I do not shoot at 24 frames per second, I do consider the sequentiality these machines suggest to me. I seek out correspondences within the rubble of visual elements and content, thinking of ways to build pictures from multiple single frames. Like vodka on a Monday night, the film in a small camera is plentiful and should flow without hesitation!

The N74 plus was rated at 360 Gost and developed for 9 minutes in Pyrocat-HD developer diluted 1:1:50 at 20ºC.

до свидания! (Do svidaniya!)

~ Erik

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This series is being 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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