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kahl film anybody?


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#1 kevin jackman

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:08 PM

has anybody used their products? high cost and big shipping...just wanted to know if anybody has used them
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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 11:25 PM

Not a lot of feedback in this thread... maybe that says more then a thousand words about the subject...

Let me add a thousand words, nevertheless... :P

Kevin, if you would have asked me that question about any film stock supplier/provider: Kodak, Spectra, Wittner Cinetec, even Pro8mm and GK-Film, I would have said: "Yeah, give it a go, they are reliable, consistent and sell a certain aesthetic that might be helpful for your film projects". With Kahl, however, I really can't say any of that, and as you are located overseas for Kahl shipping, and the films are quite highly-priced, your risk is higher than mine was when I used to buy from there on occassion :unsure: .

I as well as some colleagues dealt with that company in the late 1990s. Its unique selling proposition then was to offer a range of B&W (no colour then!) film emulsions that could be bought as metered film stock (as in 50ft or 400ft reels in tin canisters) which the buyer then had to load her/himself into those famous Russian reloadable Super 8 cartridges.
With this business plan, Kahl avoided the problem of loading film stock into then non-accessible original Kodak cartridges, all the while offering great flexibility in using and reloading S8 films when needed.

The film materials used were short-ends or cold-storage stocks from Orwo (for 'Original Wolfen', the Agfa plant located in the city of Wolfen which fell to the GDR/East-Germany after WWII) and Foma (the Czech film manufacturer) as well as a range of Russian-origin film stock. Herr Kahl was not forthcoming on giving details about the exact provenance of the stocks upon request and it took serious "private detective work" by a friend of mine, Henry Bohlmann :ph34r: , to actually prove the Orwo and Foma link at all B) .

The problem with all that was that Kahl sold them under his own brand and a generic DIN/ASA-derived name (Kahl 18, Kahl 24 etc.), but it was unclear on some occassion which of the same-EI'd film stocks available from the manufacturers were actually used under what name by Kahl :mellow: !
The results from the film stocks were inconsistent from load to load, but the medium-speed films had on average higher contrast than Plus-X, grain closer to Tri-X than Plus-X, and could expose very densly (but without much tighter grain!) without straying-away alot from the recommended EI. Some Double 8 shots we made then with an old Bell&Howell really had an archival flair to it.
However, some films behaved completetly different than advertised (which we found out only after buying several test reels of it): A extremely low-speed high-contrast B&W film that should have been ideal for black-&-white titling and optical work was anything but high contrast, and head enormous latitude as plus. Development at Kahl was errouneous as well, and 1 out of 4 reels had scratch-marks on it that had to originate while processing. Advance-payment only demands, Russian-only tech sheets and patchy contact availability by phone was also dish of the day <_< .

Needless to say that this was not fostering the best business relationships, and I havn't used Kahl since. However, the dark fringes of the German 1990s S8 underground scene, well, those guys loved those stocks and made the unpredictability part of their aesthetics - very Warhol/Factory..., just less controversial, daring and without resulting cultural impact (any member of the ANRRP Hamburg still alive?) :rolleyes: .

I recently read about Kahl a year ago in the German Schmalfilm magazine by Jürgen Lossau. He mentioned there that he had received a considerable amount of letters of complaint from his readers about Kahl, and as a consequence of that, he would no longer advertise or mention Kahl Film in his magazine. Whether there is a personal vendetta behind that or fiefdom-defending going on here is difficult to say (the rather "close links" between Jürgen Lossau and Gottfried Klose of Kahl's competitor GK-Film are no secret, after all) :wacko: .

Giles Perkins' S8 film stock list is also lacking background info about Kahl film stock, so maybe not alot has changed about giving details about the current stocks since ten years ago.

On the other hand, Kahl's business survived to this day, so he must have some happy and satisfied customers :huh: .

I hope that helped a bit to form a view on Kahl. Feel free to come back on that ^_^ .


P.S.:

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#3 alexandros petin

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 02:43 PM

However, the dark fringes of the German 1990s S8 underground scene, well, those guys loved those stocks and made the unpredictability part of their aesthetics - very Warhol/Factory..., just less controversial, daring and without resulting cultural impact (any member of the ANRRP Hamburg still alive?)
Michael Lehnert

Well this could be a topic in the super 8 forum cause i think there still is some underground (unpredictable, maybe bad scratched) super 8 scene.

Michael Lehnert very usefull info.Beeing in Europe i was tempted to order some extremely low-speed high-contrast B&W film they advertise, but now im having second thoughts.(Had them anyway since i could find info about the stock, or from people that used it just to see the result)

I think some feedback, post from Kahl company would be ideal. Lets see if they have some answers about their products.
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#4 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 03:53 PM

Info from Kahl would be absolutely welcome, as being not very open in the past might have unnecessarily hurt their business case (but then again, maybe not) recently, esp. with the Schmalfilm fall-out and angry customers.

I think Giles Perkins would be all too happy to add the "heritage" and "origin" of the Kahl film stock to his Film Stock List PDF on onsuper8.org.

Let's see if Kahl is more cooperative with a bit of pressure from cinematography.com :)

Edited by Michael Lehnert, 08 October 2007 - 03:54 PM.

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#5 Giles Perkins

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:47 PM

I think Giles Perkins would be all too happy to add the "heritage" and "origin" of the Kahl film stock to his Film Stock List PDF on onsuper8.org.

