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Kodak SO 553 – The Special One

Ah, before I forget, I want to write this review about this film. What's it called again? Ah right: the Kodak SO 553. It is quite a strange one! Coming in the similarly mysterious, unrevealing yellow boxes, like the Vericolor Slide, Technical Pan or SE Duplicating films. And all of those are kinky crazy. So checking this one, it came with a promise.

So you get these boxes (too bad I didn’t make a shot of the box, because I always do that), and you have no idea what it is about. You kind of have the impression it will be some wicked emulsion, you have to cross, overexpose or take pictures while performing a handstand. And that’s what I basically did. It got hard on my arm once in a while, but everybody congratulated me on improved shape. It kind of got me a lot of attention by the girls, too.

Photo by wil6ka

So I did some research, what does the code SO 553 possibly mean. At first glance you understand, that’s a colour negative and as there is no closer information you assume it’s 100 iso sensitivity. In the interwebs, wise men said SO stands for special order. I also found word about that the SO 553 was once specially made for a large Photostudio in Hamburg. Which is funny, because, this is where I live, but I bought it from some other place in Germany via eBay.

Looking at the actual negatives I assume it must be an slow Kodak CN with 100 iso. The colours are very vibrant and is quite ok in dark situations. In a way it’s close to lomography colournegative films. I was pretty excited to shoot it, because I made these incredible shots of a funky small airplane in bright sunlight on an airfield in North Carolina. I so wanted them to come out alright – and they did.

After all the SO-553 was all about the attention and emotion that it evoked, before going into development. And maybe that triggers you to look for even better shots. And if it does, it is a beautiful film. It is a special one.

written by wil6ka


  1. adi_totp


    another Kodak hidden treasure! thanks for sharing,Willie! :D

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. ropi


    finally I could read this article! I can't wait to use this film at the docks! :D

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Deutsch.