Tower (Sears Brand) 620 Pan

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by vonjake-o, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. I have a new old stock roll of Tower Film 620 Pan No. 7107 process before July
    1961. It has an emulsion number of 2145100 and was made in Belguim. The
    included paper work has a bunch of different daylight film speed ratings: ASA
    80, Weston 64, G.E. 100, Ame Sheiner 31.

    Does anybody have experience with older films like this and have some guidance
    as to what ISO to shoot at and what developers to use? I think it would be
    fun to shoot. It was included in a bag of flash bulbs that I bought at an
    antique store for $5.

    I also have some 2 rolls of Jet Age 620 Color negative film dated July 1965.
    It says "film will be damaged on ordinary developing equipment"
    "This film must be developed by photomation film lab on our special equipment
    or returned to our national hqs"

    Would this film be any good after all these years?
  2. Forget about the color film. It's doubtful that you can find out what process it uses, and the colors will be way off anyway after all these years. Agfa and 3M made private label color film in the 1960's.

    I think that the B&W film is most likely made by Gavaert, a Belgian company. They merged with Agfa towards the late 1960's. They made a film of about that ASA (now called ISO)that was widely available under private labels. Walgreens drug stores used to sell 3-packs under their name for 89 cents. Pro shops would sell you a box of 100 rolls, foil wrapped but not individually boxed, for as little as $15.00.

    It was actually pretty decent film and a lot of pros used it for weddings and about anything else you were likely to shoot with a twin lens reflex.

    ASA numbers and ISO numbers are the same, but about 1970 they removed the "safety factor" which always resulted in slight over exposure. If it was new film an ISO of perhaps 125 would be on target. After all these years it will have lost speed and probably be fogged from cosmic radiation. You might be able to sell those rolls to a collector but you'd be wasting your time trying to use them.
  3. It could be that the color film is motion picture negative stock, like that lab out on the west coast used to sell. You had to return it to them for processing, as well. Local labs wouldn't run it because it would damage their machines. I can't think of their name anymore. They packaged some movie film (Eastman Color, I guess) in their own cassettes with their house brand.

    The best thing to do with it is to put it on the vintage display section of your mantle, next to the box of Anscochrome and the Miranda SLR.
  4. The most valuable parts of any of that old film are the 620 spools it is wrapped around. Keep the rolls as collectables if you like, but you can load a spool of 120 film onto the old reels and use it in one of those really old Kodak brownies or folders.
  5. Rob,

    The lab you are thinking of was "Seattle Film Works".
  6. He said the color was 620, not 35mm like movie stock. Yup, those 620 spools are valuable! The Kodak Medalist, a sophisticated pro camera with a great lens, used 620 film. Kodak was trying to get the world to switch to 620 in the 1950's.
  7. I'm quite sure that it is Geaert Gevapan 30, b/w ASA 64. Pretty darned good film when used in UFG or Acufine. It was also packaged in boxes of 100 rolls individually wrapped in foil and called DandiPan.

    In the mid 60's Agfa and Gevaert merged as Agfa/Gevaert. Gevaert had a great reputation as a graphic arts film and with the above Gevapan 30 and DandiPan and this attracted Agfa which couldn't sell anything much in the US while Gevaert was doing OK with the amateur films and were the second highest selling Graphic Arts films.

  8. A big thank you to everybody who responded. I figured the color film was toast so I am going to keep one intact and use the other one for its 620 spool. I opened one of the color roll packages and it says that it is ASA 32.
    The BW is probably toast too, due to cosmic rays over the years. I do want to try to expose it and I plan on developing it in HC-110 dil B, which I understand is good with fogged film.
    Does any body know how much to down rate the speed due to age?
  9. Why would anybody place a Miranda SLR on the mantle? It's much handier to keep it loaded in the glovebox.

    I'd shoot the Pan, and develop it for fun. I bought a Kodak Tourist a couple years ago that had a roll of exposed 620 B&W in it. Developed it in microdol-x, and they turned out just great. Must have been 30 years after exposure, based on the subjects.
  10. I actually have the same issue, I picked up a similar film, Tower pan 620 film ASA 125 . I usually use HC-110 dil. B does anyone know a developing time for this? Because I really want to use it just for fun, even though it expired back in 63'.
  11. I now have three rolls of Sears 620 film, made in Belgium, but expiration 1968.
    I first started darkroom work in 1967, when I was nine years old, so about the time of this film. Verichrome Pan will last if kept at least slightly cool. I will have to see how this comes out.
    I now have some HC-110 to use with it, instead of my usual Diafine.
  12. Give it a try, Glen. If there's any chance of images I'd say the HC110 is about your best chance as it does a good job of minimizing fog. Somewhere I've got a roll of Sears 126 film (also made in Belgium) that I shot in the early 70's but never developed. Maybe it'll turn up during house cleaning and I'll try it in HC110. BTW, always nice to hear of members that started darkroom work young. In 1967 I was ten and my dad was teaching me how to make prints and develop back then.
  13. Yes I will try one. If it isn't good, the other two can stay on the shelf.
    A year after I first started darkroom work, I got to visit my grandfather, who taught me about Diafine. Later that year, I inherited much of his darkroom equipment, some of which I still have. Still my favorite 35mm Nikor film tank that I have used many times over the years. I still have the Yankee red, white, and blue 5x7 trays from the beginning, and 8x10 trays from not much later.
  14. The color film might be the same as the Triple Print" that was sold by mail order from the mid-60's to early 70's. I think it
    was the same as Agfacolor print film from that era.

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