For my first “film review” I’ve chosen a film stock that I’m recently shooting a lot: The Lomography CN 400 (amzn.to/2B8mpUJ).
I would start with the reason that made me discover it in the first place, the price of it. First of all it is pretty cheap (for the 120 format roll, the one I’m going to talk about for the rest of this review), in contrast to the “competition” it is a lot more accessible price wise, even if in reality is the only one in its category because I don’t believe that other non professional grade roll are on the market (right now). Kodak with its Portra (amzn.to/2OGlCm3) series and Ektar (amzn.to/35vwbhA) classificate itself as “professional” grade and asks an extra for it, same for Fujifilm with its Pro 400H (amzn.to/317V67Q); this take us to Lomography that finally has bridged the gap for medium format color negatives.
The film isn’t a new emulsion but should be a rebranding of the old Kodak VR 400 (popular film during the 80s) instead and I emphasise should, because there is no sure answer from Lomography itself, as long as I know.
This mean that we should get similar results as the more modern Color Plus 200 (amzn.to/35vUEDt) and Ultramax 400 (amzn.to/2IIBdOj), and from what I saw I can say: Quite so.
It surely has more saturated colors than Portra, though not by much and like Portra has slightly warmer colors compared to a Fuji. The resolution is sublime, (even if talking of “low resolution” on 6×7 format would be impossible, I should test it in 35mm because I haven’t yet, maybe in the future) It has some visible grain but that is far from being distracting, but surely is there.
Do you want to talk about dynamic range? I always see Portra regarded as the one with the widest range and no other film stock (400H excluded) could came close to its level…
After trying CN 400 (amzn.to/2B8mpUJ) I found myself in deep disagreement with this “common idea”; this film stock has nothing to envy to Portra, if shot at 200 iso will have a really wide dynamic range.
There is little to say, it is a fantastic film stock, capable of deliver really good results at an unbeatable price! When talking of color negative (iso 400) 120 format “on a budget”, it has no rivals.
The only flaw that I could find is the length of the backing paper: It is too short and with a weird leader cut, this caused me to load the film loosely in the camera; as a result I had some light leaks when trying to re-spool the roll.
This is clearly only a problem for the 120 format of the film, but still an unpleasant surprise. You can avoid the problem by being really careful to keep the roll in tension during the loading phase, still this won’t be as easy as with other film stock.
I can not recommend it enough to all the ones that, like me, are in the search for a color negative film, 120 format at a good price-quality ratio.
I’ve made a video during the shooting of the photos that you’ve seen in this article, I leave it down there. To the next one!