45C / 113F [in the shade] sound good to anyone about now? Welcome to summers in Delhi, India.
When temperatures routinely reach that magical mark, a broken-down air conditioner simply cannot stay that way. Consider this an unboxing of a different sort – this sequence of images traces the removal of the errant machine, it’s partial disassembly, identification of the problem and the final test after repair and reinstallation.
Ilford PAN 400 B&W film.
For those familiar with this journal, it will come as no surprise that B&W film is clearly our medium of choice. Over the years, there have been many contenders for ‘best’ film. These are personal favorites, in order of preference:
AGFA APX400 [unbelievably flexible and dynamic, can be pushed hard]
FUJIFILM Neopan SS [super smooth ISO100 film, super fine grain, presents shades of grey like nothing else]
FUJIFILM Neopan 400 [as above, with obvious differences due to speed]
ILFORD XP2 [the best B&W for use with the C-41 process, incredibly versatile, images come alive]
FUJIFILM Neopan C41 [images not as alive as XP2, but beautiful nonetheless, with more exposure latitude]
ILFORD PAN 400 [great under ideal conditions, falls apart when pushed]
ILFORD PAN 100 [finer grain than sibling, otherwise similar]
KODAK BW400CN [popular B&W / C-41 combination, our film of last resort]
There are many more B&W films out there, and I have not had opportunity to try them all – many have quite limited distribution restricted to certain parts of the world. The Neopan C41 is not sold in the US at all, which is a pity.
Preferences and performance aside, the one film that clearly commands attention on a shelf is the Ilford PAN 400. The packaging sends a clear, unambiguous message – and seems designed to warn away the casual user. Photographs captured on this film [and Ricoh GR1s] here, with more to follow – below is a single carton of PAN 400, presented in all its glory for your viewing pleasure.
Notwithstanding the fact that much of my beloved Connaught Place is used as a spittoon by the multitudes of paan eaters, there’s no denying the appeal of paan as a digestive and as a luscious finish to a good meal. Below is the unboxing of a particularly fine example by Yamu’s Panchayat, New Delhi.
Jintan, Xylish gum, a good sorbet, an espresso – all seem hopelessly outclassed and pale in comparison. There’s nothing quite like an amalgam of catechu, lime, dry dates, aniseed, coconut, rose petal, saffron and cardamom wrapped in green betel leaf and gilded with pure silver leaf….