More London view of the Gully
The Whole Roll

36 Frames / A whole roll of Fuji Neopan 400 – #FullRollFriday – By Sandeep

June 5, 2020

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.

View of Tower Bridge

View of Thames Path near City Hall

Closer view of More London

More London viw

Wider angle shot of More London

Tower Bridge and Embankment view

City Hall view

City Hall and Tower Bridge view

Alternate view of City Hall and Tower Bridge

View of The Shard from More London

More London view of the Gully

Trees at More London

Alternate view of Gully at More London

Houses of Parliament

London Eye side view

London Eye straight view

Kids at restaurant

Kid eating chips at restaurant

Kids at play

Kids posing for the camera

piano player dressed as Fozzie bear

Alternate view of fozzie playing piano

The kids in Brighton

Kids posing in Brighton

London curved street

Tower Bridge viewed from the east

Butlers Wharf

Butlers Wharf embankment

Thames flats

New flat developments on the Thames

Walkway over stream

Shad Thames

Tower Bridge south to north view

Classic Tower Bridge view

London Embankment

Thames Barges

Sandeep (@givemeabiscuit)

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  • Reply
    Mark C S
    June 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing, walked around that area a few times. Given me a new view point in mono only..

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks, you should definitely give it a go in B&W when you are next there

  • Reply
    Kate Johnson
    June 5, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Beautiful, The Ferris Wheel is my favorite. I think I could only do a whole roll if I used 120 film ;=)

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you. 3 rolls of 120 maybe….

  • Reply
    June 5, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    oh dear – that could have been me – all over the place 🙂 Nice story! and nice pictures after all. once you get your grainy shyness out of the way I suggest you try coffenol. you never have to relay on Happy Schnaps (or whatever) again 🙂

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks, don’t have the time to develop myself right now but hope to some day

  • Reply
    Jim Hanex
    June 5, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Grain is GOOD!

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      I agree, it was just unexpected at that time

  • Reply
    Dion Balisacan
    June 5, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    Terrific story but IMO the photos look great.

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you

  • Reply
    June 6, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    My story with Neopan 400 is a bit similar to yours. I also bought a few rolls, knowing that the film would be disappear from the market soon. I also found it a hard film to get technically good results with. I tried it with different developers, but it always tended to be rather grainy and show harsh contrast – even at box speed. Maybe it’s a good film to achieve this vintage photojournalist-style look without having to push the film.

    • Reply
      June 8, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      Its a really good film developed in B&W chems I just wish I got to try it properly

  • Reply
    Dave Whenham
    June 7, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Despite any technical imperfections you’ve still got memories of that day out I guess. As for imperfections, how imperfect will vary from viewer to viewer – personal taste I know but I don’t find these too grainy at all, but then I used to shoot Tri-X at 3200.

  • Reply
    Phong Nguyen
    October 3, 2020 at 3:54 am

    I used to visit this area many times when I lived and worked in London (2005 – 2010). I don’t know much about the film but I think the pictures are so beautiful. Thank you very much.

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