Lomography’s New LomoChrome Purple Film Snaps Infrared-esque Photos


Lomography has announced a brand new line of film called LomoChrome, and the first product is LomoChrome Purple 400. Available in both 35mm and 120 formats, the film allows photographers to shoot infrared-style photographs without any special gear or filters.

Although the resulting photographs look quite different from standard color negative film, Purple 400 is developed using the same C-41 process, meaning you’ll be able to drop it off at your local photo lab for developing.

The new film mimics the style of Kodak’s old Aerochrome film line, which was used by the US military for infrared-style aerial photographs. It was more recently used by photographer Richard Mosse for his images documenting Eastern Congo.

Aerochrome was killed off in 2007, and now Lomography has brought a very similar kind of film back into the spotlight with the Purple 400.

Film development lead Georg Thaler tells The Phoblographer that the company spent years figuring out how to shift the colors of ordinary color negative film.

Lomography says that it’s making a limited batch (4000 rolls of 120 and 3500 rolls of 35mm) of the film available for customers who would like to pre-order it, which will ensure delivery by July 2013.

The first wave is actually intended to raise funds for the mass production of this film (think of it as a private Kickstarter-style fundraising campaign). Apparently the first batch might produce different results than the mass produced film that will follow.

Here are some side-by-side comparison photographs showing the same scenes shot with ordinary color negative film and then with the new LomoChrome Purple 400:







To place your order, head on over to the Lomography Shop. A pack of 5 36-exposure 35mm rolls costs $47, and a pack of 5 120 rolls costs $56. You can also purchase the film in packs of up to 15 rolls for slightly discounted rates.

  • John Reinert Nash

    Oh, man. I can hear the scene-balance algorithms screaming in pain now when these images go through standard consumer C-41 retail processing….

  • Chris Brown

    I’m in love. I’ve wanted to try film like this a few years now, but I never thought it would happen. I can’t wait to try it out.

  • 3ric15


  • Richard Ford

    Looks like it is rolled into the canister backwards so they can use the backing as a filter. Clever. I still have 20 rolls of EIR in the freezer though. Can’t be that lovely E6 chrome when shot with a slight orange filter. :-)

  • Julian Callan

    Wouldn’t that just be redscale?

  • John B.

    No thanks!

  • Mehmet Kıvanç Özel

    $47 is only valid for US Lomo shop my local shop shows a price Equivalent to $72

  • GR-1 Custom Images

    GREAT except 45 years later. I use to shoot a lot of Kodaks IR color in Hollywood, in the 60’s, with the likes of Jefferson Airplane and other psychodelic groups. I had a lot of fun with it and could do so again. Then it was E-6 or was it E-4 then and now C-41 to Costco.
    Time have changed and it is up to my creative powers to find a use for it.

  • Nathan Blaney

    I get the appeal of shooting film, but I don’t get stuff like this. Had these images simply been manipulated in photoshop, they’d be considered every bit as unremarkable as they appear… yet, because they’re shot on film its somehow more valid? Ummm… no.

  • Mers Pro

    very xspensive ….

  • Les

    Exactly. I truly don’t see the point in this kind of film.

  • Jim Angell

    Agreed! I just looked at the UK shop and even with the “special” price it comes out as being $66 for 5 rolls. I’d love to stick a couple of rolls of this through my 35 GS but I just can’t justify those prices. My other half is understanding, just not that understanding.

  • Henning Kristjansson Nilsen

    Well… I suppose I can’t complain about things that keeps film alive, but man this is ugly.

  • AntonyShepherd

    If it was true false-colour infrared film then it might be interesting, but from what I’ve read so far it looks like it’s just plain old colour negative film with a different set of colour dyes inserted during manufacture.

  • Skybase

    For people who rather enjoy a different taste than regular film. Yeah sure maybe pointless, maybe overkill, maybe boring… but I swear, I read comments like this all the time on creative blogs and it bothers me how conservative, judgmental, or decisive people get over something made for the soul purpose of a bit of artistic enjoyment. I don’t mean to bash you or anybody… it just bothers me how some people are quick to pass judgements on things these days.

