Fujifilm Acros 100 is my favourite low-speed monochrome film ever. So just like many other photographers, I was in distressed when Fujifilm decided to kill it. By October, I was on the look out to find a replacement.
After a visit to the Photographers’ Gallery for an exhibition, I came down to their shop in the basement. There I stumbled upon a curious roll of Ferrania P30 Alpha, an Italian cine monochrome film at ASA 80. Eventually, I bought a roll to bring along on my next trip to Jordan to shoot some landscape. Boy, did it not disappoint!
I shot the entire P30 roll on my Leica M6 with the Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.4 lens, which is also my daily shooting kit nowadays. It is a combination I really like because of its image quality, sturdiness, compact size and convenience.
We made our way from Petra into the Wadi Rum desert. The combination of the sand, rocks and human-made structures made for some very interesting visuals.
I love the tonality and contrast on this film stock. The blacks are silky, and the whites pop out at just the right amount. To my eyes, it doesn’t look as clean and smooth as Acros, but it certainly is very sharp (being an ASA 80 film after all!), more punchy and dramatic. These traits show the best in scenes with strong and harsh sunlight, which is in abundance at this time of the year in Jordan.
I developed this roll at home myself, and the resulting negatives were very easy to scan as well. There is a great information page provided by Ferrania themselves with different processing formulae and a lot of users’ contributions: http://www.filmferrania.it/p30-processing. The developer of my choice is Kodak HC-110, and I went with dilution H to be able to extend the development time.
One of the selling points of P30 is the look of the Italian cinema of the 60s. Admittedly, I did not really understand what this really meant initially until I saw the final results myself. My eyes felt like they were melting the moment I inspected the negatives. Even though I have had a lot of good results shooting landscapes with this film stock, I feel like its true potential is with portrait and street photography. Maybe I shall use P30 for a street project in the near future.
Meanwhile, I know what I am going to bring along on my future road trips from now on…