Lomography has a wide variety of B&W film, some of which we’ve shot a lot of over the years and a few we’d never shot until this comparison. We shot the two 400 iso stocks, 100 iso, and the low iso film stocks side by side with the same camera, same lens, and same exposure settings which you can see below!
Lady Grey 400 vs. Berlin Kino 400
Lady Gray 400 has been our most shot Lomo B&W over the years – we love the strong contrast, bold tones, and the grain, which is relatively fine for 400 iso. Berlin Kino 400 is Lomography’s other 400 iso film and, as you’ll see in the samples below, the iso is the only thing they have in common. Berlin Kino 400 – a Cine film inspired by 1960’s German Cinema – has much less contrast than Lady Grey 400. Berlin Kino 400 has more subtle tones and, while the grain is more noticeable, it has a classic and beautiful look to it.
We enjoy shooting both of these stocks and choose between them based on the light/weather. If it’s overcast with very even light, we’ll go with Lady Grey 400. But if it’s sunny or high contrast light we’ll go with Berlin Kino 400!
Earl Grey 100 vs. Potsdam Kino 100
Earl Gray 100 resembles Lady Grey 400 but with much finer grain which makes it ideal for shooting on bright sunny days. When you look at Earl Grey 100 & Potsdam 100 side by side, they’re almost identical – the only noticeable difference is Potsdam 100 has slightly finer grain and does better in tonal transitions from bright highlights to dark shadows.
If you are looking for fine detail you might want to choose Potsdam Kino 100 which has sharper grain but for overall versatility, we feel Earl Grey might be the best. Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with either of them.
Babylon 13 iso vs. Fantome 8 iso
Babylon 13 iso & Fantome 8 iso are cine film from Lomography’s Kino line as well. And yes, 13 and 8 iso are very low which is what makes these two very unique. If you’re going to shoot them, you will need a tripod or very a fast lens, or both depending on the light you’re shooting in. All of these were shot with either a 40mm f/1.4 or 135mm f/1.8 which allowed for handheld shooting. As you will see below, they both have very fine grain but look very different when it comes to contrast and tones. The Babylon 13 has very low contrast, which produces good detail in the shadows and highlights, but on occasion was a bit flat. The Fantome 8 has very strong contrast that makes most shadows completely black and bright highlights a pure white!
If you are choosing between these two, it all comes down to contrast. If you like strong contrast you will want to go with Fantome Kino 8, but if you like lower contrast you’d want the Babylon Kino 13!