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Thursday, June 5

The Last Days of Neopan 400



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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.

If you want to read some more about Neopoan 400, Mark Smith has a nice write-up on it at his excellent Photo Utopia website.

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3 comments :

Jan Moren said...

I'll be honest: I got a pack of Neopan 400 some years ago, as I live in Japan and it was a very easy film to get hold of. But try as I might, I never got any good negatives from it. They just lacked any "pop" or sparkle, no matter what I did. Flat and grey, as if it lacked any character of its own. So I gave up on it, for all that it is a technically good film.

Bruce Robbins said...

That was pretty much my experience as well, Jan.

Julep & Gimlet said...

Bruce, first off, I really enjoy your blog. In my opinion Neopan 400 really shines in harsh lighting conditions. Granted, here in Seattle that's not a concern most of the year, but during the summer months it's my favorite film. Pushed to 1000 it also gives a nice punchy look. When I heard the announcement it was canceled I immediately started stocking up, and I bought out several major retailers earlier this year. I'm hoping it will last me a decade (using other types to fill in). Probably I'll use it faster than that--no point in letting good film sit around in the cold when it could be out shooting! on The Last Days of Neopan 400