Grahame N's Web Pages
CAMERA FILM STOCKS
by Grahame L. Newnham B.Sc.
The 9.5mm amateur film gauge was really the first amateur system, introduced in France by Pathé-Baby in 1922 and then in the UK by their subsiduary company Pathéscope Ltd in 1923. Naturally the first cine film stock to be supplied was through the Pathé organisation. But by the end of the 1920s, the little centre sprocket 9.5mm film format had become very popular, so naturally other companies began producing equipment and cine film stocks.
The list below begins with those 9.5mm film stocks supplied by Pathé-Baby and Pathéscope Ltd. I have tried to list other companies in alphabetical order. Some products were just available before the second World War, others after the War, whilst a few names continued for many years.
As I compile this list, I am amazed just how many extra names have cropped up, discovered from adverts in books and magazines. The 9.5mm cine film supply situation was a standard retail operation until the final remnant of Pathéscope Ltd., Pathéscope (London) Ltd. pulled out of 9.5mm in 1964.
For a while, after 1964, 9.5mm French made 9.5m film stocks from Kodak-Pathé in Paris were commercially imported by Fallowfields, an old established photographic wholesaler. Italian Ferrania 9.5m filmstocks were handled for a while by the giant 3M organisation. In addition German made 9.5mm Orwo black & white filmstocks, in charger reloads only, also became available.
From 1964 for a few years, whilst the 9.5mm film gauge was still just commercially viable, camera film was retailed by the two main 9.5mm dealers - L.G.P. Cine (run by the late Larry Pearce) and Bentleyfilms (run by Micheal Bentley). Sadly by the end of the 1960s or was it the 1970s, (I must read a few magazines and check this!), the demand for 9.5mm camera film had waned to the point where the supply and distribution became a cottage industry for a time, with rather haphazard film stocks and processing. Soon the 9.5m film had to be reperforated and slit from commercial 35mm film stocks. Initially a number of 'set-ups' in France offered these film stocks and processing. In the UK either our Group 9.5 club or individuals perservered with importing and distributing whatever became available.
Finally our Group 9.5 club set up a proper E6 processing service using a modern Bray continuous processing machine (purchased at considerable expense by our club Hon Chairman Brian Everett). By now, the French 9.5mm club Chairman, the late Bernard Trembloy had rescued the Kodak-Pathé film perforator and got it installed at a large film facilities company Cine-Dia (run by Daniel Colland) who had set up an E6 processing service for the French ninefivers.
From 1996, I myself took over the importing of bulk Fuji 9.5mm film stocks from Cine-Dia and continued to market three types of high-quality Fuji emulsions, available in charger reloads, 50 foot / 15 metre and 100 foot / 30 metre spool loadings. Processing (known as 'New Era Service') was administered by Tony Reypert at Buckingham Film Services. Sadly the illness of our film processing expert and a drop in film stock sales, meant a change to 9.5mm enthusiast Roy Salmons who with his company Photoworld was already supplying Kodak 100D emulsion reperforated from 35mm bulk film stock. Roy kindly continued to process the Fuji 9.5mm film stocks, although he was unable to handle 100 foot lengths.
Finally the crunch came around 2011, with the main film companies Kodak and Fuji withdrawing from the manufacture of colour E6 reversal film stocks. So the situation as I write this piece is that sadly we currently have no 9.5mm cine film stocks available. Whilst some Agfa aero 'spy-plane' 200asa colour reversal stock has appeared from their deep-freezers and can be purchased in Germany, reperforated into various forms like 16mm and Super 8mm, the results are quite poor. The new owners of the Kodak (in liquidation) photographic trademark and technology are supposed to be re-introducing an Ektachrome reversal colour emulsion in the USA, probably just for exposure, processing, and transfer to digital; whilst a resurrected Ferrania in Italy is still promising to manufacture both black/white and colour film stocks. (I have not responded to their requests for 50,000 Euros 'investments'). So we shall have to wait and see! Remember if any future film stock is on polyester base then my perforator/slitter and probably the decent Kodak-Pathé machine in the resurrected Cine-Dia (also in receivership) company now known as Colour City in Epinay, Paris, France, are not happy with this really tough material! (gln15Dec2017)
PATHÉ-BABY / PATHÉSCOPE - France / UK
UK Pathéscope catalogue approx 1929
In the UK, Pathéscope launched the 9.5mm film gauge in 1923 with the hand-turned Pathé Baby cine camera. Film was supplied in the special Baby film charger. By 1929 there was also the clockwork driven Motocamera which took what later became the Pathé 'P' film charger. In addition to the direct reversal film stock, there was also a negative stock for filming and a positive stock for making prints. Pathéscope supplied a 9.5mm film printer attachment for the Pathé-Baby 9.5mm cine projector, plus distributed the 'Herlango ' 9.5mm film printer. I am still looking for a 9.5mm film printer for my collection! (Although I do have the Microfilms own modfied 9.5mm Pathé-Baby projector printer upstairs somewhere!)
