Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Agfacolor CNS2 developed in Rodinal

Agfacolor CNS2 developed in Rodinal

I was asked by a friend of mine to process a roll of film he found in an old camera he just acquired. He didn’t know what type of film is or anything about it, so knowing I am into film photography, he tried his luck. Glad he did.

The roll is a 127 format Agfacolor CNS2, and it sat in the camera probably since the 60s or thereabouts (just guessing, of course; the film was discontinued at the end of 80’s or so). My friend is a lucky man, the film was completely shot and then it just sat there, without anyone opening the camera and unrolling the film out of curiosity. Lucky, I told you.

Usually, people not knowing about how a negative should not be exposed to light, do just that and ruin the negative. Of course, if the film is in a 35mm cassette and it was shot and rewind fully into the cassette there is less chance for the film to be ruined by inadvertently exposing it to light. But with the 127, 120 and the like, chances are someone will try and unroll the film, I have seen this often.

Lab wise, although there are some available in the area, they mostly do C41, with one or two trying their hand at E6, but nothing available for CNS2. Anyways, even if a lab would process the 127 format, which would be great, very few (or at all) would scan it for you. Of course I am talking about labs I am aware of in my vicinity. So, I guess this is why my friend came to ask me to develop it as black & white film negative. At least, as he put it, any image on that film will have a chance to come to light, so to speak. I told him that chances to get anything printable are slim to none.

So, I decided to develop this in Rodinal, stand processing, at 20*C, in a dilution of 1+100 for 60 minutes. I do not do much stand development @ high dilution, unless I shoot some 400 film at 1600, which is not very often. Prepared the lab and had a go at it, with fingers crossed.

First of all, the film was so curly and stubborn, that loading it on the reel was a truly humiliating experience; it fought every inch on its way onto the reel, and did this savagely. To make the matters more interesting, at about half roll, the paper backing was welded onto the negative, and it was adamant it will never leave it. So, I tried to peel what I could, with the intent to give it a good soak prior to develop it. To be honest, I was banking on the fact that soak or not, there would not make much difference in this case. But with the strip of paper still clinging to the damn negative, I had no choice, it seemed an obvious choice.

Soaked the film for about 15 minutes at 20*C, then turned off the lights, opened the tank and washed the film by hand, peeling that nuisance of a paper thing, hoping that I haven’t missed any paper bits and blobs. It cleaned up well, roll it again onto the reel (easier, much easier this time, but very slippery) and began the process. In went Rodinal at 1+100 dilution, slowly inverting the tank for 1 minute, tap it and then leave it. Two gentle inversions at half time, then just one, at 45′.

The developer came out dirty, of a yellowish-brownish colour. Washed in plain water, then fixed it. A drop of Photoflo after the final wash and the deed was done, for better or worse. Took it to light briefly and had a look; the images were there, albeit behind the usual mask. To me they look ok-ish, and I have a strong feeling the negative will yield at least some printable frames. All in all, really glad I gave a chance to this film; for what is worth, a few memories from old will be visible today.

This appears to be shot in the 60s, by the clothing style and vehicle model – 127 film format

For now, this is what I can show you: a frame that came out acceptable, although not printed or scanned, just digitally photographed on white light board. I have hopes that the enlarger will do a much better job, and if anything reportable, I will post the results here.