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Soviet A2 35mm Black and White


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#1 Michael Rossetti

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 11:41 PM

I was recently approached by a director who possess a large amount of Soviet-era B&W 35mm stock which she would like to shoot a film with.

I'm trying to find out if it is possible to get it processed and how to go about it, also, if there is any information out there about this film. I plan to shoot a latitude test, but I need to know where to take it to get developed.

Its called "A2" and was made by a company called "Svema" (or "Cbema" in Cyrillic).

ANY information would be a huge help.
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#2 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 02:41 AM

I was recently approached by a director who possess a large amount of Soviet-era B&W 35mm stock which she would like to shoot a film with.

I'm trying to find out if it is possible to get it processed and how to go about it, also, if there is any information out there about this film. I plan to shoot a latitude test, but I need to know where to take it to get developed.

Its called "A2" and was made by a company called "Svema" (or "Cbema" in Cyrillic).

ANY information would be a huge help.

There is some information at this website:
http://www.geocities.../svema-film.htm
Any Black and White lab should be able to process it; they would have to run gamma tests to get the correct development time but that should not be a problem.

Brian
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#3 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 03:16 AM

Processing should not be a problem after the usual gamma testing to find the proper development times. be sure to do proper exposure tests as well and don't take the manufacturers word at face value.
One problem you may run into: the russians used positive (KS) perforations in the camera negative instead of negative perforations (BH). The rest of the world is not set up for printing this combination of perfs and may give stability problems on unmodified equipment.

If you visually inspect a piece of film: BH negative perforations are oval with straight sides, KS perfs are rectabgular with rounded corners and the pitch between perfs is shorter too on BH than on KS.

If you mix this russian B&W stock with Kodak B&W stock and then print it onto color positive you are in for a big surprise.

Also, it is unlikely to have machine readable Keykode numbers, so postproduction will need a little planning
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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 03:37 AM

Michael, is that A 2 subject still actual ? I'd love to do the job for the production running a lab with everything you need in black and white. We also have 35 mm printing machinery to cope with P or N type perforation.
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#5 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:17 AM

I was recently approached by a director who possess a large amount of Soviet-era B&W 35mm stock which she would like to shoot a film with.

I'm trying to find out if it is possible to get it processed and how to go about it, also, if there is any information out there about this film. I plan to shoot a latitude test, but I need to know where to take it to get developed.

Its called "A2" and was made by a company called "Svema" (or "Cbema" in Cyrillic).

ANY information would be a huge help.


Can ask me. ( olex.camera@gmail.com)
I have many technical literature about russian films, technology processing, other and have long time personal experience of use and processing of russian films.

I think, you mean of Svema, Shostka , Ukraine film factory, B&W negative film A2SH, 320 ASA.

Can be process like any B&W negative films.
If you will need, I can gine you firm formula of solutions and technology processing.
The fist can be push very good.
I love use of this films, because, the film very "complaisant" and can be process with super low grain with speed 50..65 ASA, up to high contrast 650ASA.

But, this can be film from old stock.

From other side, all russian films have KS perforation and you need use of any cine camera without registration pin ( Like Arri 2C ) , or russian with registration pin ( original versin of Kinor-35S, H, and other )
Yes, You can use of any west camera With registration pins, but, the registration pins do not work, because, the size of hole of KS have more big size from BH.
And. The Svema films can have a other thickness from Kodak.
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#6 Michael Rossetti

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:06 AM

Hi Everyone,
First I want to thank you all for your helpful responses.

Let me update you on what I've done with the stock....

The stock was dated 1991, so it wasn't SUPER old, but still pretty old for film. I took a can into a bag and cut off a strip in order to check if the perforations matched those of modern stocks. The perfs lined up perfectly with some Kodak film that I had lying around. And, from what I could see, the stock seemed to be in OK shape - it wasn't falling apart or cracking in my hands and the emulsion wasn't just flaking off - which I feared it might.

I checked around in New York to find a good lab that would test it and work with me if it turned out to be usable. DuArt turned out to be the one, and I worked with Steve Blakely over there (who was incredibly nice and helpful). He had me drop off all the cans so he could do a clip test and check the density and fog levels.
After the test he told me the fog levels weren't too bad, but a little high, and so he wouldn't really recommend using the stock. It was still functional, but not in the best shape. He said he also saw some static marks.

I decided to shoot a test anyway to see if the director still liked the look, so Steve said that it would be easiest for them if I shot the stock as if it were the two current Kodak B/W negative stocks (5222 and 5231). So I shot a human subject holding a gray card, in front of a half black and half white background; once rating the film at ASA 200 (5222) and once rating it at ASA 64 (5231).