As well as the 9.5mm film stock, Pathéscope supplied all the chemicals needed for home processing, plus a special developing frame with two tanks.
Somewhere in this article i must mention that 9.5mm cmaera film was marketed in many other countries worldwide (including the USA!) mostly by Pathé subsiduries. However so far anyway, I will just stick to thr UK in this web-page, which has already got far, far larger than I had originally anticipated! (gln 5Jul2019)
Advert in French 'Photo-Cinema' magazine dated April 1951
By 1951, France had begun to get back to normal after the disasterous Second World War. In addition to the two black and white 9.5mm cine film stocks, Kodachrome was at last made available on the 9.5mm film format. Since 1927, in France, the Kodak and Pathé film coating divisions had merged forming Kodak-Pathé as it still exists there today. As I may have explained above, the two black and white film stocks were the same as the Kodak movie stocks sold on the other film gauges - Pantomatic X and Super XX I believe. These were something like speeds 25° and 32° sch. (25 and 100 asa).
In the UK, Pathéscope continued importing the French Kodak-Pathé 9.5mm film stock, with fast turn-round processing at their North Circular Road, North London factory. The 9.5mm Kodachrome was soon marketed in the UK by Pathéscope, but it was somewhat expensive and took up to four weeks for processing as it had to be sent to Paris.
Pathéscope 9.5mm film stock leaflet, approx. 1952
By the mid 1950s, there were a number of film stock changes at Pathéscope. First, no doubt because they were selling the upmarket Pathé Webo M cine camera in both 16mm and 9.5mm versions, the 9.5mm film stock began to be available on 100 foot / 30 metre spools, but also in 16mm on 100 foot / 30 metre spools - this was known as P.S.P.F. - the same as in France (still of course made in France by Kodak-Pathé!).
The UK Pathéscope black & white 9.5mm SX and VF film packs - (1957 - 1964)
By 1957, because of a change of emulsion of the medium speed 'SS' film stock, this was renamed 'SX' and actually was slightly faster, and I think gave better contrast and sharpness to the image (it may have been higher grain too). Because of the dreaded 'double-run' widescreen 9.5mm Duplex system, at least 50 foot / 15 metre Duplex 9.5mm film stock was also supplied, but I have never even seen an actual film pack! Because the 'SX' film base was slightly more slippery, problems occurred with some 9.5mm cine cameras, meaning gate tension had to be adjusted. Pathéscope offered this adjustment free of charge (they could do little else!). I just bent the gate spring on my 9.5mm Dekko cine camera, which solved the problem.
9.5mm Pathéscope Colour film - supplied only in 'H' film chargers
(this one is still sealed - dated 1962 - not much use now!)
Advert in Amateur Cine World magazine April 1957
Pathéscope introduced their own brand 9.5mm colour cinefilm in 1957. It was actually Ferraniacolor, but processed by Pathéscope themselves in a few days and returned on a plastic projection spool. It was actually very good quality, and films I have taken, seem to have retained their colour well. It cost just under a pound, making it quite good value compared to the 9.5mm Kodachrome which cost about 25/- or £1.25 and took up to four weeks for processing as it had to go to France. I think this type of colour reversal film was E4 process, 8mm Ferranaia colour was sold non process paid and home processing chemical kits were marketed.
