Ukrainian Film Factory? Svema lives!
Old 02-14-2013   #1
ZorkiKat
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Ukrainian Film Factory? Svema lives!

An Ukrainian friend, Vlad, who lives in Manila shared this info about an Ukrainian factory which, according to their website, still manufacture film. "OOO Astrum Ltd" appears to be the old Svema factory.
http://www.astrum-ltd.com/

A page from an online Ukrainian seller lists 'Astrum' brand film which is also identified as "Svema".

http://fotofond.com.ua/index.php?categoryID=952




The packing box on the 30m long roll says "made in the Ukraine" at the bottom of the label.

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Old 02-14-2013   #2
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Wonderful! Thanks for posting this, I would be curious to try it out.

Their website / online store is only in Ukrainian and Russian ... is there another vendor, perhaps?

I searched on eBay but nobody is selling this stuff. I did a quick search online and couldn't find any good leads.

FWIW I sent the Astrum office in Ukraine an email. I hope they will reply.
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Old 02-14-2013   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby_novatron View Post
Wonderful! Thanks for posting this, I would be curious to try it out.

Their website / online store is only in Ukrainian and Russian ... is there another vendor, perhaps?
If you are using Google Chrome, the page gets translated to your language almost instantly.
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Old 02-14-2013   #4
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Are these the makers of that mystery film known as Polypan F? Inquiring minds want to know...
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Old 02-14-2013   #5
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Polypan F obviously is no FSU film, being labelled "made in the EU". It seems to be a clear base version of Ilford Pan F, intended for cine copy purposes.
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Old 02-14-2013   #6
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I still have about forty rolls of 120-size Svema 64, bought fresh and stored in my freezer since purchase. I sold all of my Kiev 60's, Pentacon Sixes, Exakta 66's and K88's but I am saving the film for the future.

It's wrapped in foil paper, reminds me of unwrapping a package of lifesavers.
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Old 02-14-2013   #7
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I want some of this film!
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Old 02-14-2013   #8
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There is an english version, just click on the top right "eng"

http://www.astrum-ltd.com/en.html

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Old 02-14-2013   #9
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^ Yes, but what I was referring to earlier was the online sales website. The corporate website has an English page, but their online store is only in Russian or Ukrainian.

Google translate helps, but it doesn't translate the pop-ups windows when you 'add to cart' or try to check-out.
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Old 02-14-2013   #10
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Interesting. When someone has a chance to do some work with this it would be nice to see some pictures. Right now I have no cash to spare since I have been trying real hard to keep Kodak and Ilford in business. Not too mention Freestyle, BHPhoto, Adorama, KEH and E-Bay!
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Old 02-14-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
Polypan F obviously is no FSU film, being labelled "made in the EU". It seems to be a clear base version of Ilford Pan F, intended for cine copy purposes.
Over on Apug the Ilford representative vehemently denied that this film was anything to do with them.

It is apparently some sort of release-print or copy-print film from Filmotec, maybe coated by Innoviscoat? Others have mentioned the same source but suggested a surveillance film, based on the thin polyester base and standard perfs perhaps.

It is good to see that Svema lives again in some way, even if it might only re-packaging of frozen stock, smply on the grounds that diversity is good.
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Old 02-14-2013   #12
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They appear to manufacture slide film as well?
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Old 02-15-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinP View Post

Over on Apug the Ilford representative vehemently denied that this film was anything to do with them.

It is apparently some sort of release-print or copy-print film from Filmotec, maybe coated by Innoviscoat? .
Well, Ilford need not necessarily admit that they license cheap, sub-standard versions of their emulsions - indeed, they might have disowned it by contract, and might be annoyed that any of it surfaces on the open photography market. At any rate, while the film is nowhere as good as Pan F, it's development times seem to be the same (in particular where the need for disproportionally extended times in low concentration developer goes - a property more common among ultra fast films), which points to some possible relationship. I'll next do a latent image fading test - if that goes as uniquely fast as Pan F, there can be little doubt that it is closely related.

Filmotec being involved does sound likely, with or without Inoviscoat, but there are more casters and confectioners left. And the emulsion might come from yet another source. Perhaps some of the Chinese makers sold a vat of emulsion to a budding young EU entrepreneur that had it cast here? Some of them did cooperate with Ilford and might have a Ilford-originated recipe or old stock they once got from Ilford.

