Black-and-white film is incredible stuff because of its willingness to let you screw up. Oh, you accidentally overexposed your film two full stops because you forgot to change your camera’s meter settings? No problem. Or what if you need to shoot 400-speed film at 3200 because it’s too dark out? No worries, it will look even grittier and cooler than normal. That’s why it’s so easy to get excited about the new Kosmo Foto Agent Shadow 400 35mm film Kickstarter campaign.
Back in 2018, Kosmo Foto ran a very successful Kickstarter to fund its 100 speed Mono film. It’s a slower stock that photographers can shoot anywhere from ASA 50 up to ASA 400. It’s meant for brighter settings or situations where you don’t want to overdo it with contrast.
Enter Kosmo Foto Agent Shadow 400
The new Agent Shadow 400 film, however, serves a different purpose. Shoot it at box speed, and Kosmo Foto says it will maintain a relatively fine grain. You can, however, push the film, which involves underexposing it and then underdeveloping it in order to accommodate low-light situations. Kosmo Foto claims you can push it all the way up to ASA 3200 and get consistent results, but the Kickstarter page includes a photo shot all the way up at 6400.
The farther you push the film, the more contrast and grain you’ll get in your final images. It’s not the kind of thing that you’ll want to use all the time, especially if you care about things like maintaining highlight details or dynamic range on the whole. But, it can create an extremely cool and moody look that resembles the noir films to which its name alludes.
How to get it
According to the Kickstarter page, Kosmo Foto Agent Shadow will come in 35mm rolls of 36 exposures. The campaign page also gives a pretty substantial hint as to where the film itself comes from. “The film is made by one of the most famous names in film production, with nearly 150 years’ experience making film and photographic products.” That’s enough info to make a pretty solid guess.
The Kickstarter rewards start at roughly $28 (converted from British pounds), which gets you four rolls of the new film. Jump up to roughly $53 and you get five rolls of film, plus a cool briefcase-style box and a graphic novel. Kosmo Foto does a killer job styling its packaging, which may not matter if you’re a grumpy old film type, but you’ll enjoy if you don’t hate fun. For $70, you can get a brick of film, which consists of 10 rolls.
At the time of this writing, the project is already roughly halfway funded to its goal of roughly $53,000 with 34 more days to go, so it seems very likely that it will make it across the finish line. Kosmo Foto says the film will start shipping in the Fall of this year, which means you can combat those early sunsets with some high-speed black-and-white film. Scroll on to see some sample images.