Roll 389 – The Rollei ATO 2.1 backing paper issue
Rollei ATO 2.1 is not intended to be used for ordinary photography, but for the reproduction of text and drawings. Grey scales were not a priority, just black and white, with little in between. But it can be used for pictorial photography when coupled with an ordinary developer, like HC-110 which I have been using lately.
The local photography club hosted a photowalk around town and I had just gotten some Rollei ATO 2.1 in 120 format, so I thought I’d try it out in the Mamiya C220. I exposed it at ISO25, which was a bit optimistic, but I really wanted to try it right away. I have gotten better results at ISO 6 and ISO 12 in the past.
The pictures came out quite underexposed, but that was not all: The numbers from the backing paper are visible in the pictures. In the picture above there are some clear and visible 4s next to her shoulder, and some 2s to the right of her head.
The picture above was the best exposed one on the roll, and here it was easy to hide the issues by adjusting the contrast to let them fall into the shadows. But just being a bright part of the image does not necessarily hide the numbers, in the picture below there are some dots visible on the bricks in the lower left part of the frame.
The backing paper should not make an imprint on the film. If it can be seen something went wrong at the manufacturing stage. I have contacted the seller to see what they propose to do about the situation.
It would be nice if it could be resolved, the ATO 2.1 film has a very distinctive look, including very fine grain with lots of detail.