Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Azopan PS21 – Romania

Azopan PS21 – Romania

Azopan PS-21, a panchromatic film negative, good pictorial choice for the period. Quite fine grained, if processed right. While the staple for the amateur photogs of the day, (in Romania), it was not really their first choice if they could get their hands on some Kodak or other Western brand. I am amazed that after all these years, some good photographs come out of this long forgotten film.

The Azopan film was the usual one used in communist Romania, cheap; chemicals easy to find (also produced in the same factory). Other than Azopan, shops sold ORWO (DDR) and Svema (USSR); very rarely any Western-made film was to be found.

Sensitivity wise, there was the 100 (designated PS-21), 200 ASA (designated PS-24) and 400 ASA (designated PS-27) for black and white, also some colour negative 100 asa. However, I have no idea if they made 400 asa in color. These films came in both 35mm and 120. The production stopped sometime in the very early 90’s. I still have some bricks of PS-21 in both 35 and 120, but I never had time to check if they are still all right or not.

From our friend Wiki: “Azomureș (or AZO) was the only brand of photosensitive materials from Romania, produced by Combinatul de Îngrășăminte Azotoase Târgu-Mureș (English: Târgu-Mureș Nitrogenous Fertilizer Plant) between 1981 and 2003.

The photographic materials were made in a separate section of the chemical plant, in the northern part of Târgu Mureș, using Japanese licensed production. The decision to locate the factory in this city was based on the tradition in photographic art and the existence of an older company in the field.

The main products were black and white and color photographic paper and films for general photography, industrial and medical use and black and white and color cinematographic films. “The factory has stood out as one of the newest companies of its kind in the world. Due to low demand for film in the early 2000s, outdated production technology and debt, the department was closed in 2003.”

A couple of scanned frames of this film (exp. 1985), are affixed here for your perusal.

Romanian Royal residence, Sinaia Romania – Azopan PS21 (100)

Bran Castle, Romania – Azopan PS21 (100)

Royal gardens at Peles Castle, Sinaia Romania – Azopan PS21 (100) 


  1. Eugen Mezei says:

    Talking about B/W film emulsions: Also usual was Forte. What I havent seen back in the day (or dont remember) are Foma and Efke. At some point a chinese film was avaible for a brief period.