Film Photography News — May 2022 Recap

New Colour Film, “Betty’s Favourite!” TONS of Cameras, New Lomography Lens

8 min read by, with images by

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What’s new?

Just a few days ago, ORWO announced their release of a new colour film. Lomography updated their Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens. A new half-frame plastic-fantastic Ektar H35 is now available from Retopro (co-branded with Kodak). And research finds over £19 billion’s worth of unused photo gear in UK homes.

I am also happy to announce,

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: “Betty’s Favourite!”

☝️ Open to all film photographers who identify as women. And there’s a prize to win: Bolsey Model C 35mm film TLR. Details below.

Portrait of Tuti Nino by Brett Allen Smith with Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64. Courtesy of Lomography USA.

Lomography’s Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens.

Daguerreotype is the first commercially available photographic process introduced in 1839 by Louis Daguerre. The word can also refer to a photograph created on a sheet of silver-plated copper, polished to a mirror finish and treated with fumes that make its surface light-sensitive.

Daguerreotype camera. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Lomography uses the name to brand a lens design that partially shares its look with the ones Louis used with his wooden box cameras that exposed his daguerreotypes.

Lomography launched this lens series in 2016, with the current release bringing an update to the barrel finishes.

As you may have expected, Lomography’s Daguerreotype is specifically designed to produce in-camera effects — rather than an attempt to compete with high-end ultra-sharp lenses of today. And so, if you are looking to create brushstroke-like bokeh effects (see sample image above), this lens may be the one for you.

Lomography’s Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens features a maximum aperture of 𝒇2.9 and the closest focusing distance of 0.5m. It has an image circle of 44mm.

This lens is available for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts and should be compatible with a wide range of digital and film SLRs.

Daguerreotype Achromat is available for pre-orders at $299.

Bolsey Model C.

Call for submissions: “Betty’s Favourite!”

I would love to bring more diverse voices and representation to Analog.Cafe. But as a cis man, I obviously can not do this alone. This is why I’d like to invite all film photographers who identify as women to submit essays and articles to be published here and shared with thousands of adoring readers worldwide.

Analog.Cafe is a community project with over 100 contributing writers from all corners of the world. I love publishing the stories and the shared wisdom on this website by all — anytime. But throughout June and July, I would especially love to work with women photographers leaving my wife, Betty, to pick her favourite story as the recipient of my unique Bolsey Model C 35mm TLR.

How to submit: head over to the Open Call page and click the “Submit Your Work” button. Upload your photographs and share your story. Add “for Betty’s Favourite” text anywhere as part of your submission.

How to qualify: you must identify as a woman, and your photos must be shot on film. Best works may have well-curated, high-resolution images and a thoughtful story or well-written text. You must also give me permission to publish your work on this website (full terms here).

Deadline: July 31, 2022.

Prize: Bolsey Model C TLR.

Entry: Free.

English as a second language submissions welcome! I edit everything published on this website, so don’t worry about spelling and grammar too much — do your best, and we’ll make it work.

Here are some topics you could write on: photo essays, portraits, poetry, travel stories, film/camera reviews, guides & tutorials, and anything in-between.

Come August, Betty and I will announce her top pick, and I will mail the camera anywhere in the world free of charge.

Good luck, and thank you for considering this blog as a home for your creative work and wisdom!

New colour film: ORWO Wolfen NC500.

I’ve talked about ORWO’s intent to re-introduce colour film for still photographers since December last year.

This month, the company had finally shared a few scans and a bit more information about their upcoming offering, Wolfen NC500:

At the core of our new colour film lies a unique chemical formula based on the wonderful and legendary Agfa stock last used in the Oscar winning film ‘Out of Africa’. Famous for their greens, desaturated shadows and enhanced grains, these are all aspects that we are embracing for our new addition

Pre-orders will launch on Wednesday, June 1, on ORWO’s new online store,

My only concern is that ORWO is promoting this film as a “limited edition.” Though I understand that nothing is forever, I certainly hope there’ll be enough of this film for all to try — from what I’ve seen so far, it looks great!

Above: Moscow Dayze 3rd PDF Ed. — 74-page premium self-published book of film photography from Russia — by yours truly — now available exclusively at the Analog.Cafe Shop for $4!

Father’s Day SALE! 🈹

From May 31 to June 19, certain books and film cameras will be 20% OFF!

I understand that there are plenty of places you can shop for such things, but not many stores will have film-tested pieces with a five-star rating and a long-running streak of happy customers since 2019.

Everything sold at the shop is packaged in upcycled cardboard and bubble wrap with plastic reductions and carbon offset shipping. 🌱

Photo courtesy of Retopro.

New Ektar H35 film camera from Retopro and Kodak.

Kodak Ektar 100 is a premium colour film with the “world’s finest grain” printed on the box. It performs really well under lots of light making images that appear delightfully saturated and detailed.

Sample photo from Ektar H35. Courtesy of Retopro.

It is then somewhat surprising to see the branding Kodak has reserved for its finest C-41 emulsions and the top-quality lenses since 1936 become attached to a $49 half-frame plastic camera.

But could this concept even work? Absolutely. One of my first film cameras was Lomography’s Diana Mini which could switch between the half-frame and square modes on 35mm film. It was also a cheaply-made plastic camera. But with expectations properly adjusted, it was loads of fun and capable of making shots I was happy to keep and share with my friends.

Seeing how the interest in film photography continues to grow, while the supply chain disruptions plague the industry and the inflation is pushing the prices higher, it may not be a bad idea to shoot half-frames and save some film. I’ve had great success with my lovely half-frame Olympus PEN FV camera with its selection of fancy lenses. Although, to be fair: Olympus lenses are a step up in both quality and price from H35 though the latter can still produce a good amount of contrast and resolution (if you know what you’re doing) — see image above.

Ektar H35 film cameras are available in four colours for pre-orders to be shipped in late June on the Retopo website.

£19bn of unused photo gear found in UK homes.

…As estimated by Amateur Photographer. Curiously, many of the survey responders stated that they aren’t selling their gear as they don’t think they’ll fetch a worthwhile price.

I agree with the AP authors that it’s a bad practice to let perfectly good things decay for sentimental reasons while our society is grappling with over-consumption and waste. Although I also understand that those feelings are valid — I have them too — and are difficult to overcome.

At least we know that we’ll have enough film cameras for the next hundred years (or more), even if nothing new is ever made again.

Latest on Analog.Cafe.

Kodak Gold Film Review comes with tons of high-quality samples, technical data, and a detailed description of the film — and what it’s good for — as usual.

Cuba Square Project is an essay by Kitja featuring contrasty black and white portraits and a bit of poetry.

Film Log is a web-based photography app that lets you track your film rolls as you load, develop, scan, and archive them. The app works offline and can sync across all of your devices. You can read more about it on 35mmc.

Minox 35 GT Camera Review— the smallest full-frame 35mm film camera ever made! Or is it?

Cadillac Club is a brilliant set of images with a short story by Jason Burner about his photographic adventures amongst the Pheonix’ car enthusiasts’ club and their thuggish lifestyle.

The Fujifilm Neopan Acros Film Review — this film will give you fantastic results if you know what to expect, how to choose your light, and how to meter your exposures perfectly.

What Is Exposure and How to Measure It — an introduction to the concept of exposure in photography along with a few neat illustrations and some practical application tips.

Adox Color Mission Film Review — this could be my new favourite colour film. It had just been released, and we’ve been promised at least four years’ worth of supply for this wonderfully-colourful C-41 emulsion.