Film Photography News — January 2023 Recap 🧣

New Film, a Dramatic Price Hike, and Upcoming P&S Progress

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What’s new?

Lomography introduced their Simple Use Reloadable camera with LomoChrome Turquoise and LomoChrome Purple 2021 Pétillant (discounted) Edition. MiNT got their brand-new point-and-shoot camera one step closer to production. Polaroid began selling David Bowie-branded film. And, average film prices are up by 10.39% since July 2022.

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Images courtesy of Lomography USA.

LomoChrome Turquoise and LomoChrome Purple Pétillant.

The unique and wild LomoChrome Turquoise film is now available in Lomography’s Simple Use cameras. It renders people blue and the skies yellow — even wilder than their LomoChrome Purple emulsion.

Simple Use cameras are very basic plastic gadgets with a 31mm focal length plastic 𝒇9 lens with a single acceptable focus range of 1m to infinity (no focusing ring). It fires all shots at 1/120s, with flash (when a single AA battery is inserted). Thankfully, Turquoise film belongs to Lomography’s XR range of emulsions, which means it can be exposed anywhere between ISO 100 and 400. With that camera, you’ll get 27 frames, or you can get packs of this film in threes from the store.

Speaking of wild Lomography films sold in packs of three, the LomoChrome Purple Pétillant edition is also available at a slight discount, for $10.90. The Pétillant version costs a little less due to the occasional black dots that you may see in the bright areas of your exposures. The decision to sell this film (instead of chucking) was made in light of increasing prices and the limited availability of colour emulsions. Of course, if you’d rather not see the dots, you can remove them after scanning.

Film price report for January 2022.

Price increases are not-so-good news, though you’ve probably suspected that already. We’ve had a significant jump in costs during the past six months: 10.39% for the average 35mm/36exp. film — as surveyed across multiple stores and locations. This is more than the inflation rate in the US, which is already quite bad.

I am not going to sugar-coat this for you, but I also don’t want to trigger despair, as it’s not helpful. So instead, I’ll point you to this part of the report that covers six ways to save on film.

MiNT point-and-shoot camera progress.

Thankfully, price hikes come with a flip side. As the demand for film photography grows, small manufacturers take notice. Some are releasing their own colour film brands to help alleviate the lack of Kodak and Fujifilm products on store shelves. And others are taking on the gargantuan task of creating a brand-new premium point-and-shoot camera from scratch to combat the skyrocketing prices of revered jewels of engineering like the Minolta TC-1.

Gary Ho of MiNT, known for his innovative instant film camera products, shared his progress on the miniature premium point-and-shoot this month.

As you may have noticed from the look of his parts, it appears to borrow some of the chassis design from the famous Rollei 35s. I love those things and can’t wait to see what the camera will look like once complete. But for now, his update is on the shutter assembly, which his team fitted with modern mechanics and clever software engineering solutions.

A shutter mechanism is often the most complicated component of any film camera, and thus it’s good to learn of Gary’s recent success. As you may have learned from 2021’s Community Letter, another project has tanked due to its team’s inability to construct one successfully.

MiNT is not taking any investment or crowdfunding dollars; if you’d like to help this come to life, the best way is to purchase one of their current products or send in your SX-70 for an upgrade.

David Bowie instant film.

Polaroid emailed me this month announcing their new special edition collectable film frames featuring famed rock star designs.

David Bowie film frame bundles on Polaroid.com.

David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s would remember his wild music videos and persona; his career spanned over fifty years — up until his death in 2016.

Polaroid is no stranger to collaborations with pop stars, and their hand-shaking with musicians is no surprise. Last year, they released a music player, which was met with intense pushback from the photography community.

The troubled launch forced their founder to hint at a new camera model that may be coming this year as a way to appease the community. Still waiting for updates on that.

These new frames — as is the case with most of the new Polaroid releases — are only compatible with their new i-Type cameras that do not require an integrated battery pack.

Welta Penti 0 in gold/green with an non-OEM orange screw-on shutter button.

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