I picked up this mysterious film, Mr. Zhu 100, on eBay. It’s so mysterious that the seller himself didn’t even know much about it, including its name. So, in the absence of a name, he chose to name it after his Hong Kong shipping partner, Mr. Zhu. Intrigued by a new rare film, especially one that comes in a cool metal canister,You can see photos of the canister and film in Film on Film #4: Two Rare B&W Films. I had to buy it.
When I opened the metal canister, I discovered a little folded card listing the development times wrapped around the roll of film. But there was still no clue as to this film’s true identity. The film canister itself was a re-used 35mm canister with a new label attached, so this was clearly a hand-rolled film. Both the film roll and the metal canister were covered in Chinese writing, so I used Google Translate to decipher the characters in the hope that it would reveal something more about this film. The translation read “Interesting Black & White” from “Rene Works Fun Shop”. Interesting indeed! I then searched online for “Rene Works Fun Shop”, but found nothing. Ironically, the words “Don’t ask. Be interesting.” were also written on the film. So I left it at that and went for a photo walk downtown.
It wasn’t until I developed this roll in Kodak Xtol that I discovered the identity of this film written on the edge of the negative. It said “APX100”. Interestingly, there was no Agfa or AgfaPhoto written on the edge code with it. The only other clue was the frame numbering along the bottom edge of the negative which confirmed that this film came from a bulk roll. I doubt I will ever know for sure whether this film is Agfa, AgfaPhoto, or something else pretending to be APX.That being said, the development times are consistent with AgfaPhoto APX 100 and given that I shot this film at box speed, it is most likely fresh film. Therefore, I’m inclined to believe it is AgfaPhoto APX 100.
These photos were taken in and around Sien Lok Park in Calgary’s Chinatown using my new Minolta XG-M camera. I recently purchased the XG-M (and a few other cameras) and will review it in a future post after I’ve put a few more rolls through it.