A film from the past and a troubled history within two worlds. And all ends up in a romantic flower-power-hippie wave of an expired gem!
The licensing business in the photo-material market is quite astonishing. I can only speak for Germany, but I guess photo-companies worldwide produced their branded films but eventually use the material of the big companies such as AGFA and Fuji. It is just a question of production of scale. Companies such as Photo-Chains Lomography just can’t produce the same amount of film at the same low costs like players in the business such as Fuji or Kodak. The global market leader have their factories and once they are running they are producing large amounts. As they cannot sell it all to their clients they are giving out licenses. This gives especially the customers a lower prices. One good example for this is the Revue Dia CR 100.
The Revue was originally a brand for cameras and later also for films produced by the German mail-order company „Quelle“. This company had a huge market share in the past decades. Actually it’s their sub-company „ Foto Quelle“. And this is quite interesting. I excuse myself for the exposed nerdism that follows in the next sentences, but I think here is the place for it. The Revue film was sold with development included. Of course the development in their own laboratories and with mail-order-service. The interesting thing is, that „Quelle Foto“ as a company was destructed due to economical downfall in the Zero-Years. The market-rights of it were sold to a company called Orwonet AG. This in so far interesting, that this is the predecessor of the East-German filmproducer ORWO. Now you gotta know, that Quelle is a West German company from Bavaria. Orwonet is based in Bitterfeld in the East. So this story is one of the few reversed success stories. Normally West German companies took over East German factories and companies after the reunification. With „Quelle Foto“ it is the other way around.
But interesting enough, what happens with old expired films like Revue, were the development was included in the purchase price? Especially, when the company, who produced the film doesn’t exist no more. Only the brand of the company remains and was bought by another company? Well, I called the guys of Orwonet and asked them. Surprisingly enough the development is still being done by the predecessor. For them it is rather a question of client service. So they send me a couple of developing bags. Which I think is very romantic, analogue passion doesn’t necessarily die with the change of the market rights.
I like the Revue especially for its Retro-feeling. The cartridges that I got expired in the late nineties and early zero years. This has quite an obvious effect on the pictures. Even the Slide-development is a bit grainy and lacking a bit of contast. The colours are a bit washed out and look very seventies. So to say a very hippie flower-power-film. I really like the cross developed Revues, though. Rough but very contrasty. Grainy but still very colourful. It is a happier Kodak Elite Chrome EB in the cross. I think it has a very unique coulour-signature. Which leaves us still with the initial question. What kind of film material was used for the Revue Dia CR 100? I don’t know! Maybe it is even harder to tell, after they are expired. I think my guess is somewhat close to a Provia, but I am not sure. I promise to investigate the matter closer with developments to come.