Despite my previous efforts to demystify this deceased Fujifilm stock I still have something of an attachment to the idea of shooting Neopan designated films, so when I found some of the 1600 variant for sale at a reasonable price I had to buy a few rolls. These were dated 2011, which in black & white terms is not that old at all, so I didn’t do much in terms of changing the exposure index of my early rolls to accommodate for any degradation – on being happy with these initial results I continued to shoot my further rolls in the same way.
My experience with high-speed films is limited to the currently available mainstream stocks, Delta 3200 and T-Max 3200. Neopan feels closest to T-Max 3200, but I think I prefer the look of the Neopan overall. I found it much “cleaner” than either of the 3200 speed films, even when compared with rolls I’d overexposed and shot at 1600. I really like the look of both Delta and T-Max when shot in daylight/overcast but bright conditions, which means that the characteristics of high ISO become not a crutch for use in low-light, but rather a quality to the look of the final result.
These Neopan 1600 results are similarly shot in daylight situations, which gave me a lot of freedom to expose for different types of available light – and I don’t think there are any frames where the quality of this film didn’t shine through. I think one of the best images at articulating some of the intricacies of the detail and grain characteristics is this next one – the detail of the fishing line against the pure black of the shadow of the bridge is so subtle, as is the plane at the top-centre of the scene.
For some, detail will always be more appreciable up close, which I think these two images demonstrate pretty well!
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