It’s reasonable to say that photochemical film is back, or at the very least, having a moment, despite the protests of photographers who have never stopped using it. With a slightly updated formula, Lomography, a firm that has never ceased producing film (or film cameras), is bringing back one of its psychedelic experimental emulsions, LomoChrome Turquoise XR 100-400.

Though you might see a 2021 date on the packaging, the new movie is only now beginning to be distributed to buyers. Customers who pre-ordered the film are just now beginning to receive rolls, as the company only just made the announcement late last year. Lomo provided me a roll to test, so I loaded it into a Leica M3 with a distinctive blue leather wrap, one of my favorite vintage cameras.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) Loomis distorts reality Turquoise XR 100-400 film, a component of the LomoChrome series, depicts the world more aesthetically than realistically. In the catalog, it coexists with LomoChrome Purple and LomoChrome Metropolis. Each emulsion takes a different tack when it comes to color changes; for example, LomoChrome Purple turns greens and yellows into purplish tones while leaving reds, blues, and neutrals alone. For a more impactful vision of the world, Metropolis boosts contrast while muting colors.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) The color turquoise is very different. Warm colors, such as reds, yellows, and oranges, change to blue tones. Shades of orange and brown take the place of blue. Greens become more blue-tinged but remain recognizable. Gray, white, and black are largely accurate representations of reality. The combination produces bizarre sights. Some of my Turquoise images remind me of the alien vistas in No Man’s Sky. Otherworldly is an understatement.

I had never seen the Turquoise film before. I’ve used the LomoChrome Purple a few times and discovered that landscape scenes work well with its infrared-inspired depiction. For cemetery photography, I really enjoyed the contrast of the deep purple grass with the austere gray stones.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) With the Turquoise film, I also attempted some images of the outdoors, a landscape, and a cemetery. Although the hue shift effect is not overly pronounced for these scenarios, images clearly differ from conventional color film. For instance, when they are lush and green, tree leaves don’t really differ much from reality. With the movie, fall foliage stands out with various blue tones.

For these kinds of images, your choice of ISO also matters; greens will appear slightly more pastel-like and bluer if you expose the film at ISO 100, or more saturated and contrasted if you expose at ISO 400. That also applies to the film’s overall color response.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) Since the M3 lacks a light meter and, to be quite honest, it has been more than 15 years since I had my repaired, I can’t be certain that my shutter speeds are accurate. I chose ISO 200 for my photo tour through Baltimore’s streets. LomoChrome isn’t nearly as pastel-like at ISO 100 or as deeply saturated at ISO 400 when it’s in the middle of its exposure range. It strikes a good balance.

The movie’s aesthetic in the urban setting definitely suited my tastes. My attention was drawn to architecture from the mid-20th century as well as signs, stickers, and other types of street art. The Turquoise movie truly messes with reality if you’re walking through an area full of red brick buildings.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) IN C41 CHEMISTRY DEVELOPS The cross-processing of color negative film (C41) in slide film (E6) chemistry, an artistic approach that can give photographs a blue hue, and the LomoChrome Turquoise effect also share certain similarities. Since LomoChrome Turquoise uses C41 color negative chemistry to develop, no additional handling is necessary.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) The days of one-hour drug store laboratories are long gone, but you still need to find a photo lab to process your film. In your location, local photo shops are a fantastic source for processing. In my situation, making a short phone call to my neighborhood camera shop was quite helpful. The lady I spoke with directed me to a lab that was only around a 30-minute drive from my house—not bad considering I live in a suburb.


But there is a huge range in development costs. Fortunately, I was able to locate a lab that charged a fair $5 per film, although it doesn’t cover prints or digital scans. If you don’t have a film scanner, you should let them do it because I’m enough of a photo nerd to have one. You can also scan using the camera on your smartphone or use a special camera with a macro lens. If you choose to do that, consider including a film holder, such as the Pixl-Latr (Opens in a new window) , to make the procedure simpler.

IMPLEMENT IT YOURSELF (Credit: Jim Fisher) I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for camera equipment that aims for flaws. My heartstrings are pulled by retro lenses, film-like filters, contemporary Polaroid instant film, and the peculiar chemistry of LomoChrome. I had a great experience with the LomoChrome Turquoise film, and I wouldn’t think twice about using it for my upcoming urban spelunking expedition. I might even purchase some in 120 to experiment with using an ancient Rolleiflex.

Of course, not everyone will enjoy this movie. For example, the apocalyptic color scheme probably won’t appeal to photographers who aim for realism. However, LomoChrome Turquoise XR 100-400 is available for order now (Opens in a new window) with delivery in November if you like the way it looks.

(Photo by Jim Fisher) Pricing is dependent on format: Medium format 120 rolls and 36-exposure 135 format (35mm) film rolls cost $12.90 each, with a minimum order of three films. For compact 110 cameras, the Turquoise film is also offered, with 24-exposure rolls costing $8.90 apiece (again with a minimum of three rolls).

Check out my chat with the creators of Lomography and my evaluation of the LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 film for additional information.
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