5 frames with...

5 Frames of Lomochrome Purple With My Chroma Six:9 – By Sonny Rosenberg

August 6, 2022

Until very recently I’ve been only dimly aware of Lomography’s Lomochrome Purple. I think that in my mind, I must have filed it away as one of those gimicky films, like those with pre-exposed stars or lighting bolts that just don’t hold much appeal for me. No offence intended if you enjoy those films, they just don’t seem to be something that would hold my interest, although I have yet to try one…

As I began to get into shooting infrared black and white film a little bit, I began to wonder if infrared color film was a thing? The only color infrared film that I could find much info on was Kodak Aerochrome. To my shock and dismay, I found that rolls of Kodak Aerochrome went for absolutely insane prices as the film has been discontinued for quite some time, then I stumbled upon Lomochrome Purple, which if I understand it correctly, was Lomography’s answer to customer requests to bring back Aerochrome. To be clear, Lomochrome Purple is not an infrared film at all, but a conventional film wherein the order of the dye layers have been reshuffled so that greens become purples, yellows become pinks and the sky renders as turquoise.

Now I realize that the above probably wasn’t news to anyone but me, as Lomochrome Purple has been out for several years. Yes, I mostly live under a rock and was surprised and delighted when I first saw images shot with this purple film. I realize it’s not really a substitute for a real infrared color film, but to my easily amused eyes, it seemed delightful. I was even happier to find out that it’s available in 120 format. Another plus for this film is that it has a usable speed range from ISO
100-400, so exposure wise, I think this would be difficult for me to screw up.

I’ve been looking for interesting films to try in my recently acquired Chroma Six:9 with Mamiya Sekor 50mm f/6.3 Universal Press lens and I have to say, I was pretty excited to order a 3 pack of it. If you’d like to read about my travails with medium format and how I came by the Six:9, you can find an account of that here.

The Chroma has so many things going for it that work perfectly for me, I’ll list a couple here but I hope to one day write a full on review of the Six:9. Besides its compactness, lightness and ability to accept a huge range of lenses (with the appropriate magnetically attached lens cone), it can shoot formats ranging from 6×4.5 to 6×9 including 6×6. While I bought the Chroma primarily to shoot 6×9, I’m also quite enamored of square photographs, so I snapped in the 6×6 film masks, loaded up a roll of Lomochrome Purple, tossed the tripod in my gigantic cargo bike, I’ve been getting a bit of unintended blur with other cameras lately and I knew I wanted to shoot this roll at pretty small apertures, and rode off for a shoot in and around Reno. Below are the results; I shot everything at ISO 200, I think this was all shot at f/22 and this roll was developed by The Darkroom in San Clemente.

Big Blue Slide

The tree in the foreground is the one that is actually purple. The light leak was my fault, I can be pretty ham handed when loading 120 film.

Restwell Court in Sparks Nevada

Big Green Hose

A hidden encampment along the old Lincoln Highway, with bonus light leak courtesy your’s truly.

Thanks for reading! For more of this sort of thing, check out my little blog The Daily Lumenbox.

Sonny Rosenberg is a semi-retired Ceramics teacher and bicyclist who lives in Reno Nevada with his wife and three cats.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Fred Nelson
    August 6, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    The lomochrome purple article is super. I used it once in San Francisco and was surprisingly good!

    • Reply
      sonny rosenberg
      August 6, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you Fred! Yes, it’s fun stuff, I’m looking forward to shooting my other two rolls of it.

  • Reply
    Gary
    August 7, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Has anyone found this film and/other Lomo films prone to scratching when processed by a good lab, and/or pre-scratched by Lomography in the process of converting regular film stock to their special emulsions? Lomography told me they hadn’t heard of this problem, and suggested it might have been due to the fact that the film I used was slightly expired. (I haven’t heard of any relationship between slightly-expiredness and scratching.) I’ll note that the lab hasn’t scratched any other of my films.

    • Reply
      sonny rosenberg
      August 7, 2022 at 4:51 pm

      I don’t think I’ve noticed that but I’ll keep an eye out for it.

    • Reply
      Lee
      August 8, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      The only Lomography film that I have used to this point is Lomo 800 in both 35mm and 120 format. I have gotten very good results from this film and have been very happy with it. And while the film base seems to be a bit on the thinner side, and has a tendency to roll up on itself, I have not noticed any tendency for scratches or other damage. FWIW, I develop my own film at home.

  • Reply
    Eric
    August 12, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    Great article and sample images. I use Lomography film often, but never considered Purple before. Now I will have to try it.

    • Reply
      sonny rosenberg
      August 12, 2022 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks Eric! I’m glad the article spurred you to try purple!

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