Friday, 8 November 2019

Kentmere Pan 400

Kentmere Pan 400
When I bought a few rolls of Ilford Pan 400 earlier this year to test the film, following up my use of Pan 100, I'd been informed that Pan 400 was to be discontinued, and that the Kentmere films, made by Harman, Ilford's parent company, were to fill their budget niche. The Kentmere films had been introduced around a decade ago after Ilford had acquired the old Kentmere brand; in their recent rebranding the Kentmere films had been given a rather prominent 'Pan' to the name (I imagine that photographers are supposed to refer to the film colloquially as 'K-Pan 400'). There have long been discussions online as to whether or not the Kentmere 100/400 emulsions are the same as the Rollei RPX and the (new) Agfaphoto APX films in those speeds (not to forget the Fotoimpex CHM Universal films as well; but these seem to be less widely available). I have used Rollei RPX 400 quite frequently, but particularly in medium format. Kentmere Pan 400, like the Ilford Pan films is only available in 35mm currently, and, having been around for many years is unlikely to suddenly be offered in medium and large format, although this is not impossible: Ilford's Ortho Plus film, a niche sheet film emulsion for decades, has just been introduced in 35mm and 120.

I had used a few rolls of Kentmere 400 (as it had been known) before, but my experience with the film was limited  - and I hadn't tested it in any way. The relatively recent rebranding of the film, with the addition of 'Pan' to its name and the new packaging, as well as the rumour of Ilford Pan 400 being discontinued, suggests that Kentmere Pan 400 is a brand of film to be supported by Harman for the foreseeable future; this seemed to be a good opportunity to write a post about the film, as much as anything as a comparison to Ilford Pan 400.

For a first test with Kentmere Pan 400, as with other films, I shot a range of exposures for latitude, then developed the film as for box speed. On the contact sheet below, the first and second rows are rated, from left to right, 100/200/400/800/1600/3200; the third row is at box speed. This film was developed in RO9 One Shot diluted 1+25 for 6m45s at 21ºC.

Kentmere Pan 400 latitude test
My immediate impressions, which the contact sheet displays to some degree, is that Kentmere Pan 400 has better latitude than Ilford Pan 400, possibly with lower inherent contrast - to me, the two latitude tests certainly don't look the same. Although there would be some variability in the tests, both were shot with the same Canon A-1, of similar subjects, and developed in RO9 at 1+25; the Kentmere Pan 400 was developed at a slightly higher temperature, as this was done on a warm day, which would be more likely to increase contrast, which must have a bearing on latitude.

Kentmere Pan 400 rated 100, i.e. two stops overexposed
Kentmere Pan 400 rated 1600, i.e. two stops underexposed
At two stops overexposed, some tonal compression was evident but possibly acceptable; two stops underexposed also scanned well enough. Rated 3200, three stops under, shadow detail was clearly being lost to a greater degree at this point. This latitude test gave me some parameters for push processing; the current data sheet for the film only lists times for 400 and 800 (and 320 for Perceptol). The Massive Dev Chart has very few times listed for Kentmere 400 at 1600 - and none with developers I habitually use. Previously, when rating Kentmere 400 at 1600, I'd used stand development with RO9 at a dilution of 1+150 for 3 hours, which had been successful enough.

Kentmere 400 rated 1600, stand developed in RO9 1+150 for 3 hours
Obviously, three-hour stand development isn't always ideal. For this post, I used the Massive Dev Chart formulation for pushing two stops: multiply the given time at box speed by a factor of two-and-a-half. In Ilfotec LC29 at a dilution of 1+19, this gave a result of 18 minutes at 20ºC - long, but not too long (a shorter result would have been achieved at a dilution of 1+9 of course). The results demonstrated that the film was easily capable of a two-stop push - which the latitude test appeared to show would be the case.

Kentmere Pan 400 rated 1600, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+19, 18m at 20ºC
It was logical to test the film with a three-stop push, rating it at 3200 to shoot - as with rating it at 1600, without any development times listed for this, I again used the Massive Dev Chart push-processing factors, which give four-and-a-half times for three stops. As the timings were in danger of getting rather long, I used Ilfotec LC29 at a dilution of 1+9, and a time of 19m30s at 20ºC, only later realising that my multiplication had been a little off, and it should have been 20m15s; I doubt an extra 45 seconds would have made much difference to the end result. The negatives showed a marked difference from those rated 1600 - with one further stop, in many of the frames, the shadow detail simply wasn't there any more. This was something that the latitude test bears out: at 3200, there isn't sufficient shadow detail to overdevelop. With scenes such as the one below, overexposure and underdevelopment would help to counteract the inherent contrast present in most urban night scenes; of course, it would not then be possible to take the shot handheld, as I did here. The second image below, taken in daylight, provides a better range of tones, but is still high in contrast with little shadow detail (mostly obscured by the choice of subject matter: the busy frame makes this less noticeable).

