I am always surpised how durable black and white negative films are. But this one is ultra special. The Labaphot was produced in West Germany, so it’s a relic of the old Germany. Basically the postal code on the film cartridge doesn't exist anymore. And the cartridge is in fact a show for itself. It must be the most beautiful film vessel I ever laid eyes on.
The cartridge is shiny black, sealed with lacquer. It has a silver metal topping and the label also is dunked in silver. The design of the logo is very Bauhaus. Everything looks classy and not pretentious. I like it.
We are talking about a film, that has been produced thirty years ago. He skipped adolescence and his first midlife crisis already. And he better did because the brand doesn’t exist anymore. A quick look in the brand files of Germany shows, that Labaphot was founded in 1949. The brand had protected copyright until 1999. After that nobody cared about it and reclaimed it. So anyone out there to take over? The name of the film has its story, too. The owner of the company was called Louis Langenbartels. You can do the math yourself…
You can still buy expired photo paper from Labaphot. A product the brand was most known for. The film as such delivers very soft tones and various shades of grey, which I very much like in a black and white film. Sure with every really old film it’s smart to tweak the contrast just a little bit. Which you would do in the developing lab anyway – stormy outcry. I think we can pay him this favour, out of respect for his age. But everything else is just as beautiful as it was 30 years ago – I guess.