Revival of 127 film - new films on the market

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by francois_p._garnier, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Hello,
    after the sad news of Kodachrome being discontinued (I started my slide film "career" with Kodachrome) there is also very good news concerning new films introduced to the market:
    Rollei-Film has made an announcement that their recently in 35mm introduced Rollei Retro 80S film (that is Agfa-Gevaert Aviphot Pan 80 - fresh production from Agfa in Belgium, ) will soon also be available in 120 and in 127 format! So we will have an alternative to Efke R100 in 127 format. Here is the official announcement:
    Available in Europe at the end of July, in north America and Asia probably one month later.
    I have used the Rollei Retro 80S in 35mm so far. Excellent stuff, incredible sharp, very high resolution and extremely fine grain. I estimate that with this film you will get in 127 format 4x4 results comparable to other films in 6x6.
    And it looks like this new 127 film will not be the only one. Rollei-Film distributor Robert Vonk made a statement that there will be even a E6 slide film in 127 at the end of this year! So Super-Slide will be back! For all of you younger photographers: Super-Slide is 4x4 slide, which can be used with dedicated slide mounts (e.g. from Gepe) in normal 35mm slide projectors (no need for a further projector for the bigger format). Look here:
    It is only a guess by me, but I can imagine if the demand for the new films is good, than we could see even more films in 127 offered by Rollei-Film.
    It's time to take our 127 format classic cameras out of the display cabinet and back in use again. 127 is a real fun format, I like it.
  2. Well pull out them old 4x4 cameras then.. Now to get the 110 and 126 back.
  3. Now we need a new 127 camera. The Blackbird Fly (TLR 35mm camera from Freestyle) will produce a 36mm x 36mm image on 35mm (including sprocket area). That's only 4mm shy of a 4 x 4cm image needed for 127. I wonder how practical it would be to modify a Blackbird to do 127? I'm sure there would be some vignetting, but it might be interesting.
  4. Hello Mike,
    you are right, a Blackbird Fly 4x4 should be no problem. But before the manufacturer will decide to make a modified camera, we have to show the demand by buying the new films. If there is a demand, there will be a supply.
    And, there are lots of great 127 cameras on the used market: The Baby Rolleiflex 4x4, Yashica 44, Minolta 4x4 TLR, Bilora Bella, Zeiss Ikon, Agfa, Kodak Brownie and so on. A lot of manufacturers had built cameras for 127 film in the last 80 years. Now is the time to reactivate these gems.
  5. Yes also known as Super Slide film as it fit into the 2x2 mount.
  6. Vest Pocket Kodaks are also a great way to use 127 film, you get a substantial negative.
  7. Francois, I was really thinking of it more as a DIY job for someone skilled in modifiying cameras. I agree that the manufacturer would have to see substantial demand before undertaking such a project.
    FWIW, if I were going to design a 127 camera from scratch, I would build a fixed lens rangefinder with a pressure plate to hold the film flat for exposure, but would lift away enough as to not scratch the film during advance.
    BTW, where can you buy Rollei Retro 80S in the USA? Freestyle doesn't have it yet.
  8. This is awesome news! It will be nice to have another choice when shooting 127! It is such a fun format!
  9. I've been using some other Rollei Retro and having great results. I noticed also has 127 from Efke as well.
  10. Mike, I don't know why Freestyle doesn't have Rollei Retro 80S 35mm yet.
    Perhaps they are sleeping, and you have to wake them up ;-). Ask them to list it, they certainly will do it. In Europe this film is already available since March.
    A reason could be that they are waiting for a shipment with all three formats together(35mm, 127, 120). And Rollei-Film said in their announcement, that 127 and 120 will arrive at end of July from the plant.
    I think we only need some weeks of patience for the bigger formats.
  11. Just came up from my shop where I had my mom's old Brownie Reflex Synchro all apart (she bought the camera in the 1940's). Cleaned both the viewing lenses and the mirror and was even able to clean the taking lens inside and out (which is quite an ordeal).
    Just started looking for 127 film and found this thread. Very cool about the Rollie Retro 80S in 127. Wonder if it's the old AFGA formula like some of the other Rollie Retro films have been?
    Would like to hear more about the Blackbird Fly as I have a machine shop and I service motion picture cameras. Converting a still camera should not be too difficult.
  12. Hello Tim,
    no, the Rollei Retro 80S is not an older Agfa formula. It is a new one, from Agfa-Gevaert in Belgium. When Rollei-Film introduced this film first in 35mm some months ago, they made a statement that this film is Agfa-Gevaert Aviphot Pan 80. It is a high resolution film with extended red sensivity (with dedicated IR-filters you can use this film as an infrared film, too).
    Here is the original data sheet: PAN 80_tcm221-42585.pdf
  13. Francois,
    From what that data sheet says, the film is designed to be used by the military for aerial reconnaissance work. Wonder if that has any effect on general use photography?
  14. Well it should cut through haze pretty good with the right filter.
  15. Tim,
    there is no problem at all to use films with aerial photography origin in general photography. The extended red sensivity leads to very clear and bright landscape photographs because the red light of the spectrum cut indeed very good through haze. The tonality is a bit different, because red is a bit lighter.
    I've used this film so far in 35mm. It is outstandingly sharp and high resolving (compared with Nikons D3X, resolving power is 50% better), with extremely fine grain. Even finer than T-Max 100. Exposure latitude is a bit more narrow than with other films, so correct exposure is recommended for best results.
  16. Has anyone gotten any of the Rollei Retro in 127 format in the US? I can't seem to find a distributor over here.
  17. Great news! I emailed Freestyle and got the following response:
    Hi Matt

    We have this item on order. It is due on or about 12/7/09. Our item
    number will be 810827. It has not been activated on our website because
    of the due date. However if you want to place an order you can call our
    telesales department with the item number and they will be able to enter
    your order. The price will be $7.99 per roll.

    Here is the complete description: Item # 810827 ROLLEI RETRO 80S 127

    Marv Keller
    Customer Service & Consumer Direct Sales

    Order some! Let's show Freestyle (and Rolliefilm/Aga) that there's a demand for this stuff.

  18. Cool I wish I did not have to re-roll 120 to my 620 spools.... but at that price I think I can keep doing it for 620 but I will order a few rolls of 127 I have a baby brownie that needs to work.
  19. I just shot my first roll of the Retro 80 127 film ( HC 110- 10 min. at 24 deg C ) and the negs came out with wonderful range and the sharp edges I like. I shot with my Mark 4 at f16 on a clear sunny day to get lots of contrast and the film did fine. Seems different then the Efke 100, maybe colder, but it sure has a snap. This stuff looks like a keeper and Freestyles' prices make buying lots of film possable. Ed A.
  20. Awesome. I was waiting until December to get some, but apparently it's available now! I hope the rumors about E6 film in 127 coming from Rollei are true too.
  21. Well I hope so My friend in Germany already sent me a 127 roll of the E6 film... It is Old flat AGFA 200.

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