Although Pathéscope (Great Britain) Ltd. went into receivership in February 1960, these 9.5mm Pathéscope film stocks (including Kodachrome "A" type) continued to be distributed by a new company Pathéscope (London) Ltd until 1964. It really had to be accepted that the 9.5mm home movie film gauge really had no further commercial future, but luckily has remained a 'cottage industry' into the twenty-first century.
A.C.S. - (Distributor: Amateur Cine Service, 6 Grays Inn Road, Holborn, London W.C.1, UK)
Another of these small distributors in the 1930s I guess. Amateur Cine Service was a London based group of camera shops specialising in cine products. As with these other small set-ups, I have no idea what actual film stock was used. As we see from the Amateur Cine World magazine September 1939 advertisement, this black & white filmstock was supplied in 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm, process paid, at a bargain price! I have never come across an A.C.S. film package.
Amateur Cine World magazine Sept 1939 - an extra in their normal half page advert
BAUCHET - France (UK distributor: Actina Ltd., London, UK)
UK Amateur Cine World magazine Sept1939 advert
French advert from around 1949
Advert in French magazine 'Cine Amateur' dated August 1950
In the UK, Actina had imported Bauchet photographic material since about 1937, including 9.5mm camera film. From the advert above it appears production had resumed by 1949, and no doubt it soon became available again in the UK. The 9.5mm black & white camera film was marketed in tins of three charger reloads, non process-paid, so that users could either home process or send their films off to a lab. In the UK the recommended lab was Microfilms Ltd of Dundee. Certainly in the UK this Bauchet 9.5mm filmstock was very good value. It seems that in France, the 9.5mm Bauchet movie film stock was also available on 100 foot / 30 metre spools, but it seems in the the UK it was just available in the tin of three charger reloads.
I can remember the Bauchet 9.5mm camera film, but it generally had to be purchased by mail-order, my local shops only stocking Pathéscope and Gevaert 9.5mm camera film. Reviews suggested that quality was fine and comparable to the other black & white camera film stocks.
Amateur Cine World magazine advert May 1952
CINECOMET - P.F.M. Ltd., Herts, UK
Advert in 'Home Movies & Home Talkies' magazine - June1936
There were so many 'own brand' 9.5mm camera film stocks available in the 1930s! I have no more information about this 9.5mm film stock.
DUFAY - UK
Amateur Cine World magazine advert June 1938
Up till around 1938, there had been no colour film available on the 9.5mm cine film gauge. Then Dufaycolor was announced. Really a black & white film emulsion covered with a colour reseau, it gave muted colours but cut the light output from cine projectors because the film image was rather dense.
Manufactured by Ilford for Dufay-Chromex Ltd., the 9.5mm chargers were distributed in the UK by Pathéscope Ltd. If you return to the Ninefive menu, you will find a full article about the Dufaycolor system with links to YouTube to actually view 9.5mm Dufaycolor.
FERRANIA - Italy (UK distributors: LGP (Cine) / Bentley Films)
LGP (Cine) & Bentleyfilms 9.5mm camrera film boxes
Once Pathéscope had abandoned the 9.5mm home movie film gauge, the 9.5mm specialist dealers in the UK, L.G.P. Cine (run by the late Larry Pearce) and Bentleyfilms (run by Micheal Bentley) thankfully took over the marketing of 9.5mm in the UK. As well as Kodachrome, they were able to market the 9.5mm Ferrania amateur film products which included Ferraniacolor and three excellent black & white reversal film stocks. These 9.5mm camera film stocks were supplied ready loaded in 'H' film chargers, saving users from loading their own.
Details of the 9.5mm Ferrania film stocks - A.C.O. & Film News Manual - 1966
A little later I believe for a while, some 9.5mm Ferrania film stocks were marketed in their normal charger reload packs.
