Films

Testing ORWO MA-8

This is ORWO Mikro-Aufnahmefilm (MA) 8. In the past century people used it to archive records, blueprints, letters, technical papers, etc. In other words, documents. This film has the ability to capture and store limited amount of gray shades but will never forget your labyrinth signature on a wedding certificate.

In the leaflet I found in the canister they say it may store on its emulsion A0-size of a document on a single frame. Old time flash drive, dependent only on light and an eye to browse it. Other details include sensitivity between DIN 6 and 9 (ISO 3 – 6). Panchromatic, sensibilized. More here:

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8
ORWO MA-8 leaflet in German
Every little cousin will tell you that halcyon for this emulsion is over and you can’t capture The Fate of the Furious on 6 – 9 DIN. Optimism is in such short supply these days.

Elsewise.

Opened the canister to test what kind of genie I let out of this tin. First test showed The Bad, The Ugly and no sign of The Good.

ORWO MA-8
First encounter with MA-8 // ORWO A-03, 8 min. at 20°C

Felt like I ate a banana with its skin. Remembered what I’ve read from other people testing old bulk films — first, pill out few meters and then judge the core. Films get rotten outside in. Even in a tin. Even in.

Few winds later:

ORWO MA-8
ORWO MA-8 shot with Mamiya RB67 and cut sheet cassette 6.5x9cm // ORWO A-03
ORWO MA-8
ORWO MA-8 @ ISO 25, Kodak D-76

ORWO MA-8

Let’s see how it looks like at ISO 50:

ORWO MA-8
ORWO MA-8 at ISO 50

ORWO MA-8 ORWO MA-8 ORWO MA-8

My edition of this film looks absolutely dramatic @ ISO 50. The format came out of Pentacon Six and an adapter for the 135 cassette (this roll is unperforated).

Back to ISO 25.

ORWO MA-8
ORWO MA-8 @ ISO 25 // D-76

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8

ORWO MA-8

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2 Comments

  1. David Fekete

    Hello
    Really nice pictures!!! I have a big roll of this film, and I would like to try it. Could you please give a detailed description of developing process? I will use D-76. Could you please send some developing time for it. Sorry I’m beginner in developing, what dose it mean @ ISO 50, Did you shoot the pictures whit considering this value?

    Thank you so much your help!
    Kind Regards David Fekete

    Reply
    1. Vesselin (admin) Author

      Hi David–

      Thank you for your comment! I used D-76, 20°C, 6 min., agitation every minute. However, I would recommend you to do a bracketing test first — no one knows what your emulsion has gone through.

      I shot the film as ISO 25 and ISO 50 — metering the light and setting up shutter speed and aperture as if the film has such sensitivity. Then the combination of ISO (shutter and f), time and temperature of development gave me these results.

      Hope that helps! If you have other questions — please let me know.

      Best regards,
      Vesselin

      Reply

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