My Analogue Life: Film Freak

21

I love film. I don’t just shoot it, I collect it, scavenge for it, hoard it. I’ve sacrificed half of my refrigerator and freezer for it and still, I can’t get enough. I am a film freak and I’m not afraid to say it. I know it’s obsessive and that I’m an addict.

Like all addicts, I have my preferences. Sure, I’ll shoot just about any kind of film if there’s nothing else around, but if I have a choice, it’s going to be expired colour slide film that I can cross-process to make the image super-saturated, full of story and life.

Early on, I fell in love with the classic, though sadly no longer produced, Agfa RSX-II. I wasn’t taking photos myself yet, but working as a stylist and producer of editorial fashion spreads. I collaborated frequently with a professional photographer friend who shared my fetish for bright, popping colours and images with a distinctly retro Techincolor vibe. He introduced me to RSX-II and once I started taking pictures of my own, I sought it out, buying boxes from the Ukraine, Germany, wherever I could find it. Eventually, supply dried up and because I use the rolls I have left strategically and sparingly, it’s become necessary to make friends with some new film.

I spent a good two years as a Fuji girl, shooting Astia and Velvia almost exclusively. I loved the way cross-processed Astia marked concrete with a greenish tinge when I shot in the city and how when used on rainy, stormy days, xpro Velvia created dramatic red skies that seemed otherworldly.

I dabbled in other films on the side, but remained loyal to my two favourite Fujis until I happened across a man who was selling the remains of his film freezer. He was a tried-and-true Kodak man and with a newly acquired stash of Ektachrome EPP 100 and EPR 64 in my possession, it wasn’t long before I’d switched sides, loving the rich blue skies and eye-popping reds.

What’s next is hard to say, though I’m currently enjoying a wonderful flirtation with some hard-to-find Kodak Ektachrome EPH 1600. But then, there’s that crazy multi-speed Fuji RMS 100/1000. And the vintage-looking graininess of my never-refrigerated Fuji Sensia 100. It’s clear I’ll never be able to kick my film habit or choose just one — I’m an addict, there’s no doubt, a bona fide film freak.

What’s your film fetish? Share your thoughts about your favourite film(s) with me!

Pamela Klaffke is a former newspaper and magazine journalist who now works as a novelist and photographer. Her column appears weekly in the Analogue Lifestyle section of Lomography Magazine.

written by pamelaklaffke on 2010-09-15 in #lifestyle #lifestyle #pamela-klaffke #bulldog #cross-processed #column #holga-cfn #kodak-ektachrome-epp-100

21 Comments

  1. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    this was a refreshing read - thanks pamela!

    oh ya, i'm an EBX addict... and i still have not found any cure for this addiction. :)

  2. coldkennels
    coldkennels ·

    Provia 400X alllllll the way!

  3. mikahsupageek
    mikahsupageek ·

    So far, my faves are Prova 400 and Velvia 50 when xproed, but I've been wanting to try the Astia and find some of those Agfa RSX-II so badly !
    I think we kinda all are film junkies here Pam, so remember, you're not alone =)
    great article =) looking forward on reading some more =)

  4. discodrew
    discodrew ·

    Great article. I have a question. I haven't ventured out into the slide film world yet but I'm going to try it out soon. The question I have is when to x process and when to develop normally?

  5. porkchopsandy
    porkchopsandy ·

    Provia 400X and Agfa Precisa!!! Just bought 34 rolls of expired Provia from some ebay dude, that's gonna last me awhile:)

  6. stouf
    stouf ·

    Love your article! I love Kodak EPR 64 in E6 process.

  7. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    thanks for the response, everyone! if this were some official survey, i think provia would be in the lead! it's a great film and so versatile, but i have to agree with stouf about kodak epr 64 — in bright sunlight it's delicious!

    discodrew: about x-process — it's just about developing film in the wrong chemical to achieve a different look. basically, what people are usually talking about is taking a slide film (which is meant to be developed in e-6 chemicals) and instead developing them in colour negative chemicals (aka c-41). this is how we get such great colour and saturation. however, if you do it the other way around and develop colour neg film in slide chemicals, my experience is that everything just turns a blah gray-blue. but definitely try the slide film x-processed — it's addictive!

