Whenever I am in the mood for adventure and trying out a new experiment, Lomography's most basic CN 100 film is my go-to film. Don't get me wrong, it is a great color negative film as is, that will give you a faithful representation of colors as they were shot. But in my line-up it is also a great film to add lots of fun effects. Read on after the jump to find out why Lomography's CN 100 film is always present in my camera bag!
When I started my analogue adventure earlier this year, I had no clue whatsoever on the importance of choosing the right film for the right occasion. I had just gotten back from digital into analogue photography, and the choice of film that was available was a little overwhelming. Since I didn’t want to make a huge investment in a bunch of film I might or might not like, I decided to get a pack of the cheapest non-expired film out there: a 35mm 3-pack of Lomography’s CN100.
Looking back, it may not have been the wisest choice, given we were still in the middle of winter, which includes short days and little sun light. On top of that I loaded the film in the sprocket Rocket, which I now know performs better when light is plenty, and I headed out at sunset. This could have been a disaster, yet somehow it wasn’t!
Even though this is just an ISO 100 film and it had everything going against it, it did great! But despite of this great performance, having seen all the gorgeous results you can obtain with cross-processing, I felt the need to move on and start playing with slide film. So the Lomo CN100 was neglected for quite a while… Until I started feeling confident enough to think outside the traditional film use box, and sometimes even outside the quirky Lomography box.
I needed a film of which I knew exactly how it would behave. A film that would only react differently from normal due to manipulations I controlled. So obviously all expired films were out of the running, and since I process all my film in C41 and xpro is such a fickle thing, all slide film was out too. Which is when I came back to Lomography’s CN100.
Lomography’s CN100 is a great film to experiment because of its great consistency, realistic color representation and low grain. The colors you get using CN100 film are usually a fairly good representation of what you see through the viewfinder the moment you make the shot. No more, no less. Which is exactly why it is such a great film for me: I know that no matter what I throw at it, I have a consistent baseline on which to build and compare the results.
To give you an example, my favorite toy lately has been a set of color filters. They are a great way to get amazing shots, if you use them properly. But in order to do that, you need to find out exactly how the the filters effect the result. So the first time I used them on my LC-A+, I ran a test series, which explains in images what I have been trying to explain in words:
- Use the film as intended and you get a great representation of the scene in front of your lens
- Build on this consistent baseline and add the effect required to get the desired result
This series goes from no filter, purple, blue, yellow, orange filter.
Once I gathered this knowledge from 35mm film, I moved on to my favorite Lubitel camera and started using that information on CN100 120 film. It took me a bit more trial and error, but I think I have gotten some great results.
So for me, while CN100 is a great film for random shooting, it is an even better film to push the boundaries and experiment a little.