Trouble int’ Yorkshire – The problem with Lomography Lady Grey/Fomapan 400

I type this while on my Summer Trip to the Yorkshire Riviera namely Whitby. But wasn’t the Dracula links or the stunning scenery that gave me a shock. It was the fact that I’d loaded up with  Lomography Lady Grey only to find out it isn’t DX coded !!!

Lomo Switching

I’ve posted before that Lomography had switched to Foma from Kodak for supplying this film and how this weridly was working out more expensive than buying Fomapan 400 even from Lomography (the old Lady Gray was a bargain for Tri-X). Sadly before I realised I’d ended up with about 12 rolls but – hey ho film is film. And Fomapan 400 ain’t that bad.

Big Dude
Edinburgh 2017. Olympus PEN EE-2 with Lomography Lady Grey 400.

However I’d never noticed the lack of DX until I was attempting to load a roll into a mju-1 (yup finally got one that worked) on Whitby Beach – Duh !! I’d loaded up with a smattering of C-41 Colour films and for Black & White Lady Gray, some 2014 expired Kodak BW400CN and some Fresh Fujifilm Neopan 400CN. The Kodak was for my FED Mikron which tops out at 250 GOST (~320 ISO) but stupidly I’d shot all the Neopan on it before I realised.

Lomography Lady Grey. Where's the DX Coding ?
Lomography Lady Grey. Where’s the DX Coding ?

So the mju-1 has now chewed through the BW400CN and the FED will take the Lady. But how does a 21st Century film end up not having DX coding ?

Gin Set
Beamish Museum 2017. Lomo LC-A with Lomography Lady Grey (aka Fomapan 400)

Old Lady Grey (Kodak Tri-X) clearly was DX coded as you can see in this blog. Irritatingly despite sharing the same packaging (is that really fair as they’re different films ?) the new stuff doesn’t

Where’s the blame ?

Now it’s easy to point finger of blame at those Austrian Hipsters at Lomography. However beyond the issue of marketing it as the same film, they probably aren’t directly responsible. Foma made a decision in 2015 to stop DX coding their films. But why didn’t Lomography insist for their premium version ?

This DX coding issue matters as pretty much every late 80’s on compact had it. A shed load of SLR like my Pentax P30T or Nikon F55 also rely on it. Lomography IMHO have shot themselves in the foot by not insisting on DX, pushing folk in the direction of Kodak & Ilford for 400 ISO B&W. Shame as okay abet pricey.




4 thoughts on “Trouble int’ Yorkshire – The problem with Lomography Lady Grey/Fomapan 400”

  1. I had the same experience with an mjuii and Cinestill 800. I could tell from the shutter speed that the camera had defaulted to 50 or 100 ISO and thus only lost one shot.

    I just looked at my stash and the Rollei CR200 is not DX coded either. But the Lomography Colour 800 is DX coded.

    The 35mmc blog has a post on changing DX coding which is useful for that purpose and which you might be able to study it in order to figure out labels for your Lady Grey.

    The mju1 is a terrific camera – mine won’t focus reliably to infinity, but the shots that are in focus are every bit as good as the much dearer mjuii.

    1. I’ve been quietly impressed on the one roll they before. This trip will have been more of a test. However the infinity focus does again seem an issue as you say (a prob for many a AF compact – odd Olympus don’t add a scenery/landscape mode like other makes

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