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.
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)
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”.
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.