Agfa Aviphot 240mm
Old 04-03-2018   #1
kiemchacsu
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Agfa Aviphot 240mm

Hello Rffers,

I was introduced to this film in bulk roll
Giant size 240mm x 76m
Anybody knows if this film can be used (in some ways) for normal still photography?
In deed a friend asked me if it can be cut to 120 film but to be honest I dont think it's possible.
Appreciated to learn different perspectives from Rffers.
Thanks!

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Old 04-03-2018   #2
rbiemer
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I don't know anything about this film but I would think it would be possible but not exactly easy to cut to size. You'd also need backing paper, maybe reuse paper from other 120 film?
You might be able to cut large format sizes from it? 4x5 or 8x10.
Or, build a seriously big panorama camera...240mm x 6 or 700mm?
Printing that would get...interesting.
One consideration if you want to try to cut this to use in smaller cameras will be how thick this film is.
It might be simpler to try to figure out what camera this was made for and use the film in that?

Rob
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Old 04-04-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post
I don't know anything about this film but I would think it would be possible but not exactly easy to cut to size. You'd also need backing paper, maybe reuse paper from other 120 film?

You might be able to cut large format sizes from it? 4x5 or 8x10.

Or, build a seriously big panorama camera...240mm x 6 or 700mm?

Printing that would get...interesting.

One consideration if you want to try to cut this to use in smaller cameras will be how thick this film is.

It might be simpler to try to figure out what camera this was made for and use the film in that?



Rob


Thanks. I also thought about LF but that's not so common medium nowadays I guess.
Any other thoughts?


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Old 04-04-2018   #4
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I recall Maco's Rollei had something derived from this stock in their lineup, IIRC it may be "Superpan 200". May help investigating that. Just googled on another tab:

Quote:
Originally Posted by photo-analogue.blogspot.com/2015/.../agfarollei-superpan-200
10 jun. 2015 - Superpan 200 is sold by Maco but is produced (as Aviphot Pan 200) by Agfa-Gevaert in Belgium, and Maco's website uses Agfa-Gevaert's Aviphot Pan 200 technical information sheet
Should be possible to cut down to 120 if they did, plus some specialist films have been cut down from aerial rolls. However, it may require some equipment and be a bit of an involved process...
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Old 04-04-2018   #5
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Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
Should be possible to cut down to 120 if they did, plus some specialist films have been cut down from aerial rolls. However, it may require some equipment and be a bit of an involved process...
Cutting to another size seems pretty straightforward, but probably fiddly given the size of the roll.
Processing is going to be the challenge, I think?
I found the Agfa data sheet for this film on line:

http://www.agfa.com/specialty-produc...OT-PAN-200.pdf

And the processing times with the chemistry they recommend is between 20 and 70 seconds! The Rollei Superpan is listed in the Massive Dev Chart and with, for example, HC-110 the recommendation is 6 minutes at 20 C.


Rather than cutting the film, I suppose you could look for an appropriate aerial camera and processing equipment.
One of these, maybe?

http://herma09.wixsite.com/aerial-photography

And a quick search found this for processing:

https://www.govdeals.com/?fa=Main.It...243&acctid=226

Long sold but the gear is "out there", I guess. Instructions for use mare probably harder to find though.
Plus, I don't think aerial cameras focus very close!

Were I to really think about using this film, I would absolutely be thinking about cutting it into either 4x5 or 8x10 sheets. There are lots of cameras, lenses, and processing gear still available--used and new--for those sizes. 5x7 as well now that I think about it.
Alternately, a very simple pinhole camera could be made to take that film at its native width (cut to any convenient length). Basically a big box, pinhole lens at one side and the film held to the opposite side.

I do also see some ebay listings for this stuff and, apparently, somebody still uses it, none of the listings were inexpensive. One listing has some dated 2018-03.

Good luck!
Rob
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Old 04-06-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiemchacsu View Post
Hello Rffers,

I was introduced to this film in bulk roll
Giant size 240mm x 76m
Anybody knows if this film can be used (in some ways) for normal still photography?

...



Thanks. I also thought about LF but that's not so common medium nowadays I guess.
Any other thoughts?

