Fomapan 100 is a classic of b&w. The formula and materials used are based on classic formulas. It gives smooth tones, it is sharp with very little grain. All these advantages can be used to create classical dark, grainy but sharp photographs.
I love dark, high contrast b&w photography. I also love my Holga’s fast focus fall off on the sides. My go to b&w film is Kodak Tri X 400 but it is expensive so i rarely use it with my Holga. A few weeks ago Lomography had a special offer on Fomapan 100 so i quickly snapped up 10 rolls.
Fomapan 100 is a classic b&w film. The formula and materials used are based on classic formulas, that means they are pre 1960 formulas. It gives smooth gradients (tones) meaning there are many shades of grey between the black and white points. It is also very sharp (high acutance) with very little grain. These characteristics make it ideal for medium format photography.
Not what i was looking for but i used these characteristics to my advantage.
Choosing a variety of different lighting and detailed scenes i metered at ISO 400 instead of the box speed of ISO 100, meaning underexposed by 2 stops. To make things darker i also underexposed by a further 1 stop, bringing the total to 3 stops underexposed. This means that my images will be dark with increased grain, hopefully giving a very classical look. I Stand developed them in my kitchen using Rodinal. Another formula, Rodinal creates grain and contrast. Stand develop was at 1hr with only 3 inversions. They were then scanned at 1200 DPI and a little exposure was added in Aperture to make the whites a little brighter.
The results are fantastic. Nice dark blacks. Grain is visible but not too much, just enough for a classic feel. Tones are not lost although next time i will not add the extra one stop under exposure, this will keep white white not grey. Still Holga sharp.
I am now hooked on this Fomapan 100. Very close to classic photography. It is also very good to know that you do not need to be spot on with your exposures. You will still get very good images if underexposed by 2. Just be careful with over exposing, one stop is ok but more and you will loose all blacks. This is very good for high key since the sharpness is hard to beat.
Fomapan 100 will not replace Kodak Tri X 400 but it will now be my go to film when i need upto ISO 400. For higher ISO, up to ISO 1600 it is hard to beat Tri X 400 but i have not yet tried Fomapan 400!!