9.5mm Ferrania box - expiry date 1970
FUJI - Japan (UK distributor: Roger Spence from 1990 till about 1995 / Grahame Newnham (Presto Films) from 1996 to 2014)
Advert in UK Group 9.5 magazine issue 62, dated Summer1990
It was around 1990 that the late Roger Spence, our UK club Group 9.5 Hon Vice Chairman and a very keen and prolific ninefive film maker began importing and distributing the new Fuji E6 9.5mm colour films in the UK. The Fuji filmstock was sourced, slit and perforated from bulk unperforated 35mm stock by S.E.F. in France. The first stocks were called 'Fujichrome' available in 100asa daylight and 64asa artificial light emulsions. Soon the latest quality emulsion 'Velvia' was available - this was rated at 50asa and could produce really excellent results as long as exposure was exactly right.
French 9.5mm S.E.F. Fuji filmstock packs
Once the Paris based Cine-Dia company began producing the Fuji 9.5mm film stocks from unperforated Fuji 35mm film stock using the ex.Kodak-Pathé perforator, it was around 1996 that I began importing the film stock in bulk rolls. This made it easier to supply the various charger reloads, 50 foot / 15 metre and 100 foot / 30 metre spool loadings as required, rather than have individual film packs kicking around till they went out of date. I was able to keep the bulk cans in the freezer, and even the large 1000ft spools in use, in a chilled store cupboard, keeping the film nice and fresh.
9.5mm film boxes as distributed by me (Presto Films) from 1996 to around 2014
By then, I offered the ultimate Fuji Velvia (50asa) emulsion, plus the faster (100asa) Provia stock and the Fuji RTP 'A' type artificial light emulsion (64asa), all from stock. Fuji must have stopped supplying E6 reversal film stock about 2011. Looking at my records, I bought up as much stock as I could in late 2011, Some of the bulk cans were freezer stored - the last 9.5mm film packs being sold about 2013 or 2014.
Advert in the UK Group 9.5 magazine issue 108, dated Winter 2002
During the first few years I notice that I was ordering 300 metres of the fresh Fuji film stock each month. Velvia being by far the most popular, From about 2006, demand began to drop till I ordered just one batch of 300 metres a year for the last three years to 2011. Sadly one reason for the demand dropping was a number of regular 9.5mm film makers had sadly died! But the real truth for the demise of movie making in any film gauge was the low cost and fantastic quality of digital filming! Hence commercially, no company could still justify the manufacture of film stock!
A can for the 9.5mm Fuji film stock from Cine-Dia - usually two per month
(actually now ideal for the 9.5mm Pathéscope 1000 foot / 300 metre spools)
GEVAERT - Antwerp, Belgium (UK distributor: Gevaert Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford, London, UK)
Advert in 'Home Movies & Home Talkies' magazine July 1932
It appears Gevaert 9.5mm cine film arrived in the UK around 1932. The advert above suggests they had still to set up a UK procesing laboratory. The original movie film stock was Ortho (sensitive to a limited colour range), then Pan stock was introduced. There was also a 9.5mm Positive movie film stock for the production of film prints. (Positive printing stock can be handled in a dim red light).
By the mid 1930s Geveart had designed a two part 9.5mm film charger that avoided the Pathé patents
By the mid 1930s Geveart had designed a two part 9.5mm film charger that avoided the Pathé patents. By now they had set up a UK processing plant, so films were quickly processed and returned on a convenient projection spool.
9.5mm Geveart 100 foot / 30 metre spool and ingenious 'link' film charger
Amateur Cine World magazine advert - June 1939
Advert in French book 'La Pratique du 9.5mm' by N.Bau about 1950
Gevaert reversal camera film was soon available again after the second World War, in three film speeds, although the 'Super Reversal' of 26° sch (25asa) was by far the most popular. Obviously available in Belgium where it was manufactured, we can see it was popular in France and the UK.
9.5mm Gevaert 30ft & 100ft films returned from processing
The 9.5mm Gevaert reversal cine film was eventually available in three film speeds and packed in tins of three charger reloads, plus on 50 foot / 15 metre and 100 foot / 30 metre spools. It was also promptly processed at the UK Gevaert labs and returned on a handy projection spool. I used it myself a couple of times, but worried that I had to use the three charger reloads before sending them for processing. I later discovered it was possible to send just one roll at a time for processing. Results were excellent! I also recall that these reloads were almost a full 30 foot / 9 metre long, whereas the Pathéscope filmstock was just about 27ft 6inches long.
