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 !!!
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.
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.
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 ?
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.