Fomapan is one of those films that I tried early on when I first started shooting film – a gateway option which allowed me to explore the process of a mechanical camera without having to think too much about the cost of consuming a more expensive film. I think because of this approach my opinion of Fomapan is based on a less than ideal situation, and the work I produced on it is not the greatest; not due to anything inherent about the emulsion itself, but because of my low level of technical skill.
Now that I’ve been dedicated to shooting film for over a year I’ve been feeling more comfortable in revisiting some of those films I’d previously disavowed to see what they offered a more experienced film photographer.
This roll of Fomapan 400 was exposed EI1600 and developed at a +2 stop push. My previous pushing experiences with 400 speed films is with Tri-X and HP5+, both well known for their excellent latitude. My results from pushed Fomapan are not quite as nice as these, but I think the results hold up quite well, and the real errors are down to my own mistakes rather than a failing in the film. When metering for the shadows the exposures were especially nice, with lots of detail and great grain.
Part of the reason I wanted to try Fomapan 400 again was that a commenter in a recent article about Neopan 400 told me that the two films were comparable, and I definitely see where they are coming from when comparing these images to the results from pushed Neopan at the same exposure index.
Some of the images I accidentally underexposed by not paying attention to what the meter readout was telling me. These were totally unsalvageable, but I don’t think any film I’m aware of would have faired better under the circumstances.
I really hope you enjoyed the images in this post! If you did, you might be interested in following my Instagram, where I share a selection of my best work.