Heya, I’m Julian, and this will be – hopefully – my first contribution to 5 Frames, a series of articles that I enjoy a lot.

It was in March or April this year (2022) when I found that roll of ILFORD PAN F PLUS while strolling through a flea market. One reason I bought it was because I never shot this film stock before. But much more so was I drawn to it after checking the expiration box (now here I was supposed to write the number down, and I swear I thought it was 1979 before checking that the film wasn’t introduced before 1992. So it might have been 1997…). Anyhow, the film was old, and I thought I’d give it a shot.

Summer came by, and my girlfriend and I went for a holiday trip to Italy, and I thought it to be the perfect opportunity to try out my new Contax RTS III, which I also bought sometime in spring. I packed a few rolls of film — the PAN F PLUS included and was all excited about the Duomo, the nice Ponte Vecchio, delicious Pasta, and good wine.

We arrived in Florence after a little more than 6hrs on the train. The ride was exhausting, but the scorching heat of a burning July sun in Italy was definitely worse. It was so hot I started worrying about my gear. On the way to our apartment, I crossed the street to get to a Camera store, after barely surviving that (I thought in Italy they are used to silly pedestrians) my heart almost stopped pounding after the shopkeeper told me his prices for Kodak Portra 400. Alrighty, it’s time to get rid of the luggage and fetch a gelato to cool off.

I was glad I took several rolls of film with me, there is too much to photograph in Florence. We spent the first two days just walking around, getting high from the beautiful sights and the antic, while feasting on photogenic subjects.

Two months later, I got a mail, telling me that my negatives were ready to be picked up. I usually send my films to a lab, I don’t dare yet to do the developing myself. However, I am so impressed by how well this film did. To my eye, the negatives are super sharp. I like the stark contrast in the pictures and the little dots and smirks on the film (I guess due to the age of the emulsion). In shady locations, I appreciate the dynamic range of the film especially, it hits my kind o aesthetics. It sure was not the last time I shot with PanF+ (as you see in the picture above, I am ready for a 6×6 session with the 120 film stock). I shot all films at least two stops over.


~ Julian

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