Our first users of Lomography's new black-and-white film, the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm, are here to wax poetic! Formulated to produce a cinematic atmosphere like classic vintage films, all testers found the film to be unique compared to common panchromatic films in the market. Find out what Charlotte Rea, Daniel Stewart, and Lean Lui have to say about the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm with the pictures they took.
Charlotte Rea: Filmic and Ambient Grayscale
New York-based photographer Charlotte Rea is a mood maker with a penchant for capturing the plain and ordinary with sublimity. No stranger to black-and-white, her street portraits captured in the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm share the same atmosphere of renowned New German Cinema films such as The All-Around Reduced Personality (1978), Yesterday Girl (1966) and Alice in the Cities (1974), but with a slight difference. Instead of shooting in the concrete streets of Berlin, Charlotte found the same cinematic elegance in Brooklyn, New York.
On a cloudy Sunday, she and her friend and artist Veronica Romero strolled around the city, spent time chatting over tea and listening to records in her apartment: a day in the lives of two young artists. In the hustle and bustle of Big Apple, she managed to find the peace and solitude thanks to the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm.
“I love that the film is less contrasty than some of the other black & white films I'm used to. This helped soften my subject and added an element of quiet to the images which I really valued.”
Daniel Stewart: Stylish Monochrome
As a lifestyle and fashion photographer in Chicago, Daniel Stewart is more inclined to shoot the intangible. Visual composition comes second, such as structure. It's a tricky creative process for Daniel since photographing moods are more intuitive than straightforward. Daniel rarely shoots in 35 mm, but he made an exception this time to test out the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm using his Canon EOS 3, 35 mm f/2.0 lens, and 50 mm f/1.4 lens. His friend Sejahari Villegas accompanied him to be his muse as the two had long planned for a photo shoot collaboration.
When the exposures were finally out and processed, Daniel was impressed with the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm sophisticated tonal spectrum, as the film can be pushed to ISO800, ISO1600 or ISO3200 while maintaining crisped details and tonal range. There's always that quality of timelessness in black-and-white photography. It's a classic.
“After seeing the scans, I’m pretty impressed. I think I’d wanna shoot it at 800 just to see if I can bring in some more contrast but I love the grain structure and it holds onto the highlights pretty well from what I can see. I’d definitely shoot it more and would love to see it in medium format since I rarely shoot 35 mm.”
Lean Lui: Elusive Black and White Stories
For young Lomographer Lean Lui a.k.a. @leanlui, photography is all about self-expression. At the age of 20, she has already built an impressive body of work of her imaginary world. This time, she used Lomography's Berlin Kino 400 35 mm as she reentered the dream reality. Like most of Lean's photographs, her shots using the new emulsion are intimate and anecdotal, mostly portraits of her sisters and family members.
While highly influenced by Chinese drawing, she also borrowed other styles for this particular series, as the emulsion was formulated for easy mood-making and cinematic ambiance, just like the old, vintage movies. Lean was able to amplify her signature daydream-like aesthetic. Even more so, when she paired the film with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System in her arsenal. According to Lean, the Berlin Kino 400 35 mm texture and wide gray spectrum of the film fitted her visual narrative like a glove.
“I rarely do black and white photography, but when I do, I will imagine my world is turned into monotone [sic] and to feel and select the subject in the environment... the grains and color of the film are great for storytelling.”