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.
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