5 Frames… From my first time shooting Lomography Berlin Kino 400 (EI 400 / 35mm format / Nikon F4S) – by Tim Dobbs

Written by and published on
Filed under ,

My usual goto B&W film stock is ILFORD HP5 PLUS, which I shoot at box speed up to EI 3200 quite regularly. I love to try out other B&W films and compare them to HP5 PLUS so when Lomography announced Berlin Kino 400 I immediately bought some with the intention of shooting each at different speeds.

This first roll was shot at the film’s box speed of EI 400 and developed in Rodinal 1+50 dilution for 13.30 mins. Berlin Kino 400 is a German cine film stock and according to Lomography, it can be pushed up to 3200 and still retain sharpness and dynamic range.

I loaded up my trusty Nikon F4s with the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor AF-D and went to a local 1940’s wartime event here in Bridgend town centre with Army/Airforce personnel and paraphernalia, which seemed to be appropriate for this film stock.

Once developed I was very happy with how the negatives looked and they scanned very well, the film was pretty flat after drying. It had quite a pronounced chunky grain structure which to my eye seem less uniform compared to HP5 but as I like grain it did not distract from the images it gave it a quite distinct look which when comparing a HP5 scan it looks far more gritty.

Whenever I process in Rodinal I always get sharper-looking scans than when I use my usual goto B&W developer, ILFOTEC HC and this Berlin Kino stock is pretty sharp, It is lovely and contrasty with nice deep blacks but also held the highlights well but even though it has a gritty look it had a lovely wide tonal range.

Overall I will happily use this film again it may not be a film that I would take portraits with unless in a specific sort of setting maybe like the street where the gritty look really brings something to the overall look and feel.

It gave a timeless look to these images that really suited the subject matter and I was glad that I used it in this setting. Berlin Kino 400 won’t replace my HP5 PLUS, which is probably slightly more versatile but I really do recommend that you give it a go.

~ Tim

Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?

Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

Share your knowledge, story or project

At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal 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 personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving 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.


Results WILL vary: An introduction to the endless creative expression of gum printing

The East African Savannah on medium format film: Twice the weight for black and white? Any time.


4 thoughts on “5 Frames… From my first time shooting Lomography Berlin Kino 400 (EI 400 / 35mm format / Nikon F4S) – by Tim Dobbs”

  1. I bought some a Berlin kino to take and shoot in Berlin on an Olympus trip, yes it was a complete affectation but was great fun…the photos were good too

  2. Hi Tim – an excellent report. The film being repackaged by Lomography in this case is actually Orwo N74 or N75 (the 74 has been replaced by Orwo recently). Orwo is the East German successor to the great Agfa plant at Wolfen – hence ORiginal WOlfen which they had to use for trademark reasons). I have used both this and the 100 asa un54 (sold as Potsdam Kino by Lomography), and it is lovely film, excellent flatness and a gorgeous look. I agree with you on the grain at 400 with Rodinal (that other great Agfa invention) so shoot it mostly at 250 with PMK Pyro 1+2+100, which gives lovely sharpness and highlight detail without obvious grain. At the price I pay for self-loading it knocks the like competitors out of the park. At Lomography price I would pass – like you I find HP5+ to be such a versatile and brilliant film from 125 to 3200 that it’s hard to beat. Nice to see such a classic Agfa film in its modern incarnation get some love – soon I’ll be shooting some un54 which formula dates back to the 30s! Cheers Charles


Join the discussion