talkin bout camerasa blog by Branden Frederick

Lomo Purple

Published 17 Feb 2018 – Updated 26 Feb 2018

unusual film stock

Lomography sometimes sells batches of their own, unique "Purple" film. How this film works and where it is made are mysteries – we can only know through guesswork, since Lomography themselves say very little about the film.

Rendering colors reminiscent of infrared film, Lomography's LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 is a unique negative film designed to produce false colors with an overall purple hue. This ISO 400-speed film responds well to overexposure by up to 2 stops, which can be used to control the amount of color shifting within the scene. Beyond the surreal color effects this film provides, it is also contextualized by high saturation, fine grain, and notable sharpness. —Lomography

I've shot a few rolls so far, nothing too serious, a mix of people and buildings and indoors and outdoors, but enough to start getting a handle on how this performs. The color shift is truly wild and all over the place. A lot of my photos came out looking more orange than purple, even. Being a negative film, that could be due to scanning. A lab did my scanning, and I gave them no special instructions regarding this wacky shit, so I'm guessing that their software tried to correct the color shifts.

Lomochrome Purple negative strip

The sharpness in this film is "notable", as the marketing states. However, notable for less impressive reasons are the big bands of uneven emulsion running through the film. Well, that's Lomo for you.

A group of people, showing off both the sharpness and the missing colors In reality, this building is bright blue


Labeling this film as ISO "100-400" is unusual. I mean, it would be accurate to call Portra 400 an ISO "100-400" as well, but Kodak doesn't, since the overexposure abilities are not as important as its ability to shoot fast. But with this Purple film, maybe the reason is that the film behaves different depending on the film speed. It seems the orange tones seem to come out on the 100 side, whereas the purples on the 400 side.

And now, some sample photos

about Branden Frederick

I am a photographer: I have fun taking photos, and I always have.

I've had a camera in my hand my whole life, a 110 camera as a kid, and the high school's 35mm SLR later. In 2008 I spent six months doing nothing but taking photos and loved it. From that point on I've had my camera surgically attached to my hand (I lie). I went digital in the year 2000, and I came back to film in 2013. My parents tell me my photos are "nice".