Tag Archives: Foma

Film Review – Fomapan 100

With my film photography, I have had limited experience with the Fomapan products. I’ve shot Fomapan 200 with okay results and the surveillance variant of Fomapan 200 available through the Film Photography Project with much better results. I’ve tried Fomapan 400 in sheet film and got no results. But after seeing some amazing work with Fomapan 100, I decided to pick up four rolls in 120 from Argentix.ca to give it a try. I certainly found the film pleasing to work with, a classic response with the four different developers I worked with over the course of shooting the film in several different situations.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic Black & White Film
  • Base: Format Dependent (120/4×5 – Clear Polyester (PE), 135 – Cellilous Triacetate)
  • Film Speed: ASA-100, with a latitude between ASA-50 to ASA-400
  • Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, and Large Format

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

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

The number one good thing about Fomapan films is the cost; these are very inexpensive films to shoot which makes them a great film to start with if you’re learning to develop your own black & white film. But if you want the best bang for your buck, Fomapan 100 is the film of choice. And don’t think you’re getting a cheap film, Foma 100 is one of the nicest mid-speed films I’ve ever used. It has almost a classic look and film, like the films of the mid-twentieth century, great if you want to shoot World War Two reenactments on film.

Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Grab a Pint?
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The developers I used for the review are as follows, Rodinal, Kodak D-23, Pyrocat-HD, and Kodak HC-110. It was Rodinal that brought out that classic look and feel, while slightly more grain than you’d expect in an ASA-100 film, but nothing too serious. I saw a reduction in grain using Pyrocat-HD, but I felt that the film came out of the tank slightly under-developed, so it either needs about thirty seconds more in the developer or slightly warmer water, maybe 1-2 degrees hotter. Kodak D-23 is another winner, a bit grainer but brought out the tonality of the film and continues that same classic look that you get with Rodinal. I was also fairly pleased with the results of HC-110 Dilution H, kept the contrast on mark, and surprisingly the grain was hardly noticeable. My final say is that Rodinal is the best developer for this film as it gives you the shortest standard developing times with the best results and can easily be done in the field as you can just use water for your stop bath. I say standard developing times as Dilution B and A of HC-110 has shorter developing times but requires constant agitation.

TFSM - Spring '17
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Spring '17
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

Of course, no film is without fault. While many may target the film’s polyester base, it is not much of an issue. In Medium format, the PE base handles well and easily mounted onto the plastic reels of the Patterson system and will probably handle just as well on steel. No the biggest issue I have with Foma 100 is the long developing time. Most times are around the 10-minute mark, while not much of a slight against the product just a minor annoyance. Thankfully the Rodinal time is under the 10-minute mark. I mostly say this because often we do marathon developing sessions and working late into the night is tough because as you get tired, you’re more likely to make a mistake.

A Walk In the Park
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 10:00 @ 20C

A Walk In the Park
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 10:00 @ 20C

My final word on the film, it’s certainly worth a shot if you’re on a budget or just learning. You can pick this up for under six dollars a roll (Canadian). And if you’re shooting the film in 4×5, you’re looking at a buck a sheet, only Arista.EDU and X-Ray film is cheaper. It’s also good if you want that classic look-and-feel that you often saw with Adox and Efke films, it works well in daylight and shadow and just sings in the right developer. I hope to pick up some of the 35mm version and see if there’s any difference between the two formats.


Well anyone who has read this Blog or who knows me in person…knows I have a passion for several things. History, Military Reenacting, and Film Photography.

TFSM Fall '14 - The Lion, The Witch, and the wait??
A recent favourite image of mine, shot on Ilford HP5+ and developed myself in HC-110.

So don’t mind me…I just had to spread the word that film is alive and is kicking ass. That’s right folks, film is far from dead, the grave is no longer in sight of this dearly loved medium. Because there just isn’t anything like film. Don’t worry, I’m not knocking digital, and it does have it’s place in my workflow, it’s just I prefer to work with film. So where did it all start again? Right, the death of Polaroid. Funny how at the end there’s an odd beginning. The loss of Polaroid but a hole into the heart of photographers everywhere, they had been dying a slow death. Photographer friend Polly Chandler when out and maxed out a credit card on the lovely Type 55 instant 4×5 material when she found out it was being discontinued. Into this stepped three brave entrepreneurs, and they managed to snag the last operational Polaroid factory and named themselves “The Impossible Project” because their task was…nothing short of impossible. But they managed to, from scratch, recreate instant film for the SX-70, 600, and Spectra Cameras. Sure it was a long rough road, but they made it come back, and continue to work on improving.

From my very first pack of Impossible Project film…it’s only gotten better!

But they showed one thing, film is alive and people still yearn for project. So into this hole stepped other people who saw a need and reached out and started making new project. New55 is working on getting their replacement for Polaroid Type 55 into the market again after launching a successful kickstarter campaign. Impossible Project continues to improve their colour and B&W formulas and products. But now what? Where do we go from here? Today there are only three operational fully self-contained film production lines in the world. Fuji, Kodak, Agfa, but there was a fourth, Ferrania. And they’re working on getting that line operational again, because someone in the Italian Government had the foresight to preserve the plant and equipment and now a group of men, are working on getting it up and running. Their goal to produce three new slide films, yes, the idea of getting new slide film in both 120, 35mm along with Super8 and 16mm for motion picture is exciting!


Add to this Cinestill, who produces still camera ready, c-41 process motion picture film is working on getting their wonderful stock into 120 format as well? Still think film is dead? Keep reading!


How about a new, affordable Large format field camera? I’m game! As much as I like to shoot my Crown Graphic press camera, having another option available to me is also a fantastic idea, Intrepid Camera Co. is working on their prototype and the images they’re producing is fantastic, plus the camera looks pretty sexy as well!


So how can YOU help? That’s the easy part! Support film! Go out and buy fresh product from Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Foma, Lomography, Impossible Project, Adox…but don’t horde, buy what you need, shoot it, and get more. Support companies like Cinestill, Intrepid, and Ferrania, let’s show them some film love. And most importantly promote them through whatever social media you have, twitter, tumblr, facebook, ello….anything really.

Cinestill Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/cinestill/cinestill-medium-format-film
Ferrania: www.kickstarter.com/projects/filmferrania/100-more-years-of-analog-film

And yes, I’ve backed both of these, as well as Bill Schwab’s Kickstarter for his Photographic Workshop up in Emmet County which was successfully funded as well as Lomography’s latest for the Lomo’Instant (also wildly successful).

Companies that Support Film
The Film Photography Project: http://filmphotographyproject.com/
The Impossible Project: https://www.the-impossible-project.com/
Freestyle Photographic: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/
Burlington Camera: http://burlingtoncamera.com/
The Darkroom: https://thedarkroom.com/
Borealis Labs: http://www2.borealislab.qc.ca/
Kodak Alaris: http://www.kodakalaris.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_Alaris.htm
Ilford: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp
Fujifilm: http://www.fujifilm.ca/
Lomography: http://www.lomography.ca/
Intrepid Camera Co: http://www.theintrepidcamera.co.uk/
Adox: http://www.adox.de/Photo/?page_id=234
Foma: http://www.foma.cz/en/photomaterials
FILM Ferrania: http://www.filmferrania.it/
CineStill: http://cinestillfilm.com/
New55: http://www.new55project.com/

Yes, film is still out there, and is kicking back.
Not Dead. Nowhere Close to Dead.