Fujicolor cross processes as a wonderful black & white film with great tonality and nice grain. The fact that it is dirt cheap doesn’t hurt either!
The film produces nice results when shot at box speed but when pushed a stop to 400 it still gives a pleasant grain and nice tonality. I use Kodak’s HC-110 for all of my black and white work and then scan the negatives. As with all color negative films cross-processed to black and white, it does tend to be a bit low in contrast, but this is can be tightened up in post-processing.
I find the grain can sometimes be a bit rougher than I want, but I like that look for my street photography so I don’t mind it too much. Under soft, northern light, and strangely under dimmer lighting conditions, as seen with the images of one of our cats and my wife in the kitchen, the grain can be really tight and smooth. In brighter light, it tends to become more apparent. This is more noticeable in the outdoor images. These outdoor images were made with a red filter (25A) to help darken the sky and bring out the clouds.
If you need very fine grain for detailed work or for landscapes, this isn’t the film to use. ILFORD’s Pan F Plus is probably a better choice. However, as a cheap, everyday kick around 200 or 400 speed black and white film, Fujicolor 200 is a film that shouldn’t be overlooked.
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.