It's not every day that a new film stock drops, especially since digital cameras made it, you know, "obsolete." But with the recent and rapid rise of analog cameras and the social media buzz behind chasing that nostalgic photographic look of film, some companies are demonstrating that they still believe in the medium by releasing new film out into the world. Ilford Photo is one—recently, the company unveiled two new 120 medium format black and white films called Kentmere Pan 100 and Kentmere Pan 400.
Already available in 35mm, Kentmere Pan is a panchromatic black and white film with medium box speeds of 100 and 400 ISO. The Pan 100 has a wide, forgiving exposure latitude, giving it a medium contrast with a deep tonal range. The Pan 400 has a more classic grainy look with slightly less contrast, excellent sharpness, tones, and a wider exposure latitude that's exceptional for pushing in low-light situations.
The release comes after the results came in from a global survey taken by Ilford's parent company Harman Technology, in which many respondents noted that they use medium format film. (Anecdotally, the film community on Instagram would seem to corroborate Harman's findings, as would the prices of Mamiya medium format cameras.) With that in mind, Harman Technology and Ilford made Kentmere to offer the perfect balance of quality, value, and performance.
The release of the new Kentmere film in 120 not only answers those survey findings but hopes to perpetuate them by making affordability a big part of the release—prices start at $5.80 a roll. In contrast, a roll of ever-popular Kodak Tri-X 400 in 120 can go for nearly $12 per roll.
"By introducing Kentmere Pan 100 and 400 in 120 format, we primarily target budget-conscious photographers who still demand high quality, consistent performance and want to create beautiful images they can print or scan," said Giles Branthwaite, sales and marketing director at Harman Technology in a press release.
We have yet to have the chance to shoot the new Kentmere B&W film ourselves but the initial test images released by Ilford look excellent. And, let's face it: these days, anytime a photo company releases a new film stock—especially one that's high quality and budget-friendly—it's good news.
Price: $5.80 per roll