“High ISO color negative films are rare and expensive, period.”
That’s what I saved in my mind for years, and then used to skip the wish to shoot that gold dust – except for special events like the Berlin Light Festival every year in October.
If one looks into well-known brands like Fuji or Kodak, the statement above seems true. Kodak with their Portra 800 (~12€/roll), Fuji’s Superia / Venus / 800/1600 (~12€-15€/roll), or Fuji Natura 1600 (~13€/roll) all offer fine and expensive ways to catch the night’s colors. Also, that hyped tungsten-balanced Cinestill 800T (~11€/role) is not the cheapest way of getting those beloved crazy red halos.
So it was quite surprising to me when I one day stumbled upon the Lomography store in Berlin’s Friedrichstraße and discovered a 3-pack of ISO 800 color film at 14,90€. Actually…I couldn’t believe the price, so I asked the shop assistant twice “is it really 15 euro for three films?” Yes, indeed, half to a third of the price of those mentioned above.
So I bought the pack and took it with me on a week-long trip with my wife to Lisbon and a couple days at the seaside.
The outcome of the roll shot at night in Lisbon and on that little shindig at Ericeira are simply wonderful. You can view the images below in full screen by clicking or tapping on them.
I shot the film with my Olympus XA – at box speed – and after getting the rolls and scans back from the lab I fell in love instantly. The color rendering is great and the grain is not that strange I thought.
The given skills of that emulsion for that comparatively inexpensive price is worth every cent. The only one and big disappointment of that film is: You can get it only occasionally on Lomography’s web shop.
At the time these lines were written it was unavailable. So If you want to try it, wait until it’s listed, buy some packs and store them in your fridge. It’s definitely worth the money!
~ Andreas Zieroth
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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.
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