How grainy can you get? Expired tiny 110 film at 400 speed definitely enhances the grain but there are stranger things to see yet!
Hearing that Lomography was starting to release 110 film again was marvelous. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic, the brick shaped camera. I shot a lot of 110 in the 80s when I was little. I’ve never been much of a Fisheye fan however, so whilst waiting for a colour film to be released and an alternative camera, I decided to try out 110 again.
In an online auction I won a marvelous Minolta 110 SLR. I’ll discuss this in another review. In order to test it I hopped online and purchased some expired Kodak Ultra 400 110 film.
The film expired in 2009 so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It’s not a massively old film, so I expected good results. Well, it was a mixed bag, but I was delighted with mostly everything.
In comparison to 35mm and of course 120 the negs are tiny, really very small and much smaller than I remembered. This combined with the fact that the film is 400, and taking into account its age, the film is very grainy. This is no bad thing as far as I am concerned, I like film grain. Digital grain is ugly but film grain is rich and in the right circumstances, a beautiful thing.
The majority of the pictures were pretty colour correct and everything you’d expect from a consumer grade Kodak film, pleasing but no Portra.
These images below are nice in tone and colour:
However, some of the images, came out almost like redscale. Initially I suspected light leak, but closer inspection of the camera shows no obvious way it could get in.
Lastly, there was one very big surprise I simply can’t explain these colours. It was a nice sunny blue sky day.
In summary Kodak Ultra 400 110 is a nice, standard colour negative. Grainy as you’d expect but this is the price of versatility, with a few arty tricks up its sleeve. Would I buy it again? Probably, but I’d be checking out Lomography Tiger 200 first.