Polypan F50 Review

This is the cheapest film on the market by a large margin, but it's also probably the worst in quality. I shot several rolls using different cameras and lenses and developed them with various developers inclusing Rodinal, Fomadon LQN, Fomadon LQR, Paterson FX-39 and Kodak Microdol-X. The results were always sub-standard and ranged from awful (with Rodinal) to mediocre (with 1:3 Microdol-X).     The emulsion appears to be very thin which I think is why the tonality is so poor and possibly why it scratches so easily. Every roll, regardless of camera came out with fine thin scratches across them. I managed to get fairly nice tonality using Microdol-X at 1:3, but still sub-standard comapred to good films. The name has been chosen to allude to Ilford Pan F 50, and some claim it is the same emulsion on a thin polyester backing, but I can categorically state this is not the case and this film is vastly inferior to Pan F 50. 

Fact Sheet

ASA 50 black and white neg film.

User Comments

I didn't like it in Rodinal, a bit grainy for such a slow film. In Diafine (EI 50) it looks a bit better. 

I think the best match for it would be normal metol/phenidone/hydroquinone developers, like D-23, D-76 or Microphen. 


Pros: Dries flat due ESTAR base

Ugly tonality
Very grainy
Scratches very easily
Very poor highlight detail retention
Poor shadow detail
Excessive contrast/narrow tonal range
No anti-halation layer
Conclusion: A very poor choice for pictorial work, best avoided.

(Reviewed by Ian Greenhalgh)

Comments (4)
My experience with that film
4Wednesday, 16 January 2013 11:41
I find you a little bit aggressive with that film.
I used it very often for a while. As soon as you rate it 25 iso, it is better. I usually souped it in LC29 1+19 for 20 min, 1 shake every 3min. I enjoyed the nice grayscale you can have with it. You have to be gentle otherwise it can be pretty high in contrast and in that case, results are not so good. Keep the contrast "normal" for that film and everything will turn right i.e. don't overdevelop.
I usually print in the drakroom 30x40 cm and grain wasn't too high. Even 40x60 cm is still OK ( I don't stick my nose on the prints, it would leave traces :)

Something very desirable, it has no anti-halation layer so it yield a "halo" around highlights surronded by dark areas.
I wasn't using it for everything but for old time cameras, cars or abandonnned places, it is ideal...

Of course, for clinical "digital-like" results ...
Cheep cheep!!
3Wednesday, 09 January 2013 19:03
AGFAPHOTO 200 ASA Vista plus, 36 roll 35mm ÂŁ1 @ Poundland Newbury Haven't tried any yet, but will soon.
2Saturday, 05 January 2013 15:08
I just clocked that "90 meter" on the pic and it's just registered, that's a roll of 35mm BULK @ 350 feet! I haven't seen bulk film in years and thought it was now extinct! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled, maybe some decent bulk out there too?
Cheapest film on market?
1Saturday, 05 January 2013 10:08
Polypan F may be the cheapest B/W film available ÂŁ?, but the local pound shops in Reading and Newbury (Berks UK) stock Kodak 200 ASA Colour print at ÂŁ1 a 24exp roll. The colours are quite good, as is contrast, tone and grain. Slightly soft, but sharp enough to enlarge up to a 10x8 without distress. This with high street processing. NO! Film isn't dead, far from it there seems to be resurgence! Most town high streets have at least one shop that has `in house' D&P for aps and 35mm.
Bulk roll price
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 12:07
I bought the 152m roll of Polypan, I forget the exact price but it worked out at about 30p a roll. The Agfa Vista Plus from Poundland is made by Fuji and is excellent, I recommend it. the Kodak Color Plus they sell is okay, but if you can get the Agfa, take that, it's much nicer imho.

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