Kentmere Pan 400, rated 3200, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+9, 9m30s at 20ºC
Kentmere Pan 400, rated 3200, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+9, 9m30s at 20ºC
As I was following the same set of parameters as my post for Ilford Pan 400, I did also shoot some Kentmere Pan 400 at 200, as I had done with the Ilford Pan film, although I would very rarely pull film one stop (the one difference with this particular test was that I'd shot the Ilford Pan 400 with a Kiev-4 and the Kentmere Pan 400 with the Canon A-1 again. Here there was development times on the Massive Dev Chart which I did follow: 8 minutes in Ilfotec LC29 at a dilution of 1+19; the effect of pull-processing does appear to show a lessening of contrast in the frames. In the image below, with the near tree and foliage in shadow, and brighter highlights beyond, pulling the negative appears to have given the image more luminosity - although much of this might be through use of a yellow filter.

Kentmere Pan 400 rated 200, developed in Ilfotec LC29, 1+19, 8m at 20ºC
As a general comparison with Ilford Pan 400, despite looking as though it has better latitude, Kentmere Pan 400 does not appear to push quite so well when rated at higher speeds, although the subjects shot with both films on each post aren't strictly comparable. I would however, broadly echo my conclusions on Ilford Pan 400 on my post about that film: there's nothing about Kentmere Pan 400 which is distinctively characteristic to distinguish it from other similar films at the same speed and price range; at the same time it's a perfectly good, competitively priced, all-round 35mm black and white film with a certain flexibility in exposure and development.

Kentmere Pan 400 rated 200, developed in Ilfotec LC29, 1+19, 8m at 20ºC
Kentmere Pan 400 at box speed, developed in RO9 One Shot
Kentmere Pan 400 at 1600, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+19
Kentmere 400 rated 1600, stand developed in RO9 1+150 for 3 hours
Kentmere Pan 400, rated 3200, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+9, 9m30s at 20ºC
Kentmere Pan 400 data sheet: https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file/1922/product/697/

Thursday, 3 October 2019

'Heatwave'

'Heatwave' installation in Undertow at Sluice HQ
Last Summer, I was shooting some digital video on the very outskirts of London. It was a location where I had once drawn the scenes in front of the camera in a sketchbook many years before. While recording the landscape, I noticed smoke rising from the near horizon.  It was close enough that I abandoned what I was doing, and, following the footpath I knew would take me towards the smoke, I emerged onto a large field of stubble beside the path to find the far edge of it and the field beyond on fire. Fire engines had arrived, and were arriving, the flames were being beaten out while leaping up elsewhere, creeping across the field to where I was standing. This encounter with the present made me think that the project I had been engaged on - looking back at the landscape through the drawings years ago - lacked the immediacy of the present: that present, last Summer, was the most sustained heatwave in the south of England for forty-two years, and had, at that point, continued for several weeks.

At the time, I had been looking at early cinema, and had come across accounts of observers, amongst the very earliest viewers of films, remarking at how the camera captured the movement of inanimate objects, and that this was a revelation. This led to the piece called Paper Cinema in which the idea of a film responding to these accounts was paired with the earliest observations of the formation of a projected image - that of the image of the sun during an eclipse projected through gaps in the leaves of a canopy of trees - and in my initial conception of this piece as a film, there would be a voiceover describing these two phenomena as they appeared on two screens. Having written the text for that voiceover, I realised that this was sufficiently conveyed without the necessity of the image to move: I made the piece as a two photographic prints, with the text as an integral part of the prints. The viewer could read these texts and their internal voice became the voiceover for the photographs they could imagine moving. In thinking back to that earlier piece, I visualised a static shot of uncut dried grass moving in a slight wind. This would be the content of a short film, a moving photograph, whose subject was the continuing heatwave.

I filmed this with the Canon Cine Zoom 512 on part of a roll of 8mm Orwo UP15 film with a ‘develop before’ date of March 1976 - the same year as the most prolonged heatwave before that of 2018, and which last Summer was inevitably compared. I had already used some of this film previously: despite its age, it only needed a small increase in exposure to counter the loss of sensitivity with the passage of time to record a visible image.