I'm going in to DuArt to watch the test this week and I will post again to let you know how it came out. If we still like it, we'll shoot some more tests and I will keep you updated.

Thanks again,
Mike
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#7 Michael Rossetti

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:05 AM

Hi Everyone,
First I want to thank you all for your helpful responses.

Let me update you on what I've done with the stock....

The stock was dated 1991, so it wasn't SUPER old, but still pretty old for film. I took a can into a bag and cut off a strip in order to check if the perforations matched those of modern stocks. The perfs lined up perfectly with some Kodak film that I had lying around. And, from what I could see, the stock seemed to be in OK shape - it wasn't falling apart or cracking in my hands and the emulsion wasn't just flaking off - which I feared it might.

I checked around in New York to find a good lab that would test it and work with me if it turned out to be usable. DuArt turned out to be the one, and I worked with Steve Blakely over there (who was incredibly nice and helpful). He had me drop off all the cans so he could do a clip test and check the density and fog levels.
After the test he told me the fog levels weren't too bad, but a little high, and so he wouldn't really recommend using the stock. It was still functional, but not in the best shape. He said he also saw some static marks.

I decided to shoot a test anyway to see if the director still liked the look, so Steve said that it would be easiest for them if I shot the stock as if it were the two current Kodak B/W negative stocks (5222 and 5231). So I shot a human subject holding a gray card, in front of a half black and half white background; once rating the film at ASA 200 (5222) and once rating it at ASA 64 (5231).

I'm going in to DuArt to watch the test this week and I will post again to let you know how it came out. If we still like it, we'll shoot some more tests and I will keep you updated.

Thanks again,
Mike
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#8 Michael Rossetti

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 02:03 AM

Hi Everyone,
First I want to thank you all for your helpful responses.

Let me update you on what I've done with the stock....

The stock was dated 1991, so it wasn't SUPER old, but still pretty old for film. I took a can into a bag and cut off a strip in order to check if the perforations matched those of modern stocks. The perfs lined up perfectly with some Kodak film that I had lying around. And, from what I could see, the stock seemed to be in OK shape - it wasn't falling apart or cracking in my hands and the emulsion wasn't just flaking off - which I feared it might.

I checked around in New York to find a good lab that would test it and work with me if it turned out to be usable. DuArt turned out to be the one, and I worked with Steve Blakely over there (who was incredibly nice and helpful). He had me drop off all the cans so he could do a clip test and check the density and fog levels.
After the test he told me the fog levels weren't too bad, but a little high, and so he wouldn't really recommend using the stock. It was still functional, but not in the best shape. He said he also saw some static marks.

I decided to shoot a test anyway to see if the director still liked the look, so Steve said that it would be easiest for them if I shot the stock as if it were the two current Kodak B/W negative stocks (5222 and 5231). So I shot a human subject holding a gray card, in front of a half black and half white background; once rating the film at ASA 200 (5222) and once rating it at ASA 64 (5231).

I'm going in to DuArt to watch the test this week and I will post again to let you know how it came out. If we still like it, we'll shoot some more tests and I will keep you updated.

Thanks again,
Mike
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#9 Michael Rossetti

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 03:47 PM

Sorry about those three consecutive posts with the same thing - my computer was acting up.

Anyway...I went to DuArt today and watched the footage and surprisingly it doesn't look bad. The one developed as 5222 was a little granier than the one developed as 5231, but they both had solid blacks and the grain didn't seem any worse than actual 5222 or 5231. The fog level wasn't really an issue. The two biggest issues were that on the white side of the background, near the edge of the frame, there was some noticeable flickering, and there were some occasional static marks.

All things considered, I would say the film is definitely usable. Steve Blakely from DuArt agreed, though we both agreed that its not really safe for an extremely important project that would be costly to re-shoot if there was a problem.

I may try to scan some frames and post them here if anyone is interested.

Mike
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#10 Richardson Leao

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:48 AM

I'd love to see some frames! I am currently shooting with svema 16mm reversal and it would be nice to see. Cheers!

Sorry about those three consecutive posts with the same thing - my computer was acting up.

Anyway...I went to DuArt today and watched the footage and surprisingly it doesn't look bad. The one developed as 5222 was a little granier than the one developed as 5231, but they both had solid blacks and the grain didn't seem any worse than actual 5222 or 5231. The fog level wasn't really an issue. The two biggest issues were that on the white side of the background, near the edge of the frame, there was some noticeable flickering, and there were some occasional static marks.

All things considered, I would say the film is definitely usable. Steve Blakely from DuArt agreed, though we both agreed that its not really safe for an extremely important project that would be costly to re-shoot if there was a problem.

I may try to scan some frames and post them here if anyone is interested.

Mike


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Wooden Camera

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

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Aerial Filmworks

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rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

The Slider