Lomography launches new not-so-slow-slow 35mm B&W film: Babylon Kino ISO 13

Coming just 20 days after they announced ISO 8 Fantôme Kino B&W film back on March 26th, the folks at Lomography are back at it again, this time with a faster (but still very slow) ISO 13 film going by the name Babylon Kino B&W ISO 13.

As with Fantôme, Babylon Kino is available for pre-order as opposed to immediate purchase. Where Fantôme is expected to deliver in June 2020, Babylon Kino has a shipping date of sometime in July 2020. If you’re interested in preordering now — and why wouldn’t you be? — you can snag a 20% discount off the final retail price as long as you’re willing to buy a minimum of five 35mm 36 exposure cans at a time for US$35.60 (US$7.12 per roll).

Sample images follow

Speaking about the new film, Lomography tell us that Babylon Kino has “high dynamic range” and “comes into its own when shooting intimate portraits and soft storytelling scenes, rendering gorgeous light effects across candid close-ups too”.

The film is panchromatic and coated on a polyester base. Considering the firm’s other recent films (Berlin, Potsdam, Fantôme) Babylon Kino is most likely — but not confirmed to be — based on ORWO film stock. Specifically ORWO DN21. Given the ISO 13 rating provided by Lomography doesn’t adhere to the ISO film speed standard and that the 35mm canisters are not DX-coded, the film should ideally be shot in a film camera with an adjustable ISO setting set to 12, or used in a camera which defaults to ISO 25/50 when no DX-coding is present and provides the option for +1 or +2 exposure compensation respectively.

Lomography have provided a datasheet/guide and some additional information about the film’s reaction to different developers. Taken from the Babylon Kino B&W ISO 13 pre-order page:

Kodak D-96
This is our recommended developer for this film and is one of our favorite monochrome developers. It gives the Babylon Kino a neutral and even look and maintains noticeable grain.

Kodak HC-110
Kodak HC-110 is a fine choice for photographers who want more detail and contrast in their shots because it gives the Babylon a punchier look, making the images really pop.

ILFORD Ilfosol 3
This developer can bring out the range of gray tones within the Babylon ISO 13. This is perfect for moody themes and leans towards a more gloomy and dramatic aesthetic.

Compard R09
Compard R09 makes rich black tones come out of the frame, the detail can be impressive too! A good choice for various photographic applications.

Tetenal Ausgleichsentwickler
This developer provides a balanced amount of contrast and is suitable for available light, reportage, and even fine art photography. A great all-rounder, it’s suited for a variety of shooting conditions and styles.


From my perspective, it good that Lomography are working to bring lesser-known film stocks to a wider market. If last year’s Potsdam and Berlin films are anything to go by, both Fantôme and Babylon Kino are going to make quite a splash when they hit cameras – and shelves in just a few months.

~ EM

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