Film Photography News — November 2021 Recap

New Film, Three New Cameras, Events, Sales, Price Hikes

11 min read by

☞ Get “Community Letters” via email: a monthly overview of the film photography community’s latest news, events, and stories.

What’s new?

This month’s letter is slightly ahead of schedule. That’s because some of the events I will be going over are time-sensitive:

A Kickstarter campaign by 35mmc for Photography Through The Pandemic photobook that ends on December 25. A live screening of IFE NKILI on November 30. An exhibition by Michael Nguen in Munich between March 8 and May 5 (2022). And a sale on film cameras, stickers, and photo books live until December 1.

The incredible Lomochrome Turquoise is coming back in June 2022 (available for pre-order today). LensFayre just launched its new Snap LF-35M camera, and Chroma has its tiny Cube pinhole on sale right now.

Fujifilm, tripping over their discontinuations, promised that they weren’t on purpose and that they do not hate film photographers. While Fuji’s rep is mouthing something that may resemble a 400H revival in the distant future, their tangible offering for today is a new Instax camera.

Meanwhile, Kodak will be charging more in 2022, Hamish shares recent insights from key film manufacturers, plus: five new reads on Analog.Cafe.

Photo by Clemens Maurer on Lomochrome Turquoise. Courtecy of Lomography USA.
Rather than discontinuing film, we prefer to expand our collection and give film shooters worldwide the opportunity to get creative with all sorts of exciting emulsions! So, after countless requests via our DMs, emails, tweets, by carrier pigeon and more... we are thrilled to announce that there’s a new member joining our ever-expanding film family.

— Lomography.

Lomochrome Turquoise.

With a (probably) light jab at Fujifilm’s decades-long film discontinuation streak, Lomography has announced that they are bringing back their Lomochrome Turquoise film.

By Akio Nakai on Lomochrome Turquoise. Courtesy of Lomography USA.

Lomochrome Turquoise is a colour-shifted emulsion, much like Lomochrome Purple that alters the palette of your scenes. Most notably, it turns skin tones and vegetation turquoise/blue and skies orange.

Upon release, the film will be available in medium format, 35mm, and 110.

Like Purple, Metropolis, and a few more branded emulsions, Turquoise is rated at ISO 100-400 XR — where XR stands for “extended range.” There will be no DX-code on the 35mm rolls which means that cameras requiring it will default to ISO 100. Though if you have control over that setting, you should be able to rate it up to ISO 400 with no issues. Any ISO ratings within that range should be developed normally (box speed) in C-41 chemicals.

You can pre-order your Lomochrome Turquoise film today with a 15% discount from Lomography Shop for 12.90USD per roll or 8.90USD for per 110 cassette (available in bundles of 5 or 10).

20% off Analog.Cafe books and cameras.

Whenever I review a camera or photo equipment on this blog, I test it thoroughly. Unfortunately, I can not keep all the beautiful things in my tiny Vancouver apartment. Hence some of the pieces that I’ve put film through personally and examined under a loupe go on sale at Analog.Cafe Shop. There isn’t a huge amount of choice there now — after all, this is a part-time gig for me — but the pieces listed are film-tested, with 14-day returns, shipped free to US and Canada.

Other than cameras, I also sell books. They are my labour of love. Printed at home using paper and ink sourced specifically for minimal environmental impact, assembled by hand, edited and designed in-house. There are hundreds of hours behind each of the two print offerings: Moscow Dayze and Monochrome 1.20 — my best-written works to date.

If you’d like to support this blog and encourage your fellow creative by purchasing something made and packaged with great care, today is the day.

Visit Analog.Cafe shop and get 20% off all products until December 1, 2021!

Image courtecy of 35mmc.
Photography Through The Pandemic features the photography and words of 49 photographers from across the world who were inspired – all in very different ways – by the Covid pandemic. It is a look at the myriad ways that the Pandemic has affected photographers from all around the world and from all different backgrounds. The connecting factor being a love of analogue photography and a desire to continue to create during these universally difficult times.

— Hamish Gill.

Photography Through The Pandemic.

The book is dedicated to John Whitmore, a prominent advocate of film photography who has recently and unexpectedly passed, leaving his wife and young daughter behind. The proceeds from this book will be split between the charities he supported during his life and his daughter’s trust fund.

The works of 50 photographers in this publication are curated by Holly Gilman on 200 pages of high-quality paper bound in hardcover. Produced by Hamish/35mmc, this monumental effort is Holly’s first large print undertaking, and from what I’ve seen on the Kickstarter page and in the press package, looks fantastic.

Photo courtecy of Michael Nguyen.
If we walk with open eyes, we can see interesting, beautiful, but also ugly things on the roadside every day. And if we look at the things around us not only with open eyes, but also with an open heart and mind, we will discover a world that is otherwise closed to us: Sometimes spectacular. Sometimes ordinary, but surprisingly wondrous. Whether it's a view of a modern building, a glimpse of a construction site, a riverbank, a bus stop, or simply a footprint someone has left on the opposite side of the pavement.

— Michael Nguyen .

By the Roadside — an exhibition.

Analog.Cafe contributor Michael Nguyen is hosting an exhibition between March 8 and May 5, 2022, at Bosco Gauting (30min west of Munich).

His show will open on the 8th with an introduction speech by Dr. Funke, focusing on highlighting the peculiarities within the mundane cityscapes of German architecture.

If you’re in the area, this free exhibition should be well worth your time.

IFE NKILI screening in London.

A Black women’s arts festival that streamed live last month, IFE NKILI, will be playing on the big screen on Tuesday, November 30 at The Hackney Social (Unit 11, Bohemia Place) from 6 to 10 PM.

