If you entered late into the film photography game, you probably haven’t heard of Fujifilm Neopan SS black & white film. Neither did I. This film is no longer in production so the batch I got hold of are expired (2005).
I bought 8 rolls for the price of $30 from Carousell.
Expired Fujifilm Neopan SS (2015)
When I opened the packaging, whoa! A wave of pungent smell hit me on my nose. Well, I didn’t expect the expected. I guess that’s the characteristic of super expired film! Or perhaps the seller didn’t keep the films well.
Nonetheless, I loaded the first roll into my Nikon FM2. As I shoot, I could still smell the pungent stink. And I realised my film advancing lever was kind of jammed up every now and then. Same thing happened when I loaded this film into my Rollei B35.
I suspect some chemical/liquid might have leaked or evaporated from the film, which might either caused the surfaces to stick onto each other or stick onto my camera.
Now, there’s some kind of sticky evaporates inside my FM2. As for my Rollei B35, the aperture blades are sticky that they become slow. I need to send both cameras for servicing…soon.
Message to take home: don’t use overly expired films that give off pungent smell.
I shot this Fujifilm Neopan SS at ISO speed 200, with yellow filter attached so to achieve more contrast. The developer used was Kodak Professional Tmax (1:4).
Developing time: 6 mins @ 20°C. (not with exact temperature but more or less there)
Fujifilm Neopan SS, I suspect during the active film era, must have been quite popular for those who love high contarsty image. I am not a guru (yet) but I think this film produces dark, sharp and contrasty images. I have not shot Kodak Tri-X frequently but I suspect Neopan SS might be quite comparable with Kodak Tri-X black & white film.
However, due to its age, there are some expected specks & fault on the film visible after scanning. Since I shoot for fun, this doesn’t matter at all.
Furthermore, as I mentioned above that due to some sticky issue, my advancing lever was jammed several times. This have caused overlapping images on the negatives.
Furthermore, with the messed up negative, the scanner couldn’t distinguish which and which is the individual image. Hence, there are many images deemed as ‘no-image’. Of 36 shots, I only got 29 scan-able images, with some of them being halved. Such as:
When you shoot overly expired films, especially those that are older than 10 years, you must shoot at ISO lower than the film box speed. For example, if the box speed is ISO 200, you have to decrease it to ISO 100 or even 50. And you must shoot under sunny or light-sufficient environment. If you are shooting indoor, increase your flash intensity.
If you shoot overly expired films without taking the above mentioned measurement, you will be disappointed because most of your shots will be empty (underexposed to nothingness). That’s just the characteristic of expired films.
Overall, hobbyist film photography is about having fun and experimentation. I quite like the characteristic of Fujifilm Neopan SS. This film would be good, I believe, if it isn’t 12 years expired.