Film Photography

Goodbye Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros

Fujifilm appears to have stopped producing its Neopan 100 Acros black-and-white film. I’ve lost count of how many stocks Fujifilm has now discontinued. It’s the Fujifilmpocalypse!

The company has teased the film community with the possibility that it might resurrect some of its black-and-white films, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

What I like most about Acros is how images come back with lovely grays across the tonal spectrum, no matter the light. Many ISO 100 films I’ve used tend to go high contrast in direct sunlight, blowing out highlights, which makes me nuts. Not so Acros. It’s also extremely fine grained, so much so that if I told you I shot digital and converted to black and white you might believe me.

I’ve fed Acros into cameras ranging from a simple box with a meniscus lens to my Nikon F2 with good Nikkor glass attached. I’ve metered precisely and wildly misguessed exposure. Acros handles it all with aplomb. Here, look:

1949 Dodge pickup

Argus A-Four, 2010.

Lighthouse

Argus A2B, 2011.

Headless

Ansco Shur Shot, 2012.

Trunk

Voigtlander Bessa (w/ 110 mm f/4.5 Voigtar), 2012.

Monon Fitness Center

Agfa Clack, 2012.

Black Dog Books

Ansco B-2 Speedex, 2012.

Jet

Yashica-D, 2013.

Moore Road

Yashica-D, 2016.

Garrett

Nikon F2AS, 135mm f/3.5 AI Nikkor, 2017.

I just shot my last roll of Acros in 35mm, in my old Argus A-Four. The film broke as I started to rewind. In a dark bag I wound the film into a black film canister, and then sent it to Dwayne’s with instructions to open the can in the darkroom. I have one more roll of Acros, in 120, chilling in the fridge that I’ll probably put through my Yashica-D when its turn comes in Operation Thin the Herd.

But then that’s probably it. And it’s a shame, because this is very good film.

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24 thoughts on “Goodbye Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros

    • No, but I’ve shot T-Max 100 and like it. Either of these film should be a reasonable substitute for Acros. It’s just that I’ve shot a lot more Acros and am used to it, and will miss it.

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  1. Andy Umbo says:

    I was a long time Verichrome Pan fan, for 120, and they killed it twice, had to bring it back the first time due to “professional demand” (guys like me, calling and bitching them out; and I heard guys like Avedon and Skrebneski were bitching too). Also been a long time Tri-X fan, but Tri-X 400, not the 320 “pro”. I believe they still make the 400 120 Tri-X, but I recently bought up a bunch of the HP-5 because I figured I’ll need to support the company that still has an investment in trying to furnish films to the pro and prosumer market. Thank you Ilford, I’ll have to lean how to use your stuff again.

    BTW, after Verichrome Pan, I always loved the original Ilford FP-4, before it changed to “plus” or “super” or whatever it did. After it changed, the film base was way too grey, making getting sparkling highlights a bit of a problem; But I’m will to try them again. This “grayness” was also the reason I hated Plus-X, and always had. The processed neg looked “life-less”, and always did, since my first processing experiments when I was 14!

    For years, studios I worked for that were shooting 120, were using Agfapan 100, at one time we were buying it for $1.80 a roll! Great stuff on a really clear base. Someone told me, don’t know how true it is, that the Rollei film sold by Freestyle is old style Agfapan, but it’s like 9 bucks a roll!

    As for any of the “Max” or “Delta” films, I bet you could ask 1000 professionals that shot advertising, especially of people with a concern for skin tones, and very few of them ever changed over to those films…what they gained in tighter grain, they lost in skin-tone reproduction, heel-to-toe reproduction,and changing the actually agitation and processing sequence. This was when Kodak was “eating it’s own seed-corn”, by introducing more and more films, that were just dividing their piece of the pie into smaller bits with zero increased sales. No one cared about grain, if you did, you shot a larger format! Kodak was delivering stuff no one was asking for, when they turned into a “marketing” company, that happened to sell photographica.

    The T-max and Delta films are like CD’s and Mp-3’s, vs. vinyl. When you define everything through scientific measurement, it “should” be better, but for some reason, when you physically judge the results against the old stuff, the old stuff is just “better”!

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    • There are people who think Plus-X and Verichrome Pan are the same film. FWIW I miss VP a lot too. It is the black-and-white look I always want. Nothing duplicates it.

      I really like T-Max 400. I shot it all over Ireland 2 years ago.

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  2. Very nice tribute to this fine old film. It has always been a favorite of mine, partly because it works so well with Rodinal. I was able to find ten rolls recently and am looking forward to a long goodbye.

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  3. My favourite photo is the one of the headless statue. Could be an Atget photo from France!
    I never tried Acros, but it looks good. I use Tri-X 400 when I use black and white (not so often these days) and when I was learning darkroom skills I used Ilford Delta 100 in 120. That was quite good. I’m just hoping that Kodak will get Ektachrome back in shops before Fuji kills Provia 100F.

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    • I like that one too! I took it with an old box camera. Old boxes can do surprising work! But old boxes aren’t great choices for speedy Tri-X because of their typical aperture and shutter speed. ISO 100 films with good latitude rule the day.

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