A First Look at EZ400

One of the latest newly marketed films to debut in 2021 is New Classic EZ400. I write newly marketed because it is a repackaged version of an established film. This is obvious: a youtuber launching his own film is hardly likely to built his own film plant and R&D department in the background. Its creator, Ribsy, is quite open about it too, although he doesn’t reveal what film it is. Most think it is Foma 400 and I doubt it is de-saturated Portra.

The developing times are very close to those given for Foma 400 in the Massive Development Chart and the promised classic & grainy look would fit that profile as well. I will therefore assume I am using re-branded Foma 400, a film that is well established but new to me.

The two rolls I ordered arrived quickly, in their trade mark cardboard containers. I took some shots in and around Liverpool as usual as well as some inside the Williamson Art Gallery on the Wirral. I put both rolls through a Canon EOS 30 – one of their later analogue cameras – and developed both in HC110, dilution B for 6.5 minutes.

The results are grainy, as expected, but could be sharper. HC110 is just perfect for some films (like HP5+) but I would probably try another developer for this film next time. Other than this, the film looks nice enough.

This does of course raise the question, why anyone should buy re-branded film at a mark-up. Some may consciously do it to support a content creator. The unique selling point for EZ400 is its green credentials: the film canister can be recycled. In principle, the plastic ones can be too, but plastic has a bad reputation.

Another peculiarity of EZ400 is the absence of DX coding. This is no real problem with most cameras, where the ISO can be entered manually or has to be set manually in any case. It may be one in basic point and shoot cameras, taking some by surprise.

The sustainable packaging then is a key feature and much will depend on how much it is valued. I have to confess that I don’t want plastic film containers to disappear. I value them when storing film in the fridge and use larger plastic containers for 120 film and sheet film. They are useful to protect the film on the move and, in some measure, these containers can be reused elsewhere: there is some demand for small, lightweight, water resistant storage.

Most importantly: my cat prefers to chase plastic containers over cardboard. Since cats rule the world, a decision has thus been made. I hope that cardboard wrapped and plastic packaged films can peacefully coexist, but I don’t long for a paradigm shift.

Resuscitating an analogue Canon EOS300

As analogue photography regains popularity, a frequent question in photography forums is, which cheap, good quality analogue camera to pick when trying out film. Until recently, this would not have been an issue: almost all analogue gear was cheap, but prices have been rising for a while. In spite of this: late SLR models from the 1990s and beyond are often overlooked. 

Where the main motivation is the look and feel of old or purely mechanical gear, this makes sense. But those who mainly want to try film as a medium and get the most bang for their buck should look at late analogue SLRs. They are likely to look like digital cameras but offer everything a film camera can, from full manual control to point and shoot automation. Continue reading “Resuscitating an analogue Canon EOS300”