Lomo Color Negative 800

King Johns Castle Limerick Ireland River Shannon Kayak Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
King Johns Castle, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/500th, f/16

After being asked to review Lomography Colour 800 I loaded up my trusty Nikon F2 with my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. I chose this combination because the meter is spot on, the camera has never let me down and I know it inside and out. I knew this was going to be the perfect camera to give me a real sense of what this film is capable of.

What you need to know

  • Lomography Color Negative 800 is Lomo’s fastest colour film in their range.
  • Standard C-41 process makes it easily processed in any film lab.
  • It has that signature Lomography look (more on that later).
  • Wallet-friendly alternative to other fast colour films on the market
  • Extremely versatile in most lighting situations
  • Amazing sharpness and very pleasing grain quality

A day with Color Negative 800

Rift Coffee Window Reflection Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
But first, coffee! Rift Coffee, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/250th, f/5.6

I’ve always been a fan of Lomography products, particularly their LomoChrome range, but this was my first time shooting their Color Negative 800 in 35mm format so I was excited to see what it had to offer. Previously I had shot their 120 version to capture star trails and loved how it performed.

I couldn’t wait to see what this film could do so wanted to shoot it on a day where I had to deal with a range of lighting conditions to really put it through its paces. Luckily, living in Ireland, if you don’t like the light just wait five minutes and it will change. And the Sunday I shot this the Irish weather cooperated giving me all the lighting conditions I wanted.

Brunch to Dinner in One Roll

International Rugby Experience Construction Limerick City Ireland Crane Building Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
International Rugby Experience Construction, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/2000th, f/16

In the bright midday sun, almost topping out the shutter speed of the F2, the film was able to capture all the detail you could ever want. In terms of colour reproduction, there is that signature Lomography colour pop, giving it a slightly saturated look. Although not unpleasant it might not exactly be to everyone’s taste. I personally love it, it’s reminiscent of older film stocks and tends to give photos shot on it an almost timeless feel. Even though there is a colour pop it doesn’t take away from the colours in the scene, if anything it adds just the right amount to them. Faded paint still looks faded, the skies have that perfect amount of blue and shadows take on a hint of the colours in the surrounding area to give them even more depth and sense of the scene.

Green Door Faded Paint Sign Warning Face Mask Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
A bit of caution, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/500th, f/11
Graffiti peeling paint grey wall texture Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
Correct Graffiti, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/500th, f/5.6

Textures are rich and detailed, giving the photos an almost tactile quality. This really shines in scenes where you have a mix of textures that contrast each other. You can see the smoothness of glass contrasting with the rough texture of the table. In digital scans, this looks amazing but to get a true sense of this depth you can’t beat a physical print. It lets you appreciate how much depth and tonal range this film has to offer.

Rift Coffee Kits Yuzu Soft Drink Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
Japanese drink for a Japanese camera, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/1000th, f/2.8

As day moved on and the light started to fade it was time to see where this film shines - low light! My style of shooting is one camera, one lens, handheld - so fast film and fast glass is essential for shooting anything in late evening/night. This normally leaves with my only option being Ilford Delta 3200 so having a fast colour film was definitely something that excited me. I love the different types of light and how they interact with each other at night - yes, I’m one of those people who takes photos of neon signs, so what?! Capturing these on colour film is something I haven’t had a chance to do in a long time.

Duo Coffee Indoor Lights Lighting Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
Coffee: Part II, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/60th, f/4
Melody Cafe Bruschetta brie red onion Limerick City Ireland Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
A lite (light?) bite, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/30th, f/2

Despite the F2’s heavy mirror causing a fair bit of shake the Lomography 800 still performed exceptionally well shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds - most of the nighttime images were shot a 1/15th of a second. And in low light, this film came into its own. The colours, tones, and depth that I loved in the daylight were still there but now they made what little light in the scene look extra special. It gave the scenes something between a cinematic and painterly look, although the latter could be down to me shooting at f/1.4 and a 1/15th. I found it reminiscent of its nearest rival CineStill 800T but not as heavy-handed with the colour shifts.

Wickham Street Limerick City Ireland Night Street Lighting Dark Colour Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
Wickham Street, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/15th, f/1.4
Mr. Noodle Restaurant Limerick City Ireland Night Street Lighting Dark Colour Film Lomography Color Negative 800 Camera Nikon F2 35mm
The Last Stop, Thomas Street Limerick, Limerick. Nikon F2, 1/15th, f/1.4

At night I found the grain very pleasing and not at all distracting, the way it can be when you push slower films to 800ISO. In the brighter parts of the image, it’s barely present and can only really be noticable in the shadows and darker parts of the image. Here I personally think it gives the image the right amount of character and pleasing texture where you wouldn’t normally expect to find any. Again, this may not be to everyone’s taste but for me, I found it was just one more thing that made me love this film

The Wrap Up

Lomography Color 800 can cover such a diverse range of lighting conditions you wouldn’t need to consider shooting another colour film for shooting the entire day, sunrise to past sunset. The tonal and dynamic range of this film is phenomenal, it lets you get every bit of depth out of any scene you shoot no matter what the lighting conditions. Coupling this with the sharpness of this film creates stunning images that.

As much as I loved this film, there’s still one point to consider. Being a Lomography film it has a few quirks that may not be to everyone’s taste. The signature Lomo colour pop is the kind of love/hate thing that could potentially be off-putting. If you’re looking for 100% accurate colour reproduction in your scenes then this may not be the film for you. But as I mentioned, the ever so slight over-saturation I found gave the images a character that made them that little bit more special.

Whenever I leave the house I either have a camera bag or a backpack with me. Packed in them I always have a few, what I think are essentials that are likely to can come in useful in different situations. After spending time with the Lomography Colour 800 film it’s now getting added to the list!. There’s definitely always going to be a roll in my bag, ready to go when I need it.

Want to shoot it yourself?

Want to grab your own roll of Lomography Color 800 or any of your favourite films? Head over to our Film Shop to see what we have!

Want to shoot it yourself?

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Written by: Caleb Purcell

Photos by: Caleb Purcell

11/13/2021 09:49

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