I’ve had some 35mm undeveloped film knocking around for nearly six months now, and sent it away to the good chaps at Analogue Academy in Geelong to be processed. I sent it off on a Thursday and by Tuesday they had already been developed and scanned. That’s some nice quick service right there! Upon opening the link, I remembered that one of the films in my cache to be developed was redscale film, but wasn’t sure if it had been developed in this particular batch. I love having to wait to see the results of a roll of film. There’s nothing like delayed gratification!

It turns out that my redscale film had been developed and scanned! Below is the Debonair camera – a bit of a hyrbid of the classic cheap Diana camera from the 1960s and the Holga. I had run my redscale through this unlikely bit of plastic.

Debonair film camera - 120 - fantastic plastic!
Debonair film camera – 120 – fantastic plastic!

It’s possible to buy redscale film from places like Lomography, but it’s actually easy enough to make it yourself. If you make photos through the reverse side of the film, you’ve got yourself some redscale film! It’s as easy as that! Many people actually unspool a 35mm roll in a darkroom or changing bag, cut it at the end, and then reverse it and sticky it to the remaining stub of film. Upon respooling into the can, they have themselves reversed film.

For my redscale film, I simply sticky taped a 35mm roll in backwards into the Debonair camera. Because it normally takes 120 medium format film, there’s plenty of room for the whole operation. One thing that helps is plastic 120 to 35mm adapters that can be found cheaply online, but some people just use foam.

Here are some of the results:

Redscale 35mm film
Redscale 35mm film

By passing light through the back of the film, it hits the colour layers in reverse order – red, green and then blue. It’s important when using redscale to overexapose a little in all conditions so that adequate light is recorded. The beauty of redscale film is that the colours produced include cool blues, warm oranges, yellows and reds.

Here’s an example of the cool blue effect:

Redscale film - cool blue tones
Redscale film – cool blue tones

In some photos, the effect looks like sepia, lending the photo an antique look:

Redscale film - antique sepia look
Redscale film – antique sepia look
Redscale film - antique look
Redscale film – antique look

You can see a reflection on some of the photos. I suspect that this is because the film itself wasn’t lying flat. The curvature might have reflected the light unevenly and produced some highlights.

Redscale film - house
Redscale film – house

I really like the atmospheric results using the redscale film and will definitely be doing it again!!

Redscale film through a cheap plastic Debonair 120 film camera
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2 thoughts on “Redscale film through a cheap plastic Debonair 120 film camera

  • June 10, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I’ve been meaning to do redscale film for some time, but keep putting it off. I love your results here, will have to try it!

    • June 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you for reading. Yes, it was a fun experiement and I’ll be doing it again soon! Even though I loaded this cassette backwards into the camera, I actually sat down the other day with a darkroom changing bag and cut, reversed and rewound three more 35mm films for redscale purposes.


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