Kentmere 100 is a cheap film when you compare it to ILFORD FP4 PLUS, but under the right conditions, it packs a punch! Being a relatively new film shooter, I was on the lookout for a cheap film to practice with and came across Kentmere films, made by Harmon (the guys that make ILFORD). Essentially marketed at students, I figured I’d give it a go and chose a sunny day during Summer.

Shot using an Olympus OM-10 with Zuiko 35-70mm f/4 lens, processed in ILFOSOL 3 and scanned at home, I had to use photoshop to get the best back out.

I live in Cambridge and so was able to give it a test around some of the picturesque colleges and city. To be honest, when I first shot the film I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t have very high hopes. A cheap film has to be terrible right? How wrong I was! I found that shooting it in conditions where there is a clear contrast for shadows, really helps this film out. Low contrast shots in crappy light look drab and flat (I guess the same could be said for a lot of films though!) and rescuing an underexposed image, whilst doable, the results aren’t great.

I really liked using K100, and have bought loads more. After switching to ILFORD FP4 PLUS and finishing a bulk roll I have gone back to K100, I think I just prefer it. Less grain than the more versatile Kentmere 400, this film is still nice to shoot in mid contrasty conditions, and for the price, it is certainly worth having a few rolls in the fridge.

Also, because it is fairly cheap I don’t mind using it to experiment with a little. I haven’t tried pushing this yet, but may I’ll give it a go next and see what happens.

~ Al Davenport

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Kentmere 100 & 400 is a lot trickier to shoot than most B&W photographer’s think. It’s generally dismissed as a student grade stock, but I used two rolls shooting about in NYC a few years ago and it humbled me. And this is from a guy who has been shooting B&W film for close to 50 years.
    Nice work. My fav is the sidewalk, stone & shadow shot. Nice tone & texture.
    Give me Delta 400 anytime.
    – Dan (flickr.com/photos/dcastelli9574/)

  2. Excellent write up, and images that illustrate very clearly the points you describe.

    Just a thought: Maybe JCH Street Pan is actually K100 pushed to 1600.

    OK, kidding about that ; )

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