Harman Phoenix: The First Roll

  • Camera: Minolta TC-1
  • Lens: Minolta G-Rokkor 28mm 1:3.5
  • Film: Harman Phoenix 200
  • Development: CineStill Cs41

I finally had a chance to shoot a roll of Harman’s new color film. Phoenix is noticeably different than other films on the market; the film comes out of the can a mustard color and comes out of the developer a deep indigo. At quick glance the developed negatives look to be black and white. It’s only on closer inspection that orange hues are visible. The purplish base color might cause problems for some negative digitization programs, but I was able to get usable images with a small amount of effort.

The final images turned out well, though not without idiosyncrasy. Pictures shot outdoors under average conditions produced contrasty images not unlike other daylight balanced films. It is outside of average conditions where the film began to show its unique character. On mostly blue-sky days, the film seemed to produce pure whites which enhanced the clouds. When shot into the direction of the sun, even under rainy conditions, the lack of an anti-halation layer was obvious and overpowering at times. It seemed that every time I used the spot meter on the TC-1 to preserve details in the shadows, I lost them in the highlights, so perhaps the dynamic range is somewhat limited. Finally, when shot at night Phoenix may have imparted slightly more orange than would be expected from a daylight film.

There is no doubt that this film has quirks, but I enjoy the character of Harman’s Phoenix. I will undoubtedly shoot more of this film, though I will be mindful of the dynamic range and halation.

The blue base of Harman Phoenix negatives
The blue base of Harman Phoenix negatives – Apple iPhone 13 Pro

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Published: 2024-03-20