Select Page

Film Review: Lucky New SHD 100 Part 1 – 35mm EI 100 (bracketed +/- 1 stop)

Lucky Film SHD 100 black and white film was one of a number of versions of colour, black and white, and chromogenic black and white consumer films manufactured by Lucky Group Corporation in Héběi (河北), China.

Sadly, the company stopped producing consumer film somewhere close to 9 years ago and the film – colour negative especially – has gone on to become a bit of a favourite of those in the know, especially when over exposed a couple of stops.

I’ve tried it myself and absolutely loved the results.

Over the years, photographers have had various things to say about old Lucky SHD black and white film. Anything from the usual ill-informed trite of “don’t trust Chinese quality control” to more considered musings on the film’s grain structure, ideal development methodology and its unique signature (much of which was due to lack of sufficient anti-halation).

So, when word got around that Lucky Group Corporation was back, my interest was piqued.

I say Lucky Group Corporation but should say Luckyfilm, the newly formed company that started operations early in 2017. I managed to get in touch with the Luckyfilm folks, found out a bit more about the company and secured a few 35mm rolls for testing (thank you). The first results of these tests are presented here in part one of my five part 35mm Lucky Film New SHD 100 review.

 

 

Series structure

As with my Bergger Pancro 400 review, this will be a long review and come together over several parts.

Each part will cover the film shot at a different speed with per meter, over exposed and under exposed examples. The final review in the series will cover a test of this film developed as slides using a black and white reversal process.

Here’s a complete outline:

  • Part 1: Lucky New SHD 100 at EI 100 with +/-1 stop exposure bracketing
  • Part 2: Lucky New SHD 100 at EI 25 with +/-1 stop exposure bracketing
  • Part 3: Lucky New SHD 100 at EI 400 with +/-1 stop exposure bracketing
  • Part 4: Lucky New SHD 100 at EI 1600 with +/-1 stop exposure bracketing
  • Part 5: Lucky New SHD 100 reversal development at EI 100 with +/-1 stop exposure bracketing

…and here’s what’s covered below in part one:

 

Let’s get stuck in.

 

 

 

Luckyfilm vs Lucky Film

Lucky New SHD 100 Collage

Lucky New SHD 100 Collage

Although the raw film stock for Lucky New SHD 100 is still manufactured at the China Lucky Film Corporation (乐凯 / 樂凱 / Lè Kǎi in simplified / traditional / pinyin Chinese) facility that is where the connection between the original and new film ends.

This new emulsion is manufactured to an updated specification and coated onto a brand new film base. This near-transparent polyester base is also thinner than the original film stock’s and the anti-halation layer is very much up to spec. No halos or otherworldly results that I’ve experienced myself so far. The updated emulsion itself is tougher and less prone to scratching.

Luckyfilm (华感 / 華感 / Huá Gǎn again, simplified / traditional / pinyin Chinese )take direct responsibility for production of the raw film stock, which they then cut, load and package up before selling it via a combination of distributors, retailers and direct sales channels.

 

 

 

Lucky New SHD 100…what is it?

Lucky New SHD 100 35mm Roll

Lucky New SHD 100 35mm Roll

Lucky New SHD 100 is a black and white black and white negative film for general outdoor and indoor photography. Ideally developed in Kodak D-76 or Luckyfilm’s own special developer formulation. At the time of writing the film is available through selected online retailers in 35mm / 36 exposure rolls only.

The film supposedly comes with an improved tolerance to both high temperatures and humidity (not explicitly tested by me but each of the rolls were shot in 35c+ and ~80% humidity conditions). The emulsion is laid down on a near-transparent polyester base which is thinner than it’s predecessor. According to Luckyfilm, New SHD 100 has:

  • Very fine grain
  • Moderate contrast
  • High resolving power
  • Great “forgiveness”
  • A wide exposure latitude
  • Excellent highlight separation

The film is also less subject to curling, which is good news for everyone scanning this film themselves at home. My own negatives were a joy to work with.

 

 

 

Shooting/development/scanning methodology

Camera

As with my Bergger Pancro 400 tests, I have decided to stick to the same camera/lens combination. This and all other rolls were shot at box speed (ISO 100) using my Nikon F100 set to manual and in spot meter mode. Each frame was bracketed by a single stop of under exposure and over exposure using the camera’s auto-bracketing function.

Regarding film economy, my camera counted a total of 38 frames shot. I would guess you may be able to get 39 or even 40 frames on a smaller camera such as a rangefinder or compact point and shoot.

 

Lens

I used my Nikkor AF-D 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 zoom/macro lens. For this roll, the lens was set to a constant f/5.6.

 

Development

The film was developed at 20c in Kodak HC-110 1+47 (dilution E) for 8 minutes. The film was agitated continuously for the first 60 seconds and then again for 10 seconds at the top of every minute thereafter. No pre-wash.

