Friday, March 30, 2007

Fomapan 100 Classic

Foma is a Czech firm that have been making film since the 1920's Foma (link) based in Bohemia make a range of films and papers, the films are the Classic 100, Creative 200, Action 400 and a Reversal film R100 for mono slides or cine photography. The company also make a reasonably wide range of formats including sheet sizes up to 18x24cm.

Fomapan, Leica M4-P. Canon 35mm 1.8'S'

Foma 100 Classic has a long tonal range, not unlike Agfa APX 100 but with a slightly more modern look, for me it has elements of both a classic (tonal range and grain structure) and modern (accutance) emulsion. Kind of like a Marriage between Agfa APX and Fuji Across.

The test image above was taken in very contrasty lighting the spot meter readings were 1/250 at F16 on the area near the VW roundall (which is off white) right down to the interior of the dealership which was 1/125 at F2 the exposure selected was 1/250 at 5.6 in order to preserve the textured white around the badge.

Above is an 100% enlargement of the area to the side shows the grain characteristics of the film, which although shows more grain than say T-Max 100 or Fuji Acros is still quite pleasent to the eye.

In my opinion Fomapan 100 is a very good film, will probably be my replacement for the defunct Agfapan when stock dwindles. Probably not the best choice for landscape work where its grain structure might be a little obtrusive (in 35mm form) but certainly very good for street and people photography.

Most of all I like Fomapan Classic for its lovely tonal range:

Fomapan, Leica M4-P. Canon 35mm 1.8'S'

In fact this film was the only film in the 'test' that I'd not previously used, and after about a week or so of evalutaion of the negatives I'm placing an order for 20 more rolls!

Next Adox CHS 25 'ART'

All Images and text ©Mark Antony Smith 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gigabit Film

Gigabit film is a slow microfilm type emulsion packaged with its own developer, so you need to be prepared to process it yourself- it is also only available in 35mm format.
This film is actually Agfa Copex a document copy film which would normally not yield pictorial results, hence why Gigabit package it with a low contrast developer.

There have been claims made that this film can resolve 600 l/mm which although theoretically possible, in reality under normal usage will equate to less than 200 in perfect conditions, and about 100 for 'normal' photography.

Gigabit include a nice little datasheet, development calculator and blurb about the above, although it makes me smile when I read "Theoretical resolution with perfect optics at wavelength 590nm" Please leave a comment anyone should you know where I can find those 'perfect optics' any lens mount will do!

How does the film fare under average shooting conditions? Well it's a slightly difficult film to use, that is it doesn't have a lot of exposure or development latitude. Shadow detail seems to be the first thing to suffer, but if you get the exposure reasonably accurate nice contrasty negatives will be the result.

The picture above shows exactly what sort of results the film is capable of; punchy, sharp images, a good film for monochrome landscape work, but not so much for soft portrait or 'retro' type images.
As I now scan and print my negatives digitally I find that very high contrast emulsions can be more difficult to print.

And below a 100% crop that really shows how fine grained this film is.

Gigabit is a good replacement for Kodak Technical Pan and gives very sharp results albeit slightly contrasty for my taste, but if you want to see what your lenses are capable of and your technique is good (I think conventional enlarger with diffuser head would be better than scanning)

If you want a 35mm film that is sharp, do you own processing and can find a supplier this film is worth a try.

Next: Fomapan 100 'Classic'

All Images and text ©Mark Antony Smith 2007