Like many others here, I had a shaky start with Neopan 400. It is now one of my all time favorites, when rated at Ei200 and developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 12 minutes. Agitation seems to be critical and 15 secs initial followed by 2 invertions at 4 minutes and 2 more at 8 minutes seems to work incredibly well for me. Examples included on the links below.
The problem for me is that I don't see this film selling in bulk rolls.
Fuji discontinued their bulk rolls of B&W film about a year ago.
Originally Posted by jackc
Sigh, those USA packaged bulk rolls were actually longer than 100ft, you could get a perfect 20 rolls with a 4-6 inch section left over. The Japan packaged bulk rolls were shorter, giving the usual 18 rolls plus one 20-25 exp. roll. Saving the few I have left in the deep freeze, but I'll be bummed when those are gone, I used them for more than a decade.
I did experiment with Neopan 400 a while back and must say I really really like it. I used Pyrocat-MC for developer, shot the film at EI200, and developed for about 40 minutes with minimal agitation (first minute the whole minute, half way for ten seconds). Great shadow detail, the extreme compensating effect of minimal agitation = no blown highlights. The prints reminded me of those from Tri-X, but with less grain and a bit smoother tonal gradations.
Now I have a boat load of Tri-X in the fridge, I bought a year's worth. So I have to shoot that first. But then I will seriously consider swapping to Neopan. I find Tri-X marginally better, but it's much more expensive. It's a toss-up. I can't really tell much difference between the prints unless I compare them side by side, and that is boring and doesn't do me any good in achieving my goals.
With the problems you say you have, shoot the film at EI200 and hold back your development. How much you can only tell by experimenting. Neopan 400 is an awesome product and you should be able to get equally awesome results with it.
I concur with your findings. Awesome at Ei 200. I am so impressed with it at this speed.