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Recording Film (RE 135), catalog number 163 2033, is described as
an: "extremely high-speed, panchromatic film with extended
red sensitivity. It is especially well suited for applications
requiring low level illuminations or short-duration exposures
such as law-enforcement photography". It is a black and
white negative film with a nominal ISO of 1000. It is both fast
and quite grainy.
Unfortunately, Kodak 2475 Recording film is available only in
35mm format, packaged in 36 exposure cassettes. It is usually
found only in larger photo stores that stock considerable
varieties of film. It may be possible for a Kodak dealer to
special order this film, but minimum quantities would be
required. Kodak 2475 is also not inexpensive. On the average, it
retails for $7.50 per roll.
using 2475 for high-speed photography, the film can also be
manipulated to create unusual and interesting images. Because
2475 film is inherently very grainy (much more so than Tri-X, for
example), it can be used to create artistic photographs. By
varying development and printing, one can conjure up a grainy,
soft, and flattering image. On the other hand, grainy, but
"hard" photos are also possible with high contrast
paper. This film can be exposed at various ISO's, but using the
Kodak suggested 1000 speed seems to work quite well. Kodak notes
that 2475 can be exposed at ISO 1600 assuming an average subject
and normal development. I find that ISO 800 works better than
While 2475 film is good for any subject from landscapes to
portraits, it really shines as a medium for figure, glamour, and
portrait photography. Over 20 years ago, Peter Gowland described
using 2475 for glamour photography. The beauty of 2475 is that it
can be used under most any conditions, it does not require
special equipment, lighting can be anything from natural sunlight
to electronic flash, and it can be easily processed in a home
film can be used with virtually any kind of 35mm camera, old or
new. Because it is naturally grainy and has fairly low
resolution, the quality of a camera's lens is not overly
important. You can shoot with a 40 year old camera with a less
than outstanding lens, or you can use the very latest electronic
whiz. It does not really matter. I have shot 2475 with a 1959
Kodak Retina Reflex to a Contax G-1 and about everything else in
between. Shooting with 2475 is a pleasure thanks to its reduced
resolution. You do not need a soft focus or diffusion filter to
minimize blemishes or wrinkles when doing portrait or figure
When shooting figure work, for example, 2475 lends itself to
either close ups or full length figures. By using filters such as
yellow or orange, the film's contrast can also be increased.
Generally, just using 2475 "straight" will result in a
very acceptable image. Any focal length lens will work nicely
with 2475. Wide angle lenses yield grainy full frame photos while
telephoto lenses are great for portraits.
This film is
developed in ordinary chemicals like Agfa Rodinal or Kodak
HC-110. Using HC-110 at Dilution B, takes 8 minutes at 70 degrees
F. That ancient stand-by Rodinal also works well at 1:25 dilution
at 70 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes at 70 degrees F. This film can
be processed at temperatures up to 95 degrees F. Of course, you
can increase (or decrease) contrast by manipulating the amount of
time 2475 stays in the developer. I generally overdevelop by 20%
or so because I like the contrast.
structure can also be changed through increased temperatures. In
some cases, reticulation could be used to enhance grain. This
involves a high developer temperature with subsequently much
colder washes and/or fixer temperatures. But with 2475, you
really don't need to reticulate, it is already grainy. Fixing and
washing 2575 is normal with standard times involved. One note of
caution; 2475 takes a lot longer in the fixer than
"normal" films. Washing is the usual process. The
longer the wash, the more permanent the film.
One other note about 2475. When the film is dry it has an
extremely pronounced curl to it. This is due to the thin estar
film base. Because of the twisted film, cutting and placing it
negative files is difficult. Proofing is equally challenging.
Printing 2475 is a simple matter. Like any black and white negative film, it can be printed at various contrast levels. Variable contrast papers provide a wide range of contrasts from very soft to hard. Depending on the image, 2475 can be printed to one's taste. Like any negative, the larger the print, the grainier the photograph gets. In the case of 2475 this is no detriment. In fact, the larger the print the heavier the grain and the better the effect. As grain gets bigger, the image tends to get softer which only enhances figure work, for example.
Despite some of its drawbacks, Kodak 2475 is a wonderful film for experimental photography. The film is also great for glamour, boudoir, and figure photography. For users who want the archival permanence of black and white, 2475 is usually well received. Viewers very often like the grainy, soft dream-like images that can be created. Many times, they actually prefer 2475 images to color photos with diffusion or soft-focus filters. Give 2475 a try! It is a nicely creative film that is easy to use.
Rick can be reached at email@example.com