The middle of winter, not a good time to try and test a 100 ISO film. Or so you would think.
Jessops Pan 100 Black & White film proved itself to be fairly adaptable. I used it in a range of lighting conditions from bright, but low winter sunlight, through to the more familiar damp, dismal conditions that are so common at this time of year.
Under these changeable conditions, Pan 100 proved to have good exposure latitude, coping well with +2 stops. The film tended to cope better with overexposure than underexposure, with prints from these negatives requiring a little more work in the darkroom to achieve a good quality result. As a suggestion, when using Pan 100, underexposing by more than -1 stop is not advisable. In terms of flexibility it is recommended that this film can be pushed to ISO 200 and I would agree, this is the limit. Anything over this and the best features of the film start to be lost and negatives loose quality, becoming difficult to print from.
The images shown here were taken from films processed at the recommended time in Kodak T-Max chemistry (1+4 for 5.30 minutes). Tests were also developed in Paterson's Acutol and Ilford's Ilfosol S. There was very little to distinguish between each film. In each case, negatives had plenty of tone and in particular in the case of Acutol, highlights were minimised, due to the compensating nature of the developer.
All of the negatives, regardless of which developer was used, proved very easy to print from. In most cases, the images could be printed without the use of contrast control filters. As you can see from the images, grain was fairly minimal, although I prefer the results gained from films specified as fine grain such as Ilford FP4 Delta. The sharpness of the negatives could not be faulted and this is a very important feature when wanting to make good quality prints. With regard to tone, you can see from the images that Pan 100 has an excellent tonal range that any, more expensive, brand leaders would be pleased with.
With a selling price of 2.49 per 36 exposures, it compares favourably both in terms of price and performance to other brands such as Kodak, Ilford and Agfa. Jessops Pan 100 Black & White film is an excellent film that represents great value for money.
Test by Heather Powell