Colour Testing Ferrania P30 Alpha

FILM Ferrania relaunch finally bore fruits earlier this year with arrival of P30, a panchromatic B&W film based on the legendary P30 movie film. I was lucky enough to be able as a backer to buy and try out some of the alpha release version.  But how well balanced is it ?

i shot one of my rolls on a Olympus XA @64 ISO and matched some shots on my reliable but aging Nikon D50 dSLR.  Film processing was done by AG Photolab, the recommend UK lab and is shown as scanned by them. The Nikon shots were taken on AWB @ 200 ISO in RAW mode. Grayscaling was done in Irfan Viewer.

Shot 1 – static objects

Ferrania P30 Alpha Colour match Test 2

Deep Reds and Greens are much darker than the grayscaled digital shot. I’m not alone in picking this up. Otherwise tonal range is reasonable

Shot 2 – Street shot


Worth noting brighter reds and oranges are not as effected. The later photo was also has a shot taken on a IS-1000 with Ilford XP2. However there was a couple of hours between the XA & D50 shots and the IS-1000 shot

I’ll touch more on the P30 in an upcoming review

3 thoughts on “Colour Testing Ferrania P30 Alpha”

  1. Alan, at a guess I’d say this film could respond to a little experimentation with yellow and light orange filters if the subject has a lot of red in it. But watch out for greens!

    A green filter usually gives a more natural balance of tones with panchromatic film, and I suspect this may lighten the rather dark tones in the images I saw in the link you gave to Philip Harrison’s site.

    Interestingly, de Sica’s 1960 film La ciociara, which was televised recently, was shot on P30, and doesn’t exhibit the clogging up of the dark tones I’m seeing so far.

    Possibly, we may be seeing more images where photographers have also experimented with different developers. I think it is unrealistic to expect to get the optimum from this film straight out of the box.

    1. I’m inclined to load it on a SLR with a K2 yellow or similar filter next Terry but will push speed down. Mines was a quick test on the XA, I’ve not got the contrast that others claim but my exposure looks reasonably on.

      Your comments re development is valid. Because it has been a highly limited release (max 5 rolls per backer) I think most folk who DIY are following the Ferrania script for dev. Worth noting Philip put his stuff through AG photolab like me

  2. Alan, as the availability of P30 is a bit precious at present, properly evaluating it with different developers and filter response, as one normally would with any unfamiliar emulsion, is going to be somewhat constraining for the moment. So it will be interesting going forward to see what info comes out on the internet.

    With 36 shots available to you, and using your slr as a better reference camera, it will be interesting to see what you get with your test shots at normal exposure and with a little down rating, and using your yellow filter. I’d also be inclined to try a couple with a green filter for the reason I gave. Then with AG’s reference developer as a standard you could get some valuable info about the film. Have fun!

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