Black is a B&W film emulator for Windows Phone every photographer needs

Fun fact: Most of us here at Windows Phone Central really, really love photography. The lot of us are big fans of taking photons and turning them into photos. We won’t lie, from time to time we get jealous of the polished and varied photography apps our iOS friends have. That’s changing every week as Windows Phone grows. Today we got a new photography app that we’re liking it a lot so far. Community, meet Black for Windows Phone.

Black ( is a brand new app in the Windows Phone Store. It aims to be the first B&W analog film simulator for Windows Phone. Apps like VSCO Cam on Android and iOS have stolen photographer’s hearts around the world for emulating film on smartphones. We’ve got a handful of apps with filters in the Windows Phone Store that do a standup job, but Black is a little different.

The duo behind Black, Alvaro Arregui and Peter Stojanowski, set out to make a black and white film emulator app. Like all good film emulators, they researched and analyzed a handful of films to get the exact values to make your photos look like they were shot on film. To top it off, they dropped the features into a beautiful and functional app.

Here are the films you’ll be able to accurately emulate with Black:

  • AGFA apx 400
  • FUJI Neopan 400
  • FUJI_FP-3000B (expired)
  • Ilford HP5
  • Kodak 400TX
  • Lomography Lady Grey
  • Shanghai GP3 100
  • Greyscale

We’re liking the results we get with Black so far. Not only does Black do a good job being faithful to the film it emulates, but it does so in a beautiful and uniquely designed app.

Curves. This app has a curve tool. In Photoshop, the curves tool is one of the more powerful ways to edit your photos. We’re having a hard time recalling any Windows Phone app that has a curves tool. Refresh our memory if we’re forgetting of any app that has one. That said, the curves tool is a great way to adjust the contrast in a tonal region.


Performance isn’t all there just yet, this is version 1.0 and the devs have told us an update will be out shortly to address any performance issues or stability bugs users encounter. We look forward to this app getting better with each update. The foundation they have with Black is solid and we can’t wait to see a truly killer app come out.

Black is free and available to Windows Phone. We highly recommend downloading the app, checking out the UI, trying out the black and white film emulators and leave the developers feedback so they can improve on an app with a ton of potential.

