A few months back I was shopping for some film in Les Ateliers de Marinette, a great film store in Lyon France which has a massive choice of film and which also sells some rare expired film. I was originally looking for some Kosmofoto Mono 100 but couldn’t find any. I asked the seller and he told me they didn’t sell this stock but that they had a Ukranian film stock: Astrum Svema BW FOTO, that looked similar and that they were the only ones in France selling it. As I am a film nut, I obviously had to try this new and enticing film! It exists in both 400 and 200 but I only got one roll of 200 for the summer.
As I opened the carton to load it, was surprised to find an unlabeled plastic cannister with the film hanging out the middle, a very weird setup. I decided to shoot it with my Pentax Spotmatic SP II and Helios 44M-4 lens. I supposed that shooting Ukranian film with a Soviet lens would definitely work out, so without further ado here, are 5 frames from this roll.
I tried shooting this film in various situations, always at box speed, to test it out and I found the results very pleasing. The contrast is beautiful under harsh sunlight in my opinion, even though it may lose a lot of information in the darker areas and the light is very bright I found the harmony excellent. I also tried it out with an overcast and the results are very different, much more similar to more neutral film. Even though the results are very different, it handles both situations fairly well in my opinion.
I also tried it for different ends, landscape, street, and portraits. Even though the contrast is amazing for street, I found that portraits shot with Astrum Svema 200 are the best! The contrast really brings out the highlights and creates a very dramatic shot. On the other hand, I found that it did not handle landscapes as well. The fine grain is also a great bonus to this film stock.
I have to say that with only one roll this stock has definitely sparked my attention, I will definitely be buying some more, and will be trying out the Astrum Svema 400 soon.
If, like me, you really appreciate fine grain and very contrasty film than you should definitely try this one out.
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.