Your First Film

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Mike Gammill, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. As a companion to the "Your First Camera" thread I thought it might be fun to see how many of remember the first type of film we ever used. For most of use just remembering what film it was might be a challenge. If you're like me and rarely throw things away you might still have images. My first camera, a plastic Windsor (Diana look alike) had Plus-X as its first film. My dad was a professional photographer so he always had plenty of Plus-X on hand. I found some prints made from what was my first roll (around 1967). Here's one that was scanned, sent to my phone to share, and then sent back to my computer.
    Windsor 120 camera, Plus-X (I believe we used Kodak Medalist paper back in the day)
  2. I was given what I remember as an Ansco beginner developing and printing kit. I have written before about the developing kit in a report onthe Kodak Jiffy 620.
    I used 620 Kodak Verichrome Safety film (orthochromatic) and whatever the contemporary (early 1950s) Ansco B&W film was. I had a red safe light and attached two clips to the end of the film and see-sawed it through the developer in a tray and timed it by inspection. After the film had dried, I contact printed it in printer included in the kit.

    Here is a scan of one of the actual prints that I made at the time, from film taken on vacation at Mesa Verde, NM.
    perhaps Oak Overlook?​
    BTW. I got my Boy Scout Photography Merit Badge
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  3. I didn't handle my first film. It was put in the camera by, i think it was, my father, and also not taken out or handled by me afterwards. I know some of what i took photos of: fellow kids from 'my street' playing in the snow. No meter. No settings. Just point and shoot. Turned out quite o.k.
    The first film i processed was 35 mm, Ilford, developed in Rodinal 1:50. A bit overprocessed (agitation), but quite usable. Paterson tank (old model). I began printing at the same time. Old Durst 6x6 model with 2 lenses i can't remember. Ilford graded paper.
    I kept track of film, exposure and processing for a few years, but had to give that up.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  4. Of course, Mesa Verde is in Colorado, not NM o_O
  5. Mine was undoubtedly Ilford Selochrome Pan in the 120 roll, an 80 ASA film that I used in my Ensign Ful-Vue camera."Selo" was a brand name that had been use by Ilford for several decades, and I guess "Chrome" was yet to become an indication of colour transparency material. My father, an enthusiastic photographer, used exclusively Ilford film, it being very popular here in New Zealand, and I followed in his steps.The rather poor illustration below shows the pack in the company of it's faster siblings, FP3 and HP3.

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  6. I have no recollection as to what brand of film it was - most likely an Agfa. 12 exposures in an Agfa Isolette. One of the first images I took was of the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Mid-seventies.
    IMG_0123 copy.jpg
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  7. Verichrome Pan, in a Vredebox. I developed it myself and made contact copies!
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  8. JDM- Ansco later sold a developing kit that included tank, reel, and a simple enlarger for making 3X prints. It also sold under the Sears name. It came with negative holders for 127, 126, and 35mm and a reversible easel (square one side and rectangular on other. The kit included hobby size chemicals and 25 sheet package of 3.5 x 5 inch paper. The first roll of film I processed myself was in one of these kits. The film was 127 Verichrome Pan.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  9. Mike I think I had one of those too. I used it in a small closet and ruined the finish on the wood floor. My Dad was not amused but I’m still at it. First camera was a Kodak X-15, first film was either KodaColor X or Verichrome pan.

    Rick H.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  10. My 'first' rolls were almost certainly generic unbranded 35mm ISO 200 colour print film from one of those mail in processing labs, the sort that gave you a 'free' roll of film for every film you had processed.

    UK, late 80's, they had names like TruPrint, BonusPrint, DoublePrint (I think their gimmick was two sets of prints) etc.

    My first proper roll was either Ilford FP4+ or HP5+, given when I joined the university photo society. I don't remember which, but I think I then went out and bought the other, as whichever they had given me was inappropriate for what I wanted to do.
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  11. My first roll of film must be Kodak Plus X (ASA 125). Tri X was too expensive.
  12. As a young teen in the mid 70's I was quite intimidated by all the settings on my first camera - a Ricoh 500G.
    I decided to take a photo class after school, where we rolled our own film. I remember it was Ilford 125 ASA (which we developed in Rodinal). Given Ilford FP4 was produced between 1968 and 1990 (before being replaced by the current FP4+) it can only have been that one.
    Kent T likes this.
  13. My first camera was an Imperial Delta using 127.
    I believe I had the unbranded film in a green wrapper with that, and developed it
    with my father (he did everything) in the darkroom where he worked.

    About a year later, and after I found we had a Yashica TLR, I got more interested
    in photography. I believe I had a few rolls of VP120 for that for a family vacation.
    On this vacation, we went to Butchart Gardens in BC, where I found a used roll
    of VP620 in a trash can.

    So, my first roll I developed myself was that roll of VP, which came out just fine,
    developed in my Yankee II tank with Tri-chem packs for chemistry.
    Also on that trip through Seattle, I got a roll of locally loaded 35mm film.

    That film came in a reloadable cassette, which was the first one I had for
    bulk loading film that I inherited from my grandfather. So I was already
    by 5th grade bulk loading 35mm film, using it with either a Canon rangefinder
    borrowed from my father, or a 35mm camera inherited from my grandfather.

    28 years after buying that roll on a trip through Seattle, we moved to Seattle.
    About 15 years later, I found that cassette (my favorite for respooling) and
    realized that the address is walking distance from where we live, but isn't
    a photography store anymore. Ten years later (last year) the store is
    torn down, and a big new apartment built in its place.

    My second roll of 35mm film was Panatomic-X, which my father bought for
    me without looking at the ASA value, and was surprised to find it slower
    than his Kodachrome-X. Otherwise, the bulk film I inherited was Plus-X
    and Tri-X. I also learned about Diafine from my grandfather, and started
    using that pretty early. I then bought 100 foot rolls of Panatomic-X from
    Freestyle, and used it at the 160 or 250 EI suggested for Diafine.

    Also, not long before I inherited much of my grandfathers cameras
    and darkroom supplies (see above), he gave me an Autographic 1A Jr,
    using 116 film. In 1968 it was not hard to find, and I had a roll of VP116 for it.

    So, I remember Verichrome Pan pretty early, and then some mix of Plus-X,
    Tri-X, and Panatomic-X from my 35mm days, and mostly in Diafine.
  14. It must have been Verichrome Pan. There wasn't much else available in 120 for the family Brownie.

    Although when I started doing my own film processing, my first attempt might have been with a roll of 'Gratispool' - they were a processing company that returned a 'free' film with the processed prints.

    Since the film came free, I thought it wouldn't matter too much if I messed up the developing.

    First 35mm roll was Plus-X, and developed in Promicrol, on a friend's recommendation. Tried a few developers after that, and gravitated toward good ole D-76 for many years.
    Julio Fernandez likes this.
  15. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    First used Kodak color print film, then primarily Kodachrome 25 when I got my first SLR. Also used Ektar 25 a lot when it first came out.

    Can't remember what B&W film I used first. I was never into developing my own film, so sent it out to a place called "The Lab" in St. Louis, MO. They used to advertise in Shutterbug magazine, and did excellent work. Unfortunately, they went out of business some years ago.
  16. plus-x in 35mm (probably in topcon); verichrome pan in MF
  17. SCL


    Mine was Verichrome Pan, and I think my first 35mm b&w was Plus-x. First 35mm color was Kodachrome but I don’t remember the ASA.
  18. Anyone else think that Ektar 25 was mostly hype with not much delivery?
  19. Tried it. Terrible film. So, yes.
  20. Ektar 25- don't miss it!

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