QR: Black

Sam Sabri
  • When I tap the plus sign to add photos to my collection, my screen just goes (wait for it...) black. Am I doin it right? /s
  • That's one of the issues the devs will address shortly. I encountered that and just clicked the back button for it to work. Few issues here and there, but I like the results a lot.
  • For me it doesn't work AT ALL ! Gets stuck in an error loop ! And i have to close it by long press back+X.
    Edit: worked after about 10-15 spaces out presses of back.
  • Tried to import 50 photos and it crashed. Only imported 21 images.
  • Very good app, need something like this. However, when you slide between the edition of photo (not the filters) its really messy and often not responding. I know its 1.0 but still, just for feedback. Also, can you please make it so the app will be visible in the list of editing apps when you take the photo and click on edit rightaway?
  • I'm a WP photography nerd, this is for me
  • I downloaded this yesterday and it's awesome :)
  • Love it! Will be well used on my Lumia 1020. That is, until it is surpassed by an even better App called Orange, because, well, you know...
  • I see what you did there LOL
  • I don't know why Half Life came to my mind with your coment 
  • Will try this out.
  • Can't wait to give this a try!!
  • Wish it would apply the affect to the original pic with an option to save as a different name instead of having to load a copy into the app. To me that's a space issue. I used to use ilford film back in HS. Nice app.
  • Yes same here. This current way its slower too.
  • Love photography apps!!! Definitely will use this!!
  • brazil :)) lol ! :)
  • Wait. Sam Sabri is writing this article and not George Ponder???
  • I don't know much about photography but the result out of this app is great. Love it
  • I just hope Microsoft Mobile's next gen phones have the ability to shoot 60, 120 or more fps video, so we'll be able to do real slow motion video like all the cool apple and android kids.
  • You need faster video to go slower...
  • Right, that's why I said 60 or 120fps or more.. right now, our Lumias can only do 30fps
  • I still have my L920. There hasn't been a phone yet that has made me want to upgrade it. Yes, it would be nice to have the camera of the 1020, but that alone is not worth the upgrade to me. It would also be nice to have the size of the 1520, but without some kind of ink support a phone that big doesn't appeal too much to me. But something that can shoot high speed movies would be excellent. I would really have to consider that one. Oh, and far as the Black app, it works great for me. I'm already looking forward to the updates. :)
  • I love this app. Hopefully they will add color filters to the mix later on.
  • Not the point of the app at all. There's a thousand other apps that can add the bog standard colour filters. This aims to do something different, so don't expect colour.
  • Its a well made photog app though (not enough of that on WP), one that which reminds me of VSCO Cam. They could def add some "off color" options that aren't just B&W and charge extra for some higher end filters.
  • Hey guys!, this will only be B&W, hope you enjoy it. (-_^)
  • Very cool. I used to shoot a ton of Ilford film on my Olypmpus OM series cameras. Way cool.
  • I personally love the "silver" B&W converion in Nokia's Creative Studio but this also seems like a good alternative to have around.
  • Very impressed
  • LOVE IT!
  • To the dev: It seems the "date taken" metadata is lost after conversion. This makes photo organization very difficult. Please fix this! Thanks!
  • I'll still use BW Camera for a while.
  • Saw your picture of it on instagram. It didn't excite me. Didn't look ageless or artsy. Or maybe im just too critical.
  • Ha. You're just hard to please.
  • This looks like a real nice app. Great to see the love WP is getting with each passing day.
  • Was about to correct you and say it's a simulator, but reading the article it is actually an emulator... Weird.
  • Luv this B/W photography app! If the app developer is reading my comment. Kindly consider making a colour version as well. (aka VSCO). I know it would be difficult but I am sure if you can make a colour film version. WP fans will gladly pay for your hard work! Cheers!!
  • +1000000 colours. :)
  • Hey ! Thanks for you comments, we called BLACK because we love B&W film only, so wont be colour (-_^)
  • Has potential, but has a few lengthy black screen pauses. Also gets stuck in vignette mode, have to come out of edit with the back key to get rid of the vignette. (Nokia 1020 wp8).
    I'd really love an app that allows you to alter exposure/contrast on parts of the photo using your finger or a stylus, without having to select areas - iyswim.
  • Cool app. I hope they can create a colour film emulator too. :)
  • Works fine on my 920 running 8.1. I really dig this app and would be willing to pay for more filters/film packs. Ideally I'd like to see a "Color" app by the same developers with fun vintage color film packs!
  • Looks like there is a ton of potential in Black. Haven't used it yet but, if the promo pics are anything to go by I'll be happy to pay for other packs of filters as in app purchases for sure. When there is an app of value devs should earn something for their hard work.  
  • Crashing in my Lumia 720.., not even able to edit a single pic
  • It's working on my 720. But it automatically exits sometimes though.
  • YES. TONAL CURVE. Swear I use this everyday editing images from my 600D in Lightroom. Having it on a Windows Phone is like...mind blowing... And it's free?! Bring on the candid phone shots!
  • I'm lovin it. automatically exits sometimes. Looking forward to the next update.
  • Will give it a try, since I am a big B&W fan. But still waiting for the official VSCO cam app :P
  • Give it a try, since its free and has nothing to do with VSCO (-_^)
  • I'd suggest adding Lens support for quick access. Can you do that for a post processing app?
  • I'm am definitely trying this!
  • Need color films and this app will be perfect.
  • I've been playing with the app lately and it crashes alot on my 720. Takes too much time to load. App exits automatically.
  • No real photography fan is jelaous of an app that makes pictures, because real photography fans use cameras insted of phones.
  • Don't be an idiot.
  • Would be great if it could upload photos from onedrive.
  • First: Here are some of my own shots I have run through this: I really love the app - the resolution is up there and I really can't find any flaws. I also like the UI. Would love it if they added a camera function, but more importantly, I would really like to see them add some data to the finished file. Unless you physically log what you are doing to each shot, there is no way to tell (unless you can by looking at the photo because you are a film expert) what effect you had used. This is true even inside of the application; I went to edit one in the app's library and rather than opening to the last setting; it opens the photo in their standard default grey scale. Related is I noticed uploading to Flickr; the exif data was completely stripped. I wish they would retain that and even maybe change or append to the data - so rather than the original color profile, they could change to "Black-Ilford...Effect" or add that as another line if possible. Hope the developers are reading through all of these posts - All of the above said; I think it is a superb start to this program and I will HAPPILY pay for a Pro version in the future! For color - I'd like to see VSCO add Windows Phone - they do Android and Apple now. I am considering getting their Lightroom 5 Film Pack #4. It's pricey - $119 - but has a number of slide film presents that emulate developing a print from slide film/color transparency. Work is beautiful - and it works with DNG (raw files) which I can snap from my 1020 - and the output is in full, high resolution! Seriously though - this Black Analog program is a BEAST - you have to get this one if your phone can take it!!!!
  • Thank you so much for your comment ! 
    We are working really hard to get the most out of the phones capabilities, we are about to release an update with lots of improvments, and we are in conversations with Nokia to get the user to edit the real full res images. Watch this space
  • Just got slotted next to my Intelligent Lens Blur it !!
  • Absolutely amazing app, hope they also make a regular photo editor like this,I really love the curves and the UI!