The process of filming had to take into account the technological constraints of using this film stock from 1976 to record the scene. I used a short length of film rather than all that was left on the reel, long enough to fill the universal developing tank's reel - and documented the process itself on the same film stock with the Mamiya-16 Automatic. One of the reasons for using this, beyond just being able to shoot the 16mm-wide 2x8mm film, was that the frame size with the Mamiya-16 Automatic is designed to take double-perforated film - as with the 2x8mm format. Other subminiature cameras use single- or unperforated film which would therefore show the perforations in the frame. For the 8mm ciné camera, I spooled around five feet onto a reel to use in the camera to shoot the scene, and a second, shorter length for the stills camera. As the 2x8mm film is passed through the 8mm camera twice, I framed two adjacent views for each pass of the film. In between, the film is removed from the camera and turned over to shoot on the other side; it is possible to do this in the dark so as to not expose the film to light, but the format was designed for this to be done out in the light, albeit subdued light; on a whole roll of film, the beginning and the end of the reel are treated as a leader and trailer and not intended to be used for filming, but with a much short length of film, I shot from the point of loading until the end, leading to the image being bleached out by the light at each end. The film could have been loaded, reloaded and unloaded in complete darkness, which would have meant taking a black bag with me while filming, but I wanted this bleaching-out to occur as it felt appropriate to the subject. I panned the camera between this two shots; with a small overlap, the two framings show adjacent views of the dry, uncut grass.
Documenting the process of the film’s making, I realised that this documentation perhaps revealed more than the film itself. When taking the still photographs, I had broken down the process into five components: the film stock; the lightmeter; the camera; the scene or location; and the film itself after development, hanging up to dry. Having documented the process on the same film, these images were printed in the darkroom. Each of these images required a caption. With the 2x8mm film from the Canon Cine Zoom camera developed as a negative rather than a reversal or transparency film for projection, I could also print images from this in the darkroom and made a sixth print of two frames from the two different shots of the film. This was scanned as a negative unsplit along the middle of the film, as would be the case if reversal development was used to produce a transparency for  projection. For the Undertow exhibition at Sluice HQ, the texts for each caption were shot on photographic film and were also printed in the darkroom to the same format, both images and texts being made from the same physical material and would, in format if not attention, have an equality when displayed. The text was first laser-printed to A3 size then photographed with a Canon A-1 with a 50mm lens and a close-up filter using 35mm Rollei ATO 2.1 Supergraphic film. I rated this at an exposure index of 6, and bracketed the shots to two stops over; this film I developed by inspection with RO9 One Shot at a dilution of 1+200.














Printing the frames from the 2x8mm film in the darkroom required a mask with a folding baffle to expose one frame first, then rotated 180º to expose the second frame before development; the scale of the 8mm frames - a tiny negative of 4.8x3.5mm - was entirely dependent on how high the enlarger head could be extended. I had first printed a section of the film without the mask to determine the size and format of the mask that I subsequently made (as with negatives of the still photographs, I used the subminiature film adaptor which had come with the Kiev-30M camera, designed to fit into a 35mm enlarger tray, and keep the negative flatter than would be the case using it unsupported within a 35mm tray).


Making the film was a gesture at the contemporary, but became about the process, about the near-obsolete technology used. This technology has a relationship to the physical world that the digital lacks, and the caption texts reflect this: light sensitive material, the measurement of light, clockwork motion, the grain of the film. In exhibiting the photographs at Sluice HQ without the film, the descriptions point to something viewer is not actually seeing - and this admits the inadequacy of the medium to convey the physiological aspect of the heatwave. A narrative account in some form might have been able to use metaphor, description, a montage of visible signs but would still be inadequate. Again, with reference to Paper Cinema, this would have to be created in the mind of the viewer.

A shorter version of this post was published on the Undertow Research blog earlier this year. The Undertow exhibition was held at Sluice HQ London March-April 2019.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Ilford Pan 400

Ilford Pan 400
Having used Ilford Pan 100 last year, and from the research online for my post on the film, I wrote then that "Pan 400 appears to be a bit more popular, or at least seems to come up more often than Pan 100"; as a companion piece to my tests of Ilford Pan 100, it was natural to want to do the same for the 400-speed film. I bought my Ilford Pan 400 at Process Supplies Ltd where I'd also got the Pan 100 film previously; when buying the film, I was told that the Ilford Pan films are to be discontinued in favour of the two Kentmere films, Kentmere 100 and 400. The implication from this is that the Pan films and Kentmere films are not the same emulsion, although it's not exactly clear how different they may be: the two brands do have different development times. To support the idea that the Kentmere films are replacing the Ilford Pan films, the Kentmere films have recently had their packaging redesigned - and the words 'PAN 100' and 'PAN 400' are as prominent as the Kentmere brand: on Ilford's website, there's a post from last year about the redesign that states "Kentmere 100 and 400 are now officially known as Kentmere PAN 100 and PAN 400..." (Edit 8/11/19: see the post on Kentmere Pan 400 here).

