5 Frames… Of Zeche Zollverein on Silberra Color 50 (120 Format / EI 125 / Mamiya 645 1000s + Sekor-C 45mm f/2.8, 80mm f/2.8 and 150mm f/4) – by Ernst-Jan de Vries
Nowadays, more and more companies are selling bulk-loaded/rebranded Kodak Aerocolor 2460 for still photography. One of the first companies to do this was Silberra from St. Peterburg in spring of 2021. They brought out three iterations, Silberra Color 50, 100, and 160. According to them, all films with their own unique colours but in fact, they are all Kodak Aerocolor. This film is (or was) used in the Russian armed forced for aerial photography. It was said the Russian air force was basically the only customer for this specially coated film. Silberra could get their hands on surplus, which they brought to market under their own label in 135 and 120 format.
The medium format roll I am going to share five pictures of in my first post here, was branded as Silberra Color 50. It is confectioned by hand reusing backing paper of spools of other manufacturers; being hand-rolled, the films lack the traditional edge markings. The film can be processed in C41 chemistry, but lacks the standard orange/red/brown mask.
In recent months, Kodak Aerocolor also can be bought under multiple other labels. If this is because of supply chain problems at Kodak Alaris and Fujifilm, or because of the war that Russia started (and now Eastman Kodak needs other customers for already coated Aerocolor film) is not clear to me. Nevertheless, it is good that more and more people are given the chance to shoot this film, although most others offer it only in 135 format.
Last summer, one of my favourite YouTubers — Karin Majoka — made a video in which she was using SantaColor in Landschaftspark Duisburg — a former blast furnace in the industrial Ruhrgebiet in Germany. The colour rendering of this film worked very well with old walls and rusty steel, this inspired me to use some of my Silberra in such a kind of environment too.
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So a few weeks later, I went out myself, packed with my Mamiya M645 1000s and Sekor-C 45mm f/2.8, 80mm f/2.8 and 150mm f/4, and a roll of Silbera Color 50, which I exposed at EI 125 (the ISO value that Kodak gives to Aerocolor). I set sail towards the Zeche Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage site in Essen, which is a former coal mine and coking plant and is just the the previouslu mentioned Landschaftspark Duisburg part of the European Industrial Heritage trail.
I usually go out with multiple cameras and would have left the 150mm home and worked with the waist-level finder on the M645. That day, it was just one camera, more lenses, a prism finder, and L-grip, making it a 35mm SLR on a lot of steroids (and a different shooting experience).
I like the effect of shooting a 150mm lens in this environment and am very happy with how the red/brown and greens work out on this particular filmstock.
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