Recently I looked at Kentmere Pan 400 made by HARMAN/ILFORD in the UK. I showed 5 Frames shot at box speed with my Leica M6 and 35mm f/2.4 Summarit-M. I was very pleasantly pleased with the prints I made from this film.

How about rating the film for a higher EI (aka underexposing it and PUSH processing it in development)? And, rather than a measly 1-stop to EI 800, how about doing it properly and going for 3 stops, that is EI 3200?

As I’m sure you are aware there are two films already rated for development at EI 3200, ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional and Kodak T-MAX P3200. Kentmere Pan 400 is a very good low-cost film and could be an easy way of getting extra speed on a budget. It is very liberating having so much sensitivity on hand but despite this high film speed I still struggled in some of the poorly lit areas I chose to shoot handheld, I was mostly working with 1/30 at f/2.8 but occasionaly I hit 1/60 at f4. The locations were a Fire Museum, Steam Engine Museum and Manchester Cathedral. The films were metered for EI 3200 and push processed a commensurate 3 stops at the lab in Fuji Negastar developer.

I am very impressed by the results. There is nice contrast, an excellent range of tones, and while the grain was coarser than at box speed, it was only slightly so with plenty of detail in the shadows. I would suggest that for pushing 3 stops then a choice of a fine grain developer would offer better results than perhaps Kodak D-76 or ILFORD ID11. I have seen Delta 3200 in ID-11 and it wasn’t pretty.

If you are looking for a high-quality 400 ISO film that also handles push processing to 3 stops extremely well and in my opinion at EI 3200 is easily the equal of ILFORD Delta 3200 Professional and Kodak T-MAX P3200, then I would recommend Kentmere Pan 400, a budget film but up with the best. You can also get bulk lengths if you wish to self-load your film cassettes.

Hope this was of some interest to you.

~ Phil

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About the author

Philip Harrison

Phil spent 25 years as a professional photographer after leaving Photographic College in the early 1970’s. In his early years, he worked as a medical photographer, based in a hospital in the north of...

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12 Comments

 

  1. Those photos look pretty awesome. I recently shot some Kentmere 400 pushed to 1600 ISO. I developed in HC-110 (1+63) semi-stand for about 40 minutes, with a couple inversions every 9 minutes. I was shooting in some pretty challenging conditions, indoors in relatively low light, using a 35mm f/2.8 lens wide open at 1/30 or 1/60. I think my negatives came out a bit thin using this development process but they were interesting and quite usable. There was a bit more grain than I expected using HC-110.

  2. My best try was with Xtol 1+3 at room temp for somewhere around 1 hour 11 minutes, which gave results that were somewhat okay for 12800, though the latitude became borderline nonexistent. Don’t know of any labs that are willing to push 5 stops, but if you can develop at home, I’d recommend trying Xtol stock for 25 minutes 20 seconds at room temp, or 17 minutes 10 seconds at 75°F, with standard agitation.

  3. Hi Phil,

    Nice results from the film.

    I’m always looking for info on uprating 400 speed b&w film. I’m not happy with either the Delta 3200 or the T-Max 3200 in 35mm format. I’ve seen nice results from Delta 3200 in medium format; it seems like a different beat at that size.

    I know that @ 400 ISO, you’ve got to be dead on with your exposure with Kentmere, or your results can be really terrible.

    Did you get any information from the lab on their developer/times/temp when they processed your film?

    Thanks again for experimenting and sharing your results with us. Happy Holidays!

  4. Apart from a couple of medium format rolls and a couple of colour rolls I’ve been exclusively shooting Kentmere 400 for years. Always at 800 so was very pleased to see this. Might be a game changer for me.

    1. Thank you Ant. I think I may well be using this film at 800 mostly too, it’s a no brainer. How about pushing it to EI6400 or EI12800?. I’ll maybe have to see if I can find a lab that’ll do it for me.