Color Film · lomography

Lomography CN 800 – My Review

I have written several articles about my experiences with Lomography CN 800 film, which you can read here, but I have not yet done a proper review. However, keep in mind, I don’t like to talk technical. I prefer to show you my results, and share what I have learned about it while developing, scanning and editing it. So, let’s get into it.

The Character of Lomography CN 800

This past spring and summer I chose to shoot primarily with Lomography CN 800 film. I came to this decision for two main reasons: it is very saturated, and the ISO of 800 gave me the best results when shooting from the car.

When Spring 2021 first began, I had been primarily shooting with a lot of black and white film stocks. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know I had mainly been posting experiments with pushing monochrome films. Then Spring came around and the colors around me were calling for me to shoot with color film. Lomography’s color negative film gave me the most accurate representation of what I was seeing in my own backyard.

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Leica M6 & Lomography CN 800

As you can see from these photos, this film is pretty saturated. The greens are bright, and the blues are prominent. When compared to Kodak Portra 800, they’re similar in price, but you can see from the photos below, Portra is warmer.

The colors of Lomography CN film, in my opinion, resemble the Kodakchrome colors I have seen in books by photographers like William Christenberry.

William Christenberry Film Photo Books
William Christenberry Books

Speed Does Matter – Sometimes

As you may know, from most of my articles and Zines, I like to shoot film from the car. As you would imagine, this means I would need a film that allows me to use fast shutter speeds.

Ricoh 500G & Lomography CN 800
Photo taken from the car

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Lomography CN 800
Steak N Shake as we drove by

I’ve tried several different film stocks while shooting from the car, and I have found that only ISO 800 has really allowed me to capture a composition while going by at 40mph (FYI I am always in the passenger seat while shooting). You can see in the example below of Fuji Superia Xtra 400, the lower ISO has a lot of motion blur.

The Ricoh 500G
Fuji Superia Xtra 400

The high ISO does clash with a bright sunny day, but it has never been an issue for me. In fact, I find over exposing compliments this film.

Lomography CN 800
Lomography CN 800

Lomography CN 800 Indoors and Low Light

Another reason I tend to reach for Lomo CN 800 is its latitude. The high ISO helps, of course, but it doesn’t look under-exposed the way other films have in my experience.

Lomography CN 800
Indoor view from my doctors office
bowl of fruit

I’ve also found that this film holds up really well at night and in the golden hour. Portra is usually the go-to film for photographers at golden hour because of its warm golden look, but personally I preferred the colder colors of Lomo CN 800.

Lomography CN 800 Portraits

I’m not much of a portrait taker. I tend to shoot my surroundings and if Kelsey or someone happens to be in them, then I take a portrait LOL. However, I have found that this film does give a warmness to skin tones. I often have to adjust the colors in this type of setting, but I also think that is dependent on the type of light in the photo.

In the photos above, lighting was coming from a ceiling light, so Kelsey’s skin tones came much redder than the photo below with a lot of sunlight shining in.

Jasmine’s fur-tones however came perfect. Isn’t she lovely?

Final Thoughts

I think you can probably tell by now I really enjoy this film. It will continue to be my go-to for indoor and in the car shooting. The only downsides to this film that I have encountered are the way it curls like a spring after I develop it, and the fact that it only comes in a 3 pack.

If you have tried this film yourself, let me know in the comments below what you think of it. If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope this review has helped you anyway.

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Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.

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6 thoughts on “Lomography CN 800 – My Review

  1. Aly, thanks so much for this review! Loved reading and seeing your results, thoughts and experiences using this film! This was very inspiring! I have 3 rolls of Lomo 800 in my fridge that I’m looking forward to trying sometime (have never used this film before) so loved getting to read about it and see your photos here. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Aly,
    The image of the bowl of fruit and vase of flowers is beautiful! I have tried Lomo 400 and 800, and like you find the images to be rich and slightly saturated. To me, Lomo CN emulsions look like what I would expect a more saturated version of Ultramax to look. I have some Lomo 100 in 120 format I’m eager to try.

    The prices of all film has gone up recently, and for Lomo CN, FPP seems to have the best prices:

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