This film has to be the absolute cheapest black and white on the market. There is good reason for this, it’s terrible.
On the plus side, this film makes 120 B&W photography very cheap, it can be great for testing cameras for light leaks and flaws as if you waste film, then it’s unimportant. The grain is ok, pretty good in fact. Pictures are nice and sharp if you develop it well.
Unfortunately the negatives for me outweigh the positives. Compare it to Ilford, or Kodak, or even Ultrafine films, and it sits very much at the bottom of the pile.
It isn’t tolerant of variations in development. Everyone makes mistakes occasionally and my temperatures varied by about a degree, two max when I developed the roll below. Any of the other films I use would tolerate this and still give me superb results, however this film reticulated beyond anything I’ve ever seen. So if you want to use it your process must be flawless.
I realise many of you don’t self develop, so this may be immaterial to you, but this film curls. It’s like a tightly wound spring. From the minute you remove it from your developing reel to the time you try to scan it, it bounced around all over the place, like trying to wrestle a snake. This is a disaster waiting to happen, you are going to drop it at some point, getting it dusty and scratched. Fine if that’s the look you want, but I’d rather the camera speak for itself. It’s the flaws in the cameras I like, not technical fubs in the substrate of a film. And just wait until you scan, loading it into the scanner holder is like trying to put a cat in a cage for a trip to the vet.
And lastly, the worst crime of all is the backing paper. Every single time I shoot this, no matter which camera I use, without garnering light leaks you are guaranteed impressions of the design of the backing paper in your images. Every, single, time.
“But Lomography is all about the randomness, don’t think – just shoot!”, I hear you cry. This film isn’t random. It’s rubbish.