5 Frames with Foma Fomapan Retro 200 Black and White, Pentax 645N and FA 75mm f/2.8

I will start with something about Foma Fomapan Retro 200 Black & White that I said in a blog post about another film.

What is that you say? Lower price and acceptable results?

Yes, please.

As a part of my Father’s Day/Birthday film haul I picked up a roll.

Developed at home with Cinestll df96. For a camera to run it through I chose to reduce human error as much as possible by using the nearly bulletproof Pentax 645N and 75mm f/2.8. This is one of my all time favorite film cameras… Scratch that one of my all time favorite cameras regardless of format or technology. While being one of the simplest and most consistent cameras I have ever used it is also capable of creating fantastic images. AF is spot on in my experience as well as auto exposure. On top of that, you can take full manual control of the camera. All of the lenses I have used with it are great. That being said the 75mm f/2.8 is so good that I eventually sold on my other lenses. And the 645N is so good that I kept it even after selling off my digital 645D.  I could go on for a while. It takes plain old AA batteries. It is relatively small and light considering that it is a fully automatic medium format camera. It is so easy to use I can hand it off to anyone with minimal instruction. That cannot be said for my Hasselblad 501c, Yashica MAT LM, or some of my 35mm film cameras. I can also bring it along on family outings without having to bring proceedings to a halt while I meter and focus a scene. It also squeezes out 16 exposures instead of the usual 15 for a 645 camera. Ok, I will stop there.


There are plenty of other great cameras out there. But if you are looking for a decent crossroad between usability, features, and image quality you could do much worse.

Here are 5 images courtesy of the 645N. I took a spin through a local town. Will add some thoughts afterward.

Pentax 645N - 75mm - Fomapan 200Pentax 645N - 75mm - Fomapan 200

Pentax 645N - 75mm - Fomapan 200

Pentax 645N - 75mm - Fomapan 200

Pentax 645N - 75mm - Fomapan 200

I really like the look of Fomapan 200. Pleasingly sharp. A bit moodier compared to the brighter films I have used before. But I like it. Look at the dragon images for Pete’s sake. I was happy with the whole roll, but I really like those images in particular.

Will stop here and let the sample images above speak for themselves. If you like the sample shots it would not hurt to give it a try. The fact that it is very reasonably priced is an added bonus.

I appreciate having this opportunity to share my experiences with these lenses.

Eric L. Woods

I shoot a variety of new and old digital and film cameras. Industrial Engineer by education, IT is my vocation, and I really enjoy using, testing, and writing about cameras. All three of the latter are very therapeutic exercises for me. If you are so inclined my blog address is ewoodsphoto.com and I can be found on twitter and Instagram. All the best to you.

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5 thoughts on “5 Frames with Foma Fomapan Retro 200 Black and White, Pentax 645N and FA 75mm f/2.8”

  1. Thanks Eric, great post and now I’m contemplating a Pentax 645 (seems my GAS is incurable).

    Have you had any backing paper issues with the Foma in 120? I’m a fan of 200 on 35mm but have had mixed results in 120- according to the labs I use, it’s a common issue, something to do with the backing paper.

    1. You are welcome. Thank you for reading. Have made my peace with my GAS affliction since it does not seem to be going anywhere.

      I am curious what issues they are having with the backing paper. I have developed a 120 roll each of 100 and 200 at home (links below) and I do not recall anything out of the ordinary.

      200 https://ewoodsphoto.com/2023/07/08/analog-therapy-film-test-foma-fomapan-retro-200-black-white/

      100 https://ewoodsphoto.com/2023/07/26/analog-therapy-remembering-dad-two-films-two-cameras/

      All the best to you.

      1. Louis,

        Agreed on all points regarding the 645. It is by far my most used medium format film camera.

        Have not yet had issues with mu one film back, but as you said they are inexpensive and plentiful.

        The images you shared are very nice.


  2. I love my dad’s old 645. And like you, I wind up using the 75mm exclusively. But, I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of you guys talking about newer variants. As good as the images it produces are, the original 645 is by far the least intuitive camera I own.

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