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  1. #1
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    FujiFilm Neopan NC 400 - What a superb film

    Hi

    Just shot a couple of rolls of Fuji Neopan NC 400 of my new baby girl and good lady wife. Also shot a role of Ilford FP4 alongside.

    Nothing against the Ilford FP4 - a great versatile film, but oh my - compared to the Neopan - the results of the Neopan was amazing. Really dark blacks, and really bright whites. The Ilford, by comparison, looked quite pasty and 'washed out'. If I just had the prints from the FP4 on it's own I'd not have noticed probably, but getting the Neopan results at the same time, and knowing that all rolls were shot in the same light, has given me a lot of faith in that film. I have just ordered a new batch to keep me going (http://www.silverprint.co.uk/Product...asp?PrGrp=2224)

    Ted
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  2. #2
    Antje's Avatar
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    It's my favourite, too. :-)

  3. #3

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    Ted

    Did you do the developing and printing yourself of both films?

    Congratulations on the new baby!

    Mike

  4. #4
    ted_smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebarger View Post
    Ted
    Did you do the developing and printing yourself of both films?
    No mate - I didn't want to risk messing it up so I sent the films to my pro lab and asked them to produce 7" x 5" prints. Why? Do you think it's an 'automated' thing? I could always try running off a few prints of the Ilford using my enlarger.

    Thanks for the congrats :-) Fatherhood is an interesting change from my usual self-indulgant life-style!!
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  5. #5
    kodachrome64's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 8300: BlackBerry8300/4.5.0.55 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

    Yes, you may want to try doing the prints yourself to compare also, since the lab ("pro" or not) has probably made adjustments to tweak all of the images. It would be interesting to see how they compare directly on your enlarger.

    Nick
    Kodachrome
    They give us those nice bright colors
    They give us the greens of summers
    Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah.
    -Paul Simon

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    No mate - I didn't want to risk messing it up so I sent the films to my pro lab and asked them to produce 7" x 5" prints. Why? Do you think it's an 'automated' thing? I could always try running off a few prints of the Ilford using my enlarger.
    Unless you know, understand of, and agree with everything the pro lab did, I wouldn't draw any conclusions on the relative quality of the films based on results from the lab. Quite a few things the lab did might have caused the results you've described, such as improper film development time or improper contrast settings when making prints.

    As an illustrative anecdote, I'll say that I shot my first roll of 35mm B&W film around 1980, when I was a teenager. I never did get the results that I wanted, and it's only after I started doing my own processing that I really understood why: The prints I got back from the (non-pro) photofinisher were garbage. Specifically, they were severely lacking in contrast. It could be you're seeing something similar with the prints from Ilford film, based on your description. This isn't a feature of Ilford film per se, though; it's a matter of poor print contrast. There are lots of ways this could come about, and few of them have anything to do with the film per se.

    All of this, BTW, is not meant as an attack on Fuji Neopan 400 film. I've used it and I like it, although I prefer Fomapan 400 or Agfa APX400 for most ISO 400 B&W shooting.

  7. #7
    Rolleijoe's Avatar
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    One thing that I've noticed, is that it's only available in the U.K. Not even Fuji Japan has it! Makes me wonder for just a bit if it might be XP2-Super or something.

    Agfa had a similar film in the 80s which I used, that gave fantastic results. The only downside with the chromagenic films is that, (like color) the dyes will fade eventually, and the image lost. That's the main reason I only shoot CN b&w films very rarely. However, would be interesting to see some results from 120. May just have to place an order and try it for myself.


    Rolleijoe
    If the lens doesn't read "ZEISS", then it just isn't.

  8. #8

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    It does depend on if the lab you used is experienced with scanning/printing traditional B&W negs vs. the chromogenic - although I can't get it here, from what I've read I believe the 400CN has an orange mask like other colour C-41 films (and Kodak's BW400CN), so the lab can just scan it as a regular C-41. Assuming the lab you went to is printing from a digital scan like most labs these days, traditional films like FP4+ don't scan as well with straight automatic settings like those from a standard minilab (I've tried giving it to a couple of labs - the straight insert-and-scan looks odd, but pro labs used to scanning make some adjustments and it looks OK). The best results from Tri-X involve scanning it myself with a flatbed scanner and playing with it until it looks "right" - but that's outside APUG's scope.

    So, in a nutshell, the prints may look better because it's easier for the lab to make it look better
    Last edited by mabman; 11-03-2008 at 10:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

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  9. #9

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    Dear All,

    An interesting thread, mostly about the processing, at HARMAN I guess you know we are passionate about printing mono films on mono papers, so many D&P houses now print onto colour so we put our money where our mouth was and now offer our own service, proper processing, C41 mono as well as normal mono and printing using a converted FUJI Frontier ( with the great help and support of FUJI ) onto our monochrome paper. The results I think are unbelievable.....this is not an ADVERT for the service, just to say that we are
    doing a lot of work in 2009 to encourage specialist D&P and Labs around the World to look at the system.

    Its going so well we plan to widen the range of services this year.


    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  10. #10

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    It sound like your FP4 was underexposed, and therefore was automatically printed up. Under what lighting conditions were the pix shot? Were you pushing the limits of usability of a 125 film, or were you getting good exposures with plenty of room to spare? I agree that FP4 can get a tad flat on the high end of things if you are not placing and developing to suit, not to mention that it has less latitude. However, IMO when it is nailed it provides clearly "better" results than b/w C-41 film, from a technical standpoint. (Not that I believe the Fuji film is bad, mind you). Subjective opinion, of course, but it sounds to me like something went wrong with the FP4.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-04-2008 at 05:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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