Amateur Cine World magazine advert May 1952
Gevaert 9.5mm filmstock continued to be available (and processed) in the UK into the 1960s, but just when the re-formed Pathéscope (London) Ltd pulled out of 9.5mm in 1964, I think Gevaert did the same! Although Gevaert had launched a colour reversal movie film stock in the mid 1950s, it was not really good quality. Pathéscope appear to have considered this filmstock for their 9.5mm 'Pathecolor', but choose the Ferrania 9.5mm colour reversal filmstock instead. So 9.5mm Gevacolor was never marketed in the UK, if it was ever marketed at all!.
Amateur Cine World magazine advert May 1957
(no mention of colour filmstocks in the UK in any film size at that time)
Advert in Amateur Cine World magazine June 1958
We see from the above advert in the UK Amateur Cine World magazine that the Gevaert colour movie film was launched in the UK in 1958. Just in the 8mm and 16mm gauges. We now know that this stock has suffered serious colour fade over time. By the 1970s, Gevaert had released an improved emulsion marketed as R5 but only in 16mm and the new Super 8mm film gauge I recall - I will have to check some magazine to confirm this!
I must mention that by the 1980s another Gevaert (well Agfa-Gevaert by then!) 9.5mm filmstock was imported from France. Reperforated from 32mm to 9.5mm by a company in Paris, France 'Sacom', it was an artificial light emulsion that could be exposed as 64, 125, 250 or 500 asa depending on the processing. One marked the film speed required on the film box! From remarks by the late Ken Wordsworth results were fine, but my pack remains unused!
9.5mm Gevaert 710 filmstock - pack of three charger reloads - expiry 1984 so probably from 1982
This Agfa-Gevaert 710 colour reversal film stock was mostly imported by then enthusiastic 9.5mm dealer the late Ted Smith (who had spent (wasted!) his C.E.G.B. (Central Electricity Generating Board) pension lump sum on importing 9.5mm film stock and equipment). I recall another enthusiastic 9.5mm dealer Roy Salmons trading as Photoworld also imported the 710 film stock and supplied it ready loaded in film chargers and processed it promptly in the UK.
Advert in the UK Group 9.5 magazine issue 34, Summer 1983
HOCIN - Home Cinema Film Library, Soho, London, UK
Advert in book 'The Amateur Cinematographers' Handbook' - approx 1930
An 'own brand' 9.5mm film stock. This was a negative/positive system, meaning initial filming produced a negative, then a print or prints were made from the original. Quite a low priced system, but rather time consuming! I have never come across any examples. I wonder what film stock they were using?
ILFORD - Ilford, London, UK
Advert in the book "The Complete 9.5mm Cinematographer" by Harold B. Abbott; approx 1935
Ilford were (well maybe still 'are' - the name continues, but the photographic materials are manufactured by Kentmere - gln Jun2018) one of the main British photographic material manufacturers from the early days of photography. They had introduced 16mm cine film by about 1932, with the 9.5mm product arriving by the mid 1930s. One of the problems for potential 9.5mm filmstock suppliers was the mass of Pathé patents to do with 9.5mm film. Certainly the 9.5mm 'P' film charger design was a Pathé patent. So other companies began designing 9.5mm film chargers that would fit 9.5mm cine cameras, but not infringe the Pathé patents.
Ilford supplied their 9.5mm camera film in a metal/bakelite film charger ready to load into the cine camera. The price included rapid processing by Ilford Ltd.
Ilford 9.5mm 'Selo' camera film, packaging and the special Ilford 'Selo' 9.5mm film charger
After the Second World War, althoug Ilford still manufactured excellent roll films for still photography and 16mm black and white cine film, they didn't re-introduce their 9.5mm camera film stock. Incidentally later in the 1960s (was it?), Ilford introduced a colour film stock for 35mm colour slides and then for std 8mm movie film. I think this was when Ciba had taken an interest in the company.
(It is thought, that during the 1960s when official 9.5m film stocks became difficult to obtain, some Ilford black & white filmstock was reperforated to 9.5mm - this of course was not actually marketed as 'Ilford'!)
