In my quest to find films everybody forgot about, I found the ALFO Professional Slide Film. Never really heard about that one, so I started my CSI engine. So this review is rather about the way one researches about the history of gone film-gems than the look of its emulsion.
When I typed “Alfo” in my search engine I didn’t really find anything concrete about its name. However, pretty high in the rankings came a link of RINGFOTO, which is Europe’s biggest collective of shops with photographic equipment. On the historic archive of their page I found out that ALFO was a brand of photographic products created by the company.
After looking deeper into the archives, I concluded that ALFO in fact was the name of RINGFOTO when it was founded in 1965 in Wiesbaden, Germany. ALFO stands for “Arbeitskreis leistungsfähiger Fotohändler” (Working Group of powerful photographic vendors). A beautiful catchy name for a company only Germans could come up with—well, maybe the Russians and Japanese would compete in the art of complication! In 1969 they completed the company’s name to RINGFOTO and ALFO. I love those kind of historic conclusions, because we should not forget how huge and important the German photographic market was (and still is). All these cooperations and economic unions had a effect on the photographic material.
But, I should start talking about the film and how the pictures look like. As ALFO was a brand name for products within their chain, I reckon Ringfoto bought the film material made by one of the great film producers of their time and sold it under their label. ALFO as such was just the empty shell to offer an existing product with a new branding. As you can only sell so many Kodaks, Agfas and Fujis at one time, you rather have another brand with the same stuff in store to sell more altogether. Simple economy that is.
So what emulsion is in that empty shell? I know that RINGFOTO has bought Photo Porst once and I know from the Porst slide film, that it has Fujis Sensia inside. Looking at the results of my ALFO, I could imagine, that this could be here the case as well. It produces very warm and earthy colors, when you cross it. Also, it has a whiff of Provia. As nobody really knows what the mighty truth is, I state the magic formula: ALFO Professional has 70% Sensia and 30% Provia. Objections are welcome and very much requested!