NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

By Molly Kate

A new 35mm color negative film is now available from Popho Camera Company. Luminar 100 is respooled Kodak Aerocolor IV 2460, which was used previously for aerial surveillance. Popho says the daylight balanced 36-exposure film has great sharpness, fine grain structure, and a wide dynamic range.

The online store based in Montreal, Canada run by Bei Ning Pan specializes in 35mm and 120 film. Responding to the affordable color film shortages, Popho wanted to release Luminar 100 to aide with stock availability.

“Kodak Gold, Ultramax and Colorplus are very difficult to find and Portra film are more expensive than ever. Beside, any new color film option is always good for the photographers. So when we had the opportunity to make Luminar, we took it immediately. The film’s grain is very fine, similar to what you’d expect from a professional grade film, but at the same time we can afford to sell it at consumer film’s price point.” – Bei Ning Pan, founder of Popho Camera Company

Popho has priced the film at 14.99 CAD retail but at the time of writing there is a sale reducing it to 13.79 CAD. The retail price translates to approx. 9.17 GBP, 10.39 EUR, 11.00 USD, 16.30 AUD, etc.

woman in a greenhouse taken on luminar 100
Image courtesy of Popho Camera Company

Luminar 100 is factory spooled using recycled plastic cassettes. Bei Ning tells me it is made from “raw” Aerocolor (Kodak) film sheets that are then cut, holed, and spooled using factory machines. It is intended for C-41 processing, but can also be developed as a slide (E6) for a positive image.

Featuring enhanced red sensitivity, the film has a warm tone to the images. Popho says in their description of the product, “The film offers medium saturation and contrast and is well-suited for landscape and other general photographic applications.” (Source: Popho Camera Company)

large building taken on luminar 100
Image courtesy of Popho Camera Company

The film is not expired and will have a two year shelf life. With a mission to keep film available for photographers, the company intends to make Luminar 100 a regular production.

Luminar 100 is here to stay! – Luminar 100 FAQ

There is no DX code on the cassettes yet but Popho aims to add a DX code sticker in the future. You might have also noticed the film name on the packaging image is Luminaire. Luminar is the English equivalent of this French name, the word itself meaning “light”.

colorful flower taken on luminar 100
Image courtesy of Popho Camera Company

At the moment, the film is shipping in “pre-production” packaging which excludes the typical paper box. Full production release is expected to be mid-January 2023. The team is planning to have Luminar 100 stocked with film labs and retailers by summer or autumn 2023. If you’d like to try the film now, the company is shipping internationally from their online store here.

It will only be available in 35mm for now due to the high costs involved to create a medium or large format version.

Bei Ning shared with me the process of opening Popho Camera Company, which was started from a university photography club’s need for film:

I started Popho only a year and half ago, the company is still very small. I am part of a university photography club and we heavily favor film over digital photography. As you surely know, there’s being massive color film shortage and film price have risen a lot. Popho Camera Co was founded to help my club secured film supply at a reasonable price originally. We open up the online store to everyone else a bit after that. Since Popho is an online store, it doesn’t have the same overhead cost of having a physical store with employee manning the store. This is how we keep the price a bit lower than everyone else. – Bei Ning Pan, founder of Popho Camera Company

Click here to find more information about Popho Camera Company and Luminar 100 on their website.

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About The Author

By Molly Kate
Photographer, writer, and CPA currently running a Youtube channel called Eclectachrome. I'm a huge fan of shiny new objects which makes writing news a perfect fit. Favorite cameras are often mechanical rangefinders, folders, and compacts and I love most film stocks. I enjoy developing and scanning my own film as well as printing in the darkroom when there's extra time!
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Comments

Graham Orbell on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 16/01/2023

After more research I can find no reference to Kodak 2460 ( Luminaire) film being processed E6 as a reversal slide film as suggested in this article. But Kodak information says it can be processed as a negative using C41 or AN6 processing. I’m wondering if “AN6” has been mistaken for “E6”
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Molly Kate replied:

Comment posted: 16/01/2023

Hi Graham, because of the ESTAR base of this film (which is clear), it is able to be cross processed in E6 chemistry as a slide, but the intended chemistry is C41. Hope this helps!

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Graham Orbell on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 08/01/2023

That’s good news. I m guessing that because Luminaire can be processed E6 as a reversal that it doesn’t have the typical orange colour negative mask. In my experience it’s easier to camera scan a transparently than a colour negative, because you can see the correct colours and you don’t have to eliminate the mask. I’ve never camera scanned a colour negative without an orange mask and I’m thinking it must be easier, not needing to eliminate it. In the 1960s I often used Agfa CN 17 colour negative which had no mask and it was a fine film. I hope to try some Luminaire as both negative and positive when I’ve used up my present stock of 35mm Ektachrome. The website seemed active and quickly identified my country but I didn’t go as far as purchasing yet. By the way Amazon sell 120 Ektachrome. I bought 5 rolls from Amazon Australia. Because I live in New Zealand it was freight free ( purchase over $50 ) even though it was dispatched from USA and it arrived quickly. Freight cost to NZ can sometimes be considerable
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Marius I. on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 06/01/2023

Aerochrome? SantaColor100 in constants supply! One can only be happy there are more options on the market, other than cine film under a different name.
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Nicholas Clarke on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 05/01/2023

The press release refers to Luminar 100 but the name on the box is Luminaire 100. Which is correct?
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Molly Kate replied:

Comment posted: 05/01/2023

Hi Nick, I explain this in the article above, thanks!

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Eugen Mezei on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 05/01/2023

"Bei Ning tells me it is made from “raw” Aerocolor (Kodak) film sheets" and than this: "It will only be available in 35mm for now due to the high costs involved to create a medium or large format version."
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Steve Fretz on NEWS: Luminar 100 35mm Color Film Released by Popho Camera Company

Comment posted: 05/01/2023

So, another version of Film Washi's "X"? If they do a 120 version, they could win me over. Aerocolor is a great film, with a long tonal range and a "look" that's different from Portra without being gimmicky. It's great to have options, so this is good news.
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Phil Snaps replied:

Comment posted: 05/01/2023

It also came to my mind. The description (aerial film without orange base, spooled on recycled cassettes…) and sample pictures instantly reminded me of Film Washi X. Possibly at a similar price? But living in France, X might still be cheaper for me.

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