KODAK - Kodak-Pathé, France
Ninefivers were able to use the famous 'Kodachrome' reversal colour cine film from around 1951. The 9.5mm filmstock was made by Kodak-Pathé in Paris, France. (The Kodak and Pathé film coating companies in France, merged in 1927) and for many years had to be sent to France for processing. This resulted in delays of up to four weeks. Because in the UK Pathéscope distributed the Kodak-Pathé French made 9.5mm filmstocks in the UK, these came in Pathéscope packs and in fact the black & white emulsions had different names, maybe to avoid offending the UK Kodak company! So see the top of this listing to read the Pathéscope section to cover the dates up to about 1964 for Kodak 9.5mm film stocks.
9.5mm Kodak packings from the mid 1960s
By the 1960s, Jonathan Fallowfield, a well known UK photographic wholesaler, had taken over the importing of the French made Kodak-Pathé 9.5mm film stocks. By now Kodachrome had been upgraded to an improved enulsion Kodachrome 11. In the UK, ninefivers now had Kodachrome 11 and Panatomic-X in charger reloads and 50 foot / 15 metre and 100 foot / 30 metre spools. I believe an arrangement with UK Kodak, enabled the 9.5m Kodachrome 11 to be speedily processed in the UK.
UK packaged Kodachrome 11 'H' charger
Mervyn Richards of Nine Five Film Services kindly loaded 'H' chargers with the Kodachrome 11 emulsion, so users didn't have to load their own chargers. Naturally these exposed films were returned to Nine Five Film Services, so they could recover their film chargers before sending the actual film reloads off for processing. I do wonder why these enthusiastic 9.5mm dealers took all this time and trouble for their customers. Sadly ninefivers never really thanked all the work these 'specialist' dealers went to, to keep the gauge alive, mostly just moaning about quality or prices. In fact ninefivers have always moaned, mostly still do now, so why do dealers bother? I do often wonder myself!
9.5mm Kodak Ektachrome boxes
By the 1970s, Kodachrome was no more, so various 'dodgy' individuals (or what appeared to be large companies) began reperforating the various Kodak Ektachrome 35mm colour slide emulsions to 9.5mm. I think by now, the system was rather simpler, with the E4 reversal colour process being carried out either by home processing or smaller labs in France and the UK. For a while our UK Group 9.5 club imported and distributed these Kodak Ektachrome emulsions. The 'moaners' even accused Group 9.5 of making a fortune from the filmstock distributing, I recall they just added 19p to cover costs!
Advert in the UK Group 9.5 magazine issue 29, Winter 1981/1982
Various emulsions were supplied, some only artificial light which had of course to be used in daylight with an 'A' to 'D' Wratten 85 filter. Some stocks were far too 'fast' for cine use, needing a neutral density filter for use in a cine camera. Film packs I have here mention Ektachrome 7257 and 7262 which were both artificial light emulsions, 40asa artificial light and 25asa in daylight with the 85 filter. There were also Ektachrome 7256 (40asa artificial light) and VNF 7240 (125asa or 250asa artificial light depending on the processing).
My memopry dims. but I recall there were problems with lost films, massive delays in processing, and rather short lengths on those spools - say just 40foot or so on a 50ft spool! The earlier 'company' Ligonie used a German lab for processing, whilst a later 'company' S.E.F. used their own French lab. I know because of the mess, I mostly filmed on Super 8mm (Agfachrome I think) during this 'slap-happy' period for 9.5mm filming!
9.5mm Kodak Ektachrome continued into the 1980s in the UK. Maybe if and when I reread our club magazines, I can add exact dates here!
LIGONIE S.A.- 16, Avenue Felix Faure, 15e, Paris, France
Ligonie S.A. company logo
I think it was sometime in the 1960s that a new name in the 9.5mm scene appeared in France. André Ligonie was a Parisien portrait photographer and a keen advocat of the Pathé 9.5mm film gauge, with a shop in Paris stocked full of 9.5mm equipment. He even went as far as designing a high specification 9.5mm cine camera and arranging for the manufacture and conversion of modern 9.5mm cine equipment from existing 16mm and Super 8mm equipment. So when the French Pathé abandoned 9.5mm camera film, I believe André Ligonie stepped in.
