I’ve shot through a couple of rolls of Compania Imago films now and I’ve noticed a couple of things that they have in common, despite being films from different manufacturers and different vintages, and the first roll of Rollei CN200 I shot had some strange scratches and gouges that none of the others had.

Let’s start with the Rollei issues… Here is the first little bit of film to come out of the canister. Most of these two frames were exposed by simply winding on. But look closely, and maybe you’ll notice something that didn’t happen as part of winding on.

Other than a slight straightening on both frames, these are straight from the D7000. The black splotch on the left of the first frame is a wet spot left by the one of the film clips. But just after the black splotch, look closely and you’ll see a horizontal white line… This isn’t a hard water stain.

Now, in the second image, check the regular, repeated white marks, almost like static on old analog televisions.

Here’s what those look like once you’ve flipped the curve and done some rough color adjustment.

Rollei CN/Compania Imago Frame 1Thankfully, that was still all in the wind-on, mostly.

But then here’s the first full frame…

Rollei CN/Compania Imago First Frame


I don’t think that’s anything I did: I’m very gentle with film, and the marks appear in pretty much the same spot and at fairly regular intervals for the first couple of inches of film.

Also, note the frame number at the bottom… frame 11. I surmise that the 90 ft. rolls (or whatever length they are) that this 24-shot roll came from came numbered for 36, and this roll just happened to start at frame 10 or whatever.

Most of the rest of the roll was fine, except for one frame smack in the middle. I grabbed this quick frame on the way out of Ann Veronica Janssens Blue, Red, and Yellow (2001) at the Nasher Sculpture Center back during Spring Break.

Inside Ann Veronica Janssens' "Blue, Red, and Yellow" at Nasher Sculpture Center

I have no idea what the brown splotches are. The don’t match up with any known sensor dust or anything and doesn’t appear in other frames, anyway, and this isn’t an area of the film that I would handle during development. I wonder if something got spilled on the film during spooling or something. Or maybe it’s something that I did inadvertently while loading the film into the development tank or taking it off the spools to dry.

Allahu Alim.

But then I know I didn’t have anything to do with this…

That’s what should be the last frame on the roll, and the space after. The black marks in the lefthand frame are wet spots from the clip on the other end, I think, either that or bits of tape left behind.

But the interesting thing to note is the frame before, frame number 35.

That should be a whole picture: there was plenty of film left to wrap around into the canister and be taped to the spool inside, and, anyway, if there wasn’t enough film wind around to a new frame, I wouldn’t have been able to properly expose 1/4 of a frame there. It looks like the last bit of film was exposed, probably while loading it. And this issue, unlike the scratches above, appears in every roll I’ve shot so far.

The picture at the top is of a roll of PolyPan F 50—perhaps the cleanest B/W film I’ve shot yet, just beautiful stuff. Look forward to some shots from that in a few days, when I get fully recovered from the week of processing I lost thanks to a bug in Capture One Pro 9.1. (I had to revert to 9.0.3 and call up the most recent catalog from the Time Machine drive, and lost all edits from several days of work that I did after upgrading to 9.1, but before discovering the bug. When I unplugged the external hard drives where the pictures live, C1P 9.1 forgot all about almost all of the pictures in my catalog. It could see the ones that I was working on when I unplugged the drives, but not anything else. I discovered that the shiny new 9.1 catalog was about 10mb, vs. the 9.0.3 one that was around 30gb… Fail. But I digress.)

Compania Imago PolyPan F 50 tail

(If that looks a little off, it’s a quick composite of two different raw files in Photoshop.)

The plaid splotch on the far right is some tape that was left behind, and the white specks in the middle are dust or maybe hard water, but the exposed tail is all Compania Imago. It’s been on every roll so far. I didn’t notice it in the Orwo NP7, because so much of that roll had its own problems, and all my doing (I think), and it’s probably just part of the hand-rolling thing: Allahu Alim, and the people at Compania Imago, and probably anyone who’s ever hand-rolled film before, if it is something endemic to hand-rolling film.

Other than that, I’m liking the films so far. So far, I’ve shot and developed 3 rolls, and I have one more in the FE as we speak (I replaced the light seals and it works great now: great camera),so loads to share, Alhamdulillah.

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