5 frames with...

5 Frames on Ferrania P30 Alpha (with a Leica M6 and Nokton 35mm) – By Son Pham

December 6, 2018

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…

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these frames. You can find more of my works at @famanson and famanson.com

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Nick Holt
    December 6, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Nice shots! Love that Italian cine look too.

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      December 7, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Thanks! I really look forward to shooting more of it. Here crossing fingers they are in higher-volume production soon

  • Reply
    Ľubomír Brindza
    December 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Have to admit, I thought “I just don’t see it” to myself after scrolling down to the first frame, but the subsequent ones really do work. I might have to give this emulsion a test run; once there’s again some light on the northern hemisphere that is 🙂

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      December 7, 2018 at 10:29 am

      I’m glad that my images have managed to convince someone else to give P30 a try. Now that I have seen the results from it, I have all kinds of ideas on how to use it in the street (where I normally shoot), but I can’t find any more in stock 🙁

  • Reply
    Mike HINKLEMAN
    December 7, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Last 2 shots look like Plus X

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      December 7, 2018 at 11:27 am

      oh really? I have never shot any Plus X before so I don’t really know. I did shoot some CineStill bwXX on the same trip, but the results from the P30 roll impressed me the most out of them

  • Reply
    Ashok hurry
    December 7, 2018 at 4:08 am

    I think you must make a deeper canvassing. with Photographic organization to indulge more New photographers in film photography , especially professional portraiture where the skin tones are painting like
    eg kodak &fujifilms

  • Reply
    andreaska
    December 7, 2018 at 7:48 am

    Really beautiful images!

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      December 7, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Thank you! Jordan is an amazing place to shoot, too 😀 I think this film was perfect for the scenery and mood there

  • Reply
    Dominique Pierre-Nina
    December 7, 2018 at 8:57 am

    great, I will look out for it here in Australia.

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      December 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

      nice, when you do get hold of a roll, I’d really love to see the results. Australia is on my bucket list of countries to visit for a while now

  • Reply
    Alexey
    January 20, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Great pictures! Love your composition. But i bet you were not using filters? Yellow, yellow-green, orange and even red filter helps a lot to change contrast distribution towards “how my eyes see that”, especially with the sky (most of contemporary bw films are too sensitive to blue color, so it gets overexposed faster).

    • Reply
      Son Pham
      January 27, 2019 at 11:30 am

      You have very sharp eyes, my good sir! I didn’t use any filter (although would have loved to use a yellow filter in this trip). Maybe next time…

  • Reply
    Cameron
    January 23, 2020 at 5:28 am

    It’s a shame that I can’t find anywhere in Australia to purchase this film. Would love to give it a try.

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