Many years ago, I acquired 3 rolls of Svema Color 125 from the good people at the FPP. I shot two of them straight—the first one, never shared, with many, many operator errors; the second beautifully, albeit with some processing errors—and a third redscaled, and almost pulled the trigger on a bulk roll a handful of times, only balking at the last second for unexplained reasons. Alas, when I finally determined to get a hundred feet of the stuff, it was suddenly out of stock. :sad face:

So when Michael Raso announced he and the team converted a big roll of 70mm Svema Color into 100 rolls of hand cut 120, I jumped on a roll. Had I been allowed more than a single roll, I probably would’ve bought 5 or 10. The idea, though, was to get the film into as many hands as possible, see how it fared, what the demand was, and maybe pressure Svema to produce more…

All this happened late last year (late 2021) and I shot this roll in very early 2022. I took my time developing it, but intended to share my results back in January. Alas. Between 126 and 127 days and a bunch of ongoing disinterest, I’m only getting around to it now, in early March 2022.


I started and finished the roll around the house, shooting plants in sunlight, darling morning light, and Samie with some birthday balloons and sadly only the one, misfocused take as he almost refuses to play along.

A couple of days later, I finished the roll at a park near Lake Worth, northwest of Fort Worth, TX.

All in all, the Svema handled very well, I think. It was a bit wonky on the roll, or I scanned it a bit wonky, but other than that, I’m rather impressed and would love to find this more regularly. The color is decent and doesn’t really look like anything else (to me), and it works pretty well under any and all conditions, from dark interiors to bright sunlight.

What’s not to like?


That said, I’m in a bit of a trough right now, photographically speaking. I’ll get back to it eventually, but I’m barely shooting enough to justify developing it myself at present. Maybe I’d be more interested if Svema Color was more available?* Allah knows, but it couldn’t hurt…

If you like what you see, maybe reach out to the FPP and/or Svema and encourage them to source/make some more. It’s nice film!

And, of course, if you don’t like what you see, well, keep it to yourself. I have enough discouragement in my life at present. And thanks in advance!

*Hint, hint, FPP, if you’re reading… Any new 120 color stock will be a welcome 120 color stock.

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  1. Svema 125 Color?… hmmmmm
    If I remember correctly, when I was travelling from Switzerland to the Eastern Block back before the Berlin Wall collapsed, the Soviets never made films that you could process in C-41…. They also didn’t manufacture polyester-based films at all!

    I am assuming this is a rebrand, that just has SVEMA name attached to it!

    Just like the current SVEMA/Astrum/Tasma films, most likely produced by Agfa on polyester that have nothing in common with the old acetate based SVEMA films!

    People rave about their quality, but if you actually shot original SVEMA films, they were terrible! I have!…. And I am glad they don’t make them anymore!

  2. I adore this stuff. I bought 2 bulk rolls in 135 between 2015 and 2017 and then it dried up. I didn’t even know they released this 120 format batch. Sad I missed it too. I’ve still got three hand-rolls of the 35mm frozen. Doesn’t seem to be coming back to bulk loading folks.

    1. I miss it too, and wish I’d picked up a couple hundred feet when it was available. The FPP gang though they might be able to get it back into production or something, if I recall. They ordered a single spool for 120 and made up 100 rolls for testing. I haven’t kept up at all, and so don’t know where things stand, but maybe it’ll come back one day.