Generic Film? ....Redscale It!


Pinching for pennies but love the Lomographic spirit of trial and error? Grab some generic, cheapy film and redscale it. The results are simply gorgeous.

As a college student, most of my hard earned money goes to food, school tuition, gas, and overpriced textbooks. Ah how my soul longs to purchase expensive slide films and fancy cameras….but we have to face reality. So when I stumbled upon some CVS film at the drugstore, I figured the cost is right: a 4 pack of generic color negative film for about $2.50.

There are many tutorials here on how to create your own redscale. Here’s a great link.

However, for my purposes, I used 1 roll and unspooled it in the dark. Then I cut off the film strip, flipped it, taped the cut edges together, and wound it back into the canister. This way, there is no need to waste a whole roll of film by emptying a canister in the light.

I shot this roll in my beloved Diana Mini, making sure there was ample light while using the “cloudy” aperture. The exposed side of the redscale film is much less sensitive to light than the normal side. I found that this was an excellent opportunity to try some multiple exposure techniques, as the results will be less prone to overexposure.

My results!

Credits: dearjme

The photos had the perfect dreamy, orange/red tone that I simply adore. Redscale is a beautiful medium to shoot, as a lot of our fellow Lomographers have seen for themselves. Make your own redscale, it’s so worth the time!

written by dearjme on 2011-05-09 #gear #tutorials #film #tipster #quickie-tipster #generic-cvs-film-diana-mini-35mm-experiment-diy-redscale-flm-quickie-tipster


  1. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    i actually did the same thing.
    i loved redscale, but at the moment i get overflooded with it, and i cant see it anymore!

  2. mythguy9
    mythguy9 ·

    Looks like many people are getting interested to self made redscale nowadays.

  3. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    it's so easy and if you do it right, the results are stunning. but i cant see anymore!

  4. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @mythguy9: Cause redscale is awesome! Haha, yes I agree. But it's such an easy project with great results!
    @maxwellmaxen: Yes, trial and error is the lomo spirit!

  5. rrmonroe
    rrmonroe ·

    I've seen that same cheapo CVS film and I've always wondered what it might be good for. I'll have to pick some up and try this out. The shots look great!

  6. the_detourist
    the_detourist ·

    step 1 - get cheapo 800 speed film from drugstore
    step 2 - make it redscale
    step 3 - enjoy great results!

  7. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    @rrmonroe: Thanks! The main point of this tipster was really to take advantage of the extremely cheap film! Can't wait to see your results if you try!
    @the_detourist: Actually, I used iso 400 film, and they turned out great. But if you like grain, then why not?

  8. the_detourist
    the_detourist ·

    400 works great, so does 800... 800 wont be very grainy since you are shooting it in reverse, it will be easier to get some greens and blues out of the redscale for people shooting smaller apertures or faster shutter speeds

  9. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Great points :)

  10. sammy_a
    sammy_a ·

    i also came up with same idea but never actually did it.. i need somewhere dark!

  11. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Do try! I just used my bedroom! My clock's ambient red numbers were sufficient light and any light leaks that occurred as a result aren't obvious. Let me know if you try :)

  12. the_detourist
    the_detourist ·


    step 1) get a film canister that has been used (from the lab). there should be a bit of film still sticking out

    step 2) using fresh roll, tape the end to the little bit that is on the old roll (opposite sides of course)

    step 3) cover your arms/self with a blanket and simply rewind the canister that needs to take the reversed film!!

    since the two cans will now be end to end, theres not much chance for light leak if you are doing this under a blanket or something, even in the daytime.


  13. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    um, okay, why don't you write a tipster for yourself instead? Thanks!

  14. andrea_gail
    andrea_gail ·

    I've had much better results from cheap DIY-redscaled 35mm film than the Lomo XR 25-200 film. The results I get from DIY redscale look like they were taken with the latter while photos I took with Lomo XR look like they were taken with standard Lomo redscale 100 even if overexposed. Very odd.

  15. glenn
    glenn ·


  16. litumai
    litumai ·

    awesome tipsters!

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