A new medium format color film from CatLABS is out! The Boston-based film shop that produced its own black and white film last year now offers a unique color emulsion for 120 shooters called X FILM 100 Color.
The film’s characteristics include an ISO of 100, a clear negative base, and the option to process in either C41 or E6 chemistry. This description sounds similar to Kodak Aerocolor, however, CatLABS says X FILM 100 is distinctive and was made to their specifications. For various reasons, they can’t disclose any further details but they say, “the proof will be in the pudding”.
Featuring soft warm tones, striking colors, and excellent sharpness, X FILM 100 has a distinguishing grain structure and tonal range. While the film is daylight balanced, its wide latitude and flexibility allow it to perform well in low-light scenarios and even with long exposures.
“Our new film has a really wide latitude of use, it works nicely indoors with flash or artificial lighting, works even better outdoors under the sun, and has an even smoother transition contrast when shooting in overcast conditions thanks to its unique spectral sensitivity characteristics. So, users should be afraid to use it in literally any setting and should not be afraid to push the envelope on this one. We say the same thing to anyone who shoots film and that is, go out there and SHOOT MORE FILM!” – Omer Hecht, CatLABS of JP
One of the best parts of this film for home scanners is that it dries quickly and flat, making it easy to digitize.
“One key feature of our new film is that it dries almost perfectly flat, this makes “camera scanning” super easy as there is no curvature or focus shift that needs to be overcome, so not only is our film sharper due to its super fine grain, it will also “scan” sharper. Get ready for some super sharp photos out there!” – Omer Hecht, CatLABS of JP
Process in either C41 or E6 chemistry to render a “positive” result. I asked Omer Hecht from the CatLABS team if there was a preference for either method.
“C41 is the clear winner here. Our new CatLABS X FILM 100 Color offers super fine grain and really pleasing tonality in the way it renders the world. When it’s run as E6 it looks completely different, we certainly prefer the C41 look.” – Omer Hecht, CatLABS of JP
Initially launching with the 120 format, CatLABS has future plans to bring out a 35mm version as well. They originally wanted to start with 35mm but it turned out 120 was much easier to begin with.
“Historically, we have always favored 120 and large format over 35mm. In this case, the initial goal was to go with 35mm first, but as it happens that’s not so easy. In fact, it was easier, faster, and safer to create the 120 version first and we are so happy we did. This film offers many benefits that are more clearly visible with larger negatives than it might be with 35mm.” – Omer Hecht, CatLABS of JP
CatLABS released black and white X FILM 320 Pro last year but says the team has always been searching for a special color film to offer.
“There are many really good color films out there but our goal was to not only offer a color film that is very good with some unique features but also to offer something that gives really good value. Color film prices have skyrocketed in the past few years and the main goal behind this effort was to be able to offer a 35mm color film for under 10$ USD. Because of technical reasons, the 120 films were ready ahead of the 35mm and their inherent cost is slightly higher, so we are not able to offer them at that price point, but we are hopeful that once the 35mm lands, it will be indeed able to do this. Actions before words, as we always say but it’s looking good so far.” – Omer Hecht, CatLABS of JP
For more information about CatLABS or to purchase the film and try it for yourself, head over to their website linked here. One roll of X FILM 100 Color will run you $12.90 but a five pack for $55 brings the individual roll cost down to $11. There’s an option to save even more with a ten pack for $109.
If you are shooting the X FILM 100 Color and sharing results on socials, CatLABS has several tags to share your work with them: #catlabs #catlabsxcolor #xfilm100color
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