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35mm and 120 film reviews - Ikigai Camera Blog

One Roll - JCH StreetPan 400

Peter Davison

StreetPan is the 400 speed, panchromatic brain-child of Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter fame. 

As the story goes, reeling from the discontinuation of Neopan 400 in 2014, Bellamy began investigating what it would take to bring a film to market that captured some of the distinct characteristics he most liked about Neopan 400.

And here it is.

If you have been a film shooter in recent years you will be no stranger to the sudden and seemingly regular discontinuations of your favourite film stocks. 

StreetPan 400, while not a new emulsion, is a modernised version of an out of production AGFA surveillance film that has been brought back to life (and back into production)

Despite much cawing to the contrary, StreetPan 400 is not old stock or a "re-spooled" film. It is completely fresh, and to most of us, something we have never tried before. (anyone working in the surveillance industry in the 90s?)

So? What does all of this mean? Well, it means we get a high contrast, tight grained, fine detailed, pushable and scanner-friendly new black and white film to shoot.

Despite not technically being a completely new product, we think what JCH has done here shows a step in the right direction for the analogue industry.

StreetPan offers something distinct from the competition whilst still remaining a versatile film, rather than being just a niche or gimmick product like some other smaller run films seem to be.

This leads me to performance.

StreetPan 400 could absolutely be your workhorse film.

We really love the tonality, especially on overcast days.

It's moody.

It's moderately grained but has a tight and finely controlled structure.

It has miles of contrast not to mention good fine detail. 

Are there cheaper black and white films? 

Sure.

But given the distinct look and characteristics of this film, the fact that it supports a company deeply passionate about analogue photography and also potentially supports the concept reintroducing further stocks that have been discontinued, we think the premium is worth it.

You aren't getting a gimmick. You aren't getting old film.

It's versatile, it's fresh and it's the real deal.