This week Lomo has announced that they have a new film out, though it will only be in a limited number of 4000 rolls. Priced at about $13 each. Yay.
After Lomo buddied up with Kodak Alaris there was a faint glimmer of hope that good things would be happening in the film world. Two huge names in film photography teaming up to create…. a film that was already being made for the cine market and has been converted and re-rolled.
In all honesty, when I first read the press release about this my immediate thoughts were, why? And Cinestill. And then why? again.
I can only guess that they have noticed the popularity of the Cinestill film and want to get a slice of the pie by releasing a very similar film. Fair enough, that is only good business.
But this is not what we need right now.
I appreciate all that Lomo does for film and for photography, their passion is obvious, but at the same time, this is not what film photography needs right now. If they keep on knocking out highly creative and highly expensive films it is going to alienate a whole bunch of potential future film photographers.
What film photography needs right now is a relatively decent, cheap as chips film. Rough and ready. Colour or black and white is fine, but the cheaper the better. No frills or anything. It could even come in a plain unprinted box. There are still a number of decent unused emulsions that could be used without going through loads of development and testing.
If Lomo have the power to put out limited edition overpriced films like the Cine and the Purple, then they certainly have the power to release a budget film that could attract a new generation of film users. I get loads of mails and messages every week from people telling me they would love to shoot film, but the film is just too expensive.
So Lomo, do us a favour and make a film that anyone can shoot, even students, and first time film shooters. That is what film photography really needs.