LC-A Big Book Chapter 93: Film and Development


Picking film for your camera is similar to choosing the right type of canvas, colours and brushes for a good three hours of painting. Even though the use of film and development is a bit more expensive than digital options, the wide variety and possibilities along with the simple flair of purely analogue film are definitely worth the price. A good knowledge of your film type (colour negative, B/W, slide film!x-pro) and film speed is half the rent of getting the shots you want. For all things film related you should definitely check out: "":

Nowadays colour film yields natural co|ours, contrast and wide exposure latitude, meaning that your prints can still look excellent even if your exposure is a bit under or over the mark.

It’s made of a simple sheet of plastic coated with at least three layers of light sensitive chemicals, which consist of silver salts. A tiny bit of pigment is added to the salts to make the material capable of capturing different tones. There are a wide variety of colour negative films available each of them supplying slightly different colour tones and saturations – just try out a bunch of different brands and speeds to see which suits you best. There are films with 12, 2 4 and 3 6 exposures available. Even though the films with fewer exposures are of course cheaper to buy, they do not pay off in development – as you are paying a fixed cost for the film-development, the cost/performance ratio is certainly the best with 3 6-exposure film for fast-shooting Lomographers.

Shooting with B!W film is perfect for portraits and strong contrasts and gives your images a great feel. Developing black & white film yourself in a dark room also allows you more freedom and control over your prints. Black and white film is definitely the best medium for jiving with light and dark, contrast and haze. There are also several variations on the market such as the XP2-film: this kind of B!W film will deliver perfect results and is, contrary to normal B!W films, developed with normal C-41 chemicals. This means that it can be processed quickly and cheaply in any one-hour photo-lab, as opposed to the often expensive and time-consuming conventional black and white developments. In addition to that, X P 2 film printed on paper results in Sepia-toned pictures, which can produce a cool effect. Sepia is an effect that is often applied in photography for its beautiful brown-grey tone. If you want to get this “bygone days” look just shoot away on any XP2 B!W film and tell your lab to develop the pics in Sepia – any professional lab should be able to grant your wish.

If you are in search of ubernatural colours and crazy contrasts introduce your LOMO LC-A+ to slide film. Generally preferred by professionals for its better tone reproduction and one-step process (no printing, therefore less grain and more sharpness), this type of co|our positive fl|m uses a different chemical solution than co|our negative film. When cross-processed (x-processed or x-pro meaning that slide film is developed in C-41 chemicals instead of its usual E-6 chemicals) the colours become displaced and your photographs explode with brightness, saturation and contrast. In practice, this means that you slam a slide-film into your LOMO LC-A+, shoot as normal and ask your lab technician nicely to cross process the film. Each film and laboratory will produce different results. It is often recommended to even slightly overexpose your film and ask for no co|our correction at the lab in order to get even stronger co|ours. For more instructions on cross processing check

Many Lomographers tend to buy expired film in bigger quantities in photo store sales or on the Internet. Like milk, each film has a certain date of expiration upon which the manufacturer guarantees full functionality. Professional photographers mostly don’t go for expired films, as the co|our and saturation is not easily predictable – which is probably just what a Lomographer wants! However, recently expired films that aren’t really high speed (expiration of a year or less) are a great deal because the results are often identical or very close to in-date film. Try out expired film if you want to add a little bit more unpredictability to your photo shoots and like to get a good amount of film for a low price.

When buying film take care that the film speed matches the light condition you plan to shoot in – a sunny day on snowy slopes, an event in a dimly |it room or a nicely nostalgic rainy autumn afternoon in a park. Film speed is the measure informing you of the film’s sensitivity to light. The most common film speeds are ISO 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600. It is easy to remember – the smaller the number, the slower the film; the bigger the number, the faster the film. Slower films are less sensitive and generally need lighter, therefore longer exposure times. Faster films are fast in action and are good for snapping in poor light conditions but deliver grainier and less colourful pictures. However, many people love the grainy, noir look that 1600 or 3200 black and white film yields. You should definitely try this out, as with the LC-A+ and a fast film you can shoot indoors without stabilizing the camera! If your film is expired, the film speed might change too – so better be ready for some unexpected results. You should never forget to set the ISO-settings-wheel of your LO M 0 LC-A + to the 150-settings of the film you use to make sure that the camera’s automatic exposure setting are working properly.

You can also over or underexpose your shots on purpose: to underexpose a shot set the ISO-setting of your LOMO LC-A+ a few stops higher (like ISO 800 setting for a 400 speed film). To overexpose your image set the ISO setting to ISO 100 when using a 400 speed film.

Despite the rumours that analogue material and film will disappear slowly in our digital age, we can swear on the life of Lomography that film is still widely used by professionals and amateurs and will be available as long as the LOMO LC-A+ exists (and vice-versa). Why? Because there are millions of amazing analogue photo cameras out there, because analogue film photography is becoming its own art form, because all big film companies have assured us that they will produce film forever and because film, in general, is not that hard to produce. Therefore, you’ll always find all kinds of colour-negative, B&W and slide film in professional photo stores. For buying cheap film we recommend you to check out sales of old, no-name or expired film.

The choice between a professional lab and the supermarket on the corner is up to you. Whereas supermarket and drugstore development is definitely cheaper, labs offer you a wider variety of options regarding your prints and scans and respond to individual requests (such as asking for no colour correction with x-processed films, whereas many supermarkets don’t even do cross-processing) . If you’re sure that you just shot a killer roll of film you might choose to pay a few bucks more for professional development, whereas you might rather take the results of your latest experimental shoot to the cheaper supermarket to see what has come out. The traditional Lomo-size of prints is 7x I 0 cm ( 2.8×3.9 inch), but many stores don’t offer this size any more, 9×13cm (3.5×5.1 inch) or 10×15cm (3.9×5.9 inch) are just as good.

