It would have been around late 2014 sometime when I walked into the London Camera Exchange on The Strand. I didn’t know it at the time but I was about to make a huge mistake.
I had just started film photography and had only ever shot few rolls of film, namely Tri-X, Ilford XP2 and some Superia. My knowledge and experience was minimal and everything was new to me. There sitting on the counter was a glass bowl, in the bowl were boxes of 35mm Fujifilm Neopan 400. A little sign next to it said short dated and discontinued thus discounted. There were about 15 boxes left. Never one to shy from trying my luck I asked the salesperson if they would give me an extra discount on top of the savings if I bought the lot.
They said yes. A deal was struck and I walked away happy. It would be a few months before I shot the first roll of the the film, April 2015 to be exact.
36 frames shot, off I went to Snappy Snaps in Fleet Street where I used to get my XP2 and Superia processed. I was very impatient in those days and always got the film developed and scanned by them same day. I picked up the negatives and CD and headed home to see what this film looked like. In case you are wondering, my Tri-X used to get sent away to Ilford’s lab.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. First there was a lot of boring crap, that was generally OK as it was my first time trying the stock. Secondly there were a lot of metering errors, something that still continues to this day!! But mainly it was just really really grainy. I didn’t like it, I knew film was supposed to have grain but not like this. I knew film was not supposed to be perfect but this really was not to my taste. I was gutted I had just blown a ton of money on a film I did not like.
Over the next few months I gave away every roll I had, so determined was I never to shoot it again. It was about a year maybe even two later that I worked out what had happened and by then I had given away all my stock of a beautiful, sought after and now discontinued B&W film.
I used to send the Tri-X away as Snappy Snaps didn’t do B&W at the shop…………. The lab had accidentally processed it in C-41.