|Dog Left by Phil Rogers. Minolta Autocord, Neopan 400|
developed in Barry Thornton's Two Bath
This is one of those horrible times for analogue photographers where supplies of a discontinued film are gradually coming to an end around the world. If you're a fan then you should grab all the Fuji Neopan 400 you can find right now. There's probably no more than a few weeks supply anywhere in the world and possibly not even that from what I can tell.
It seems like the last stocks are now disappearing from shelves in Japanese photo stores although a few people are still finding some in Tokyo. In the US, Adorama and B&H appear to be out of stock and when that happens you can bet there won't be much elsewhere.
Closer to home, AG Photographic are still listing it. They say it's currently delayed but "due back in stock". Time to update the website, Matthew Wells! :)
You can still find some on Ebay but the price is already starting to creep up to around £6 per roll of 35mm or 120 and it will only get higher.
Medium format Neopan 400 was discontinued in 2010 and 35mm went the same way last year although Fuji said at the time that it would continue to supply dealers until the middle of this year. One or two posters on the Rangefinder Forum expressed surprise that it had vanished off the shelves earlier than expected, completely oblivious to the effect their 100-roll buying sprees had had on supply!
I can't say that I've ever been much help to Fuji as I've always tended to go for Ilford and Kodak and that goes for Neopan 400 as well. I've shot a couple of rolls but just to see what it was like. I know there are some people who love it but I didn't like it as much as HP5 and Tri X. As ever, I suppose it depends on the type of photography you do and the image you're after.
So, in the Fuji black and white stakes, that just leaves Acros 100, another really excellent film that I haven't used too much of either! There's no doubting the quality of Across but I have to say that the results it produces, for me, are more like black and white digital than any other film I've used. They're just a bit too smooth looking, like something you might expect to have come from the Leica M Monochrome.
However, it's unbeatable from a reciprocity point of view so if you're into low light shooting or long exposures then that might be huge plus point.