Film Review: LomoChrome Turquoise on Xpan

Jul 30, 2018
4 min read

I finally got the chance to shoot the rare LomoChrome Turquoise XR 100-400 from Lomography on my Xpan and got a few eye-catching images! For those of you who’ve never heard about this film before, let me introduce it briefly.

What is LomoChrome Turquoise?

It’s a creative colour film that changes the colour spectrum into something that’s probably very close to what you can experience when tripping with LSD! According to Lomography “Warm colors become blue, blue becomes golden and green becomes emerald”. With that in mind, you can begin to imagine how wicked your photos will look like!

The name may fool you as it mentions “Chrome” that’s usually found in slide films (Ektachrome, Fujichrome etc…) but that’s actually a color reversal film that can be develop in C41 chemistry. Maybe Lomography mention this to give us a hint about what’s being used to make the film but that’s just a guess. If someone has information about this, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Finding the Right Location

It took me a while to finally shoot this roll and when the opportunity came to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra in Portugal, I couldn’t resist bringing this film.

This little town, a few kilometers away from Lisbon, is surrounded by many surrealist palaces, castles, and gardens. They are spread over different locations and it may be challenging to visit them all in one day so we had to pick two: Quinta da Regaleira and Pena Palace.

If you start reading about this place, you’ll find that Sintra is attached to many myths and legends, which makes it one of the most mysterious places I’ve ever visited. To make it even more enigmatic, I thought that bringing a roll of Lomochrome Turquoise would make a great job, and it did on most of the shots.

In my case, it was shot at 400 ISO which is the most recommended exposure for the strongest effect, but it can also be exposed at 200 or 100 ISO to lower the effect intensity.

My Favourites Pictures

Now if you would like, please follow me and we will start by looking at a selection of my favorites photos, followed by the ones that didn’t work out.

Aside from the intense colour shifts, what stroked me was the exposure latitude. On many shots, the shadows are almost 100% black even though there was enough ambient light. It gives a silhouette look that you often with slide film exposed for the highlights. Not that it bothers me but it’s something worth keeping in mind when measuring the light of your scene.

For most of my pictures I relied on the Xpan’s meter and set the camera on Aperture Priority, which worked most of the time but there are some pictures that didn’t turn as expected.

On a second thought, Lomography gives us a hint about this limited latitude. The term “Chrome” is generally linked to positive slide films (E-6) but this one is a C41 negative film called LomoChrome which may have something to do with the magic behind this emulsion.

My NOT so favourite pictures

These two came out heavily underexposed, which can result from a metering issue or a limitation of the film to catch light from shadows. This would deserve some more testing but when you see that LomoChrome Turquoise is selling for more than 30$ a roll on eBay, it kinds of sets the limits of making tests with this film!

On these three what didn’t work out, apart from the lack of interest, is that most of the frames are filled with green tones. This results in a mix of muddy turquoise/emerald, which is expected from this film but the problem is that there’s nothing to stand out from these two tones.

My suggestion would be to shoot colourful and bright scenes, like the first ones, to get the full potential of this surreal colour spectrum while keeping in mind that shadows might not receive as much light as you’d expect with C-41 film.

Conclusion

Overall, I really enjoyed this second experience shooting with this LomoChrome Turquoise and will definitely repeat it when another great opportunity arises. Not a film for every day but certainly one that’s worth trying! If you want to see more samples, check out my first roll of LomoChrome Turquoise 120 on Rolleiflex.

I hope these images could inspire you to try it out yourself if you can grab a roll at a decent price! I’ll finish by taking Nation Photo for processing this roll for me. Check out this guys if you need a good place to buy and develop your films!

You can find all pictures in high resolution in this Flickr Album

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