Hi there,

Realistically, it's not really good news for your friend. Since the decline of commercial and industrial applications of this data monitoring film, many rolls, mammoth sizes have been turning up over the past two decades. It's a post-modern anomaly to hear your friend, with no experience of Aviphot or commercial roll film, ask questions as to what to do after having acquired a rocket launcher talent of 76 metres of Aviphot. Welcome to the brave new internet

This technical film was used industrially for data and research observation, traffic surveillance and other civil monitoring projects. Rob's findings that the film was developed quickly - within 70 seconds - is typical for line documentary film for these processes.

Typically like any documentary technical film in the hands of a competent photographer, it can be adapted for for full tonal scale development using a low contrast developer: Kodak Technical Pan, Positive Light Emulsion, Spur, Copex RapidFire all have high inherent contrast and use the same low contrast developer principle. Your friend may have to brush up his understanding of film development in order to undertake a primary clip test - no mean feat from a 76 metre roll - to ascertain if the complete roll has been compromised by an untrained handler or sales agent turning on the lights to check out the unexposed roll, therefore destroying it in the process.

If your friend's interest in the film is photographic; fine art, community focussed, he is more likely to get something out of the Aviphot roll. There are many of us large format photographers (like the LF forums, English and French language)- perhaps not in Vietnam - who adapt technical documentary film such as Aviphot, Konica Lithographic, documentary film for fine art or landscape purposes. If he is more interested in the commercial side of the 76 metre roll of Aviphot, he might listen to you and cut his losses by off-loading it to the next adventurer with a small lorry.

About the film: Aviphot has a distinct advantage in being near-infrared sensitised and responds on a par with Ilford SFX with a 715nm cut off filter. The technique for cutting down to popular large format sizes has space and tooling requirements: nibbling at a 76metre roll periodically when hungry only destroys the surface emulsion and increases dust and handling marks. It is a strong polyester coated emulsion, it is is exceptionally thin: thus transparent, as well as having some reversal process potential.

For infrared imaging, experimenting at 750nm infrared cut off works, however the effective ISO falls dramatically and the ISO200 - nominal - is already challenged with the decades old storage conditions - perhaps humid or near 30 degrees in your southern hemisphere? In this respect, it is a very affordable supply of IR sensitised sheet film. Grainy for an ISO200 film, it works fine as a panchromatic emulsion too. The idea of cutting down to sheet sizes is more successful since the grain becomes negligible.

Years ago, David Romano successfully sold 120 roll cut down Kodak HIE (after its discontinuation). He wisely cut down from 70mm aerial film - not from a 76 metre roll - to a 120 roll format's dimension of 56mm and in 35mm format, where even the sprocket holes were exposed. If your friend has the resources of Thomas Mahn (Maco, Germany) or a similar modern film industrial, he may be able to creatively tool this option.

Kind regards,

RJ
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Old 04-06-2018   #7
rbiemer
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RJ,
Thank you for the actual information--as opposed to my sheer speculation!
I had never heard of this particular film before the OP posted his question but for some reason, it intrigued me enough to do a quick internet search.
And now, I'm finding myself thinking about a 9" x 27" format pinhole camera... (240mm x 685mm for our metric using folks)

Cutting a roll of this to size that way means one cut, across the width, per "frame". Not too terribly tough to set up a jig to be able to do this in the dark and still have all my fingers at the end.

Nominally, this would get 110 sheets from this roll.

And then the real fun would start: first issue would be storage of all those sheets. And keeping them oriented to know which side is the emulsion side.

Building the camera ought to be relatively straight forward--I've made many different pinhole cameras over the years--just a big light tight box, basically. Nothing too fancy. Big enough inside to simply tape the film to the back side.
You mention IR sensitivity, something I'd not thought about...that would mean adding a way to attach a cut off filter--maybe just secured to the inside behind the "lens".

Which leads to the next, much bigger hurdles, exposure and processing. I have the space for this, I think, but the huge negative has me thinking about some monobath processing method. Which I've never done so that would add its own complications.

And then, even if all that stuff worked out, printing would be another big hurdle...

All of which says nothing about subject selection--finding something worth shooting in such a way is, I think, the deal breaker here. At least for me.

Rob



Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ- View Post
Hi there,
About the film: Aviphot has a distinct advantage in being near-infrared sensitised and responds on a par with Ilford SFX with a 715nm cut off filter. The technique for cutting down to popular large format sizes has space and tooling requirements: nibbling at a 76metre roll periodically when hungry only destroys the surface emulsion and increases dust and handling marks. It is a strong polyester coated emulsion, it is is exceptionally thin: thus transparent, as well as having some reversal process potential.