Of course, it is quite likely that it is a tech film throughout (rather than a pictorial photography film appropriated for a tech purpose) - if so, it might be impossible to identify short of tracing the sales to their origin. Each buyer in the chain must know where he got it from - but we could still run into a dead end there if the stuff is sold at some stage in violation of a contract or in some other way not entirely legal. In any case, there must be plenty of proprietary tech films which never surfaced outside the facilities of the client they were made for, so that they cannot be identified by specifications, and every maker could be involved...
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Old 02-15-2013   #14
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I just checked that online store... Well... Svema 100 price is 28 Ukrainian Hryvnia. At the current FX rate it is a bit more than 2.5 EUR. It is almost the price of APX100 which I can but at Macodirect (in fact, Svema will be more expensive if I add taxes and duties). Would I prefer Svema over APX100? Nope....
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Old 02-15-2013   #15
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I just checked that online store... Well... Svema 100 price is 28 Ukrainian Hryvnia. At the current FX rate it is a bit more than 2.5 EUR. It is almost the price of APX100 which I can but at Macodirect (in fact, Svema will be more expensive if I add taxes and duties). Would I prefer Svema over APX100? Nope....
Exactly what I did couple of minutes ago...Not that Svema automatically is bad film (though I think they had to change name, as many remember what they made back then) but if they want to attract buyers from abroad, they had to offer something to consider. Better price for same product, or better product for same money. Now I don't know why I would choose Svema.
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Old 02-15-2013   #16
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I cant see 120 film beeing produced.
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Old 02-15-2013   #17
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Hello guys!

I'm from Ukraine's capital - Kyiv.
Fotofond is, I think, the best film photography shop (if not only) here in Kyiv. Though small, it offers wide variety of films, chemicals, paper, etc. They even have some old cameras to sell. But, you know, although they have a site, it's mostly for informational purposes. Quite a few times I found out great differences between what's in stock online, and what's really at their shop. Though one time I was lucky to buy a pack (5 rolls) of fresh Provia at the price of expired They're funny guys to deal. I recommend you though to address Astrum Ltd. directly, it will be significantly cheaper.

As to Astrum's films, as far as I know, they're not manufactured at Svema plants, because there are technically none left. Modern Svema films are just repacking of the other. And there's no way to tell, because there's no perforation markings at all, not even the frame numbers.

Up to this moment I've tried two Astrum films - Svema Foto 400 and Svema A-2SH (А-2Ш). Feel free to ask questions! Examples follow.
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Svema Foto 400 Examples
Old 02-15-2013   #18
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Svema Foto 400 Examples


FLM201207023 by Silme EA, on Flickr


FLM201207021 by Silme EA, on Flickr


FLM201207033 by Silme EA, on Flickr
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Svema A-2SH (А-2Ш) examples
Old 02-15-2013   #19
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Svema A-2SH (А-2Ш) examples


FLM201214025 by Silme EA, on Flickr


FLM201214022 by Silme EA, on Flickr


FLM201214028 by Silme EA, on Flickr
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Old 02-15-2013   #20
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To me it kind of looks like Foma a bit.
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Old 02-15-2013   #21
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Silme_Ea, thanks for the sample photos. The film looks good but the price on that website, 635UAH is 78USD for a 30.5m bulk roll. Ouch. Have you thought about going into the film export business yourself, buying direct from the factory? I'd buy from you if the price is more competitive.
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Old 02-15-2013   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkydog View Post
635UAH is 78USD for a 30.5m bulk roll. Ouch.
That's retail price. As far as I know, if ordering directly from Astrum, it will be about 1$ for 1m of film, or 2$ for a 36 exposures cassette.

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Have you thought about going into the film export business yourself, buying direct from the factory? I'd buy from you if the price is more competitive.
I'll consider it Though I think hardly anything could beat freestylephoto's Arista offers
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Old 02-15-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
Polypan F obviously is no FSU film, being labelled "made in the EU". It seems to be a clear base version of Ilford Pan F, intended for cine copy purposes.
Sevo, I'm not a tech, but I compared the Polypan and the PanF with my humble methods (developing both films in the same tank several times with different developers) and grain structure or the behave in different devs has not much in common.
The Filmotec theory is interesting because they sell cine copy films called PF2 and PF2+. I will try to get some meters of this stuff with my next Filmotec order for testing and comparing with Polypan.
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Old 02-15-2013   #24
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Sevo, I'm not a tech, but I compared the Polypan and the PanF with my humble methods (developing both films in the same tank several times with different developers) and grain structure or the behave in different devs has not much in common.
Well, that should settle it! No Pan F, then. I did not make a comparison, and only was going by that Polypan reaches roughly nominal speed and normal contrast with Pan F times for all developers I use.
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Old 02-15-2013   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haempe View Post
S
The Filmotec theory is interesting because they sell cine copy films called PF2 and PF2+. I will try to get some meters of this stuff with my next Filmotec order for testing and comparing with Polypan.
The Filmotec datasheets say that their PF2 films are KS perforated. Polypan F uses BH perforation.
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Old 02-15-2013   #26
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Originally Posted by Filzkoeter View Post
The Filmotec datasheets say that their PF2 films are KS perforated. Polypan F uses BH perforation.
True. But Filmotec offers also BH perforation for batches.

I didn't try to say it's the same.
But a predecessor material or a special batch for Polystar or something similar is imaginable
(at least for me and probably only until I got this PF2 - )
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I couldn't help myself ;)
Old 02-15-2013   #27
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I couldn't help myself ;)

Went looking for Svema film on Ebay.