As I wrote in my post on Pan 100, the Ilford Pan films have not been generally available in the UK; the data sheet states that:

The ILFORD range of PAN 100 and PAN 400 black and white camera films are not generally distributed and sold worldwide, they are only made available in selected markets.

Like Pan 100, Ilford Pan 400 is a traditional, cubic-type emulsion black and white film from Harman under the Ilford brand, 'Pan', an abbreviation of panchromatic, is indicative of the basic nature of these films. A thread on the Amateur Photographer forum quotes an unattributed 'Ilford employee' on the Ilford Pan films that: "They are based on FP4+ and HP5+ technology, but are produced to lower specifications and tolorances [sic]. There are also a few posts online that suggest the Ilford Pan films were discontinued some years ago and I speculated in my post on Pan 100 that production might have ceased for a period - a data sheet from 2002 mentions both 35mm and 120 - the films are only available in 35mm, for the time being of course. By contrast to the Ilford Pan 100 films that I used last year, the Pan 400 that I used this year had no printing inside the box - an indication of imminent discontinuation perhaps, or just their budget status.

As is my usual approach when testing a new film, I made a latitude test, rating the film successively from an exposure index of 100 through to 3200, in effect going from two stops over-exposed to three stops underexposed. Developing times for Ilford Pan 400 (and Pan 100) are not listed on Ilford's standard development chart listing their other Ilford-branded films (except Ortho Copy Plus); for this post I used times from the Massive Dev Chart (the data sheet from 2002 does give times - the same as on the Massive Dev Chart - for Ilford Pan 400 at meter settings from 200 to 3200). The film for the latitude test was developed in RO9 One Shot at a dilution of 1+25 for 6 minutes at 20ºC.

Ilford Pan 400 latitude test
The test showed the film to have reasonably good latitude: two stops overexposed and the compression of tones towards the highlights begins to become unattractive; underexposed, shadow detail starts to be lost, although in scanning the negatives it was possible to pull out more detail. Inevitably, with a lower contrast subject, over- and underexposure have less effect than higher contrast subjects - the top row on the contact sheet above is higher in contrast, with brighter highlights and deeper shadows; the subject in the second row is more even across the frame.

Ilford Pan 400, two stops overexposed
Ilford Pan 400, three stops underexposed
Following the latitude test, I wanted to try both push- and pull-processing. Pull-processing tends to be less demanded by shooting conditions, though with a 400-speed film there may be occasions when it might be advisable. I shot one roll of Ilford Pan 400, rated 200 and developed in RO9 One Shot at a dilution of 1+25 for 5 minutes and 30 seconds at a temperature of 19ºC. Pull-processing does reduce contrast, but faster films are inherently lower in contrast than slow films, so this may be less necessary as a result. Some of the shots on this roll were on subjects with differing degrees of contre-jour illumination; the pull-processing may have helped a little here, though the second shot below, with a brightly lit late afternoon sky towards a low sun would always be problematic in terms of retaining detail across the frame: a simple scan of the negative (as is the case here) might not be as good as a darkroom print, albeit no doubt needing plenty of burning-in for the sky, and possibly spilt-grade contrast printing too.

Ilford Pan 400, exposed at EI 200 and pull-processed
Ilford Pan 400, exposed at EI 200 and pull-processed
For push-processing, a test for a one stop push to 800 did not seem necessary: frames rated at 800 on the latitude test showed a reasonably full range of tones without extra development. I did push the film to 1600 and 3200 respectively, using Ilfotec LC29 as a developer for these tests rather than RO9. The two-stop push to 1600 emphasised the grain but not unattractively so; the increased contrast made for negatives which were easy to scan. I shot most of these in the British Museum, with some galleries being illuminated with low-light levels, making the two-stop push an ideal compromise.

Ilford Pan 400, rated 1600, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+19, 14m at 20ºC
I then shot a roll at 3200, some at dusk on an overcast day, some on the London Underground. With a three-stop push, the contrast of some subjects meant an inevitable lack of shadow detail, but, again, the push-processing here was an acceptable compromise.

