The Online Darkroom Store

Monday, June 1

New Foma film available soon?

Foma have released some sample pics taken with the film and to show off the
print colour and toning capabilities of some of its range of papers.
See below for more samples.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this new film slipped right under my radar. I've been working on getting the house to look its best before it goes on the market and haven't had much time to spend on the internet. As they say, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Foma Retropan 320, which will be available initially in 35mm bulk lengths of 17mm and 30.5m and 5x4 to 10x8 sheet film and including 9x12cm, would appear to be a lower contrast panchromatic film with a speed of 320 ISO.

Foma claim it has fine grain, good resolution and contour sharpness. As with older lenses that give slightly lower contrast which many photographers associate with vintage photography, this film seems designed to achieve the same look. Hence the "retro" in the name.

Contact prints

The company says, "The film is characterised by a wide range of half tones and soft light which makes it suitable for photography and subsequent contact printing or “retro” style enlarging of negatives (photographs of still lives, architecture, experiments, landscapes, portraits, etc.).

"The sensitivity of the film is ISO 320/26° but its wide exposure latitude provides very good results also when overexposed by min. 1 EV (ISO 160/23°) and underexposed by 2 EV (1250/32°)."

The initial announcement from Foma was that supplies would reach distributors by the end of May. I've just checked Silverprint and AG Photographic in the UK and can't see any sign of it. If anyone knows where it might be available then please leave a comment.

Foma have also launched a new developer tailor-made for Retropan 320 called Retro Special which is a metol-hydroquinone brew in powder form. The film will also work with standard developers. Retro Special's time is 4-5 mins at 20C. Microphen stock is 10-11 mins, Kodak HC110 (1+31) 7-8 mins, Spur NHC 16-17 mins and Rollei Supergrain 6.5-7.5.

It can also be uprated a stop with a development time increase of around 50%. Here's the characteristic curve for all you technical types.

It shares one characteristic of other Foma films - severe reciprocity failure. A ten second exposure requires a 2.5 stop increase and a 100 second exposure 3 stops. This might be seen as a drawback in certain situations but it can be a positive boon in some others, notably long exposure photography where the film's response can do away with the need for the ten-stop ND filter often required for long shutter speeds.

Looking at Foma's sample pics above and forgetting the new film for a moment, I really like the print tone of what is the first photograph of the second pair. It's Fomatone MG Classic 132 developed in Fomatol LQN 1+7. That's about the degree of warmth I like in a print.


DougH said...

A fast film but with low contrast would be of help when I'm shooting church interiors. I've been intending to try Bruce Barnbaum's 2 bath compensating development process (see chapter 9 of his "Art of Photography"); but Foma Retro would be an easy alternative. Wish it was in 120.

morris1800 said...

Looks good , would love to see result on old uncoated lenses. I do like fomapan 100 film and look forward to trying this new film. Well done Foma. From the text in this post I assume you are now keeping the Rollei SL66 and selling the family home instead. You must have an understanding wife :)

Anonymous said...

The film is available directly from Foma through their web-shop (serving only three countries at the moment - CZ, SK, PL) since end of May.

Chris Livsey said...

Process supplies are the only UK dealer, at the time of writing, listed by fomaphoto uk stocking the film, no commercial connection.


Chris Livsey said...

Please add:

Allow direct ordering as well.

Best ChrisL