FOMA BOHEMIA has launched a unique black-and-white orthochromatic film in medium format. FOMA Ortho 400 is a 120 film featuring a wide exposure latitude and increased sensitivity to green colour. The product is unusual in that most medium-format orthochromatic films available on the market are recommended for low ISOs such as 80 or 25. FOMA’s new Ortho film pushes the optical sensitivity to 400, allowing photographers more room to shoot when less light is available.
The company based in the Czech Republic says it has no plans to make a 35mm version. Ortho 400 was created from a semi-finished 120 product and therefore was convenient to manufacture. From June onwards, the film is planned to be stocked in most of FOMA’s European distributors but you can also find it on their e-shop here.
Not many medium-format orthochromatic films are available on the market today so it’s exciting to see a new option. Examples include Ilford’s Ortho Plus with an ISO of 80 and the Rollei brand’s Ortho 25 Plus with an ISO of 25. The Darkroom has a great sample comparison of these options here if you are interested in learning more. FOMA’s Ortho 400 seems to offer a unique option to photographers who enjoy using orthochromatic films but want more flexibility to shoot in a variety of lighting conditions.
Taking a look at the datasheet for the film, it recommends an ISO of 400, however, it goes on to say Ortho 400 will still produce good results when overexposed at ISO 160 (1 EV or stops of light) or underexposed up to ISO 1600 (2 EV or stops of light), taking into account these changes during development.
The characteristics of Ortho 400 lend itself well to landscape and nature scenes due to its particular sensitivity to the green part of the visible spectrum. It is also recommended for “artistically stylized” portrait photography where it darkens reds and emphasizes certain facial features like freckles.
Ortho 400 can be processed as a reversal or negative. If processing as a negative, Foma recommends all common negative developers and provides a recommended development time chart within their datasheet here.
For more information on FOMA or Ortho 400, head over to their website here!
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