Ferrania P30 – The Final Verdict!

I just checked, I posted my review of the first of the two rolls of Ferrania P30 I got as a reward for backing the guys in Italy on August the 21. 2017. That shows that I was not too keen to waste my time with this film after the first roll.7CD874A9-6880-4572-9AF9-F41D74F1D048

I finally managed to shoot the second roll in my Leica IIIa and here’s my final verdict.  Mind you, this is MY verdict. Yours might be totally different.

Let me start by saying that normally I like grainy film. And this one is definitely not of the grainy breed. Ferrania P30 is extraordinarily fine grained, just as you might expect from a rather low ISO film. But this is not determining my verdict. I accept the fact that there are finer grained films around. I’m not a racist…1764B491-86D6-472C-950B-310F72017319

Then again, I like high contrast in films. If you stroll through my posts with black and white photos you will quickly come to this conclusion too. This, by the way, is the total opposite from what I expect of color film. With color I want soft, looks, muted colors…. definitely no high contrast.

So then Ferrania’s P30 might be all I want from film, regarding contrast. No?2726FC50-990E-4D31-BBBE-5304E94D73AA

Well, really, NO!

OK, I like contrast but I also like to have control over it. And this Ferrania emulsion is high contrast by nature. If I have a ‘normal’ film like say Fomapan 100 / Kosmo Foto 100, I get results where I can steer the contrats just where I like it. Not so much here. The high contrast is built in.


Or rather ‘Basta’!C8636AF3-0B85-4002-A718-47703551CEAD

I definitely don’t want to say it’s a bad film. No way! Ferrania P30 is great! There, write that down! It’s a great emulsion!

But it’s not great for me as it exceeds what I demand from film. It won’t give me no choice.C2C3E32C-529B-4BBF-90E8-D680A310A637

I simply can not imagine using this emulsion for landscapes for example.1A2E2DFB-1307-4208-A65F-2053F01C85DB Except perhaps in the few very dramatic moments nature offers us. But not for regular landscape shots.586B46CD-0D52-41BA-90E9-61029BDD558B I can’t imagine using it  for most portraits also as it won’t give me the fine tuning I need to apply. I think using too much of this film will simply be…. too much! To my taste anyways.

So where does this film come in? Perhaps in street photography, but then again.. it might be too much. Some few very graphical views might work… like this:6F0B56AD-4BFA-4E1E-8F04-87CFFEEA52C5

Or this one:FA3D55BA-858E-460D-9EEE-6C76AE4F4490

Fine grain if you ever need it!

But then it’s quite a niche film. I’m sorry guys, I applaud the great (though VERY slow) work you did down there in Italy, but alas this is not for me. But that’s just my very own personal opinion. Yours might be totally different and I’d be happy to hear from you.B0294976-9E4D-4B36-BB50-20DE0CB80636

What’s your take on Ferrania P30?829B9F88-990B-4A65-B7BD-BAAE52E78CAF

Leave your comments and thanks a lot for reading this.


11 thoughts on “Ferrania P30 – The Final Verdict!

Add yours

  1. You’re probably just used to the look of HP5. I think it looks very nice myself for classic look 35mm film and it’s great that they’re getting the factory going. It reminds me of pictures I’ve seen of Kodak Double-X, another motion picture stock.

    Did you use your usual stand Foma or Agfa Rodinal? As you know, there are ways to get grain if you want it and by enlargement but grainy pictures aren’t the classic look, this is! For contrast you could use lens filters but of course not on an XA2.

    The funny thing is I’m sure manufacturers went to great lengths over the years to perfect the technically fine look, then once they’d achieved it digital came along and now guess what? yep! people want to mess up all those fine-grained pictures, even post-processing film with pseudo-film digital presets on phones and so on.

    As for street photography, it depends on what kind of street photography you do and how and when you do it.

    I’d imagine Ferrania’s main market will be the film industry though, don’t you think? I mean the consumer is just a side-show, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t know about film indistry and Ferrania. I think Kodak holds that market.

      The fact that P30 has very little grain is no problem for me. I was just overwhelmed by the ‘natural’ contrast of it… too much for me.

      I developed in my usual Rodinal, 1+50 for 14 minutes accurding to Ferrania’s spec sheet


  2. Almost same verdict as mine. Nice contrast, almost no grain even with Rodinal, but I can get similar results with a PanF+, or even a FP4+, both of which I like more. However, good to have an additional film stock and to each his own!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I just saw the photos without your commentary my first reaction would have been, “Oh, Tri-X in D-76, and well done at that.”

    I have found that, for my hybrid workflow, a low contrast negative works best. If I can’t see everything from absolute black to clear white well within the ends of the histogram on the digital camera I use for “scanning” I know I will be limited in what I can do with the resulting print. Adding contrast is easy. Removing it doesn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. High contrast appears to be in fashion right now in b/w film. It plays well on small screens. I know that when I’m scrolling Instagram, where I follow pretty much nothing but film photographers, high-contrast b/w always catches my eye. I probably “like” high-contrast b/w photos disproportionately more than other b/w.

    Not saying that Ferrania is deliberately trying to serve that fad — I’m betting this is the best film they could make as they get their factory rolling.

    Liked by 2 people

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