Ilford Pan 400, rated 3200, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+9, 11m at 20ºC
Ilford Pan 400, rated 3200, developed in Ilfotec LC29 1+9, 11m at 20ºC
Ideally, this post would then test the Kentmere Pan 400 film to compare it with Ilford Pan 400 (edit 8/11/19: I have now tested Kentmere Pan 400, posted here); I suspect that for most uses, the differences would not be significant: both films are fast, traditional black and white panchromatic emulsions at a lower price than Ilford HP5 Plus or Kodak Tri-X. Generally, the results with Ilford Pan 400 were perfectly acceptable, if lacking anything to distinguish it from other lower-priced black and white films that seem to have proliferated in recent years. In my post on its slower companion, Pan 100, I wrote how that film reminded me of the Foma films in terms of grain; by comparison, Ilford Pan 400 doesn't seem to me as alike to Fomapan 400: Pan 400's grain is perhaps a little more regular, a little less gritty. Perversely, perhaps, I found the results when either pull- or push processing more to my liking: down rated, the grain feels a little tighter, smoother, while pushing the film a couple of stops gives the negatives enough of a contrast boost to make the images feel tonally more dynamic as well as providing better results from a straight scan (of course, mush also depends on the subject contrast of the original scene photographed). Again, ideally I would also test these assertions with printing in the darkroom too; however all the images on this post (except the contact sheet) are scanned from the negative.

Ilford Pan 400 shot with Agat 18K (half frame)
Kiev-4 with Ilford Pan 400 rated 200
Canon A-1 with Ilford Pan 400 at box speed
Canon A-1 with Ilford Pan 400 rated 1600
Canon A-1 with Ilford Pan 400 rated 3200
Ilford Pan 100 and Pan 400 data sheet (PDF)

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

July's #ShittyCameraChallenge


After being awarded second prize for May's #ShittyCameraChallenge, shooting with the Wide Pic Panoramic camera for July's challenge, I wasn't expecting to be placed (my entries weren't perhaps as gimmicky as those with the Action Sampler in May) but when the results were announced, I found I'd come second again; July's first prize winner was @VisualSly - and there was a third prize this time around that went to @Grrlish (winning second prize - for a second time  - for some reason made me think of a Pot Noodle advert from the 1990s with Peter Baynham dressed as a Pot Noodle shouting out of a car window at a runner being left behind "SILVER! SILVER!"). July's 'mystery' second prize arrived today, again donated by @196photo and again all beautifully wrapped: another thematically-appropriate book of humour, Pring's Photographer's Miscellany, and, individually wrapped in an Analogue Wonderland box, another four different rolls of 35mm film, Fomapan 200, Kodak Gold 200, Ilford Pan 100 (which I used quite a lot last year), and there was again a roll of film new to me - JCH Streetpan 400 - as well as Ilford FP4 and HP5 badges - and a 'Pile of Poop' game.

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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

'Wide Pic' Panoramic Camera

'Wide Pic' Panoramic Camera
The title of this post has the words 'Wide Pic' with inverted commas, as this appears to be a genuine no-name camera, at least in the variant I've been using this past month for July's #ShittyCameraChallenge. It's listed on Camera-Wiki as the Panorama Wide Pic, and the term 'Wide Pic' is probably what it's best known as, or at least this brings up numerous results in an online search. With the printing on the camera itself, it seems to me that the makers of this particular camera are describing naming the lens 'Wide Pic', and that perhaps 'Panorama' next to the viewfinder may be the camera's intended name, written in a Cinerama-style expansive logotype. However the camera box has the phrase 'Panoramic Camera' written on it in large letters and the description below (with capitals) as a "35mm Panoramic Camera".

'Wide Pic' Panoramic Camera box
The box reveals little else about the camera: the number 41-665 on the side is presumably a production code or stock number. There's no manufacturer's name nor country of origin on either box or camera (although intriguingly there is a lightly recessed rounded rectangle on the bottom of the camera which is where one might expect an engraved serial number or alternatively a 'Made in..." legend - but there is a serial number printed inside the camera back). Camera-Wiki also has an entry for an Ultronic Panoramic camera, which is the same camera with a grey-silver face and different printing (and the name Ultronic Panoramic is printed in the same place that 'Panorama' is on the camera in this post); the 'Wide Pic' variant also has different coloured faces, with the back part of the cameras moulded in black. The camera is almost entirely plastic in construction, almost certainly dating from the 1990s when the panoramic format became popular, most notably through the panoramic format included in the short-lived APS system.

