Kodak 5248 – Pushing Limits


I had a chance to run a couple rolls of Kodak 5248 Motion Picture film through the trusty Minolta Hi-Matic, today. While the Minolta didn’t mind it, the film did. Besides a harsh blue hue to everything, the grain is obnoxious. It reminds me of expired film.

Kodak 5248 Hand-rolled
Kodak 5248 Hand-rolled

The film can have some really nice results at box speed. The problem is that box speed is ISO 100. That’s just too slow for cloudy days without pushing. It was cloudy at the Zoo today, and cloudy this past week when I went to lunch. I had the Hi-matic set for ISO 400 and existing light. Usually it’s not much of an issue because I’m using ISO 200 consumer films and I can push that a stop or two without issue.

Kodak 5248
This grain is for the birds!

I developed the film in C-41 at temp for 5 minutes 30 seconds. This didn’t help since the film is designed for ECN-2 processing. All that really means is it has a remjet layer that needs to be washed off, but it’s also balanced for a lot of artificial light.

Kodak 5248 pushed 2 stops
Kodak 5248 pushed 2 stops

Using Motion Picture films is always an experiment, but that’s part of what makes it so fun! Luckily, I still have about 15 rolls or so left to use this summer. I’ve got 20 rolls of Tri-X and 11 rolls of Fujifilm 200/400 coming, so I’m set for a while. Now if I can just stop buying cameras!

Kodak 5248 pushed 2 stops
Kodak 5248 pushed 2 stops – existing light on a cloudy day

Oh yeah, did I mention I bought a Lomokino ? It’ll be here this week. Don’t tell the wife!

Kodak 5248 Motion Picture Film – this one is a tad soft. *shrugs*

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  1. way back during B.C. (Before Computers), there were companies like Best Photo and Seattle Film Works that would sell rolls of 5248 and its variants, including processing to get prints and slides for somewhat less than the cost of a roll of Ektachrome plus processing (I was shooting TriX and Ektachrome back then, so I don’t know how it lined up against Kodachrome). This stuff was always too grainy for “nice” pictures but was handy for relatively inexpensive snapshots in those pre-digital days. Then later, once Jesus The Computer had arrived, Seattle Film Works would toss in a floppy drive (ever hear of those?) with scans of your negatives. Now one had grainy negatives, slides and files. When my wife got her first digital camera for snapshots, I quit using 5248 altogether; except for “special effects” I don’t see the point of it.

    • The upside to the film, if shot at box speed or slower, is that you can get color film for $2.50 a roll. It’s a cost thing. Other than that it’s just experimental. I agree, it’s a grain nightmare.

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