Foma Ortho 400 is awesome

…he said, after shooting two rolls of it, in one day, but hey. So this isn’t a full review or anything, but man I just love what it does.

I’ve shot it with a Box-Tengor box camera, which doesn’t really have a lot of options to vary exposure – and it was pretty bright out so I think I shot it at something more like ISO 100 or so, maybe even down to 50. In other words, overexposed the hell out of it. But as with the normal Fomapan 400, I think that looks much better than shooting it at box speed – it has a lot of range for overexposure, but not so much for underexposure.

Developed in a Rodinal 1:100 for an hour with literally no agitation (I usually give it a little swing 30 minutes in, but this time I forgot) – and that keeps the overexposure in check somewhat (I think, I haven’t tested more “normal” development).


Anyway, I really love the results. It looks different enough to be interesting, but not so weird as to be a gimmick. Just has a really nice old-school look to it. Portraits work super well, too – I can’t show one I did because privacy – but it really darkens the skin tones and gives it that turn-of-the-century look. Like, 1900, not 2000. Not necessarily flattering, but interesting for sure.

And this is all with a shitty fixed-focus box camera (okay, the Box-Tengor is probably the best of the box cameras, but still). I’m pretty sure this film will look amazing when put through a Rolleiflex or something with, you know, more controls than just a shutter button.

This isn’t a great picture by itself, but it looks like something you’d see in sightseeing info material with the caption “the tower in 1905” – but it was shot in 2023. And that amuses me more than is maybe reasonable.

One response to “Foma Ortho 400 is awesome”

  1. Hey, this is the first post i found about this film. I bought some rolls when it came out but didnt get to shoot them until now. Thanks for writing this post! I wish you a good weekend.

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