A couple of months ago, we showed you some of Film Ferrania’s hardware. The equipment they’re using to bring back the company, as well as some much loved films. The plan then seemed to be starting fresh with E6 slide film. As it turns out, though, black & white has become the priority. The company has now announced shipping will soon begin for Ferrania P30 in a limited Alpha edition.
Film Ferrania P30 is a panchromatic (sensitive to all colours of the visible spectrum) black and white motion picture film for stills photography. It was originally released by Ferrania during the 1960s. With a rating of ISO80, it’s a fairly slow film, but with “ultrafine grain” and a high silver content (5 grams per square metre), it could become a tough one to beat in terms of sharpness and detail.
The recreation of P30 film isn’t an exact replica of the original Ferrania P30 film. The process has been updated to utilise modern hardware and techniques. This is why it’s in the Alpha stage. Like software, it will go through Alpha, then Beta stages before finally reaching a final edition. The difference is that Alpha versions of software are notoriously bad and buggy.
Just like software goes through Alpha and Beta stages, we expect our P30 film to go through these same stages. However, we want to make it perfectly clear that the worst of these issues are being resolved before sales begin.
– Film Ferrania
Ferrania shut its doors in 2009 after becoming the fourth largest film manufacturer in the world. The company was revived in 2012 as FILM Ferrania by Nicola Baldini and Marco Pagni. After acquiring the original factory and “tons of equipment”, they also inherited 90 years worth of documentation. The way Baldini and Pagni describe it, it sounds like the Ferrania bible on making film.
Although, modern demands and techniques are different to those of the past. So, it’ll need some updating and experimentation. And from looking at some of the sample images on the Film Ferrania website, experimenting is exactly what they’ve been doing.
Some of the images are showing a few scratches and other issues, but Ferrania assures us that these will be resolved before P30 Alpha actually begins to ship. And that shipping is expected to begin sometime later this month. At the moment, it seems it will only be available in 35mm format. There’s not been any mention of medium or large format. Hopefully, these will come at some point in the future.
As somebody who still loves shooting film for personal work, I think it’s fantastic to see more films coming back. I don’t know about you, but I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on this. Ilford FP4+ will still always be my favourite, but it’s always nice to add a little variety now and again.