Advert in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine "The 9.5 Review" Feb1967
Well here's a film box too - Kodachrome 1 I'm told - thanks Luigi!
One of my unused boxes! This emulsion is mentioned in the Kodak section above
artificial light, needed a filter to use in daylight.
Then there was this 'MS' emulsion; you marked the ASA speed you wanted 40 or 125asa
think this speed choice was sorted during the processing.
(Thanks again Luigi!)
Sadly the Ligonie story ends in 1986 as the dynamic André Ligonie passed away in February 1986 aged only 62 years old. Whilst his son and widow carried on with the photographic business for a period, further French 9.5mm stimulus was to come for a while from the S.E.F. set up run by Paul Bigou until the law caught up with his imaginative way of financing his 9.5mm enterprises!
LUMIERE - France
Advert in French 'Photo-Cinema' magazine dated April 1951
The Lumiere brothers in France, had invented a sensitised glass plate for still photography in the late 1800s, by 1895 they had produced a decent 35mm cine camera which also doubled as a film printer and projector and were producing short cinema films. In fact I think their 1895 public film show is credited as the first commercial movie show in the world! Unlike the mediocre equipment that the Edison company in America were purveying, the Lumiere system was virtually the same as that adopted by the cinema industry. There is a Film Office 1 reel print of this first Lumiere film programme available on our 9.5mm film gauge. Not exactly earth shattering, but we see the Lumiere workers streaming from the factory and other brief shots. So we can say, the Lumiere brothers were certainly at the forefront of photographic film production. They also introduced an early colour process for still photography known as Autochrome.
Lumiere marketed photographic materials for some time in France; black and white roll films and movie film for all gauges. We can see from the advertisement above that the 9.5mm camera film was supplied in tins of three charger reloads. These were sold non process-paid, so users could either home process or send the films to a lab for processing. I don't recall Lumiere photo products being marketed in the UK. I can't recall ever seeing this filmstock so have no idea as to its quality!
MIMOSA - UK (but made in Dresden, Germany)
Advert in the book "The Complete 9.5mm Cinematographer" by Harold B. Abbott; approx 1935
I know little about this UK brand of movie film, made available in 9.5mm and 16mm in the 1930s. The box gives a clue - the 'Made in Germany' - Mimosa was a German photographic company based in Dresden - see below. I have never come across a Mimosa box, but it was obviously distributed to the photographic trade in the UK. Not involved with 9.5mm film stocks after the Second World war though.
Mimosa poster from the internet
A quick 'google' prvides the information below:-
In 1893 a photo paper factory was founded in Cologne, Germany After several financial failures this company was bought by the "Rheinische Emulsions-Papierfabrik Heinrich Stolle". A blooming Mimosa twig was the company's symbol. In 1902 it was merged with Dr. Opitz & Co., Munich. becoming a stock market company.
In 1904 it moved to Dresden,there successfully making photo paper and dry plates. In 1913 the company was renamed to "Mimosa AG". Before and after WWI it bought several other companies. From 1905 to 1930 its production of photo paper rose from 25,000 square metres to 7,310,000 square metres. Other film products were also made by the company.
In the era of the Nazi 23rd Reich the company's Jewish employees, including most of the directors, were forced to leave; the owners of the company then appointed Dr. Weidner and Mr. von der Osten new directors. During WWII more than half of the production was changed to war relevant material, and the factory director von Dobschinsky was sent to a concentration camp. Even though during the Destruction of Dresden the factory had not been bombed severely, Dr. Weidner and Mr. von der Osten, in fear of the incoming Russian soldiers, had already moved assets of the company to the western part of Germany trying to re-establish the company's base in Hamburg.
In late 1945 the Russian occupying forces fired both managers (who had left in Dresden in May 1945). The Soviet government of East Germany allowed Mimosa to restart photo paper production with Mr. von Dobschinsky again in the lead and, once the company became state owned, with von Dobschinsky as custodian. In 1949 the company became "VEB Mimosa Dresden".
