I am on a bit of a rant today so please pardon me. However, I couldn’t help but notice that Lomography is officially sold out of its newly released Kono Donau ISO 6 film. If you don't know what this, you can check out the official press release via PetaPixel HERE.
Seriously…why!!? WHY!!?? People actually paid over $12.00 a roll for what is effectively really shitty ISO 6 film. In fact, people bought so much of it that they SOLD OUT!!
For anyone who follows my work, you know I’m a big fan of film photography. I love it and I don’t see myself moving to an all digital workflow at any point in my lifetime. Generally speaking, I welcome new film stocks to the market and I welcome photographers finding ways to shoot film that don’t necessarily rely on Kodak or Fuji, two companies that clearly don’t know how to market their own excellent products.
However, being an enthusiastic film buff doesn’t mean I am going to jump for joy when I see a film stock hit the market that is clearly ripping people off and banking on their photographic ignorance. Even worse, I am not going to feel elated when I see said product has clearly sold well. This kind of behavior doesn’t help people get into film. It hurts photographers and the film market in general. It makes those who might potentially get into film go broke and think to themselves “hmmm…working with film isn’t worth it.”
No, this is not one of those “I just don’t get the Lomo aesthetic” kind of deals. This is just simply a shitty film with an over inflated price tag marketed to people who don’t know any better. If you want to work with an incredibly slow speed film you can without paying thirty percent more per roll. It’s called a neutral density filter. If you want to get funky color shifts can also do that without paying for a “limited edition” film stock. It’s called a color filter or a color gel. Both solutions cost very little and can be used across a wide spectrum of films, not just this one speciality film from Lomography.
There are two factors would have made me love this product:
1) If at ISO 6 the film was incredibly fine grained. It isn’t… In fact by the looks of the samples I am seeing on Lomography’s own website, it looks just as grainy as an ISO 400 generic drug store film.
2) If the cost per roll was incredibly cheap. It’s not. It’s expensive as all hell at $12.00/roll and photographers would be far better served purchasing something that is made to higher standards with a more predictable outcome.
My long term reaction to this film is the same as my gut instinct was when I first heard the news of its release. For all the work the Lomographic Society has done to make film cool again they’ve done an equal amount of work encouraging people to be dumb photographers. Don’t spend your money on films like this folks. Just don’t!!!Spend your money on well made film stocks that are far cheaper. The folks at Cinestill for example charge two bucks less per roll and make a far superior product. Or hell, buy Kodak film! They still make great color film that doesn’t cost anywhere near twelve dollars a roll. If we keep buying it they’ll keep making it.
Ok, rant over.