First roll impressions: Analogue Wonderland WonderPan


A few years ago, the generous folks at Analogue Wonderland in the UK sent me a box full of fun films to try on the promise that I’d mention them here when I did. After I used up all of the film they said they’d be happy to keep going with more film. I asked them to become my Official Supplier of Ilford’s traditionally-grained black-and-white films, HP5 Plus and FP4 Plus. They readily agreed.

The first shipment came with a bonus: one roll of their WonderPan film. This is an ISO 400 black-and-white film they introduced just this year. They make no bones about it: this is a well-known emulsion that they’ve merely repackaged. They also have up-rated it to ISO 400 from its native 100-ish ISO, to help film photographers everywhere see that it’s okay to push black-and-white films.

Analogue Wonderland is coy about which film this really is. I know, but I’m not going to spoil the fun. Buy some yourself — and then check the rebate on the developed negatives. It will tell you all you need to know.

I loaded my roll into my Minolta Maxxum 7000i, a capable auto-everything 35mm SLR. A 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 AF Minolta Zoom lens was already mounted to it, so I went with it. I took it on a number of photo walks around my neighborhood.

10 8 6

The WonderPan data sheet shows developing times for a handful of developers, the only one of which I had on hand was Rodinal. It lists only a time for 1+25, a dilution I avoid because it’s so strong. But I went with it, and everything turned out fine.


I seldom use Rodinal with films above ISO 200 to avoid pronounced grain, so it felt weird to develop this film in it. I had to keep reminding myself that this is an ISO 100-ish film and all is well.

Eagle Church

This is a good film, with excellent tonal range and sharpness, and well-managed grain (even in Rodinal). I’m impressed with how well this film pushes to ISO 400. It encourages me to push the film on which this is based, of which I have plenty in the freezer, when I need that extra margin of exposure.

No outlet

The Maxxum 7000i performed flawlessly. It’s really a terrific camera. Of all of the auto-everything SLRs I’ve tried, the Minoltas have been the best — most fun and most capable.


I just can’t tell that this film is pushed two stops. It looks like it was meant to be shot at EI 400.

Down the street

The only time I wasn’t wowed with WonderPan was on a particularly gray day. Everything just looked murky and sad. But then, the day was murky and sad.

Power tower

If you’d like to try WonderPan yourself, click the Analogue Wonderland logo to get some. It ships from the UK, which costs. A lot. So pro tip for my US readers: order $50 in stuff and shipping is free. They offer films from dozens of manufacturers and relabelers at good prices, so I’m sure you’ll find other films you want!

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12 responses to “First roll impressions: Analogue Wonderland WonderPan”

  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    This is a nice looking set of pics with a nice looking black and white emulsion!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s good to know that I can push this film to 400 with no worries.

      1. Kodachromeguy Avatar

        These are nice negatives. Will you try it at the original film’s 100 rating?

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          This is an emulsion I’ve used frequently at box speed. I’ve yet to find the right developer for it but when I’ve sent it to the lab it’s always gorgeous.

  2. Peter Miller Avatar
    Peter Miller

    What does this phrase mean: “and then check the rebate on the developed negatives”? Love the grain and texture on these shots.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s the edges of the film outside the image area.

  3. Victor Bezrukov, photographer Avatar

    Absolutely great results. Interesting which original emulsion they used.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s one I would not have guessed would push so well.

  4. fishyfisharcade Avatar

    You look like you’re channelling your inner DeNiro in that portrait, Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Ha! Now that you mention it, I can see it.

  5. -N- Avatar

    Like the film and how it works in a variety of conditions. Like the earring, too!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have an article about the earring coming up at some point soon – seeing that photo made me think about why I still wear it after all these years. (I got it pierced when I was 19.)

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