A First Roll of Rollei Nightbird Redscale 800


I had bought a roll of Rollei Nightbird in 35mm some months ago and I was saving it for a special occasion. In early July I had the chance of spending a weekend in Paris and I just focused mostly on taking photos. I loaded my Lomo LC-A+ with this film roll and gave it a try. These are the results and my feeling about it.

I started on a Saturday afternoon walking to Ile Saint-Louis. My plan was to walk beside the river Seine as far as I could, hopefully all the way up to the Tour Eiffel. The first photos I took with the Rollei Nightbird were under grey skies and dark clouds, as it just had rained quite a bit around an hour ago. I was hoping between ISO 100 and ISO 400 settings on the Lomo LC-A+. Although the sticker in the film canister recommended “For best creative results use ISO 640,” I thought I would get better results (typically on a Redscale film) if I overexpose it.

Most of the shots I remember using ISO 400 just became too dark, almost to the point that I find them ruined. But once the skies cleared a bit, even under sunset light, the results started to be better. But I had to shoot using ISO 100.

On Sunday morning I went to Parc des Buttes Chaumont on the North East Side of Paris. I kept using ISO 100, and I got this nice shot of the lake and the benches facing it. The film gives a strange feeling. It feels like it’s night time instead of day time. It doesn’t feel like a typical Redscale film, like the ones Lomography Society sells.

On Sunday evening I’ve managed to take some photos of the Tour Eiffel at dusk and then at night. The results using ISO 400 were quite dark, but they still have a nice orange tone to it.

The last shots I took with these film roll were at Notre Dame. I just kept the camera steady on one of the pews on the back facing the altar. Used again ISO 100 and the Lomo LC-A+ took automatically a long exposure. The results are still interesting, although too dark and with too much noise.

To be fair, I love the red and orange tones of some of the photos, but I was expecting a bit more from this film. It felt really like a shot in the dark. I had the general impression all photos were too dark and underexposed. I would love to try another roll of it in a completely different situation, with much more ambient light. I didn’t feel brave enough to try to shot it at ISO 640 like advised, especially under such grey and cloudy skies. Maybe for a day at the beach could work cool.

written by djcosta on 2012-08-01 in #reviews #redscale #nighbird #lomography #night #rollei #paris #review #redscale-film #user-review


  1. coolsigg
    coolsigg ·

    seems to give very dark orangy outputs. :(

  2. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    yes, @coolsigg. agree. it's not too bad though... Maybe knowing that now, I'll be paying more attention to that while shooting another roll in the future.

  3. megzeazez
    megzeazez ·

    Thanks for sharing, I haven't tried it yet and wondered about results.

  4. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    You're welcome, @megzeazez. Have you tried any of the other films from Rollei's Creative collection?

  5. megzeazez
    megzeazez ·

    I haven't but I'm thinking about ordering some!

  6. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I have one more roll of this film. I tried on my SLR set at ISO between 400 and 800 iso and was not happy with the results. I think I will try a lower ISO like you did.

  7. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    @neanderthalis yes, I've read somewhere else someone complaining about the same. So I used the "typical" logic for redscale films: the lower the ISO the more light will penetrate all the film color layers and not just the first one, the red on.

  8. gatokinetik-o
    gatokinetik-o ·

    But somehow, i loved the dark tones on the photos :D

  9. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    @gatokinetik-o i'm still wondering why they call it NightBird :) to me is because it makes me feel like the photos were taken at night, although they were taken under full day light...

  10. af-capture
    af-capture ·

    thanks for the review...i will probably be shooting at 100...i think you got some very nice results

  11. af-capture
    af-capture ·

    ...and 400 as well

  12. jiloo
    jiloo ·

    My first roll was disaster. I used it in supersampler. Not recommend ;)
    Second was shoot with LC-A on 400 setting. Only 1/3 of pics were fine. Just finished a roll on Cosina CX -2 on 100 ISO after reading your article. Will be scanning today - thanks for sharing.

  13. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    thanks, @jiloo. I need to give this film a second chance and perhaps try it at 50 ISO...

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