When I first started shooting film again, a nice guy that works for Lomography sent me a box of Lomography films and cameras he wasn’t planning on using. One of which was Lomography Berlin Kino 400. I put the films in the fridge, because he said they may be expired, and I forgot about a lot of the rolls as time went on and more film started to crowd my collection.
Lomography Berlin Kino 400
Eventually, over the past two years, I used up the film and was excited to find there was one left and it was this roll of Lomography Berlin Kino 400. This film is said to be based on the look of New German Cinema and it is rumored that it could be ORWO film. In fact, it is from a cinema film that was made by a German company they’re keeping close to their chest.
It is a panchromatic film, so it is sensitive to all colors, making it great for pairing with all types of filters. I really like these motion picture films like Eastman Double X because they have a dramatic contrast to them with very dark blacks, along with nice tones of gray. Lomography says that it can be pushed all the way up to 3200 because of this wide dynamic range.
Developing Berlin Kino 400
I processed this roll in Kodak D76 stock for 9 minutes and 45 seconds, agitating for 10 seconds every minute. Next, I fixed the film with my usual Ilford Rapid Fixer for 5 minutes. This film curls a lot more than other black and white films I have scanned on my Epson V800. However, it didn’t affect my results too much.
This film does have more contrast and grain than Eastman Double X film, but it isn’t so excessive that it takes away from the tonal range. You can see the grain in the Avocado Tree photo below.
These photos have a softness to them that I often recognize in Ilford HP5 400 film, that I quite enjoy.
Despite it being a 400 speed film, I was still able to get some really nice photos around my home without pushing it.
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I am not sure what gave this dreamy look to the highlights. It looks almost as if I had a pro mist filter on my lens. These were taken with my Nikon F and a 35mm Nikkor. I don’t know if that is a characteristic of the film itself or maybe the lens. I haven’t had the 35 for very long so I am still getting used to the look it creates.
I like this film and will hopefully try pushing a couple rolls in the future. The price is a bit high for it to be an everyday film for me, but if I want to shoot street or maybe portraits, I think this is a great option.
Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.
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