Film Review: Lomography Lady Grey 400 Black and White (35mm and 120)

With Lomography Lady Grey 400 Black and White film, photographers have yet another choice for black and white film photography. Indeed, the look that it delivers is also something pretty special. It’s not quite Ilford Delta, not at all like Kodak Tri-X 400, doesn’t even work like Agfa APX 400 and looks nothing really like Ilford HP5. Instead Lomography repackages film from FomaPan for Lomography Lady Grey 400, but earlier emulsions were apparently Kodak T-Max 400. The film has been on the market for a number of years now and has received not only a revamp but also more and more praise as we’ve delved deeper into the analog film photography world. With that said, I can say with confidence that Lomography Lady Grey 400 can be used to get great effects by many photographers out there for a variety of reasons.

A big thanks to the Lomography lab in NYC for developing and scanning lots of the film in this post.

Load Lomography Lady Grey 400 up into a 35mm film camera and feel free to push or pull it at will. In fact, the film looks great when pushed. On the other hand, have lots of fun with Lomography Lady Grey 400 when shooting it in 120 formats. Just make sure that you’re doing it right for something like portraits and use a flash with a light modifier to get the most from the lens. The film doesn’t come in large format emulsions, but that would be super cool for doing large format pinhole work.

But along with Kodak T-Max 400, Lomography Lady Grey 400 is perhaps one of my favorite black and white films. Think of it like this: Kodak Tri-X will take an image and move the clarity slider in Lightroom all the way up. But with Lomography Lady Grey 400, you embrace the softness of film while still getting a beautiful photo.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Lomography 35mm listing

Lomography Lady Grey B&W 400 35mm is the perfect film to use if you’re looking for high-resolution, monochromatic fun. This lady promises smooth grain, stunning tones and all the speed you need to shoot even under unfavorable lighting conditions. This ISO 400 film adds class and elegance to your photos and is perfect for capturing action and great low-light shots.

Additional Information

SKU F436BW3
Brand Lomography
Development Black and White Negative Processing
Film Type B&W
ISO 400
Exposures 36
Pack Size

Gear Used

We tested Lomography Lady Grey 400 in the Fujifilm GW690 III, Lomography Simple Use Cameras, and the Mamiya 6.

Ease of Use

Lomography Lady Grey 400 is a pretty straight forward black and white film. Push it and you’ll get a look with more contrast. I admittedly didn’t do any sort of work with pulling it simply because I’m much more partial to using ISO 400 film and even ISO 400 for most uses. Essentially what you’ll end up doing is using the film as is. With something like Agfa APX 400, you’re overexposing simply because the film can pull so much detail from the highlights. With Kodak Tri-X you’ve got no sort of problems at all–sort of like when using Ilford XP2. Lomography Lady Grey 400 isn’t as contrasty as Kodak T-Max 400 and nowhere as sharp either.

Instead, everything that I have to say about using Lomography Lady Grey 400 has to do with a classic look to it. Ever watch the Twilight Zone? Or the Honeymooners? Lomography Lady Grey 400 has something sort of like that look to it.

Lomography Lady Grey 400 is a film that I’d use in a variety of situations. It’s great for street photography and for candid photography. I didn’t personally find itself being so great for landscapes. For available light portraits, it also works pretty well.

Image Quality

To help you understand Lomography Lady Grey 400 a bit more, I’m going to do an informal comparison here of a variety of ISO 400 films in 35mm.

Lomography Lady Grey 400

Kodak Tri-X 400

Ilford XP2 Super

Ilford HP5

Ilford Delta 400

Where Tri-X 400, Street Pan 400 and Delta 400 have inkier blacks, Lomography Lady Grey 400 doesn’t have this. It’s more akin to XP2 Super and HP5 but in 35mm can sort of walk the line a bit. So if you’re more of the photographer that digs that look, then go for it.

Fujifilm GW690 III

I’m not the biggest fan of Lomography Lady Grey 400 when it comes to nightscapes. It does, however, deliver a really nice, eerie look at times.

Mamiya 6

Where I think Lomography Lady Grey 400 really excels is in photographing every day events. It belongs in your camera taking pictures of things as they happen. Photojournalists may really like Lomography Lady Grey 400.

See what I mean? I think that the images just look better with people in them when it comes to working with Lomography Lady Grey 400.

Lomography Simple Use Camera

When using Lomography Lady Grey 400 in the Lomography Simple Use camera, I did a heck of a lot of street photography. That’s honestly, again, where that film excels.

Conclusions

I’ve used Lomography Lady Grey 400 on and off for a number of years now. But like many other photographers out there, I also just used Tri-X simply because everyone does. Lomography Lady Grey 400 can surely deliver a great look though and I want to strongly recommend it to street photographers and candid shooters as they’ll have something else to play with and try. It’s well worth it.