ORWO - Germany
Orwo shop sign
Still in business today, the Orwo company are actually the remains of the pre-war Agfa, which ended up in East Germany. Now with German 'unification' it is easier for this company to export to the rest of the world. After the war, Orwo manufactured photographic materials including amateur movie film stocks in 8mm, 9.5mm & 16mm. Rather like Gevaert and Ferrania they manufactured good quality black and white reversal film in three speeds. Once Pathéscope had finally dropped 9.5mm around 1964, the full range of 9.5mm Orwo black & white camera film became available. I think it was just charger reloads, packed in tins of three, sold non-process paid. However the 9.5mm main dealers - D.M. Bentley and L.G.P. Cine also began offering process paid ready loaded 'H' chargers.
Orwo 16mm 100ft camera film - sorry can't find any 9.5mm Orwo packs yet!
I recall, not only were the reloads a full 30 foot, but the film stock had excellent quality. Although Orwo are still offering bulk 35mm products for the cinema industry I doubt if they would consider 9.5mm these days, because of such poor possible sales. I did read somewhere that a fire at the factory damaged the 9.5mm film perforator at some time.
Orwo did manufacture a reversal colour film stock at some stage, probably in the late 1960s. I remember my Dad using some for 35mm colour slides. It was very good value, UK processed and returned mounted in plasric mounts. Sadly quality was poor, with muted colours. Remaining slides turned mostly brown some years ago. I believe some 9.5mm colour movie film was sampled in the UK, but with the improved Ferrania E6 emulsion then available, it would have been pointless to import Orwo colour movie stocks.
I use Orwo (& Kodak) bulk leader film, but they no longer supply any 9.5mm product
PRESTO FILMS - Southampton, UK
Actual 9.5mm Presto Film box
Yes, that was me! As well as importing the 9.5mm Fuji filmstocks for many years, I did think a bargain price 9.5mm camera film would also be popular. Some time around the year 2000, a batch of the Japanese made Konica 35mm E6 colour reversal slide film had been imported. By chance I was able to buy up the remaining UK stocks, these were 100 foot / 30 metre cans of 35mm slide film. At the time the late John Cunningham had built a copy of the Direct Photographic perforator that they had used to make 9.5mm film from ex-government black/white stock. John had already slit and perforated small batches of 35mm film for himself and I had also used some. So after a little persuation (and cash!), John agreed to slit and perforate all this 35mm Konica film stock to 9.5mm. A long and tedious job I was told!
So from I think 2000 for a year or two, till the stocks ran out, I was able to offer my Presto Colour Film (well it would be 'PCF'!). It turned out to give good results, fine grain and bright colours. Currently I have no way of remembering the price, but it was certainly much cheaper than the Fuji stocks. Once it was gone, it was gone! Oddly I found this empty box upstairs this morning, lurking under various film splicers! The instruction sheet was also inside - wonder if the actual film is still in a 9.5mm camera of mine?
Presto 9.5mm colour film instruction sheet - yes old dot-matrix printer and it still works today!
By the way, the 'New Era Service' processing is no more!
STEADMAN'S - Leeds, UK
Advert in 'Home Movies & Home Talkies' magazine - June1936
Another 'own brand' filmstock, presumably just for the 9.5m film size. 'Ortho' and 'Pan' reversal emulsions, process paid. But what was the actual make of this filmstock I wonder? (Steadman's also released a few 9.5mm printed films - see my 9.5mm printed film catalogues.)
VAUXHALL - London, UK
Advert in 'Home Movies & Home Talkies' magazine - June1936
It is surprising just how many 'own brand' film stocks there were available in the 1930s! All the information we need is in the advert above. Again, I just wonder what brand was the filmstock they used?
If you have any more information, corrections etc. [;ease contact me at:-
(Grahame Newnham) at presto
(no gaps in actual e-mail address)
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95flmartcamerafilm.htm ..... ©MMXV11 Grahame L. Newnham
05Jul2019 - A.C.S. filmstocks & Ligonie added /11Jul2019 - Geveart 1939 advert added