Ferrania's New P30 B&W Film

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the one of the biggest film photography die-hards out there, Mr. Dave Bias. Formerly a backer for The Impossible Project and most recently teaming up with Film Ferrania . There was a new B&W film on the horizon, and Dave wanted to know if I wanted "in". Having been in the photo industry for the past few years has taught me to never say no to free anything, let alone free film. And with the stroke of a few keys, a secret roll of hand-rolled film, an NDA, and notes sheet were on their way to me. 

For those looking at the images in this post and thinking, "Geez, these don't look like something Mat would shoot," let me expand on just how secret this film test was. I knew about as little as I ever have going into shooting a new film. All I was let in on were that it was a black and white film and that it was 50 ASA. Ferrania wanted to see it in a variety of controlled and tricky lighting situations, including studio and night scenes. With a limited number of shots and certainty of the films properties, I decided that the first half of the roll would be dedicated to controlled light in the studio. 

 Model Farhia Hagi, P30 Test Film @ ASA 50, Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.2

Model Farhia Hagi, P30 Test Film @ ASA 50, Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.2

The deadline for the test film was swiftly approaching for the 2/1/17 announcement, and my film arrived with only one day to shoot and one to get sent overnight to Ferrania's lab. As quickly as the film arrived, I'd lined up a shoot with a new model at my buddy Tariq's studio. 

“But wait, this is 35mm film, what the F$%# am I going to shoot this on?”
— me, the day of the film test

Suddenly the wall of used 35mm cameras behind my station at Midwest Photo had never become more relevant than that day. Defaulting my decision to my more knowledgeable colleague Mr. Casey Stewart (see below), he recommended the following kit: Nikon FM2, 24mm f/2, 50mm f/1.2, 105mm f/2.5, and 180mm f/2.8. After quickly agreeing and finding a camera bag to load everything into, I was off like a flash to the studio to meet my model, Ms. Farhia Hagi. A couple of poses and lighting setups later, the roll was almost complete, now to try out the film on the downtown Columbus skyline at night. 

With the allotted number of shots I was promised by Ferrania completed, I took one final portrait of Casey, and rushed to the darkroom to unload the roll in dim light, and pack it up for shipping. This was the bulk of the film test, until I got scans back from the folks at Ferrania earlier this week. On Wednesday, they unveiled the new film, P30 to the public and their Kickstarter backers for evaluation and purchase. 

 Casey Stewart, Nikon Expert and 35mm film camera expert. 

Casey Stewart, Nikon Expert and 35mm film camera expert. 

All in all, I haven't had this much fun shooting 35mm film in years! Was the test perfect? (They never are!) Were there things that could have gone better? (Sure!) Bottom line, if you're an avid film shooter or someone looking to change up their shooting habits, consider trying out P30 from Ferrania. I know I'll be shooting some more very, very soon!

Until next time folks, keep supporting those that support film and get shooting!