OK, I got a little carried away there. I don’t actually think mine was the last roll of Ferrania Solaris 100 in the whole world, but – alas – it was the last one in my possession.
The story goes like this: a couple of years ago, when I started shooting film, I bought a batch of Ferrania Solaris 100 color negative film. The film expired in 2006 and was practically being given away for free, so I figured it would be a good, inexpensive way of training myself to film photography before starting to shoot more “serious” film. So, I absent-mindedly went through the first roll and sent it over to the lab for development, without worrying too much about the results.
When the roll came back I was literally blown away. The colors in particular were awesome: intense and full of pop. The prints showed a slight reddish hue, but this was well controlled and did not “overflow” on the other colors. If anything, it contributed to a very warm and special feeling, a Solaris signature look, if you want. I’ve read that this was considered as a run-of-the-mill color film, so I can only suppose that ageing did some magic here, like a good bottle of wine.
Following this epiphany, I immediately placed the remaining rolls in my fridge (much to my wife’s chagrin) and I have been rationing them with great care. But, all good things must come to an end, and last month I discovered there was only one left.
Rather than keeping it for a special occasion, I decided to say goodbye in a simpler, more genuine way. So, on a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon, I popped the roll inside my Leica M6 and went out to honor the last roll shooting some good old-fashioned street photography. Luckily, it did not disappoint.
So, that’s it. We had a good run, Solaris 100…hope to see you again sometime in the future!
I do hope that FILM Ferrania will put this film somewhere in their roadmap. Until then, I suggest you go on a scavenger hunt and get yourself some of this wonderful film before it is gone for good – I’m sure you won’t regret it.
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