The show will feature heartfelt stories and photography I loved seeing on a “small screen” — a streamed YouTube event. There’s a tremendous amount of work and talent in the program; highly recommended for the UK locals!

For tickets (£7), refer to this link.

Snap LF-35M. Image courtecy of LensFayre.

Snap LF-35M — an eco-conscious beginner film camera.

LensFayre is a partnership between creative professionals Daniel Giannopoulos and Alecia Barnes, who have been restoring and selling film cameras from the UK since early 2020.

Photograph taken with Snap LF-35M. Courtecy of LensFayre.

Their new creation is an entry-level plastic film camera with design and environmental responsibility in mind. The company offers a 10% discount on their merchandise for all dead/returned LF-35Ms that they promise to recycle diligently.

I’m not an expert at environmental impact estimation, but I agree with LensFayre that LF-35M is a better choice than a disposable camera. Made with a highly-recyclable ABS (7) plastic and packaged in recycled cardboard, with a recycled paper manual, wrapped in compostable protective packaging, it sounds as sustainable as a plastic camera could ever be in 2021.

LensFayre will also plant a tree with each unit sold.

I have nothing but respect for forward-looking businesses concerned with our collective well-being. But what about the camera itself?

As you may have noticed from the images above, it’s a 28mm single-element fixed-aperture 𝒇8 lens mounted on a small body with flash and a single shutter speed of 1/120s. It takes a single AA battery and weighs a mere 110g. Its focus range is always 1.2m/4’ to infinity. From the sample photos I’ve seen, the camera appears to maintain a decent amount of sharpness in the middle with a considerable falloff and aberrations in the corners. There is some geometric distortion also — as expected on a camera of this type.

Other than being recyclable, Snap is also customizable. Its face can host a variety of designs via compostable stickers by LensFayre, with a promise of community-made designs available in the future.

Snap LF-35M is available today, starting at £38.

Chroma Cube — a tiny 35mm pinhole camera.

Pinhole cameras are fantastic for their teaching potential and a recipe that practically anyone can build upon: a dark box with a tiny hole and a simple shutter. But despite their uncomplicated design, most are quite large and are not pocketable. The smallest version I ever made could fit in a mint tin, though it required a full-fledged bathroom operation to develop a single frame.

Photo courtecy of Chroma.

During the early stages of the COVID pandemic, Steve of Chroma, a company that 3D-prints portable large-format cameras, began designing a tiny pinhole device as a way to cope with the shortage of materials for his company’s main offering.

Months after the first draft, Steve’s miniature creation is finally ready to ship. As anyone who’s attempted to make a pinhole camera from scratch knows, the trickiest part is the film winding mechanism, which Chroma solves with a simple sprocket counting design that allows multiple exposures on 24×24mm squares. The pinhole has a 30mm focal length and equates to an 𝒇150 aperture. The camera is very small, weighing just 160g — with film. Of course, it comes with a tripod hole.

Chroma Cube is available today for £50.

Image courtecy of Fujifilm Japan.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo.

This month, the company announced its new flagship instant film camera, which uses its 5MP CMOS sensor to print directly on Instax Mini frames.

An improvement on their previous hybrid digital → analogue film design, the camera features a better image sensor and two sets of 10 filters that could be combined to add special effects digitally. It also comes with an app that may be used to print whatever you got on your mobile device.

The piece that exposes the film downsizes the image resolution to 1600×600 dots for in-camera images or 800×600 when printing from a smartphone app. This rounds up to about 318DPI with some additional detail in one of the dimensions at its best.

The lens is a 28mm (full-frame equiv.) 𝒇2.0 with a shutter capable of firing between 1/4s and 1/8000s. It will be able to focus anywhere between .1m/4” and infinity. You can check out the official website for more technical details.

The camera is planned to go for $199 at your local photography store sometime in February 2022, which seems like a pretty good deal considering what it’s capable of.

Film industry news and developments.

Kosmo Foto shared the news of an at least 20% price hike on Kodak film this month. This has been confirmed by 35mmc’s summary from the Tetenal UK Dealer Day and explained by Ludwig on Silvergrain Classics website.

This is a huge increase, although, as Ludwig explains, it is not unprecedented. The cost of film, when adjusted for inflation, isn’t much different from its peak in the late ‘90s. It’s also unclear how the dealers will respond — whether the costs will be absorbed or if the stores will be forced to bump up their stickers accordingly.

Keep in mind that this summer, the costs, on average, actually went down. However, I honestly don’t think the prices will remain static or decrease any further. To understand the actual damage, I will soon run another survey of the most popular online retailers and report back with numbers that affect you more directly. Make sure you are subscribed up to the Film Price Updates email list to get the data once it’s available.

At the Tetenal event, Hamish also managed to get a statement from Fujifilm rep that confirmed their issues with film manufacturing, understanding of increasing demand, and a commitment to continue making film — in some capacity — for the foreseeable future. Part of it was a mention, in passing, that the beloved Pro 400H film may not be gone forever just yet. We’ll see.

Latest on Analog.Cafe.

CineStill 50D 35mm C-41 Film Review is an in-depth summary of what this emulsion is capable of, its history and special properties, as well as tons of sample photos and downloads.

Yukon by Northern Light reviews a small hardcover photo book I found at a charity shop about the Canadian North.

Compact Full-Frame 35mm Film Cameras Under $200is my ongoing list of pocketable shooters that can make quality prints without demolishing your bank account.

How to Zone Focus Quickly and Accurately is an article that got a lot of attention and for a good reason — it is a detailed lesson on how to take advantage of an essential photographic technique. Indespensible for street photography and for use with cameras like Rollei 35.

An Autumn Essayby Justino Lourenço is a beautiful piece featuring haunting images taken with intriguing toy cameras. Lovely work.