  8. rav_bunneh
    rav_bunneh ·

    I wonder who has freezers full of disc film. Anyone?

  9. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    rav_bunneh: somebody out there must, but i'm afraid i've never run across it around here. if i do i'll let you know!

  10. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    I really love a lot of films I tried! Velvia 100 is great but a bit to reddish for me! I love the portra 400VC for no slides! I liked the slide from lomography and wanna try provia and astia!

  11. eatcpcks
    eatcpcks ·

    A simple question: what is normal price for provia 400X... They are not so cheap on ebay:D

  12. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    hi eatpics: i really like the reds of velvia against a cloudy, stormy sky — it's very dramatic. astia gets pretty greeny unless it's in very bright daylight and i've found provia 100 similar. as for the price of provia 400 film, i don't think there is an average. it depends where you live and what is available locally. where i live, a new roll of provia is about $10-12, expired is cheaper (the lomography store sells expired 120 for around $8 USD). sourcing film these days is tricky. i usually visit all the local camera shops wherever i go and ask if they have any expired film — sometimes they'll sell it very cheap; i think they're just happy to be rid of it! good luck with the hunt!

  13. luelue
    luelue ·

    Great article. Beautiful and creative pics! New to toy cams and ready to get my first roll devolped......we'll see whats in store!! :) Holga 135

  14. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    good luck with your first roll, luelue. send me a message on my lomohome once you have them up!

  15. granduque
    granduque ·

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE. I've been saying for a while now, Analogue is the new digital. Great inspiration.

  16. fed
    fed ·

    I´ve spent about 1000 bucks in film this month alone! Just purchased a stash of 10 year expired Kodak EPT 160 this week. Since kodak discontinued this gorgeous stuff this year, I´m buying all the EPP and EPY I can get. It´s comforting to know I´m not the only freak who has more film than food in their fridge!

  17. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    thanks, granduque — analogue is indeed the new digital (and so much more fun).

    fed: sounds like you're just as much of a film freak as i am. i just scored a big stash of kodak eph 1600, which is awesome x-process for night. i've got a good amount of epp and epy, too, but like you, i'm always on the hunt for more!

  18. the_tempest
    the_tempest ·

    Pamela- your articles are wonderful, I look forward to them. I am just now familiar enough with my cameras to start delving into different films and this article is a great help! Thank you!

  19. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    I've got a bit of a stash of RSX200, and a couple of rolls of RSX100 too! I've only just scanned a roll of RSX200 that I had processed ages ago and I'm pretty impressed. Not too fond of ott colour shift, so love the colours and saturation from the RSX. I've got a fondness of Kodak E200 in 120 xpro too. A roll from my Diana came back very nice. None xpro I'm a Kodak fan - I love Portra 800 and Ektar 100 is just amazing. 35mm I'm not quite settled in, but I love Agfa Vista 400 none-xpro. Xpro wise I've got a roll of CT Precisa on the go, but what I've liked results from Fuji 64T, Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and E200. The Lomography Xpro 100 has to be my fav so far! Looking forward to trying out some Kodak 100VS (35mm and 120), Agfa RSX200 (35mm) and Provia 400F (35mm and 120). So much film hoarded, so little time!

  20. pamelaklaffke
    pamelaklaffke ·

    the_tempest: thanks! i'm glad you're enjoying the columns — they'll be a new one every wednesday. and i'm glad you're ready to start getting into different films — that's one of the best parts of analogue photography!

    nicholas_noir: wow! it sounds like you're as much of a film freak as i am! you're so lucky to have some rsx-II. i still have some 50, 100 and 200 left, but i only break it out occasionally. i also have some super-rare old ektar 25 which was discontinued years ago, and the colours are gorgeous. i haven't tried the new ektar, but will soon and i'm looking forward to it. thanks for sharing your thoughts on films — it's made me want to shoot today!

  21. purpletree
    purpletree ·

    i have a stash of both 35 and 120 (100ft roll and a 120 5 pack) of the Fuji RMS 100/1000 and haven't used it for years. Had a bad roll with shots i wanted alot so i avoided it, but i'm taking it as backup color film for Swans concert in case i want to shoot it. I'm planning high speed b/w only but it's always good to be prepared for change in mood. I also now have an Epson photo scanner so i am interested finally in using 120 slide again since i can now scan'em myself.

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