Ask any analogue photographer why they still shoot film and they'll tell you — with no hesitation — that the unpredictability excites them. With different film, you get different effects, and these effects will vary from one photographer to another. You should also take into consideration if the film is fresh or expired if the weather is sunny or cloudy if you're shooting with or without flash, and so on.
While film reviews are subjective, it can provide general insights on what we should expect from a particular film. Abiyoga Pamungkas, who is known as @tetapanalog on Instagram, has always been curious about the diversity of roll film. This curiosity led him to a personal project of reviewing as many film rolls as possible. We sent him the Berlin Kino 35 mm film to try and had a little chat about how his love for analogue started.
First things first: how did you get started with analogue photography?
Once upon a time, my grandma gave me 10 film cameras, most of them in good condition. I tested them one by one and the results surprised me — how can these freaking old things create really cool images? For a first-timer, of course, not all of the pictures were good. Some of them were burned and underexposed, but hey, it's film anyway!
After I knew which cameras that I liked the most, I started bringing it every time I go and shoot just anything. I chose to shoot in analogue to keep the moments on negatives, which I also digitally scan. I met tons of friends from analogue photography in Jakarta and Bandung. While I was there, the community is very active with all sorts of events, photowalks, photo labs, and film sellers. It definitely helped sustain my analogue hobby.
What inspired you to create your @tetapanalog film project?
At first, @tetapanalog was just a secondary account that I shared with 4 of my friends. We all used film cameras and that's where we posted our shots. Eventually, I took over the account and got some ideas! I saw many people are really hyped with this retro hobby, but they have no idea what film to use. I do really like to buy different kinds of film and I want to share my experiences with film. Sometimes if I tested scale exposures of the film, I will do some quick review on my Instagram Stories. There are some videos on IG TV that I made for fun. Engagement with the followers is pretty awesome, they really like having discussions with me through comments or in chat. I’ve already tried lots of film and I still aim to keep going ... to review new films, expired films, everything!
Can you tell us a bit about these photos that you took with Berlin Kino ?
Something that crossed my mind after I received the Berlin Kino from Lomography is to do a photo shoot with a concept that I never tried before. Through my photos, I'm gonna tell you what is inside my head.
What are your first impressions of the Berlin Kino?
First, I'd like to compliment the packaging. It's a fresh new film with unique packaging. I do really like the canister too, it is simple with white background and orange font. After I shot a roll of it, I was really satisfied with this film. While it had a boxspeed of 400 ISO, you can try it at 3200 ISO! Not only that, different developer liquids gave various results. In this case, I used Kodak HC-110 with 9 minutes time of developing in @hipercatlab.
The images turned into contrasty black and white film with a retro-look and also a pretty visible grain. The blacks are really punchy! Berlin Kino can be used as a go-to film for creative projects, as long as you know your vision. Since it is a panchromatic film, it can detect any color and turn it into a grey or nearly black tone. In case you want to see it in a different version, you could use color lens filters to catch other wavelengths of deeper colors. In conclusion, this film is definitely a must-try. After you use it once, you will get addicted!