OK, Now I'm curious...
Have any of you who have had problems with these films ever emailed John at J&C to try to work out the issues? I've found that he is very responsive to comments and questions and truely wants to deliver a quality product at a good price.
I haven't had any problems with the J&C Classic Pan films (200 and 400), and the only issues I've had with the Pro 100 was excessive curling (solved that one) and two rolls where I had light leaks (also solved that problem).
The curling issue was solved by changing the way I dry the film. By drying in a slightly higher humidity, the curling issue stopped being a problem. The light leak issue was my fault, I secured the rolls with rubber bands instead of tape. Now that the film is packaged in those nice 120 film cans, there really isn't any reason for light leaks. I will put a qualifier on this - Since I don't use any cameras or backs that use a red window for frame counting, so I can't speak for the effectiveness of the paper in that circumstance.
I prefer the look of the J&C 200 and 400 films to Plus-X and Tri-X. The 100 reminds me a lot of my all time favorite B&W film, Verichrome. I hope that J&C makes it available in 5X7...
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
Actually, Bob, there was a prolonged thread here someplace concerning the emulsion defects and pinholes in the Pro 100. The upshot was that a certain number of coating defects were unavoidable because of the WWII vintage equipment being used to coat the film, but pinholes and bubbles were related to the very soft emulsion (similar in that respect to Efke films), which require keeping process temperature no higher than 20C, avoiding acid stop bath even with developers for which it's not normally a problem, and handling with great care to avoid scratching while the emulsion is wet.
At this point, I have a couple rolls in the tank waiting to be processed (putting it off until my taxes are done, and the taxes keep getting pushed back), two more exposed in their cans on my desk, and a couple more in the pipeline; I just received a box today with ten more rolls. My first two rolls had scratches (made by the camera, since corrected) and emulsion defects (not repeated with better temp control and water stop); the 3rd roll was perfect. I'm hooked.
I don't think it's that much like Verichrome Pan, but I haven't shot any VP in about 30 years -- I was away from photography when it was discontinued and wasn't shooting MF during the short periods I was back between high school and 2003. I will say, however, that I've stopped looking for an ISO 100 film -- at this price and with the cans included, the only failing I see is the very soft backing paper. I haven't seen any fog-through or light leaks from red windows, the resolution and latitude are excellent, and the film speed seems closer to the ISO rating than most films.
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.