Let's see if Kahl is more cooperative with a bit of pressure from cinematography.com :)


Michael,

Adopting the basic journalistic principal of proven information - I'd be happy to list information on the stock if I could get it for absolute certainty myself - hence the slight black hole in the onsuper8.org listings! Maybe I need an evening language class and a cheap flight?!
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 07:17 PM

From my past experiences with Kahl, I fear one would need a MI5-style secret-extracting special ops team.
But maybe these are past antics and Kahl is more accessible now. Let's see. Actually, if you want, I can give them a call next week to check it out. Might save you the German classes, plus the RyanAir discomfort...
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#7 Giles Perkins

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 11:55 AM

Michael,

this is the response I got today from Kahl with regards to the detail on the onsuper8.org .pdf... (clumsy translation via Babelfish)

"thank you for your inquiry after our films! All our films are also further available. We confirm your list! Starting from at the beginning of November 2007 we have additionally a new film: UT 21 super 8 color reversal ISO 100/21°"

There you go - as clear as... but something new on the way - we can debate now to the nth degree what it is....

Cheers,
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#8 kevin jackman

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:44 PM

From my past experiences with Kahl, I fear one would need a MI5-style secret-extracting special ops team.
But maybe these are past antics and Kahl is more accessible now. Let's see. Actually, if you want, I can give them a call next week to check it out. Might save you the German classes, plus the RyanAir discomfort...



that would be great. id love to know if their ds8 neg stock can be bought in 400ft rolls and if it would be cheaper. they just make me nervous those guys but if they are the only game in town...
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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:26 PM

Giles:

Hmm, right... sorry to hear that they weren't forthcoming on your request, Giles. Kahl behaving as we know him. Great to see a consistency in character :) , isn't it?. So after the MI5 style did not get far, I think one should call in the SAS. B)

Kevin:

All right then, I will try my hand (doubt I'll be more successful than Giles, though) and give those guys (rather one guy, I think) a phone call as soon as I find a spare minute and one hour afterwards for calming meditation to cure the anger... ;)

I'll keep you posted!

Edited by Michael Lehnert, 10 October 2007 - 02:30 PM.

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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 02:29 PM

...UT 21 super 8 color reversal ISO 100/21°...we can debate now to the nth degree what it is....


Well, I probably assume the same as you do, Kodak Ektachrome 100 D... <_<
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 02:03 PM

Conversed with Kahl as promised.

Very kind and friendly as long as he had the prospect of quoting for the sale of film stocks to the UK in higher amounts than just one or two. Raised the question on the provenience of the stock, as I "assumed he would not produce film stock himself", No surprise, then, that actually, he claimed he did (as so often before), even flagging out the KAHL brand on the cartridges. Needless to say that any further replies from him were not forthcoming and giving out details where his deep-frozen Agfa and Fuji stock are held "hostage" :) to be sold off as "Kahlchrome" something.

Kevin, re. discount when buying longer reels of DS8 neg? No, not available, no discounts.

Cf. to similar debates on these issues on kamera-board.de and filmsht.com

Conclusion: same procedure as every year regarind the mythmaking of his films. That is not trust-building and hence, I won't change my approach not to entertain his business for my projects in any way.

Current issue of Schmalfilm features Kahl as opting out of the Telecine survey by returning the test film unopened to sender (in this case Jürgen Lossau). As this was a voluntary test, this should not be stigmatised per se, however, he was only one of two IIRC who did so.
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#12 Tony Hudson

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:20 PM

Current issue of Schmalfilm features Kahl as opting out of the Telecine survey by returning the test film unopened to sender (in this case Jürgen Lossau). As this was a voluntary test, this should not be stigmatised per se, however, he was only one of two IIRC who did so.



Well if he doesn't have any confidence in "his" stock and development, why should we?
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#13 Charles Doran

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:31 PM

MIchael, thanks for conversing with this difficult bunch (or solitary person, whatever).

Do you have anything you could post from your not-so-good Kahl days?


Conversed with Kahl as promised.

Very kind and friendly as long as he had the prospect of quoting for the sale of film stocks to the UK in higher amounts than just one or two. Raised the question on the provenience of the stock, as I "assumed he would not produce film stock himself", No surprise, then, that actually, he claimed he did (as so often before), even flagging out the KAHL brand on the cartridges. Needless to say that any further replies from him were not forthcoming and giving out details where his deep-frozen Agfa and Fuji stock are held "hostage" :) to be sold off as "Kahlchrome" something.

Kevin, re. discount when buying longer reels of DS8 neg? No, not available, no discounts.

Cf. to similar debates on these issues on kamera-board.de and filmsht.com

Conclusion: same procedure as every year regarind the mythmaking of his films. That is not trust-building and hence, I won't change my approach not to entertain his business for my projects in any way.

Current issue of Schmalfilm features Kahl as opting out of the Telecine survey by returning the test film unopened to sender (in this case Jürgen Lossau). As this was a voluntary test, this should not be stigmatised per se, however, he was only one of two IIRC who did so.


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#14 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:44 PM

Do you have anything you could post from your not-so-good Kahl days?


Look up, Charles, and klick me, something has already come your way. ;)
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#15 Gerard Furber

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 02:47 PM

My experience with Kahlfilm has been generally positive, with fast and good quality processing and clearly in-date stock, though the secrecy regarding what the stocks actually are is something of an annoyance.

From a bit of net detective work, it would appear that Kahl UT18 is Agfa RSXII 50 reversal film, and that the black and white films correspond exactly to the presently available 16mm and 35mm ORWO stocks from Filmotec GmbH.

http://www.filmotec....s/products.html
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#16 Giles Perkins

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 12:54 PM

There is no confirmed evidence (that I have seen) to suggest what the stock is at all - there are a lot of internet suppositions as to what it is but no hard and fast data - hence on onsuper8.org these stocks will remain data-less until verified.

Cheers
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