The new black-and-white emulsion from Lomography, the B&W 100 35 mm Potsdam Kino Film is no ordinary emulsion. Art photographers who got to try out a roll of the Potsdam Kino film talk about their candid thoughts and feelings upon their first use. The consensus? It's will be the dark horse of all panchromatic films, thanks to its wide tonal range, versatility, and cinematic aesthetic, all possible in a film with ISO100. Get to know more about this film through these artists' very own experiences.
Li Cheng En's Taipei in Grayscale
Taiwanese Lomographer Li Cheng En a.k.a. intothelostnights has been an experimentalist through and through. Li has a very interesting belief that darkness is what truly carries everything and light is out there to reflect them. With the same stand on the camera obscura, he puts the B&W 100 35 mm Potsdam Kino Film to the test by developing his own roll. His self-processed photographs of ordinary life and details in the Taipei streets caught him by surprise with its sharpness, as his city rarely experiences transparent and solid sunlight. Li says:
"I developed the film myself. As the developer that I usually use isn’t included in the cookbook, I compare the developing time of the recommended developer and mine. I can say this is an unknown trial, but the result is good. It is rich in details. The layer is solid with fine particles. Its sharpness is also nice, suitable to shoot under sunshine."
Tsutomu Umezawa: Monochromatic and Fleeting
Tokyo-based film shooter Tsutomu Umezawa currently runs the series It Girlie and has always been more of a color negative user. However, he makes an exception to try out the new B&W 100 35 mm Potsdam Kino Film. Very much careful with how he will capture light and contrast, he opted to test the film with his family members and home as his subjects. The results give a fleeting, mono no aware vibe in daily life, very much akin to the films directed by the legendary Yasujirō Ozu. Here's what Tsutomu has to say about the film:
"The film has a very wide range of tones and add a dramatic and exotic feel on the photos. It was very fun to shoot with this."
Ida Tangeraas' Classic Cinema
Vienna-based film photographer Ida Tangeraas likes to combine art and documentary in her shots, and is a patron when it comes to the use of monochromatic film. For Ida, black-and-white photos are timeless while still being able to bring out the surprising element in photography. As a firm believer of darkroom magic, when Ida tested the new B&W 100 35 mm Potsdam Kino Film, she decided to develop and process the film herself. Her photographs were inspired by the movie B-Movie, Lust and Sound, a documentary about the wild and creative community in West Berlin prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. She contacted the Austrian band Oehl for the shoot. When the results came out from her first try with the Potsdam Kino film, she was already seeing the multiple creative possibilities. Ida told us:
"The Potsdam Kino film is a film with a timeless and classical feel. It has a medium contrast and a consistent and smooth grain that adds a touch of another decade. The film delivers different outcomes depending on the light situation. If you are shooting in low light conditions, you can get a lovely blur and under more controlled conditions (like using a tripod for indoor shots) or having a nice and bright day for outdoor shootings, the film has superb sharpness and great details."
For those interested in how she developed the film, here's a brief description from Ida:
"I developed the film myself. First load the film in a light-proof developing tank, use a thermometer to make sure the liquids stay around 20 degrees, add the develop for 7 minutes, continuously agitating for the first minute, then 4-5 times every minute to make sure the whole roll will develop correctly, stop the developing process by adding the stopper for 30 seconds, then add the fixer solution for around 7 minutes to stabilise the film and make it insensitive for light and then rinse it in water to remove the last chemicals and some wetting agent (to prevent water stains) and hang it up to dry!"
Cristian Sicci's Neorealism
Sicilian shooter Cristian Sicci sees the monochromatic medium as the way to capture the soul. With the new B&W 100 35 mm Potsdam Kino Film around, Cristian took the opportunity to translate his emotions into images with his LC-Wide. His results with the film turn out to look like stills coming from the Italian Neorealist cinema era. It's love at first sight for Cristian and the Potsdam Kino. Hear him wax poetic about it:
"The image’s quality is perfect, the grain is light... I love the atmosphere that contains every single shot! In my opinion, I promote this film with flying colors! With this film, I feel that I could shoot in various daylight situations, also in low-light conditions without the image-quality being affected. Because of this, I think the film has a good range of shades and exposure. This film can be overexposed over ISO200 without missing the details and also preserving the texture quality. It’s possible to use it with different photography styles. I love to shoot portraits with this film because there is a vintage finish that gives to the pictures a nice touch. What’s else is there to say? The future is analogue!"