Films, Uncategorized

ORWO Color NC-19

30 years back, in the ’80s, ORWO Color NC-19 was the affordable way to capture moments of your cat’s charming existence, summer vacation casual diversions or backyard la vida loca BBQs.

Never had it in my ammunition list ’til recently, when The Destiny threw me a bag full of 120 rolls of it, no message attached. Mmmmk.

No carton packaging to inform my curious soul re: expiration date (as it matters if the rolls are 25 or 30 years expired, huh). Irresistible it was to give them a try.

Tested two rolls, first came out pretty bad — looked like a bacteria’s 20 years long banquet.

ORWO Color NC-19

But I got lucky with the second one — a good test strip that prooved remaining sensitivity of around 4 – 6 ISO plus uneven emulsion photon libido.

ORWO Color NC-19
click to enlarge

A city legend spread on alternative photography forums, lomography groups and who-knows-what-else-graphy sites has it that ORWO Color NC-19 could, may and shall be developed under C-41 process. Well, if you google this you will find a fat pile of examples where NC-19 emulsion did die hard in 38º C. So there you better not strut.

Back when in its glory days of production, ORWO Color films were to be developed under ORWO process C-5168. A quick search gave me this post on You may have a copy of its recipe in a PDF format here.

Life is full of inconveniences. Color developer C-14 uses 1.7 grams of CD1, a.k.a. N,N-diethyl p-phenylenediamine sulfate (guess someone has a tattoo with its formula) — that was the most difficult ingredient to procure. And also the most expensive.

The process itself takes about 40 minutes. If you are interested in its steps — here is a table to print out. The development shall be done with almost continuous agitation of the tank — turn the tank left-right jerkily for a few seconds, then leave it in rest for 15 sec. and repeat this till the end.

Later on I found on internet two sets of C-5168 chemicals for sale. The original leaflet you may find here, but unfortunately it is only in German and Russian. Note that this is a set for 0.5 l convenience set.

Examples of these rolls are below.

ORWO Color NC-19

ORWO Color NC-19

ORWO Color NC-19

ORWO Color NC-19

ORWO Color NC-19

ORWO Color NC-19
ORWO Color NC-19 // Pentacon Six // C-5168


  1. Hi Vesselin, Back in the day, mid ’80s and ’90s in Belgrade, Serbia, was “normal” to have ORWO NC19 for processing in local photo shops and they developed it in C41. Nobody bothered with original ORWO processing kit. How they did it I have no idea? Most likely it had to be process on temperature closer to 20C than to 38C. Not sure do you still have any ORWO NC left but…..
    Very interesting blog! Found the link in PHOTOTRIO. I’m currently running some test with ORWO MA-8. Did some a few years ago and posted on my FLICKR page. Will send you link
    Goran (Guy who give you info on Agfa Gevaert Glass plates)

    1. Vesselin (admin) Author

      Hello Goran–

      I remember your helpful comment on AGFA Glass plates!

      Would be interested to see your results with MA-8 and, of course, processing details.

      Best regards,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *