The Fomapan series of films are ones that I only recently discovered in the past couple years. It actually was in 2015 when I visited Europe for the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo and popped into a camera shop in the old city of Amsterdam. And there was the whole range of Foma products from paper to film. Well, when I returned I made a point to start checking out this Foma product line. While Fomapan 100 wasn’t my first experience with the product line, it is my favourite of the three film stocks.

CCR:FRB - Review 13 - Fomapan 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 40-400
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m not sure if it was the lighting or the developer on this one, but not exactly my favourite combination. Yet, it’s not a bad choice of developer, you get the resolving power that you have with Fomapan 100, fine grain, the tones, but the image is just flat. Sure you have the blacks and the whites, but even those are a little off for my taste. If there was a time for 1+4 you might see an improved contrast. But still, if you want this low contrast look, then yes, a solid choice.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

Technical Details:
Mamiya 645 AF-D III – Mamiya 645 AF 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
One of my favourite developers for Fomapan 100 is HC-110, because not only do you get a good contrast even with low dilutions like H and F, you maintain amazing tonality across the spectrum and a sharp look and fine grain. Sure you may need to develop it a bit longer than usual or use a different agitation pattern. But trust me this gives you that classic look that you have come to expect from the Foma line of films without losing sharpness or increasing the grain.

ParatrooperA Quick Way Around CampUS ForcesLittle bit of Conversation

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 7:45 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
If you want contrast on the nose, then Rodinal is your choice for developers with Fomapan 100. You also get to see how sharp the film is, but you do get far more noticeable grain especially when you shoot in 35mm, but far less noticeable in 120. Rodinal is by far my primary developer with Fomapan 100 because it’s a classic looking film, it should always be paired with a classic developer.

LUiNA StationOpposing DoorsWater from the RockLittle India

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
For a slow working developer you get a whole lotta contrast out of Fomapan 100, and like Rodinal it gives a strong look to the film. Smooth tones, great contrast, and fine grain. Now you do lose a bit of sharpness but not enough to be overly concerned about it. Of course the downside is that you do have a ten minute developing time, but it’s worth the time.

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Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a classic emulsion that feels like a film you’d have shot in the mid-twentieth century then Fomapan 100 is for you. While you do need to purchase the stock through more speciality film stores Freestyle, Argentix, Maco Direct, B&H, it’s well worth the effort because it is slightly less expensive than mainstream films from Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But to get the best results for the film, stick to classic developers, HC-110, Rodinal, and D-23. While I haven’t tried the film with D-76 yet, I’m sure that it would do just as good a job.

1 Comment

  1. Very timely post. I’ve recently been experimenting with Foma/Arista vs. Ultrafine. Just today, I got emailed some b&w scans from Downtown Camera, and I was blown away… I thought what the hell stock was that? After consulting my notebook, I realized it was Arista 100. Granted, the photos were taken with my Fuji 690 III, but I was still amazed. I’m not sure what chemistry DC use, but I’m heading in tomorrow to drop off some Rerapan 127 (ie: Acros) and I must ask them.

    Great shots!


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