5 Frames With… 1945 expired AGFA ISOCHROM (EI 3 / 120 / Natasha Convertible Pinhole) – by Jan Priess
Pinhole photography has a unique charm expressing a kind of slow-down photography for me in this fast moving modern digital world. In my work, I like to use expired films, as imperfection and age of the emulsion often give a random add-on to the photos taken which you hardly can plan for. For this roll of film I used my Natasha 69 pinhole in 6×6.
On my way further exploring the effects of expired films in pinhole photography I came across two rolls of AGFA ISOCHROM film (120 rollfilm, 18 DIN / ISO 50), expired in August 1945.
When I first had the film in hands I was surprised by the quality of the carton box, the packaging and the film itself. Obviously, this film was stored under supportive conditions for the past 73 years. The film has an original sensitivity of 18 DIN (50 ISO). I have rated the film 3 ISO for measuring (assumed 4 stops less due to the age).
To go out with this film I have chosen the hydroelectric power plant in Birsfelden, closed to Basel, Switzerland, where I live. The power plant was planned during WWII and only finished shortly after the war in 1954 when this film was expired already. The massive architecture of the buildings forming the power plant is quite impressive for itself so I was curious how this would come out on this special film.
For the development of such an old film, I chose a conservative and diluted development method (2:1 mixture of HC-110 and Rodinal / 1+100). With this method, I was successful before on other expired 120 roll films.
I’m really looking forward to go out with the second roll of AGFA ISOCHROM. I guess large architecture and bright sun and shadow will support the nice look of the texture obviously the safety paper has damaged the emulsion during storage.
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