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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.

Photo by djcosta

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.

Photo by djcosta

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.

Photo by djcosta

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

13 comments

  1. coolsigg

    coolsigg

    seems to give very dark orangy outputs. :(

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. megzeazez

    megzeazez

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. djcosta

    djcosta

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. megzeazez

    megzeazez

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. gatokinetik-o

    gatokinetik-o

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

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  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...

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. af-capture

    af-capture

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

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. af-capture

    af-capture

    ...and 400 as well

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  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.

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  13. djcosta

    djcosta

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

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português & 中文(繁體版).