Whether you’re an analogue amateur or a seasoned pro embracing a new film can be a challenge. That's why we’ve carefully compiled our Potsdam Kino Cookbook – from your first exposure to developing your negatives, we’ve got a recipe for every stage of the photographic process.
Like its older Berlin Kino brother, Potsdam Kino Film is inspired by a vintage German film, originally designed for cinematography and filmmaking – thus inheriting many unique and beneficial qualities. This medium speed, panchromatic and triacetate based film is made of a heavy silver halide composition which produces rich tones, great dynamic latitude and allows for photographic flexibility. A noteworthy aspect of the Potsdam Kino film is its intended compatibility and thus outstanding performance when processed in reversal. Slower than its older brother, and with a finer grain structure Potsdam Kino is suited particularly well to scenarios which require image quality above film speed – making it great for studio, landscape and architecture work.
Potsdam is a classic panchromatic emulsion, meaning it captures all frequencies of light visible to the naked eye. This renders the world, and your images in a classic monochrome look, each color represented by a different shade of grey. However, depending on the time of day, subject or lighting conditions one might want to limit which colors are captured in the image. This can easily be achieved with the use of photographic filters. Particularly favorable for landscape and portrait scenes, filters can dramatically change the look of an image, adding contrast, removing haze and shifting the tonal range. Take a look at our tests with different filters below, we recommend a red filter for landscapes and green for portraits.
Light can be a photographer's best friend or their worst enemy. Thankfully, due to its wide chromatic range, Potsdam Kino Film works in a variety of lighting conditions. However, in monochromatic lighting scenarios, such as under tungsten or fluorescent light we advise slightly overexposing your shots in order to compensate for the lack of tonal range. Or simply whip out your flash to splash the full tonal range across your scene.
Nothing compares to the magic of developing your own photographs, watching your masterpieces come to life at your fingerprints. For the greatest degree of control and the very best results we recommend developing this emotive emulsion at home – for all those who are devoted to bringing the black and white magic home, we’ve got just the guide for you. Just like emulsions, no two developers are alike – here are our favorite developers and their effect on your images.
Kodak HC-110 is a modern classic and by far one of our favorite all-around developers. HC-110 produces low contrast, great highlight/shadow detail retention, and relatively fine grain its ideal for photographers who want a flatter image. Preserving details and great tonal latitude, this process creates the analogue equivalent of a RAW file, allowing for the highest degree of creative freedom later on.
Considered to be to industry standard in powder and liquid developers Kodak D-76 and Rodinal are great options for those looking for the quickest path to great images. Rendering good contrast and grain, these developers produce pleasing results great for general use.
The devil is in the detail, and sometimes, so is the beauty of a photograph. For scenarios which require the greatest fine grain and razor-sharp rendition recommend using Ilford Ilfosol-3. If you are looking for amazing sharpness and gorgeous grain, look no further.
Here is the list of developers and recommended developing times:
- Kodak HC-110: 1+47 distillation for 6 minutes (20°C)
- Kodak D-76: stock distillation for 5.5 minutes (20°C)
- Ilford Ilfosol 3: 1+9 distillation for 6 minutes (20°C)
- Rodinal: 1+25 distillation for 7 minutes (20°C)
- Rodinal: 1+50 distillation for 9.5 minutes (20°C)
- Xtol: 1+1 distillation for 7.5 minutes (20°C)
- Eco Pro: 1+1 distillation for 8 minutes (20°C)
- Ilford ID-11: 1+1 distillation for 7 minutes (20°C)
- Kodak HC-110: 1+125 (G) distillation for 65 minutes (20°C) – Agitate at 50%
- Rodinal: 1+100 distillation for 45-70 minutes (20°C) – Agitate at 50%
- Rollei Black & White Reversal Kit: Development 1 – 12 minutes, Development 2 – 10 minutes
If your developer of preference is not on the list, don't worry. Potsdam Kino Film is compatible with a wide range of different developers and developing techniques, here is our full list of compatible developers and their specifications. If you have an additional question about these, or other developers feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com, we are happy to help.
During the development, it is important to agitate the solution in order to allow fresh chemicals to make contact with the emulsion. Agitation can have a massive impact upon the look of your film – from contrast to grain size, everything is in your hands! For the safest bet, we recommend following the manufacturer's instructions – however, if you’re interested in experimentation here is what you need to know. More agitation will likely result in higher contrast due to the continuous introduction of fresh developer onto the emulsion, however, may cause for a slight loss in image quality. When sharpness and detail is a must, slightly less agitation may yield pleasing results, however, may also require slightly longer developing times. Finally, more vigorous and violent agitation regardless of the number of cycles is likely to result in larger and more defined grain. Great if you are after a truly analogue look, however, if you are after smooth grain we recommend processing with care.
Feeling extra creative? Why not experiment with extreme distributions and development times for some unique results. For subtle contrasts, soft grain and faded black we invite you to try stand development.
Potsdam Kino Film is inspired by a classic German cinema film and thus has some truly unique properties. Manufactured with the cinematic projection industry in mind it was engineered to easily be reversed during development. Essentially incorporating all of the benefits of negative film into a positive, and projection friendly format.
In the modern era, the advantages of this unique process include high DMAX (denser blacks) and greater scanning quality. If you're feeling adventurous we invite you to try this technical process at home, or your local reversal capable lab. We used the Rollei Black & White Reversal Kit for our films. Interested? Check out our development times in the film development chart.
It has been said that there are two halves to photography, the taking of the photograph, and its printing – we agree. That's why we invite you to embrace the full analogue experience and produce your very own Potsdam Prints.
Nothing compares to the magic of the darkroom, and with the wide tonal and chromatic range of Potsdam Kino Film , printing your masterpieces will be a breeze. Add filters to change your look and experiment with different photographic papers to amplify your snaps’ atmosphere. For the best negatives for printing purposes, we recommend developing with Ilford Ilfosol-3.
One of the many wonders of the internet is the potential to share your favorite photographs across the globe in a matter of seconds. However be warned, certain scanning processes can cause your analogue frames to lose a bit of their timeless charm.
With its wide dynamic range and fine grain structure, your Potsdam snaps are up to the challenge of the digital darkroom. Increase contrast, fade those blacks and add some extra clarity to make your snaps truly ‘insta worthy’. If you’re home developing at home, we recommend using Kodak HC-110 for the best results. We had a play around with one of our shots and absolutely love the results, what do you think?
We hope you enjoyed reading the Lomography Potsdam Kino B&W Cookbook! If you have any additional questions or curiosities please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upload your own B&W photographs to Lomohome or share them on social media with #heylomography – we can’t wait to see what you create!