Films, Uncategorized

ORWO Chrom UT-18 — junk or gem?

Laid my hands recently on ORWO UT-18 roll films. Feeling like a 10-years-old in a LEGO shop, went to basement and opened up an old book of wisdom, the ORiginal WOlfen cook book.

ORWO Chrom UT-18 was first introduced in 1968 and was in production till the late ‘80s / early ’90s. The expiration dates of my rolls was somewhen in 1986. UT stands for Umkehr Tageslicht, which basicaly means go-out-in-a-sunny-day-and-play, but don’t forget to reverse the film later.

I always do a bracketing test for films I haven’t used before. My balcony with the mise-en-scène of Varna bay has been always serving well for tests of unknown films. Recently calibrated Pentacon Six with Biometar 80 / 2.8 lens was used. Fresh from the factory the film is rated 18 DIN (50 ISO), so I guesstimated 25 ISO. Set F/5.6 (scattered clouds, somewhat sunny), started at 1/60 and went slowing shutter down to 1’’. The test strip is here:

click to enlarge image
(click to enlarge)




My guesstimate turned out to be a way too optimistic – I would rate this roll at somewhere around 8 ISO. Next rolls I was shooting at that speed.

ORWO UT-18 @ 8 iso

ORWO UT-18 @ 8 ISO
ORWO UT-18 @ 8 ISO

The original process for this film is ORWOCOLOR C-9165. If you are interested in the process, here is the original leaflet from an ORWO-manufactured kit. Do note that this is for 0.5 l kit.

I used b/w developer and color developer prepared from scratch by collecting and mixing the necessary chemicals. (Bleach, stop and fix I had available in their original packages from ORWO.) If you are interested how to cook the set, here is a detailed baths’ recipes. Note: when I was mixing last time C-57 for this set I found that there is a mistake with its recipe in the previously uploaded version here. Now this is corrected, please delete the previous document. I appologize for any inconveniences!

So, junk or gem?

ORWO UT-18 // Pentacon Six // Biometar 80 // C-9165
ORWO UT-18 // Pentacon Six // Biometar 80 // C-9165

I would let you decide yourself. Based on my experience with these few rolls, on the specter from junk to gem I would go for “junky chunk of gem”.

ORWO UT-18 // Pentacon Six // Biometar 80 // C-9165


ORWOCOLOR C-9165 is a hectic, 90 minutes process, but if you are ready to roll up your pants and wade into it — drop a comment – I still might have quite a few rolls to let go. Chemicals would be available also.


  1. Hi!

    I want to roll up my pants and wade into it!

    Going through old stuff, I found a few exposed ORWO rolls (ORWOChrom UT18 and NC21) and would like to see what my younger me did so back then.

    You mention you have some chemical leftover and I would like to give it a good use.

    Looking forward to your reply (I live in The Netherlands)

    Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  2. Corinne

    Hello !
    This is a really good article with good results of your delevopings 🙂

    I’m from France and i have an expired UT-18 (and a NC-19 aswell). The UT has not been shot yet but i did the NC.
    I’m looking for someone who have the processes (9165 as you have, and 5168 for the NC-19) and i found your blog.
    Are you interested if i send you my 120 roll(s) ?
    Thanks, and best regards !

    1. admin Author

      Hi Corinne–

      Thank you for your kind words! I will check what chemicals I have remained and will revert to you via e-mail later on today.

  3. Hello there,

    Fab article :). I have just got 2 rolls of this film ( expired in 1988) . Do you reckon I will still manage to get something out of it? Also if so. Could you please let me know if I could put your chemicals to use for this. Thanks a ton

    1. Vesselin (admin) Author

      Hello Tarang–
      It’s more important how they’ve been stored, mine expired 1986. Perhaps there will be some images, but no one could guarantee you good results.

  4. Simona Stoeva

    Здравейте! Доколкото разбрах сте от Варна? 🙂 Случайно попаднах на Вас. Попадна ми една Agfa Clack и искам да я пробвам, затова търся някакъв евтин филм :d и ми излезе този с много изтекъл срок..Не разбирам много от проявяване, но ако просто си дам филма във фотото, мога ли да очаквам да излезе нещо? Или предполагам, че тези старите филми се проявяват по- специално.. Ще се радвам на някои съвети. Мерси:)

    1. Vesselin (admin) Author

      Здравейте Симона–

      Ако просто дадете във фотото ORWO UT филм няма да получите никакво изображение — този филм е направен да се проявява на температура около 24 – 25 градуса, а във фотото модерните процеси работят на около 38 градуса. Просто емулсията ще се разпадне. Едва ли ще намерите някой да прояви една лента по оригиналния процес — много е дълго, а и химията не е евтина, особено пък за един филм.

      За тест препоръчвам нов черно-бял филм и пресни химикали, за да видите как работи апарата, а не да рискувате с неизвестен филм и трудни процеси за проявяване. И разбира се, да намерите някой, който може да го прояви. Или купете нов цветен филм по процес C-41 и го дайте във фотото.

      Ако мога да съм полезен с нещо допълнително — пишете.

      Пожелавам успех! 🙂

      1. Симона

        Или познавате ли някой във Варна, който проявява такива филми? Аз преди съм давала старички филми, от фотото го дават на някой и горе-долу се получава, но ако имате някой друг предвид?


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