In 2018 I stumbled upon a small camera store in Porto, Portugal. It mainly sold expensive vintage cameras, but it just so happened that I also noticed a jar full of white film canisters collecting dust behind the cashier. To my surprise it was Kodak EASTMAN Double-X 5222 film, cut and housed for the 35mm format. I knew about that emulsion, but I have never found a pre-cut and housed version of it, never mind packed in tin anywhere remotely close to my home town.

Double-X 5222 is a classic film stock with a quite prominent but soft grain structure. Highlights and mid-tones melt into each other producing a flat tonality that is quite similar to ILFORD HP5 PLUS. However, and that is probably the biggest difference: XX has almost zero latitude. That means that exposure has to be spot on. Under a controlled environment such as cinema is, that is not a problem. Using this film stock for street photography is thus problematic. If you can’t live with the fact that some images under strong light may lose a lot of information in the shadows and highlights.

I have shot the XX at ASA 250, which is standard for this film. The Canon A-1 and FDn 50mm f/1.4 lens, with which I shot these five frames, generally does a good job at exposing properly, but you can still see the aforementioned problem with the exposure latitude in scenes with lots of contrast, such as the beach.

Otherwise, I found the rendering of these images in conjunction with my A-1 truly beautiful, with a quite vintage or romantic vibe to it. It also produced one of the all-time favourite images I took so far. I highly recommend trying this film out and embracing its flaws and imperfections as unique characteristics.

~ Philipp

Submit your 5 Frames... today

Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

About the author

Avatar - Philipp Balunovic

Philipp Balunovic

My name is Philipp Balunovic. I am a freelance photographer and multi-disciplinary graphic designer and art director, based in Munich, Germany. 

, and please make sure you also check out their website here.

Join the Conversation



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.