I was lucky enough to get some limited edition Lomography F2/400 film and decided to take it for a walkabout on the streets of London, here are my impressions.
I have both ThePhoblographer.com and Lomography to thank for this film, after they picked one of my shots for their Landscape competition. Happy days indeed, as I had been looking out for this limited edition film, but missed the initial rush of Lomography followers who snapped it all up.
And why is this film so special? Lomography will tell you in their own words:
"In 2010, we bought the last ever Jumbo Roll of original 400 ASA film from some renowned Italian filmmakers. Then, ever the ones to experiment, we left the film to age like fine wine in oak casks in the Czech Republic. Thankfully, our crazy instincts were rewarded — seven years later, we went back to discover that this fantastic film still produces refined colors with a beautifully unique tone. It’s one-of-a-kind Color Negative with an X-Pro feel, and we’re so excited to share it with you! There’s a only a very limited amount of this film available, so make sure you don’t miss out"
So as you can see, these photos really are really one of a kind! I had a day stopover in London on the way to the USA, so decided to test this new and unusual film out. I had no theme in mind other than going for a walk around the city to see what I might come across. As is usual in London, the lighting conditions were very varied, which is why I thought the ISO 400 would deal with pretty much anything I threw at it. As always all photos are clickable for full screen view, with film impressions at the end of the post.
One of the many mews London has to offer, I really like how defined this photo is, very clear!
Walking around South Kensington area, never forgetting to look up - loads of history in these buildings. Good rendering of subtle colours in this shot - I had read this film made colours like red really pop so was on the lookout for anything red!
Didn't quite catch the postman on time, but can see how red his back is. Nice balance between the shade and light areas too.
Somewhat darker than I remember the scene, but still incredibly clear, even when zoomed in. So far so good!
Testing it out for bright colours, not a bad rendering of green given how bright this scene was (shot at midday).
A quintessentially British scene. I really like how this photo came out, the brightness of the pink does not overpower the shot. It has a timeless look to it.
It also balances quite well indoors. I noticed after the shot that its a photograph of people going up an escalator next to posters of people going up an escalator. How artsy of me.
Nicely balanced grain here, gives the shot a bit of added character. I am liking what I see, but not liking the fact that this film is on a limited run only (it is very good film!).
St. Pancras Station. Quite grainy, but likely due to such a large dynamic range and just a quick exposure reading through my Leica. That being said, quite a good rendering of this bright (and dark) scene.
I really like how 'warm' this shot is
He was nearly doing the same movement - so close!
Farringdon station. Quite a grainy shot, but that's OK - grain is good (digital 'noise' is not...)
Probably the best shot of the roll. Talk about vibrant reads - fantastic!
Timeless London (also a favourite shot).
Something about a lot of intercrossing lines caught me eye here, might have worked better in black & white...?
My brother Eoin is seriously pondering that last question.
The columns of the first Blackfriars bridge.
A very rainy day in London in June!
London Eye taken from inside a boat heading to Putney pier.
Putney pier towards sunset - bit underexposed, but I like how this shot came out (probably 'cos I like how flat the water is and thinking of going for a row!).
Eoin is also delighted with Lomography f2/400!
I am a big fan of Lomography as a company, they are pushing a revival of analog photography and making it accessible to everyone, whether it be through new and interesting cameras and lenses, or limited edition film. I have always had great results with their films, and happy to report that continues with this film. I am secretly hoping they somehow manage to get some more of this film in stock, it would certainly make for some vibrant looking film in the middle of a bright summer's day.
And so onto the film, their assessment that it brings out the vibrancy of the red part of the spectrum is accurate. It would be cool to use this film for one of those "shoot everything that is red" type posts (which I actually have not done yet!). I did find some shots were a bit grainy, but that may have been either the darker London weather on this particular day or some slight underexposure on my part. Either way, I really liked the grain it produced, giving the shots a real timeless look to them. I also have a feeling this film behaves quite differently depending on what ISO you shoot it at (either recommended 400 or other). It would be cool to try it out with different ISO settings.
So, overall a really good experience with this film, it certainly has its own personality to it, unlike anything I have seen in other films. I wish I could say I would stock more of it, but that depends on how easily I can come across it. Highly recommended though!
So there you have it, London through the eyes of Lomography's f2 400 film. More exiting film to come including Ilford's XP2+, more Lomography in one of their black & white varieties, and some interesting Rollei colour negative film.