1984 - George Orwell's Vacation Slides
They were all available in Germany in 1984. Erich's handed in his dinner pail, Helmut is in a wheel chair, but these slide films are just as good as they always were.
Of course, that begs the question of just how good the always were, and I am here to tell you that they weren't. I have a filing cabinet full of Agfa colour slides at home carefully separated and stored in archival sleeves. They are in a climate-controlled environment and are kept safe from UV rays, fungus, and insects. Nearly all of them are horrible.
The Agfa slide mounts of the period were great - blue and white plastic mounts with rounded edged and a sturdy profile. They were returned to us from the processing plant in Nunawading, Victoria in a good orange plastic box - it was a class presentation all the way. Kodak used cardboard mounts and difficult little boxes and you felt that you were getting second best...
Little did we realise that the dyes used in the Agfa product were fugitive, and would leave of their own accord, no matter how we stored the things. Most, if not all of the Agfa CT18 slides I have are decoloured - they are magenta-tinted and almost un-viewable. I can recover a little of the scene with digital colourisation, but never reliably and never well.
Well, we found six boxes of these little chromatic hand grenades at the back of a cabinet. They are unused, dated for 1984, and horribly tempting. The internet says that this film can be processed in E-6 chemistry but 31 years is 31 years and I suspect these contain as much art as science right now. Inadvertent art, if you will.
Make us an offer. Pull the pin on these and see what happens. Don't blame us if the owner of the mini-lab you try to process them in chases you through the streets with a pitchfork. We have no idea what will happen...
PS: No more Nunawading. Yer on yer own.