Found 50 sheets of 9x12cm Svema 64 for $39 + shipping from Ukraine.

This will go in my Plaubel Makiflexes. A 9x9cm image (with rounded corners) is imaged in the center of the 9x12cm sheet film.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370738936942...84.m1497.l2649
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Old 02-15-2013   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filzkoeter View Post
The Filmotec datasheets say that their PF2 films are KS perforated. Polypan F uses BH perforation.
That doubtlessly can be specified once you order enough of the stuff to have it packed in tins with your label of choice...
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Old 02-20-2013   #29
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Angry

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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
You would buy from a Ukrainian website? Brave man.
Why? You're certainly underestimating Ukraine as some kind of a banana republic. True, it could be better here, though it's not THAT bad.
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Old 02-20-2013   #30
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
I admit that my post may sound a bit rude but Ukraine is like many other eastern european countries or china where you don't have a real chance as a foreigner form outside the country to solve problems around your purchase.
Do you have many real chances to solve problems when buying from a weird bloke elsewhere? That's why people invented secure payment systems. And admit, you're not afraid of possible difficulties in solving problems, you're just EXPECTING problems when buying from Ukraine and other countries you've mentioned. It is truly disappointing that you consider all the on-line sellers thence as criminals.
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Old 02-20-2013   #31
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
There are some parties involved in such a transaction. Seller, postal service, customs, ... I didn't say that I don't trust the seller.
They're de facto criminals too? How people even live here? They buy nothing from other countries, they don't use postal services, when they go shooting with their precious Leica around their neck, a band of AK-47 armed blokes is guarding them?
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Old 02-20-2013   #32
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In defense of Ukrainian sellers, I've bought stuff sent from Ukraine over the years and never had a problem. Items were as described, well packed, reasonable shipping fees, and predictable shipping times.
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Old 02-20-2013   #33
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
I admit that my post may sound a bit rude but Ukraine is like many other eastern european countries or china where you don't have a real chance as a foreigner form outside the country to solve problems around your purchase.
Sounds quite like the US from a European perspective, or vice versa...
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Old 02-20-2013   #34
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
I admit that my post may sound a bit rude but Ukraine is like many other eastern european countries or china where you don't have a real chance as a foreigner form outside the country to solve problems around your purchase.
Is this from personal experience?

Ive bought several eBay items from the Ukraine and had no problem; likewise Poland, and Slovakia. I've sold eBay items to Russia and Poland, and dealt with lovely people. Even if you've had the odd problem, it doesn't seem polite, at best, to label an entire country as criminals!

After all, if you pay via credit card, the risk isn't huge.
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Old 02-20-2013   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
I'll never understand why people take this personally when we are talking about countries.
Maybe because there's a thing called patriotism? Maybe because one could not always choose a country where to live? Maybe because abroad there are rumours considered as a truth? Nevertheless, one should state a potentially offending to the other party point having some verifiable facts or proofs. Or, at least, seem that way
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Old 02-20-2013   #36
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
Experiences around me, but business related. All problems with customs and officials in Russia and Ukraine. No problems with individuals. Look up those countries in the transparency index and you know what I mean.

No such problems in Poland, Slovakia etc.

Maybe it's wrong to transfer these business experiences to private buy and sell transactions? Don't know.

I'll never understand why people take this personally when we are talking about countries.
Some Nth Americans think that its ok to throw any offense around, but look out if it comes back .
As you stated` experiences around you` in other words conjecture
Go back to the OP which was concerned with film availability.
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Old 02-20-2013   #37
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Did anybody notice the Efke film. It was on their website the other day and now they have none. It is an awesome film and the price was dirt cheap. That was what I was going for. Oh well.
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Old 02-20-2013   #38
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Did anybody notice the Efke film. It was on their website the other day and now they have none. It is an awesome film and the price was dirt cheap. That was what I was going for. Oh well.
Efke went out of business a few months ago. I agree, it was great film that I miss a lot.
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9x12cm Svema Film Has Arrived.
Old 03-01-2013   #39
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9x12cm Svema Film Has Arrived.

On the left, is my new (old) box of fifty sheets of 9x12cm Svema Film. This film size is hard-to-find in the USA.

On the right, is my collection of 9x12cm Russian, Zeiss Ikon, and unmarked German 9x12cm Single-Shot Plate Film Holders.

I will make a test exposure soon with this new film, in one of my Plaubel Makiflexes. This will be a fun project. I also have Efke PL100 (fresh!) in this film size.
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Old 03-30-2013   #40
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Apart from the political situation, Ukraine is a nice country with very friendly people.
Fortunately you can drive now from Holland, via Germany and Poland to Ukraine without any problems. Before 1989 it was a complete different situation. I remember the border from West-East Germany and the whole crap around Berlin.

Just a photo made in 1988 in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie. People in the East were even too afraid talking with you. We could hardly get in the East European countries and they could not leave the country.

Ukraine is in development and should find its own way between the European union and Russia. I wish them all luck in an united Europe.

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