Lomochrome Purple 400: Purple Perfect

2013-08-09 8

When pre-orders for Lomography’s new Lomochrome Purple film opened back in February, I didn’t hesitate a second to jump in. And after 6 months eagerly awaiting its arrival, it finally arrived! The sample pics that were used to advertise this new film were amazing images, with strong purple tones and impressive color twists. Would the real thing live up to the expectations? Spoiler alert: I wish I had ordered more!

Credits: sandravo

One of Lomography’s strong suits is definitely its advertisement. And the campaign they ran earlier this year to present the new and upcoming Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 film was no different. They showed us some images that made us drool! So no wonder both batches of film available for pre-order were sold out in a jiffy, despite the long period we would have to wait to get them in our eager, film-hungry hands and cameras.

But last week, after 6 long months, the moment of truth had finally arrived: a box of Lomochrome Purple was delivered to my doorstep. Through all my happiness and excitement, there was one question that kept running through my mind… Would it live up to my expectations?

Credits: sandravo

Given that I had only ordered a limited amount of film, 10 packs of 35mm and 10 packs of 120, I gave it some very carefully thought where I would shoot my first roll and what camera I would use. I would need a green environment, some nice backgrounds and a camera that would let me play with iso values, aperture and shutter times. So I settled on loading up my Lubitel 166+ with a 120 film and headed out towards a small lost town, hidden in the middle of a very industrial environment not too far from here.

Credits: sandravo

Lomochrome Purple is sold as a 100-400 ISO film, which means you can expose it on any iso value within that range. Based on the examples I had seen I had a feeling that exposing the film at higher iso gives you stronger purples and color shifts, whereas exposing the film at lower iso value would still give the purple hues, but more subtle. It reminded me of the extended redscale film, the XR 50-200 redscale film, which I absolutely love! Since I am a fan of subtlety and in an attempt to avoid dark and underexposed photos, I decided I would go for ISO 100.

Credits: sandravo

I shot the film, went back home, developed it in C41, and waited for the film to dry before firing up my scanner. As soon as the first preview appeared on my screen I was completely sold! As I expected I didn’t get the overpowering colors most of the sample pics had shown, but a more subtle version of soft purples, grays and baby blues. To me these color tones are a perfect match to the scenes I had shot. Some photos turned out quite cheerful, but others had a rather eery look, filled with sadness and a sense of abandonment.

Credits: sandravo

For my taste, exposing the film at ISO 100 was the perfect choice. Of course I will play some more with these settings in the future and maybe find an even better way to use it. But even after running just a single roll of this film, there is one thing I can tell you: I am a big fan of Lomochrome Purple and if I could turn back the clock I would go back and order lots more of it! Unfortunately I can’t, so there is nothing left to do but keep my fingers crossed and hope this film will become a standard value in Lomography’s film range (unlike some other great films that have disappeared to soon).

The Lubitel 166+ is a loving recreation of the Soviet-era classic. Based on a design that dates back over 60 years, this camera is updated with new features like the ability to shoot both 120 and 35mm film. Shoot mind-blowing images with the Lubitel 166+, available in our Online Shop.

written by sandravo on 2013-08-09 #gear #review #iso100 #purple #atmosphere #iso-400 #lomography #requested-post #lomochrome #35mm-films #120-films #lomochrome-purple-400 #lomochrome-purple-xr-100-400


  1. muchachamala
    muchachamala ·

    Exposing at iso100 still gives rather dark photos. Did you try to go lower?

  2. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    @muchachamala - This series was shot on a fairly overcast day, hence the grey skies. Looks like even lomochrome purple can't make the sun shine ;-). In regard to your question, I accidentally overexposed one, don't know exactly but I guess at ISO25, which came out very weird. Have a look here: www.lomography.com/homes/sandravo/photos/18705378. Not really my taste, I prefer the ISO100 look!

  3. susielomovitz
    susielomovitz ·

    I have a lot of doubts about the tones and the ISO expousure for this film. Great review! Thanks for sharing! And really nice Photos my friend!

  4. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    Thanks @susielomovitz! And my pleasure! The good thing is new albums are posted everyday, so we'll find out soon enough what the influence of ISO and exposure times really is. Meanwhile I got my 35mm as well, so that will give me more frames to play with and discover the quirks of this film :-)

  5. muhamad_haiz_shamsudin
    muhamad_haiz_shamsudin ·

    Wish I had pre-ordered, sigh... Totally gonna buy em when it's up for sale, eventually... Great article, love the pics Sandra!

  6. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    Thank you @muhamad_haiz_shamsudin! Even though I did pre-order, I want more, lots more! I am waiting for the day these are for sale in the online shop!!!

  7. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    @sandravo did you find it difficult to scan it? I think I face that problem.
    the major colour which is purple could go easily to like a tungsten tones depends on the flatbed scanner backlight I use.

  8. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    @istionojr No problem with scanning! You can scan them like you would normal color negatives. I just let the scanner give me a preview and it was right on the money! A lot easier than scanning cross processed film!

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