  • Richard Ford

    Not if the backing has a yellow or orange tint to it. In colour infrared the idea is to block out the cyan wavelength. It is rolled in backwards. And you HAVE to have a filter for IR – colour or BW. So the backing must be used as part of the design – most obviously as the filter… remove cyan from hitting the emulsion.

    The reason redscale is red is not just because it is backwards. The colour of the backing is one part, but also the laying, which layer is hit first by light – the magenta sensitive or the cyan or the yellow. As light has to travel though all of them. Film is not one surface – it is light Foveon – it is many surfaces and light moves through it with different intensities and where each layer sits makes a difference.

  • KH

    No 1 roll quantity?

  • Jake

    The point is to get something out of the ordinary, and spice up your photography a bit. Sure, when it’s prepackaged like this, you have the challenge of learning to take shots that look good with the odd color scheme, and while these shots are unremarkable, there are a lot of fun, creative ideas people can come up with. It has nothing to do with whether it’s “valid” or not, or if it takes extra skill, it’s just fun for the user to experiment with. It’s like trying a crazy new ingredient in an old recipe, or a weird new design for a car or other device.

  • kandy watson

    i like the look of b/w infrared with a red filter. will this create similar looks with a purple filter? my next question…do they make purple filters?

    bah, just get back to me when i can afford this.

  • Jon Woodbury

    I think it looks fun. I shoot digital all day for clients and the quest for perfection becomes a bit oppressive. I shoot films like this for myself, just for fun, to remind myself what photography was like when it was a hobby and I was shooting it just to make interesting images. I will definitely buy some and try it out.

  • Mircea Ciuca

    I think this is a bad joke, like a bad filter in Instagram. Sorry about that! And I pay less for IR films, btw…

  • Julian Callan

    Where? Colour IR?

  • Les

    Not passing judgment on those who would use this film. I know I’m a hack photographer. I just don’t see the point in this kind of film. Others here can show their approval, so why can’t I question the utility of this film without being accused “being quick to pass judgement?”

  • Skybase

    See, this is the problem with commentary on the internet. There’s just too little to work from and words carry their meanings. To me, people slap down comments all over the place without really thinking how they sound when others read it. So despite somebody intending the comment to be a mild disapproval they can sound really brutal when somebody else reads it. A bit of explanation/critique helps bring out better qualities of a comment and personality, rather than a flat response. We all judge everything in the world anyway contradictory to my original post *ahem*, so if people gave others more to work from, it’d be nicer here. And my bias kinda plays a role. Sometimes PetaPixel commentary gets really spiteful with things. Oh well, nobody’s on the same page with that thought.

  • sploosh

    Yes! Where, please, can you possibly find any true IR color film?? EIR Aerochrome is no longer manufactured. You must know something we don’t because single rolls of 35mm go for $40 US easy on eBay. And by the way, all Instagram filters are bad and they all copy some form of film artifact.

  • Helmut Newton

    This ad brought to you by: Lomography. This film offers nothing that simply sliding the “green” channel to “purple” in Photoshop et al. wouldn’t achieve. Nothing to do with infrared photography whatsoever.
    I applaud having new film products out there, but I am also ambiguous towards Lomography and the (mis)use of “lomo” as a term these days. One of my best lenses is made by Lomo (a 21mm f2.8 lens which was originally designed for 35mm professional movie cameras).

    Some company has kinda hijacked the brand and told people that their otherwise boring images can be tarted up with technological accidents. This film is another case in point. :)

  • Earl Brooks

    Where do you find IR color films please? I’m there with the next plane.

  • Jeff Spicoli

    Pssst … Sony, Panasonic, Kodak, Nikon, etc… If you were smart you would make a new state of the art, ‘limited edition’ 35mm camera for the 2010’s and invest in making film development more widely available to consumers. Then you wouldn’t need to cool hunt, and the hipsters would come to you. You’d also be doing a great deal by helping film live on.