35mm Ilford Pan 100 Review + Ilford Film Comparison (B&W Film)
Ilford Pan 100 review (35mm black and white film) plus Ilford film comparison: Ilford Pan 100 vs Delta 100, vs Ilford Pan F 50, vs FP4 125, vs Kentmere 100 AND vs Fomapan 100, vs Kodak TMax 100..
35mm Ilford Pan 100 black and white film – Availability
After shooting mostly black and white film for coming up to about 10 years now I only recently discovered Ilford Pan 100 film. It seems that 35mm Pan 100 film is less popular in the UK and I actually bought my fresh film stock from Germany. I was excited at my discovery of Ilford Pan 100 as one of my most regarded film stocks is Ilford Delta 100. (It is probably worth noting I enjoy using other film brands too. Kodak T-Max 400 always impresses me (especially 35mm) as does Fomapan 100 Classic (120 and 4×5 formats mostly)). (Links below)
Ilford Pan 100 film – Application (The blurb!)
“Ilford Pan 100 is a medium speed black and white film which offers outstanding tonal rendition, together with fine grain and high sharpness. It is suitable for most general purpose indoor and outdoor photography applications where good lighting exists, it is particularly suited to portraiture.”
Ilford Pan 100 Developing
For Ilford Pan 100 developing I currently favour either just Kodak Xtol developer or my homemade film developer soup which consists of Xtol and Rodinal developers. Of all the black and white film stocks I have shot I would say Pan 100 film is quite forgiving and quite easy to develop without losing detail. I have not yet tried developing Ilford Pan 100 film with other developers but I need to start experimenting I think (for all film stocks!).
Ilford Pan 100 Portraits
Ilford Pan 100 Flickr Photos (Non-Portraits)
100 Speed Black and white film comparison
Please don’t shoot me down for this completely non-scientific black and white film comparison! I thought some visuals from other film stocks I use might be nice to compare to my Ilford Pan 100 photos. Most of the films featured are a similar film speed to Pan 100 so could be potential alternatives when looking to buy a new film to test out. The film developing was roughly similar for all photos shared (and the film scanning too – Epson V800 flatbed scanner) but that is probably where the similarities end! The photos below include different subjects on different days in different locations and under different lighting conditions.
..It might just inspire you to try a new B&W film!
You might see similar film characteristics across a group of photos that might inspire you to try a particular B&W film stock. I bought and tried most of the black and white film I’ve used based on film photos shared by others on Flickr. Flickr taught me so much about photography in my earlier years and I still use it today to review photos from a particular film stock, camera or lens ahead of a potential camera gear purchase.
Ilford film comparison + Warning!
Warning! You might want to find a comfy chair and grab a cuppa before you proceed. As usual I got a little carried away and this post is now 4x longer than planned. Lots of photos coming up below! I’ve included 35mm and 120 film scans for a bit of an Ilford film comparison + a few other film brands.
Ilford Pan 100 vs Delta 100
Ilford Pan 100 vs Delta 100 comparison! Ilford Delta 100 was perhaps my favouite black and white film for quiet a while so it was likely that I would like Ilford Pan 100 film too. To my eyes Ilford Delta 100 film still has the edge in terms of sharpness and detail captured (and offers 120 format that I enjoy using) vs Pan 100 film but they are close enough for me to buy the cheaper 35mm Ilford Pan 100 film if I can find it.
Delta 100 sample photos
35mm Ilford Delta 100 film
120 Ilford Delta 100 photos
Ilford Pan 100 vs Pan F 50
Ilford Pan 100 vs Pan F 50 – both are Pan films manufactured by Ilford but different enough from my experience to use both. Ilford Pan F 50 is a high contrast film and it can be easy to clip the highlight detail if you are not careful with your developing. Pan F 50 film has slightly finer grain and a smoother look to my eyes. If you get Pan F 50 right it can capture some stunning detail. Pan 100 film is only available in 35mm format where as I enjoy shooting 120 Ilford Pan F 50 too.
Pan F 50 sample photos
Ilford Pan F 50 35mm Portraits
Ilford Pan F 50 120 Portraits
Ilford Pan 100 vs Kentmere 100
Ilford Pan 100 vs Kentmere 100 – they could be said to be a close match as Kentmere 100 film is manufactured by Ilford films. From personal experience and shooting a 10 pack of 35mm Kentmere 100 film I would say Kentmere 100 is maybe slightly softer with a slightly more classic grain / less modern look and with less contrast.
Kentmere 100 sample photos
35mm Kentmere 100
Ilford Pan 100 vs Fomapan 100
Ilford Pan 100 vs Fomapan 100 – they may appear similar on paper but I would say they are quite different. Pan 100 offers increased sharpness and detail to my eyes with perhaps a more modern look. Fomapan Classic as the name suggests offers a more classic grain structure and look. That said, Fomapan 100 Classic is still a bit of a favourite of mine mainly because of the low cost!
Fomapan 100 sample photos
35mm Fomapan 100 Classic
120 Fomapan 100 photos
Ilford Pan 100 vs TMax 100
Ilford Pan 100 vs Tmax 100 – these are quite a close match to my eyes. Both capture great image quality and good detail. In my earlier years of shooting film I shot a huge amount of Kodak TMax 100 film. I love the fine grain and high contrast (+ TMax black blacks). The TMax 100 blacks are darker than Pan 100 blacks in my experience. I stopped using TMax 100 film after several rolls failed to develop (at all) for no seeming good reason. (More than likely user error but until now i’ve still avoid this ‘risk’).
Kodak TMax 100 sample photos
35mm Kodak TMax 100 Portraits
120 Kodak TMax 100 photos
Ilford Pan 100 vs FP4
Ilford Pan 100 vs FP4 Plus – again both Ilford films but Ilford FP4+ is quite well known for the classic grain structure (which can be too much for me at times)(i’m a sucker for fine grain and detail!). I much prefer Ilford FP4 125 120 film to the 35mm format for this reason (less apparent film grain). I have shot 35mm FP4 in the Leica film cameras in the past but now tend to just use FP4 for the Hasselblad(s), Mamiya(s) and so on.
Ilford FP4 125 sample photos
Ilford FP4 35mm Portraits
Ilford FP4 120 Portraits
Favourite black and white film?
If you managed to get this far which was your favourite black and white film from the results above (and from personal experience)? I’d love to hear in the comments below. I forgot to include the now discontinued Fuji Acros 100 film which is also a strong performer for 100 speed film and the less popular Rollei Retro 80s film.
B&W film reviews
Are there other 100 speed black and white films you think I should try out? If so let me know and I will try to get some to review. (If you want to read more of my film reviews check out the “FILM” section of the blog and scroll down below the various film camera links).
Ilford Pan 100 Review Summary
To round up this Ilford Pan 100 review I would say I will continue to shoot 35mm Ilford Pan 100 black and white film because for me it offers a good balance of detail, sharpness, contrast, fine(ish) grain at a reasonable price. Some films are “better” for my taste but they usually cost more! (Current favourite is Kodak TMax 400 film).(*I will do a film review on that too when I get time and link it)
Black and white film posts (a sample of!)
- How to Process Film through to Digital (Develop, Scan, Edit)
- How to Develop Film at Home (Step by Step Guide)
- Rodinal Stand Development / Semi-Stand Development (Guide)
You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
- See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
- See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE