After going through 3 rolls, I've decided that my feelings for the Lomography Color X-Pro Sunset Strip 100 35mm remain mixed at best - I explain this love-hate relationship below!
I couldn’t have been more excited when I purchased the Sunset Strip – I had been wishing to shoot with it ever since it came out and when a store in Bukit Bintang finally had it stocked up, I took no hesitation in purchasing it and jamming it into my camera the soonest opportunity that came around.
My first roll was shot with the LC-Wide. I set the ASA to 100, took it to a club during my best friend’s 24th birthday celebrations, and shot indoors in the dark with a flash. These were how the photos turned out.
Perhaps being a little naive, I for some reason expected a roll named ‘Sunset’ to have ‘Sunset’ colours, which in my mind is an orangey, warm glow. With the exception of the first picture, the rest turned out to have a bluish pop to it. Initially I had feared the photos to be underexposed – with a mere 100ASA in such dim lighting indoors, I was more than happy with the way the photos turned out. Although they are a fair bit grainy, I really don’t mind that and the colour saturation in fact compensates the grain for me. Roll 1 was a success!
My second roll was then shot with the LC-Wide also, but this time in a different mood – for Chinese New Year celebrations. I once again set the ASA to 100, and went about shooting my annual celebrations in my parents’ kampung up north in Penang and Perak. To my ultimate disappointment, these were the photos that were produced.
First of all, let me explain that despite having processed this roll mid-February, it wasn’t up till mid-March that I managed to scan and actually have a first look at the photos I took; the first lab that I had sent it to had told me that the roll was so overexposed it was impossible to even scan.
Sheer horror. Utter disappointment! How could this be? I eventually visited the same store I had purchased the Sunset strip from as they provide free scanning services using a simple Canon Film Scanner. In conclusion, the lab that did my processing therefore does not possess the best of scanners, which leads me to believe that it is perhaps that lab that is causing some problems with any slide films I sent for processing! How could it have been overexposed? The light meter on the LC-Wide works perfectly, I did not leave the shutter open for longer than it should, I had set the ASA correctly… What went wrong?
Blurry, lo-fi images with grain that don’t justify the power of the LC-Wide Minigon lens. Roll 2 was close to being a complete failure.
With my final roll of Sunset, the failure of the second roll prompted me to shoot with a more light-hungry camera – the Sprocket Rocket. I loaded it before departing to my holiday in Pulau Besar, set it to N-mode and ‘Sunny’, and proceeded to shoot over the span of three days in the sunny beach. I was more hopeful this time.
Much better, although not exactly what I had been hoping for! Once more, the same lab that I had sent the 2nd roll of Sunset for processing to told me the exact same thing as before – completely and utterly overexposed, impossible to scan. Imagine my sheer disappointment.
How could an ISO100 film have been overexposed on a light-hungry (when compared to LC-Wide) Sprocket Rocket set on N-mode and ‘Sunny’???? I sent it to another lab for scanning, and the above were the results.
More similar to the first roll I had shot with, with the exposed sprocket holes yielding colours in their own league. Interesting! Some photos did turn out overexposed, namely the double-exposed ones, and a few turned out grainy and lo-fi, which is not so much a feature of the Sprocket based on previous rolls I had shot the Sprocket with. Roll 3 was a semi-success.
Would I try the Sunset Strip again? Definitely. Why? I now feel the need to tame this wild, unpredictable film. Also, I would like to determine if it is more the lab’s processing that is affecting the outcome, or my shooting skills (or rather, lack thereof). Lets hope my next tries turn out better than these three rolls.