For infrared imaging, experimenting at 750nm infrared cut off works, however the effective ISO falls dramatically and the ISO200 - nominal - is already challenged with the decades old storage conditions - perhaps humid or near 30 degrees in your southern hemisphere? In this respect, it is a very affordable supply of IR sensitised sheet film. Grainy for an ISO200 film, it works fine as a panchromatic emulsion too. The idea of cutting down to sheet sizes is more successful since the grain becomes negligible.

Kind regards,

RJ
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Old 04-08-2018   #8
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Hi Rob,

Yes it's possible - I cut it down for whole plate format (8 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches) and in a small darkroom with a 30 inch easel, this is difficult enough. Setting up the jig and sterilising the darkroom from dust and contamination in order to undertake the process feels too chore like - perhaps without space constraints, your project will be as successful as it is for those who use x-ray film and lith film as affordable media for experimenting with light and optics.

The base of the Aviphot is exceedingly thin - it feels as thin as Rollei IR400 sheet film - and this will present plane parallelism challenges across a 27 inch structure, if you can indeed mount the film perpendicular by taping - although you might have to adopt the framer's 'hinge mount' method to prevent buckling across such an expanse of film. Otherwise, it may only achieve plane parallelism lying horizontally with the lens pointed towards the sky taking aerial shots

Perhaps this is the charm of pinhole shooting - all the technical limits of the medium merging with an aleatory spontaneity?

With respect to the monobath challenge - I wish my darkroom sink had the capacity as a feeding trough for wild horses - 27inches is too demanding even for arm span. Working with a limit of a 24 inch (double) sink, such sizes of negative requires a lot of photographer activity during development for even development. You can cut your losses by using a lower dilution of developer in order to generate more time for consistent agitation, in addition to using an alkaline fixer instead of an acid pH - which you probably already are doing if you are shooting with large format printing. Ultimately I find that I am more likely to yield a consistent negative when it is within my handling tolerances.

Subject matter: if it stays still - shoot it. If it doesn't stay still - shoot it anyway. Your exposures will take minutes at an infinitesimally small f256. If you have plans to use it for infrared photography, a stock roll of this size would take decades to use up in British weather, sorely lacking sufficient infrared light at the moment. Perhaps this is the only reason we still have expired infrared Kodak HIE film this side of the northern hemisphere.

All the best with the creative planning!

Kind regards,
RJ
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Old 04-11-2018   #9
kiemchacsu
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Dear RJ-,

Thank you very much for comprehensive guideline.
As expected, I can see much of difficulties to use that film in normal still photography.

@Rob: if you can find some ways to handle this film, please share
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Old 04-23-2018   #10
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Hi Kiem,

You're welcome. If your friend has never cut down sheet roll before one way to start using the large roll, might be for your friend to start with a quarter plate camera or even a 6x9cm camera like the Baby Graphic, which accepts cut film. Cutting the large master roll to quarter plate (3 1/2 x 4 3/4 or so inches) is an easy way to manage one strip of film, and insert into dark sheaths.

Aviphot ISO 200 film has some similarities to Rollei IR400 film: it can be used as a non-infrared film, as a general ISO 200 panchromatic type film by omitting the filtration. If your friend is motivated, it can be done - most commonly, x-ray type film is used for cutting down - if it is red light insensitive - cutting down the master roll is so much easier with a red safelight instead of complete darkness.

Kind regards,
RJ
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Old 04-23-2018   #11
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I have some perforated 70mm Agfa Aviphot 200B&W and some color 70mm Aviphot 200 as well. It is my firm belief that it is the same as Rollei 400s (also currently available in 70mm). Here is a short test clip I developed in Rollei Supergrain Developer. This film base is thin, no doubt about it. It is possible to get decent tonality with this film. ISO is actually about 100 IMO.

Aviphot 200 Supergrain 100 EI by Nokton48, on Flickr

DSC05901 by Nokton48, on Flickr

DSC05776 by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 04-23-2018   #12
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I think I have some aerial photos in my archives that were shot on Aviphot. Those are 9x9 inch negatives (and corresponding prints). 9x9 was (still is?) the standard from back in my photogrammetry days. I still have a bunch of airphoto equipment in a closet or attic -- I know where my favorite stereoscope is located.
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