... Journal Entry

I have been playing some more with Harman's new CN film Phoenix 200, this time in the Winter sunshine, and it continues to exhibit its weird and wonderful 'experimental' characteristics.

As before, when I tested it in more overcast conditions, the film gives very high contrast and overall soft looking images as Harman said it would. It has lots of grain as stated, which I really find very attractive. It also gives super saturated greens and reds but paler blues making it unbalanced and unsuitable as an everyday film for say landscapes and portraiture but interesting special purpose 'effects' emulsion. 

Nailing the exposure remains critical as there is very little exposure latitude and in this respect the film behave much more like a colour slide (reversal) film than a colour negative one, so meter accordingly.

Indoors, in a lower contrast scene with a more limited tonal range, the film can be used to good effect. I think the boosted contrast, more saturated colours, added grain and somewhat more organic softening of the image rendered by the film really added to the mood of the picture above for example.

One thing I don't think I have mentioned before is the film does not have an anti-halation layer so guess what? Yep, you will get loads of halation (the blurring of light around a bright area of a photographic image, creating a halo effect). This people either love or hate. Personally,  I like it in nighttime street photographs but not so much in daylight images exemplified by the one above. 

For creating effects for example like moody photos with super boosted greens, as in the image above, is where this film excels. I just love what you can do with it, but remember you need lots of sunlight to be able to achieve this. Remember also you will need really sharp, high quality lenses to balance out the film's very soft rendering.

Finally, there are some subjects (as I mentioned above) it does not work well with, at least to my eyes. Like highly coloured ones strongly  lit in a high contrast situation. The result can simply called unnaturally garish.

Well, I have a couple of rolls left of Harman Phoenix 200 and my next test will be to try them out on some nighttime street photography and get the halation to pop. Mind you with the combination of slow film speed and restricted exposure latitude this maybe something of a challenge. Tripod anyone? Not exactly a dynamic, spontaneous set up!