Fuji films have a cult following, even though Fuji kind of ignores its fans and keeps discontinuing more and more films. Few films are as known as Velvia, or Fuji Acros. Velvia is still around, but who know for how long. I give it a couple of years, then I think Fuji will discontinue all of the film production.
Anyhow, this blog post is about one of the fallen ones, Neopan 400. When you talk about Neopan 400 with someone who has shot it in the past, they get misty eyed and start reminiscing about its tonal scale, it’s great grain, how fantastic it was to push process.
I have recently aquired around 15 rolls of pretty fresh Neopan 400, and have these past few months managed to shoot two of them. One was developed in Fuji Super prodol, aka Fuji SPD, 1:1. 20c, 7 min. The other one I did in HC110 dil. E (1+47) for 8min in 20c.
I have not yet tried any push processing, but I might. I think SPD might be a good fit, of which I have a few packs left (I’ll write about this Japan only developer at a later date).
The first thing that hit me was how it renders blue skies, they are a bit less white compared to other films I have used. Slightly reduced blue sensitivity or just great highlights? I don’t know. It seems to really keep detail in the highlights anyhow.
Grain in SPD is around the same as HP5, in HC110 it is less than HP5. Around same as Tmax400 I’d say, but with better tonal scale. I prefer it in HC110 I think, but looks like I got a little bit more speed out of SPD. Should have shot the HC110 at ISO320.
Here is a 100% crop in SPD:
And here is a 100% crop in HC110:
Here are some sample pics, first when done in SPD:
And some pics in HC110:
I really like this film. It shares a lot of its characteristics with Acros 100, and I can very easily get the type of feel to the images that I want. I just set white and black point and pull the midtones down, way down. And it look so rough, grim, sad. It evokes exactly those feelings in me that I often want to portray with my images, the underbelly of the big city life. The loneliness of being in a big crowd, the absurdity of the way of life in a modern big city.
Alright, that’s it for today. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or thoughts.