A Humbling First Experience with Lomography X Tungsten 64


My first experience with the glorious Lomography X Tungsten 64 was exciting, thrilling, but full of second thoughts. I’m sincerely glad this film comes in a 3-pack so I can have more opportunities to try it out.

“What!? Tungsten? That’s so cool, I love tungsten film — it will give you great results even if you don’t cross process it.” My friend exclaimed to me when we were talking about our Lomo cameras and film. While shooting my first roll of Lomography X Tungsten 64 , I couldn’t wait to use up all 36 exposures and get it down to the lab asap!

Lomography X Tungsten is rated at 64 ISO, which means that it requires more light for “proper” exposure than any 100 ISO slide film. It works great to counter act any yellow cast, like from incandescent lighting, to create a neutral balance. When cross processed, there tends to be a dominant purple, pink hue.

My love and I had driven up to Tantalus lookout, an amazing site in Honolulu, Hawaii, up in the mountains. From the lookout, we could see the entire cityscape of downtown Hawaii, as well as beautiful Diamond Head, and the ocean horizon. It was the perfect place for a photo-shooting!

After waiting for the slides to be cross processed, my heart dropped when I saw how my results were not as great as I had envisioned them to be. In comparison to some examples put up on the Lomography website, my photos were drastically underexposed and lacking the detail I normally get from my beloved Lomo LC-A+ .

The underexposure was so apparent that I could only salvage about half of all the exposures to showcase online. The rest of the slides were simply too dark to see much of anything. I read online that photographers can use the method of intentionally underexposing tungsten film to create a “day for night” effect — so that the shots appear to have been taken at night. And that’s really how I felt my photos turned out to be.

Credits: dearjme

What had happened? I had two possible ideas — either the day had been much too cloudy than I had estimated, or my camera’s light meter was not working up to par, which meant that my LC-A+’s batteries could be depleted.

Credits: dearjme

See the album here!

I couldn’t help but be sorely disappointed, but I’m still eager to try, try again. Now, with fresh batteries, and a new roll of Tungsten, I’m ready to move on from the underexposure problem and see what else this film can offer me.

written by dearjme on 2011-11-22 #gear #review #lomography #lomo-lc-a #underexposure #requested #requested-review #first-experience #lomography-x-tungsten-64


  1. jacob-siau
    jacob-siau ·

    Lomo LC-A+ only goes down to 100 iso, to use iso 64 would need some DIY.

  2. jacob-siau
  3. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @jacob-siau, I've read that tipster before! It's a great one. Thank you :)

    But I also know that most lomographers, with enough ambient light, are able to decently expose their Lomography Tungsten with their LC-As set at 100 or even 200. That's why I was surprised by my photos.

  4. aspie
    aspie ·

    I used this with a Canon automatic which only goes down to 100 (and no way to override it) and the results were exposed just fine. I've got it in an SLR now, set at 100 and might even try going up to 200 on the next roll.

  5. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @aspie, Great! That's exactly why I was so surprised by my results -- because most times it can be properly exposed with the setting at 100. I've heard 200 results in photos that are less pink/purple, which can be equally nice :)

  6. hail90
    hail90 ·

    I like this! it's sad but refreshing that your first time with a film hasn't worked out. I know the feeling! I used a low ISO film on my holga 135bc and i was so disappointed with the outcome.
    My fingers are crossed for your next film!!

  7. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @hail90, thank you for the kind words! I wanted to present an honest experience that lomography is not always what we expect it to be. I've submitted a review of my second try with this film, including many different results too! hopefully it will be published soon.

  8. sarah-addison-dobard
    sarah-addison-dobard ·

    So frustrating when a roll doesn't turn out bc film is so expensive to process! I like your photos though, they have an ominous quality. I took a roll at ISO 100-200 and it was overcast oustside so I'm thinking about having it pulled 1 stop during development. Have any of y'all tried this? @hail90 @jacob-siau @dearjme

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