Film Photography

Shooting Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400

Blue becomes green, green becomes purple, yellow becomes magenta, and red and white stay true to color. That’s Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400 film in a nutshell. It gives an otherworldly look to your images, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not, but it was interesting to try this film anyway just to see what turned out.

Lomography has improved this film at least once; the latest is “the 2019 emulsion,” but because I didn’t hang onto the box I don’t know which version this is. I shot it in my Olympus XA2, which I slipped into the pannier on my bike. All of these photos are from various bike rides this summer.

Someone gave me this film several years ago. It was a little bit expired by the time I got around to shooting it, and I’d stored it at room temperature the whole time, so it’s possible that these images don’t look the same as they would have when the film was fresh.

Here’s my favorite photo from the roll, of a lovely old home on a country road in Boone County, Indiana.

Old house

This photo of a boutique’s entrance in Zionsville looks almost like it was shot on normal film.

Southern Fancy Boutique

Here’s my blue bike on a pedestrian bridge in Zionsville.

My bike on a bridge

This photo isn’t terribly interesting, but it does show that this film renders white as white.

Barn

I don’t like how Lomochrome Purple renders a deep blue sky as a sickly blue-green.

Barn

I got a lot of that blue-green sky in my images as I shot largely on clear days. I like how red things look normal against the otherwise alien landscape.

Barn

I made the photo below on a hazy but bright day, which turned the sickly skies to white.

Boone County gravel road

The XA2 flared when aimed even partly toward the sun. This is new behavior; it never used to do this.

Tree row

I didn’t love Lomochrome Purple. But I liked it a lot better than the company’s Redscale film, a roll of which I shot last year. That film just tinted everything red. At least it was interesting to see how this film rendered various colors.

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14 thoughts on “Shooting Lomography Lomochrome Purple XR 100-400

  1. Hi Jim, I had wanted to try some 35mm films from Lomography but I didn’t trust the example images on the website. I know you have a good process for using, developing and scanning film so I trust your results. Now I know, I will not like Lomochrome Purple.

  2. As an old film photographer I don’t see the point of this sort of thing. Lots of people worked very, very hard over many decades to get film to render true-to-life images. Getting it “wrong” like this was easy. These days you can shoot accurately either on film or digital and then process it into the realm of the unreal to your heart’s content on a computer. Heck they do entire movies like that (O Brother Where Art Thou? was entirely digitally post-processed).
    But everyone has fun their own way.

  3. Andy Umbo says:

    Marc Beebe Plus One+

    Pro film shooter from 1968 until 2010, not much color negative, since it was all advertising for reproduction, but I know from having to shoot color negative once and a while that is was pretty hard to get it NOT to look like this! Pro color negative out of date? Sitting in a hot area? Full moon? It was a struggle! Especially in the C-22 era. No color negative film even approached looking like transparency until Ektar 100. Count me in the “don’t understand” group. If you want weird colors, and to experiment ad infinitum, just use digital and dick with it to your hearts content on a computer! Last gen Kodak color transparency film, E-100, was their most perfect film ever, and if you knew what you were doing, and your lab was run well, matching the result of this stuff out of the box on digital would have taken you some time “on the box”.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        Ditto! Loved that stuff! I was shooting Ektachrome for my whole professional career, and I’ve seen ups and downs (terrible 80’s era Ektrachome that was, according to them, “highly scan-able”, but ugly and flat, losing a lot of studios to Fuji!). When they finally came out with E-100G, it was solid and beautiful! I even shot a job in it as late as 2009!

  4. Glad you tried it Jim, removes any temptation to do so myself. I love working with colour, but I really want it to reflect what I have seen! Ektar and Portra 400 are my favourite emulsions at present, I occasionally shoot Provia 100 and have yet to try the new Ektachrome. I really miss Kodachrome!!!

    • I’m with you, I want my color images to be true to life. I was curious about this film and I’m glad I got to try it, but now I’m done.

  5. Michael says:

    If someone gave you that roll several years ago, it likely wasn’t the 2019 version or perhaps you believe there was more than one change?

  6. Hi Jim, I am also part of the “I don’t understand” group. But I’m an old geezer. Maybe we no longer have the braincells to understand. Regardless, I like the photograph of the house in Boone County, and the scene with the vertical trees works very well.

    Expired films sometimes look rewarding specifically because they are not perfectly “accurate.” You can buy a modern digital camera to achieve that.

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