The journey of the Harman Phoenix 200 in the world of photography is both fascinating and unique. Born in a factory renowned for its production of black-and-white films, Harman boasts a storied history in the industry, marked by their staple products, the Kentmere 400 and 100 black and white films. This facility also plays a significant role in producing Ilford films under the Ilford license, which is intriguingly held by a 90-year-old, Australia's largest independent importer and distributor of photographic equipment - Cr Kennedy.
The launch of Harman Phoenix 200 is not just about continuing a legacy; it's about reinventing it. The film's original color is a testament to this, echoing the imagery of a phoenix rising from the ashes. The red tone of the film is not just a color but a symbol of resurgence and innovation, infusing each photograph with the warmth and vibrancy of the mythical bird's fiery rebirth.
But what truly sets the Harman Phoenix 200 apart is its experimental nature. The film lacks the traditional 9 or 12 layers of color emulsion and features a somewhat greenish film rebate, suggesting a more rudimentary color emulsion compared to the advanced technologies used by Fuji or Kodak. Rumors suggest that the latter companies' technology in color emulsion is so sophisticated, it could be likened to the amount of research and development effort put into sending humans to the moon.
Interestingly, the Harman Phoenix 200 exhibits a very low dynamic range in the shadows. Feedback from our customers indicates that reducing the saturation and vibrancy can yield impressive results. One customer demonstrated this beautifully with their images.
Personally, the photos shown here are from my first roll of film, shot during a recent road trip under strong daylight. We captured some stunning scenes, including vibrant orchid flowers and, notably, white horses. Under direct sunlight, the horses appeared to glow red, a unique characteristic of this film, suggesting it might be ideal for capturing lighter schemes, especially in bright conditions.
The Harman Phoenix 200 is a remarkable step in color emulsion, tracing back to the 1980s when Ilford had the technology to produce color film. The engineers and formulators had the recipes but, for some unknown reason, shelved them instead of bringing them into production. Perhaps it was for the better, considering how many other camera and film brands were in the color emulsion business back then. Now, we might be seeing these early emulsion technologies resurfacing, albeit without the ideal core materials from the 1980s, I would assume.
This experimental film, abundantly stocked by our suppliers in Australia and at FilmNeverDie, is proudly one of the official resellers and has since distributed them to our various Vends (vending machines across Australia, one in NT, QLD, SA, and four of them in Victoria). You can find them here: [FilmNeverDie Vending Machines](https://filmneverdie.com/blogs/news/fnd-vending-machines). We recommend shooting this film in broad daylight or well-lit areas. Given its low dynamic range in shadows, it would also be intriguing to see how it performs under artificial lighting and with various color effects.
In essence, the Harman Phoenix 200 is more than just a new color emulsion; it could be one of many, as we are confident Harman will continue to improve on this and come out with enhanced formulations as time goes on. This film is definitely a medium for artists who seek to capture life's moments not just in images, but in a vivid, dramatic, and deeply personal art form.
The bridge between traditional black and white production and modern color experimentation is now formed. Let’s see how many other film types will come from here.