Vericolor Slide Film So-279: Engineering 2D Graphic Photography


I always buy strange films, but I often don’t have the time to research them. Before a trip I make quick decisions, which films get into the bag, and which aren’t. With this Kodak Vericolor Slide, I did the same, when I visited Vicuna and Katoun in Polynesia. Honestly, the box of the film was not very enlightening either, besides the fact that it was expired in the nineties. You don’t really know what this film is about. Is it slide or is it C41? How do you have to expose it, what is its light sensitivity? I knew nuffin’!

I went with it and just exposed it as a 100 iso and didn’t think too much. Then Satomi developed the film as C41 in LA and we were absolutely absorbed by the look of the negatives. They looked like nothing we had seen before, orange and violet tones which didn’t reveal what to expect when scanned. I mean by now I could tell by any negative if the contrast is strong and I would approximately know how the picture will look like. Here it was impossible.

Credits: wil6ka

When I scanned it, I was right away flashed by the graphic quality of the Vericolor slide. Everything was blue and you basically only saw silhouettes. But within the silhouettes, you still had grades of contrast. Actually two contradictory elements of photography, how I see it. I love that the pictures are like a graphic creation, a 2D object caught on film. Reduction to the max.

So how does it happen? The Vericolor slide is a film that was made to create slides from a color negative in a time when scanning was not a consumer affair and photoshop or digital reproduction was nonexistent. For this purpose, this emulsion was constructed. But when expired and crossed, everything goes coo-coo crazy.

Credits: wil6ka

My bonding with this film is really strong, because of the feeling of uniqueness and my naive story of finding it. I also hit the nail right, when I tried it first, so it feels really natural to me. I later tried it consciously at several other occasions and learned more about it. You definitely need strong contrasts within the picture. Large panels of light and dark. Or let’s say there are sky and everything before it will be dark. Otherwise, the Vericolor Slide doesn’t really pay to its full potential and this rare film-gem is lost in the shades of nothingness. But when you understand, you are an engineer of 2D graphic photography and you will be surprised to the max.

Credits: wil6ka

This film review was done by Lomographer wil6ka. Create a LomoHome for more reviews and first impressions on analogue gear.

written by wil6ka on 2013-02-27 #gear #blue #expired #review #trip #austria #cross #panoramic #surprise #stephane #vicuna #x-pro #polynesia #satomi #find


  1. spendospend
    spendospend ·

    thats amazing!! awesome film i have to watch out for, and awesome review, love your narrative style!!

  2. stouf
    stouf ·

    Excellent review Herr Willie! This reminds me I have to put together a review of Kodak's Edupe which has some similarities with this film...

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    I remember this stuff!! It was for making slides from colour negatives by contact printing, c-41 to c-41, and the blue was to cancel out the orange of the negatives with exposure compensations for other background colours and basic ISO was maybe 25 or 50 (??). Seattle Photo had some sort of mail order cheap deal on slides and negatives from outdated movie film in 35mm cartridges in the early 1970's. Used for that, it looked rather funky, crappy. Matter of taste. I didn't like it. Anyway, your photos are wonderful!!!

  4. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    It just occurs to me... about the Vericolor... try shooting it through a light orange filter at ISO 25 (with filter factor ISO 10), i.e. like f/4.5 at 1/50 sec. in bright sun, then develop and scan at normal way and see what you get. You might need a bit extra exposure for age, but the stuff is slow and possibly pretty stable so maybe not so much. Experiment with cutting down the amount of blue light reaching film, and see what you get.

  5. megalithicmatt
    megalithicmatt ·

    I've got a bulk roll of this stuff somewhere. Must get round to using it at some point.

  6. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    yeah it produced seriously awesome stuff 2D graphics and you've described the tipster flawlessly!
    I really wanna try this film someday. ;)

  7. petterf
    petterf ·

    a little more of this blue bizarro film here:
    I still have a few rolls left so next time I'll def try to raise the ISO to 100 and hopefully get as dramatic results as you did here! great stuff and great review.

  8. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    what I find strange - with a lower resolution version, like here on lomography, the pics look good on a PC Screen or iMac, but crappy on any laptop. maybe I have to upload higher res versions???

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