Cos are good friends of up-to-date photographers. Getting your images scanned on a CD makes upload’ng new images to your Lomohome a piece of cake. It is always good to order scans with a bigger resolution, for taking part in the multiple rumbles the Lomographic Society kicks off once in a while and getting your images published in a book. For 10 x l5cm (3.9×5.9 inch) prints the standard resolution is 1200 × 1800 pixels, but for bigger high-quality prints its better to get a size like 2400×3600 (which is more costly than the first variant).

Scanning your negatives: in the long run, the cheapest option to deal with your pictures is to scan them yourself. Today you can get high quality scanners for a good price. These allow you to scan in your 35mm negatives yourself. It might take you a bit of time, but you’II also have more control over the results and the resolution. You only pay for film & development at the lab and therefore save a lot of money. A scanner is a good investment for any serious Lomographer.

Have the full glory of the book here

written by ungrumpy on 2011-04-25 in #library #history #lc-a #film #lomography #library

One Comment

  1. qrro
    qrro ·

    "Despite the rumours that analogue material and film will disappear slowly in our digital age, we can swear on the life of Lomography that film ..... will be available as long as the LOMO LC-A+ exists"

More Interesting Articles

  • Light Painting: Electric Force

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-09-12 in #world #lifestyle
    Light Painting: Electric Force

    Imagine a blindfolded painter whipping his brush on a canvas. This is what the light painter does in the dark. He wags his light writers in the air and trusts the camera to record what he can't see. As for the moment of truth—careful, the sparks might fly.

  • Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-06-18 in #world #lifestyle
    Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    It is clear from the wild variety of photos in the website that Lomographers will do just about anything to get a good shot. Some swap rolls with friends overseas while others concoct unheard-of film soups. And then there are the masters of operations, the ones who spy and crouch their way to a share-worthy picture. This is one such story.

  • TASCHEN to Release 'The Charlie Chaplin Archives'

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-20 in #world #news #videos
    TASCHEN to Release 'The Charlie Chaplin Archives'

    The upcoming book is a definitive guide to the life and work of the iconic silent film actor.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • So here’s what we’ve been working on: an all new

    written by recurving on 2015-02-03 in #world #news
    So here’s what we’ve been working on: an all new

    For the last year we've been working on the next version of Lomography. We based our work on the feedback you’ve given us over the years and we wanted to share it as early as possible with you and can’t wait to hear what you think. Just one warning first: it is still in development and things can break. All the photos, comments, likes, homes and everything else were transferred as of October 16th, 2014. So anything you do on won't be reflected on and vice versa. Once we are done with testing, everything you did here will be deleted again. So this is a big playground for you to explore.

  • Photo of the Day by zorki

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-03 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by zorki

    With its vivid colors and dramatic lighting, this photograph of a lone deer is definitely one for the books.

  • 5 Hidden Gems in South Korea

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-07 in #world #locations
    5 Hidden Gems in South Korea

    Speak of South Korea and, chances are, the bustling capital city Seoul and the charming island of Jeju would be the first destinations to come to mind—and for very good reasons. But while these top tourist draws are definitely worth the visit, the rest of the country is dotted with many more gems often unheard of to outsiders. Here are a few of them.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Meet our LomoGuru: zulupt

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-15 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Meet our LomoGuru: zulupt

    Aside from being an immensely talented lomographer, what makes him a perfect LomoGuru is his burning desire to share his knowledge. The city where he lives is full of people who are interested in analog photography, but the lack of easy access to film and equipment poses a challenge for them to pursue their passion. To keep them motivated, Hugo organizes workshops and tours on different film photography techniques and DIY tricks. Let's give a loud round of applause to Hugo Pereira, better known in the community as zulupt, our LomoGuru from Marinha Grande, Portugal!

  • Serendipity Exhibition by Toby Mason

    written by lomographysoholondon on 2015-09-10 in #world #events
    Serendipity Exhibition by Toby Mason

    Toby Mason (aka fotobes) is a Brighton-based photographer who embraces the aesthetics of film photography. He mostly shoots with the LC-A+ using a range of slide films, cross processing them to create rich, highly saturated colours. His work has been featured on the BBC website and Hungry Eye Magazine. Join us for the opening night on Thursday, September 17 from 6 p.m.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Pierrickmorin and his Konstruktor

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-04 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Pierrickmorin and his Konstruktor

    As a scientist, Pierrick is often curious about the mechanism behind how things work. His first brush with analog photography is no exception. Eager to know more about the inner workings of a film camera, he started from scratch and tested his DIY skill with the Konstuktor camera.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Vintage Gallery: Headpieces from Around the World

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-08-29 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: Headpieces from Around the World

    A hat is in the position to be noticed before any other item of clothing. Its shape and texture can immediately call to mind cultural associations. A cloche is to 1920s fashion as a picture hat is to the 1900s. The wide-brimmed or fur-lined variety, on the other hand, is more functional for tribes.

  • 10 Golden Rules of Film Photography Day

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-10 in #world #lifestyle
    10 Golden Rules of Film Photography Day

    Film Photography Day is the perfect time to disconnect from the fast-paced pressures of the daily grind, and reconnect with the pure joys, unpredictability, and excitement of analogue photography. Maybe you're wondering how to get started, so here are a few rules to guide you!

  • Follow Me Through the Electric Forest

    written by mindofmyra on 2015-07-04 in #world #news #events
    Follow Me Through the Electric Forest

    Electric Forest is a one of a kind music festival booming with great vibrations and beautiful people. It is a rare type of music festival found in the corners of Michigan that cultivates a holistic environment for all kinds of people to come share in a spiritual journey.