5 frames with...

5 Frames with Lomography 400 on the Nikon F3 – by Tiffany Perez

April 30, 2019

Film exploration is awesome. Some people have a dedicated film stock that they like to shoot. Portra 400, Fuji Superia, HP5+, etc. And you see how people really know the film stock and what it is capable of. They know when to overexpose and underexpose it. They know the latitude of the film stock and how far they can push it to get the type of photos that they want.

What other people don’t usually see is the journey leading up to that point. The mountains of test rolls of other films that that person had to go through to find that film stock that they liked to use. Testing out new film stock and seeing what each one is capable of sparks so much creative thought. Want more saturation? A detail in the highlights/shadows? Something with more contrast? Each film and how you treat it bring out so many different possibilities. I guess that would be the equivalent of the filters that are used now so much on social media but to an extreme.

The Gear

I certainly have not reached the point where I have found my ideal film stock. I have gone through more random rolls of film in the past month alone. In my exploration, I wanted to try out Lomography film, in particular, Lomo 400. I had heard how Lomography had a reputation for unique results with their film. Lomo 400 is the standard film in their line up of color negative films. I shot the entire roll at box speed just to see the capabilities of the film. Would I get warmer or cooler tones? How would the details in my shadows turn out? To test this film stock out, I chose my most versatile camera in my arsenal, the Nikon F3.

The Target

I made a journey to my hometown to see one of its great landmarks, the San Gabriel Mission. This mission is rich with history and character from the mission itself to the surrounding buildings making up old town San Gabriel and even a cemetery. Even though I grew up in the area, I wanted to capture the typical scenes from new angles or unexpected situations.

Shots Fired

Grapevine Shadow

Gone But Not Forgotten


Unwanted Candid

Mission Bells


Lomo 400 has such a great rendering of the colors. It has such a nice amount of saturation but it is also close to the real colors as I have seen. It almost reminds me of the photos I have seen taken on Kodak Ektar in some ways in the way it renders color. I think with how versatile this film is, it is going to be a daily shooter for me. Time to go and try the other film stocks offered by Lomography.

To see my individual posts and commentary for these photos, visit my Instagram.

My Instagram: www.instagram.com/tjpiks

You can view my first post here on 35mmc here from my thrift store Olympus XA!

Tiffany Perez
The Drive-By Film Shooter

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  • Reply
    Harry Berger
    April 30, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for a great article Tiffany. I love Lomo 400 as an alternative to Pro 400H & Portra. Some of the Lomo range is a bit too kitschy for my liking, but CN 400 & Lady Gray are very good. Oh, and the newer Berlin & Potsdam films look to be winners too.
    Thanks for also featuring one of the best cameras of all time. It seems to be a real Leica sausage fest around here most of the time, which I happily avoid, but when I see other great cameras, I automatically click on the email link

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      April 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Harry. I have some of the Berlin and preordered the Potsdam already. I am more of a color shooter but the Lomo black and white stocks seem to have some good contrast so I am going to try it out. Thanks for reading my article!

  • Reply
    April 30, 2019 at 11:41 am

    I looked at the customer pics on the Lomo website and I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay a premium for funky green cast film. Your shots are in contrast, especially when developed and scanned properly as seen here.

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      April 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks for reading my article, Crispin. I think it is just a matter of personal taste as with any film in general. Lomo films for me at least give me a nice contrast to the other stocks I shoot. And sometimes it gives me a pleasant surprise. Thanks for the comment and the read. Cheers.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    I really love Lomo 400. Fantastic colours shot at box speed, and just a little overexposed it goes all pastely and pretty!

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      April 30, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Exactly! I really love this film stock as just an every day film.

  • Reply
    Dan Castelli
    May 1, 2019 at 4:11 am

    I was going to pass over this article. I don’t shoot color; but I skimmed it until I got to the section about trying different films. IMHO, this is the meat of the article…try as many as you can. You’ll have fun while you’re experimenting with different emulsions. After 49 years of working with B&W films & working in the darkroom, I’ll order on occasion a batch of different B&W films to try out. Freestyle in LA is a great source. My main film is Delta 400 (Ilford) but for an upcoming day in NYC, I’m going to run a roll of Ilford’s SFX 200 [near infrared] film with a deep red filter. Just to see what I can get…no guts, no glory.

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      May 1, 2019 at 6:13 am

      Thank you, Dan, for reading this article even though you aren’t a color shooter. I just write these articles because I want to give my perspective on these different film stocks. Believe me that Black and White are coming into the fold soon. With all your experience I am so honored that you took the time to read my article. Thank you for your input. Cheers.

  • Reply
    Dorian Farrimond
    May 1, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for a great article and I like the colours on the photo’s – you’ve convinced me to try Lomo 400 🙂

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      May 1, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Dorian! I am so glad you are going to try Lomography! Have fun!

  • Reply
    Herr Barnack
    May 6, 2019 at 1:12 am

    I miss my Nikon F3hp – should have never traded it off. As far as i can tell, it is the best SLR ever made.

    I’m gonna get me another one…

    • Reply
      Tiffany Perez
      May 6, 2019 at 1:54 am

      Do it. This is my forever work horse. I’m looking into the FM3a as well but I don’t think I am going to find something that replaces my F3 in my heart.

  • Reply
    Bruno Chalifour
    May 22, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Personally I find it lacks subtlety and even fidelity in the rendition of tones… but everything is subjective too.

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