Thursday, 25 July 2013

127 Day July 2013

Stairs Down, Baby Ikonta, Efke R100
For this summer's 127 Day a couple of weeks ago, I had one roll of Efke R100 left, the last new roll of 127 film. With production of 127 format film ending last year, I also shot some 35mm Rollei ATO 2.1, cut and rolled with backing paper I'd been keeping from all the 127 film I've used previously. As I mentioned in my previous post, for pictorial contrast, I pre-exposed some of the ATO film to raise the shadow values in an attempt to lower the film's innate contrast. As ATO is orthochromatic, it was a simple matter to cut the appropriate length of film and tape it to the backing paper under a red safelight. The images that result are cropped from the full frame size and include the sprocket holes, not a look I'm generally that keen on, but the convenience of using 35mm film in this way meant I could take more shots on the day.

Beckton Alp, Baby Ikonta, Rollei ATO 2.1 with pre-exposure
I used my Baby Ikonta camera, and also the Foth Derby (although I have yet to develop the film from it, so the images illustrating this post are all from the Baby Ikonta). I took the Greenway from Old Ford Lock to Beckton, to the Beckton Alp (or Alps), a mound of contaminated waste from the gasworks which featured a dry ski slope where I once learned to ski. The dry ski slope was removed some years ago, and the hill is derelict, the viewing platform at the peak having been removed, and it is essentially closed to public access, although I found a gap in the fence where a gate was missing, and the graffiti, litter and fire damage to the remaining wooden structures suggest it is frequently visited. Reputedly the largest artificial hill in London, the views from the top are panoramic.

Remains of the Dry Ski Slope, Baby Ikonta, Rollei ATO 2.1 with pre-exposure
Beckton Retail Park, Baby Ikonta, Rollei ATO 2.1 with pre-exposure
The Greenway, Baby Ikonta, Rollei ATO 2.1 (no pre-exposure)


  1. I just got some Agfa Avitone PE1 orthochromatic on a roll 5" wide, so I can cut it to 5x4. The very contrasty negs are great for printing on to slightly tired grade 3 Agfa Portriga that I have. The Avitone seems to be a lovely film, intended for aerial use I think. Those Ilford G30 orthochromatic plates are similar in contrast. As for the backing papers for 127 and other rollfilm sizes, do you think that a modern reprographics company could reproduce the papers, printed black on one side and with all the numbers on the other? So are the Becton 'Alps' still toxic?

    1. The issue I could foresee with trying to reproduce the backing paper is finding paper that's light proof. I've read on another blog that I can't find now a reference to a particular type of craft paper that's a good replacement.
      There was a proposal to replace the dry ski slope at Beckton with a covered snow dome, which has come to nothing as it (may) have been uneconomical due to the need for decontamination.
      The Avitone film sounds like a good find too.