Analog Film Review: Lomography F2/400 Film

Every now and again Lomography comes out with some weird, limited edition film: and the most recent was Lomography f2/400 in 35mm. The film, which allegedly was aged over a number of years in oak wine casks, was a negative film. Surely it’s expired, but as every experienced film photographer will tell you, freezing the film greatly negates the effects of expiration. That’s more or less how Lomography stored it–at least according to reports and their semi-cryptic press release. My favorite film from the company was Sunset Stripe, though f2/400 was perhaps the easiest to use.

I keep saying “was” because the film is now gone.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsions with a Look You Can’t Get in Digital Photography

Lead photo by Doctor Popular. Used with a Creative Commons License.

There are loads and loads of film emulations that have been more or less copied with presets for Lightroom. Everyone has their own interpretation, and for the most part if you ask any film photographer, they’ll tell you that they don’t look like film. At the same time though, there are film emulsions out there that really don’t look like anything that can possibly be replicated in digital.

Here are some of our favorite film emulsions that digital hasn’t yet copied.

Continue reading…

How Well Do Old Medium Format Lenses Hold Their Sharpness Vs Modern Prime Lenses?

Something that has always been in the back of any camera lens lover’s mind is the question of how well the older lenses hold their own against the newer lenses. Indeed, older lenses have a special character to them that can’t really be replicated with most modern lenses, sans the offerings from Lomography and Lensbaby. While most 35mm film format lenses were designed with an appeal for consumers over professionals, medium format was always more of the cream of the crop (with exception to large format).

So we went through our archives and looked at how a few classic medium format lenses compare to the new king: the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens. Of course, this is a very interesting battle in the film vs digital debate.

Continue reading…

Film Review: Kodak Tri-X 400 (35mm and 120; Various Formats)

Opening photo by Håkan Dahlström. Used with a Creative Commons License.

Arguably the most famous black and white film of our time has to be Kodak Tri-x 400; it’s been with photojournalists for years and years. These days though, most folks can’t tell the difference between Kodak Tri-x 400 and so many other emulsions on the market. Despite this, it’s still the most popular black and white film currently available with the highest possibility of never going discontinued.

So, let’s start this review, shall we?

Continue reading…

Alex Medvick: On Using CineStill 800T Film in the 120 Format

All images by Alex Medvick. Used with permission.

“I think most portraits capture more than just a nose and pair of eyeballs.” says photographer Alex Medvick in an email response to our questions inquiring about his portraiture and using CineStill 800T in the 120 format. “They show us an emotional/stylized reality, centering around specific people.” Alex is a photographer based in Philly and is one of the few lucky enough to have gotten his hands on the film after the pre-sales that CineStill had.

My envy of him and that beautiful, beautiful, sweet CineStill film aside, Alex is actually a good portrait photographer. With his Pentax 67 in hand, he’s able to create some incredible compositions that not only balance technical skills but artistic skills. His portraits are subtle yet telling studies of his subjects and his ability to make use of spaces on the fly is something that many other photographers don’t have.

Continue reading…

Review: Kodak Ektar 100 (35mm and 120; Various Formats)

For a really long time, if you wanted very vivid colors in your film photos you needed to go to a slide film–but when Kodak introduced Kodak Ektar 100 things changed. Photographers were able to get punchy, vibrant, saturated colors with the ease of use that negative film provides. To this day, Kodak Ektar 100 is used to a variety of applications with one of the most common ones being landscapes. However it is also in use for portraiture as its low ISO value allows for incredibly sharp photos.

And for many lovers of digital cameras, this may also be one of your favorite Kodak film emulsions.

Continue reading…

Film Review: Kodak Portra 400 (35mm and 120, Various Formats)

Years and years ago, Kodak announced something that would endure for quite a while: Kodak Portra 400. Available in the 120, 35mm, and large formats, the film was and still is incredibly popular with photographers who like shooting portraits. It’s highly valued for its muted tones–which tends to go against much of what digital photography seems to offer straight out of the camera. However, Portra is in use for much more than just this. Lots of photographers use it as their every day film because they just like it. But this tends to be more the thought process of those that shoot 35mm. At 120, you’re getting far less shots per roll and often work to get the best photos you can in one single shot due to higher stakes–even more so than with 35mm.

Continue reading…

Impossible Project Polaroid 600 Review and Test

This is a syndicated blog post from Licorne Magazine. Originally done by Anastasia Egonyan. I personally encourage all of you to go ahead and follow them. If you love analog film photography be sure to also support our Kickstarter, which Anastasia is also a part of!

Some time ago, a parcel was delivered to my home with a polaroid camera and a bunch of different films from the Impossible Project, one of the coolest and funkiest companies of today. The level of excitement I felt at that moment, while removing the packaging and going through the contents, was unbelievable; I just could not wait to start playing with the new toy I got.

Continue reading…

Why I Built a 90mm 4×5 Film Pinhole Camera

All photos and blog post by Julian L. Used with permission.

 

I first got into photography with a Kodak Instamatic 126 when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I absolutely loved it, it was magical to me at that age. I actually recently bought the same camera off eBay to run some 35mm film through it. After a few years I graduated onto a Voigtlander Vitoret D and my dad found at a car boot sale. It was cheap because the shutter was jammed, but dad fixed it for me. I ‘helped’ with the repair (watched and tried not to get in the way, I must have been about 7 or 8 at the time). The shutter mechanism absolutely fascinated me. I remember dad explaining aperture and shutter speed to me, because the camera was unmetered. It took a little while to get used to it, but got there in the end. Anyway I had several other cameras, but I always remember these two. The Instamatic introduced me to photography and the Voigtlander taught me the importance of exposure.

Continue reading…

Quick Comparison Photo: Kodak Tri-X 400 vs Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400

I’ve been playing with more Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400 film and shot a scene that I always photograph just to compare what this film and Kodak Tri-X do when rendering a specific scene. Kodak Tri-X has been around for a while and is heavily loved by many photographers out there. But, it’s expensive and many photographers have looked for alternative options out there. One of the newer black and white films to hit the market is Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400 film.

So let’s take a quick look at Kodak Tri-X 400 vs Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400.

Continue reading…

Film Emulsion Review: CineStill 50D Film (35mm and 120)

Update: This review of CineStill 50D now includes both 35mm and 120

CineStill popped up a couple of years ago as a special company repackaging Kodak movie film into a still film format. They exploded in growth, and are currently flourishing along with many of the other newer film-based companies. One of their newest emulsions is CineStill 50D–an ISO 50 film that is daylight balanced. Obviously at ISO 50 you’ll generally need a flash or lots of natural light to get the best photos. For the past couple of months, we’ve been testing the film along with lights that have come in for review and also along trips.

Trust me when I say that very few films want me to get back into film shooting and ditch digital cameras completely; Kodak Portra is currently my favorite and king of them all. But CineStill 50D is doing a great job and is almost as good.

Continue reading…