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.