After only months of being a part of the Lomography community, I began to feel changes. Normal, mundane color negative films were just not enough to quench my thirst for snapping up the world around me. I craved more excitement, which led me to cross-processing and Lomography's very own slide film, X-Pro Chrome 100! These are my thoughts!
Having used only regular color negative film in the past (including, but not limited to Kodak Ultramax 400, Ektar Pro 100, Lomography Color Negative 400, etc.), I was all too comfortable with the predictability and reliability of these types of film. It didn’t matter if my exposure calculations were a little off, even when over or under exposed, color negative film has a bit of room to play with, and the photos reflected this.
However, upon joining the Lomographic community and reading the 10 Golden Rules a few times, I began to venture outside the comfort zone that is “the viewfinder” and embarked on a journey which has finally led me to cross-processing.
Lomography X-Pro 100 Chrome is supposed to be a fine grain, 100 ISO speed slide film particularly designed to be cross processed (hence the X-pro name!). This sounded exactly what I needed to help me leap out of my comfort zone into the world of the unknown. Unfortunately, as with the whole idea of “the unknown” you could be gravely disappointed, and for about 20USD a pack (give or take depending on where you get it from) its an expensive gamble to make.
Luckily, with a few exceptions, I was hugely surprised… but in a good way! The photos came out with super saturated colors as promised, turning even the most mundane objects into an eye dazzling floor show of colors that were just slightly wacky. There were no crazy hues which would take away from the natural pizazz of the scene which I was trying to capture, but everything seemed to be just cranked up a notch, everything seemed to be “turned all the way up to 11”. Having said all this however, there are a few things to watch out for when using this film.
Cross Processing: Now for all those who are new to lomography like me, cross processing can be daunting! Especially when your local developer (a local Big W department store for me) turns you away because they do not recognize the film. Not to fear! You can over come this in a number of cheeky ways true to lomographers:
- Trick them into thinking its regular color negative film by covering the “X-pro” sign with your thumb when you hand it in!
- Explain to them that you just want it done with C-41 chemicals
Over and under exposure: This one is not so simple. One of the downfalls of this film is the low tolerance for over or under exposure of shots. Of course, if you have an LC-A (which I will soon have hopefully! Fingers crossed lomographers!), you can just set the exposure as you see fit and it will do the rest. However, for an all manual, battery-free shooter like myself with a La Sardina, you have very little control over your exposure and so you must pick the days wisely. If over-exposed or under-exposed, more so than with regular film, X-Pro Chrome will lose amounts of detail which cannot be ignored. However, with careful planning and some practice, it is not hard to overcome. Just pick your situations and let your itchy lomographic fingers do the rest!
Taking its (small) pitfalls into account, and even its high price tag, I would definitely shoot with this film again. There is simply nothing like it, the smooth grain, the intense colors and the unpredictability alone help make my life more exciting, and I’m sure they will do wonders to yours too!
The Lomography X-Pro Chrome 100 35mm is a showstopper of a slide. When cross processed, this film intensifies hues and makes everything more vibrant and vivid. See our selection of Lomography films here.