Film Photography News — April 2023 Recap
More New Film! (And Other Stuff)5 min read by
☞ Get “Community Letters” via email: a monthly overview of the latest news, events, and stories from the film photography community.
New film from Polaroid, Film Photography Project, and Film Ferrania. Updates from Lomography. Fujifilm suspends domestic film supplies. And digital photography souring from rising prices and AI generators.
💬 How was your April? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Updates from Lomography.
This month, Lomography released an updated version of the Lomo Apparat camera as a follow-up to its 2022 launch. The Cyoda Edition 35mm film camera features a wide 21mm fixed-aperture/fixed focus 𝒇10 plastic lens and a fixed 1/100s shutter. The package includes a built-in flash, lens filters, and flash gels.
The brand has also opened up a series of free articles on their website: Lomo School. The reads range from the basics to an exploration of film types and film scanning techniques. Kind of like Guides & Tutorials on Analog.Cafe. 😅
Plus, the wait list for the LomoChrome Purple Pétillant film in 120 (earlier announced here) is now open.
Polaroid 600 Blue Reclaimed Edition.
Polaroid’s Reclaimed Blue is a new instant colour emulsion with its cyan, magenta, and yellow layers fully intact yet altered. It takes the same time to develop as colour, but it looks like cyanotype art. But one thing it is not: Duochrome.
As of this writing, this film is sold out everywhere in North America. Curiously, its existence was leaked before the official release date thanks to a mistake made by a European retailer.
I managed to get my hands on a few packs as soon as I could — no thanks to UPS. You can read my review of the Polaroid Reclaimed Blue film now, along with my findings about its dynamic range and a complete rendering of the characteristic curves.
More new film.
Today’s Film Ferrania is an Italian firm that got its start all the way back in 2014 (the original brand was founded in 1913).
Their goal was to bring back slide film, which I supported with small funds when they launched the Kickstarter campaign nine years ago. Unfortunately, that never happened. Instead, we’ve got P30: a high-contrast ISO 80 film. And after years of just that, Ferrania has just released Orto, an orthochromatic ISO 50 black and white film.
Film Photography Project has also released a new film: FPP Sun, and super-slow ISO 1 colour film.
I’d love to try both of these.
Fujifilm has stopped distributing film in Japan due to component shortages. As far as we know, this does not affect the rest of the world.
Although, certain emulsions sold in US and Canada have recently been found to be stamped with “made in the USA.” While it’s possible it’s a Kodak film in disguise, Fujifilm operates multiple photochemical factories in North America thus it’s not really a solved mystery as some would claim.
Digital photography in 2023.
Shooting film isn’t a cheap hobby. But did you know that the average digital camera price has doubled over the past three years? Even the old point-and-shoots from the 2010s are becoming more expensive as their low-megapixel popularity is growing.
All of this is happening in the context of manufacturers interweaving fake imagery into their camera brains to make photos look pretty and AI-generated collages of stolen artworks winning photography contests.
It’s tough times all around, but I am still optimistic about the analogue side of things. I have tools to help save on film, chemicals to develop it, and a scanner to bring the costs further down. I know that the interest in older methods of photography is growing and I see small businesses bringing their best to the table every month.
What are your thoughts about shooting film (or digital) in the 2030s, 2050s, or beyond our years? Let me know in the comments.
Latest on Analog.Cafe.
Back to Nature — a short photo essay by Sigita Safronova about appreciating the outdoors, whether it’s sunny or not.
Polaroid Now I-Type Instant Camera Review — a redesigned classic camera with modern features; its, perhaps, most significant upgrade is being able to use I-Type film (in addition to 600) that makes recycling used packs easier thanks to an integrated battery.
Polaroid Film Shield a.k.a. “Frog Tongue” Review — a slightly awkward but necessary accessory for the SX-70 and the classic Polaroid 600 cameras that improves contrast in your photos.
Rollei RPX 400 Film Review — a versatile, affordable medium-speed monochrome film you may like to try.
Nikon L35AD2 (L35AF2) Point-and-Shoot Camera Review — this janky-looking point-and-shoot with an excellent lens and all the features you’ll ever want from a $200 Japanese shooter.
Industar-50 50mm 𝒇3.5 Lens Review — this compact lens comes on an unusual mount: M39 with a 45.2mm flange distance that works with SLRs. And it makes lovely images.
How to Replace Light Seals on a Film Camera — if you shoot cameras older than 20 years, this is an essential skill.
Chinon Belami AF Point-and-Shoot Camera Review — I thought it was a “meh” camera, though it’s also a fun one to handle (it flips!)
Kosmo Foto Mono 100 Film Review — a medium-contrast black and white film in a pretty box. Yes, it’s rebranded.
Polaroid Film Characteristic Curves — instant film isn’t always easy to get good results from. If you understand dynamic range and know how to read film characteristic curves, this free download PDF is for you.
Polaroid B&W SX-70 Instant Film Review — the only monochrome option for the classic foldable SLR cameras.
Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 Film Review & Tips — the new and lovely Polaroid film. I’ve had loads of fun with this emulsion and sincerely hope that it will be brought back again soon. It’s too good to be a one-time thing.