Ilford’s Ilfostop and Rapid Fixer were used at the manufacturer’s recommended dilutions for one minute and five minutes respectively. Finally, the film was soaked for one minute in Kodak Photoflo (2+1000ml) and then rinsed for five minutes in running water.

 

Scanning

The film was left to hang to dry for 24 hours, cut and scanned using an Epson Perfection V750 Pro scanner in factory-shipped 35mm holders.

I scanned to TIFF at 1600dpi in Vuescan for speed (I hate scanning 35mm film), and a light unsharp mask was applied in Photoshop with no dust removal.

The files were exported to 1000px on the longest edge in Lightroom with a light hand on getting the file size down for web.

 

 

 

Samples

Of the 12 3-frame scenes I shot on this roll, I have provided eight scenes here for review: a total of 24 frames. The order of images below is under exposed, correctly exposed (per meter) and over exposed. Weather conditions were great on the whole, especially towards the end of the roll.

Click/tap on the image thumbnails to open the full-sized image in a lightbox. Use the navigation icons, swipe the screen, or tap the arrow keys on your keyboard to cycle through each set.

 

Sample one

 

Sample two

 

Sample three

 

Sample four

 

Sample five

 

Sample six

 

Sample seven

 

Sample eight

 

 

Closing thoughts

To recap, Luckyfilm tell us that this film has very fine grain, moderate contrast, high resolving power, great “forgiveness”, a wide exposure latitude and excellent highlight separation.

I have to agree with most of the above. Although, while the highlights seem to be well separated, the results seem better when the film is under exposed a stop, as opposed to box speed. More to come on that front in the following parts of this series.

The grain isn’t shy by any means and is noticeable but not in a bad way. The over exposed frames bring it out especially nicely in my opinion. The film lends itself very well to deep texture, as examples four and six show; and in my opinion is quite pleasant.

This is a traditional grain film that won’t give you the resolving power of T-MAX or Delta 100 Professional but by the same measure, the grain doesn’t feel overly restrained as those films sometimes do. That said, I really like it.

Upon seeing the negatives come out of the tank I had a feeling that shooting at a lower EI might lead to a more even spread across the gray-scale, as opposed to being weighted – in my opinion – towards the lighter end. Thankfully I shot and developed my EI 25 and EI 400 rolls on the same day, so the wait wasn’t too long.

Spoiler: both rolls look fantastic.

The film base is damned near transparent. It reminds me of a Rollei film and makes me feel very good about the reversal development test I’m waiting on results for.

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments or questions below. If you’ve shot this film already, I would love to hear what you think and how your opinion compares with mine.

Before I go, I’d like to say a big thanks to Stian-René Espeland for helping me make contact with the folks at Luckyfilm. Go check out his Instagram account @sespela and while you’re there, go give @luckyfilm_china a follow too.

Keep shooting, folks,

~ EMULSIVE

 

 

Contribute to EMULSIVE

EMULSIVE NEEDS YOU. The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically engendering more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas.

Help drive an open, collaborative community – all you need do is drop us a line and we’ll work something out.

 

 




About The Author

EMULSIVE

Self confessed film-freak and film photography mad-obsessive and OVERLORD at emulsive.org. I push, pull, shoot, boil and burn film everyday, and I want to share what I learn.

8 Comments

Comments are welcomed and encouraged on EMULSIVE but there are some instances where comments will deleted, and authors of those comments banned. They are as follows:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Comments including profanity, containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  • Comments that attack an individual directly will be deleted, as will comments that harass other contributing authors. In short, please be respectful toward others.

 

 

  1. @luckyfilm_china Thanks. Over ordered a few to try some street portraits

    Reply
  2. @luckyfilm_china Where I can find this film here in Italy?

    Reply
  3. @luckyfilm_china Than reading the first results seems really good in general, maybe even good for hi key as the previous one.

    Reply
  4. @luckyfilm_china Very nice film. I remember the previous film that with low contrast dev was wonderful for hi key photography.

    Reply
  5. @luckyfilm_china I absolutely love the underexposed shots!!

    Reply
  6. @luckyfilm_china Very interesting, though I’m on a phone right now the samples look good.

    Reply
    • This looks very promising and encouraging. I’d definitely be on board to support a reconstituted Chinese film company, especially after the rather lonely demise of Shanghai GP3 film.

      On another note, you have become a poet of emulsion, as your descriptive language paints a good picture of a film’s characteristics. Chapeau!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Film Review: Lucky New SHD 100 Part 2 - 35mm EI 25 (bracketed +/- 1 stop) | Articles, Film Reviews, Luckyfilm Film Reviews | EMULSIVE - […] those of you who haven’t read part one yet, I highly recommend it so that you can see how the film…

Add your voice to the discussion

Recent Tweets

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Join our daily and weekly newsletters to receive the latest from EMULISVE.

* indicates required
EMULSIVE News

You have successfully subscribed. Please check your email for our confirmation link.

%d bloggers like this: