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Revival of 127 film - new films on the market

Francois P. Garnier , Jul 09, 2009; 12:22 p.m.


after the sad news of Kodachrome being discontinued (I started my slide film "career" with Kodachrome) there is also very good news concerning new films introduced to the market:

Rollei-Film has made an announcement that their recently in 35mm introduced Rollei Retro 80S film (that is Agfa-Gevaert Aviphot Pan 80 - fresh production from Agfa in Belgium, www.agfa.com ) will soon also be available in 120 and in 127 format! So we will have an alternative to Efke R100 in 127 format. Here is the official announcement:


Available in Europe at the end of July, in north America and Asia probably one month later.
I have used the Rollei Retro 80S in 35mm so far. Excellent stuff, incredible sharp, very high resolution and extremely fine grain. I estimate that with this film you will get in 127 format 4x4 results comparable to other films in 6x6.

And it looks like this new 127 film will not be the only one. Rollei-Film distributor Robert Vonk made a statement that there will be even a E6 slide film in 127 at the end of this year! So Super-Slide will be back! For all of you younger photographers: Super-Slide is 4x4 slide, which can be used with dedicated slide mounts (e.g. from Gepe) in normal 35mm slide projectors (no need for a further projector for the bigger format). Look here:


It is only a guess by me, but I can imagine if the demand for the new films is good, than we could see even more films in 127 offered by Rollei-Film.

It's time to take our 127 format classic cameras out of the display cabinet and back in use again. 127 is a real fun format, I like it.


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Larry Dressler , Jul 09, 2009; 12:44 p.m.

Well pull out them old 4x4 cameras then.. Now to get the 110 and 126 back.

Mike Gammill , Jul 09, 2009; 04:24 p.m.

Now we need a new 127 camera. The Blackbird Fly (TLR 35mm camera from Freestyle) will produce a 36mm x 36mm image on 35mm (including sprocket area). That's only 4mm shy of a 4 x 4cm image needed for 127. I wonder how practical it would be to modify a Blackbird to do 127? I'm sure there would be some vignetting, but it might be interesting.

Francois P. Garnier , Jul 09, 2009; 05:56 p.m.

Hello Mike,

you are right, a Blackbird Fly 4x4 should be no problem. But before the manufacturer will decide to make a modified camera, we have to show the demand by buying the new films. If there is a demand, there will be a supply.
And, there are lots of great 127 cameras on the used market: The Baby Rolleiflex 4x4, Yashica 44, Minolta 4x4 TLR, Bilora Bella, Zeiss Ikon, Agfa, Kodak Brownie and so on. A lot of manufacturers had built cameras for 127 film in the last 80 years. Now is the time to reactivate these gems.

Larry Dressler , Jul 09, 2009; 06:04 p.m.

Yes also known as Super Slide film as it fit into the 2x2 mount.

John Shriver , Jul 09, 2009; 10:11 p.m.

Vest Pocket Kodaks are also a great way to use 127 film, you get a substantial negative.

Mike Gammill , Jul 09, 2009; 11:16 p.m.

Francois, I was really thinking of it more as a DIY job for someone skilled in modifiying cameras. I agree that the manufacturer would have to see substantial demand before undertaking such a project.
FWIW, if I were going to design a 127 camera from scratch, I would build a fixed lens rangefinder with a pressure plate to hold the film flat for exposure, but would lift away enough as to not scratch the film during advance.
BTW, where can you buy Rollei Retro 80S in the USA? Freestyle doesn't have it yet.

Patrick Mont , Jul 09, 2009; 11:26 p.m.

This is awesome news! It will be nice to have another choice when shooting 127! It is such a fun format!

Michael Axel , Jul 10, 2009; 01:39 a.m.

I've been using some other Rollei Retro and having great results. I noticed FreestylePhoto.biz also has 127 from Efke as well.

Francois P. Garnier , Jul 10, 2009; 04:03 a.m.

Mike, I don't know why Freestyle doesn't have Rollei Retro 80S 35mm yet.
Perhaps they are sleeping, and you have to wake them up ;-). Ask them to list it, they certainly will do it. In Europe this film is already available since March.
A reason could be that they are waiting for a shipment with all three formats together(35mm, 127, 120). And Rollei-Film said in their announcement, that 127 and 120 will arrive at end of July from the plant.
I think we only need some weeks of patience for the bigger formats.

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