There aren't many film types I've used and not liked in one way or another. On the other hand there are some films I've used and I've been utterly amazed. Which category does Fuji Sensia 400 fall into? Read on to find out!
My first ever Lomo experience was a Blackpool holiday shot on Fujichrome Sensia 400 using a Vivitar UWS. Needless to say, before the experience, I had no idea what to expect from either the film or the camera but I was certain I wanted to shoot in a manner in keeping with Lomography and had already decided that the film would be cross-processed.
With mixed weather conditions typical of the British seaside at that time of year I was sure ISO400 would be the right choice to handle a mixture of sunshine and cloudy skies. I had also previously read about the strong green and purple colour casts when cross-processing Sensia 100 and 200 so I was keen to see what 400 did.
Getting straight to the point I was utterly gobsmacked. Not only do the photos in my opinion really capture the feel of the location in a way I probably wouldn’t have been able to replicate with digital but the range of the film left me dumbfounded. The amount of available light seemed to wildly alter the characteristics of the film, for example:
Underexposed – Green to yellow colour cast, deep shadows
Normal – Nice bright punchy colours, plenty of contrast
Overexposed – Muted colours, almost antique looking
When you consider that the UWS has no settings to speak of and these photos were all taken on the same day using the same film the differences in the photos are chalk and cheese. If I didn’t know any better wouldn’t have guessed they were from the same camera/film.
Is this a good thing or bad thing? Well it depends on your viewpoint I guess. If this film is unpredictable when cross-processed then you might not want to use it when looking for consistent results but on the other hand if like me you want to experiment and enjoy the unpredictability then it’s as good as it gets.
A look through the rest of the photos shows the film handling grain pretty well and dynamic range appears to be good even when shooting into the sun for some infamous Vivi lens flare.
It’s almost a shame that I like this film as much as I do cross-processed as I’m always going to be tempted to shoot this way. I might get around to trying Fujichrome Sensia 400 processed in E-6 one day but I wouldn’t hold your breath!
Fuji Sensia 400 35mm yields lovely results no matter how it’s processed. When cross-processed, Fuji shots have huge contrast and a total colour shift towards green & cream, blue, or even pink – depending on your developer. See the whole range of colour slides in our Shop.