Wide Pic camera open to show frame mask
This camera creates a panoramic effect by masking the top and bottom of a standard 35mm frame and producing an image 13mm high by 36mm long. On Camera-Wiki the Ultronic-branded variant is listed as having a 28mm lens, giving a wide angle field of view, appropriate to the panoramic feel. The focal plane is curved to compensate for the limitations of the lens; the lens itself has elements either side of an internal aperture stop. The masking is moulded separately from the camera's rear body section, and looks as though this could be removed completely, thus giving a full-frame wide-angle camera.

Top view
The camera has a fixed focus, a fixed aperture lens and, with a single shutter speed (these are given as f11 and 1/125th on Camera-Wiki), gives the camera the simplest of user controls. The lens has a sliding cover which, when closed, also blocks the shutter release button. Frame advance is manual with a thumbwheel rather than a lever; there is a small frame counter window on the top of the camera, with economic numerals marking every third frame. Rewind is also manual, with a button to depress before rewinding on top of the camera, indicated by a symbol no doubt more familiar from an LCD screen of rather more sophisticated cameras of the same era.

Camera back with format label
The viewfinder is a reverse-Gallilean type, relatively small but clear. The back of the camera has a door latch, a label giving instructions to the user to request panoramic format when processing film and also has a film cassette window to remind the user if the camera is loaded or not.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
For the first roll through the camera, I used Fomapan 400, and, aptly, this was one of the rolls in my second prize package prize from May's #ShittyCameraChallenge - and I decided to shoot with the camera for July's #ShittyCameraChallenge. With regards to this, there's a price written in pencil on the box - £2.50 - which qualifies the Wide Pic camera on the criterion that the value is markedly increased once one puts a roll of film inside, let alone its other, obvious 'qualities'. The results with the Fomapan 400 adequately demonstrated all the design flaws embedded in the camera. That the camera simply crops the negative, using half the available area to create the panoramic look (as well as needlessly wasting photographic material) means that the negatives have around half the possible definition of the 35mm format; using Fomapan 400 developed in RO9 provided very pronounced grain relative to the image size as a result.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
The lens, despite the curved focal plane, has a clear falling-off of both illumination and definition towards both edges of the frame. In addition, the 'focus-free' boast of the camera is dependent on the depth of field provided by the short focal length of the wide-angle lens combined with a relatively small aperture - and the lens being positioned at a hyperfocal distance. However, the 'Wide Pic' camera appears to have the lens set at a distance whereby any relatively far distances are not in focus at all, as in the image above. The focus of the lens seems to be roughly positioned at around 2 metres, if not a little closer, which is not untypical of a cheap snapshot camera, designed no doubt for taking photographs of people, groups rather than portraits, such as what one might take on holiday. However, the panoramic format itself suggests that, for many users, this particular camera might not be ideally suited for photographing people, and therefore the lens seems to be set at the wrong focal distance for the kind of pictures that the camera otherwise would inspire. In the shot below the road sign to the left of centre is just discernibly more in focus than the houses behind.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
When shooting the first roll of film, I had thought that I would try a slower film next, in order to have finer-grained results to make up for the smaller negative format, but on developing the film I found that the frames shot in overcast conditions were thin, and even some shot in sunny conditions had little to no detail in deep shadows, as in the image below, taken early evening with weak sunlight, but sunlight nonetheless. This suggests that perhaps either the aperture may be smaller than f11, or the shutter speed is faster than 1/125th, or a little of both - the shots with subjects in full sunlight on a 400-speed film do not look overexposed.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
For a second roll of film, I used Ilford HP5 Plus, which, in general, resulted in better images. This was partly due to HP5 Plus having better latitude than Fomapan 400, and partly due to simply knowing what subjects were better suited to the camera's limitations after shooting my first roll with the camera.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Overall, there are many poor design decisions built into the camera: the focus the lens is set to, the poor definition of the lens itself, the lack of any exposure controls, and the waste of film that the masked format requires. The ergonomics of the camera aren't ideal either: the wide angle lens means it is relatively easy to get fingers in the edge of the shot - there is a shallow finger rest (rather than strictly a grip) for the right hand, but as the lens is offset towards the right hand side of the camera instead of being centred, it does need a little care not to hold it in such a way that this may be a problem. The wide angle lens also is prone to flare when shooting into the light. However, using the Wide Pic, like many a point and shoot camera, but especially so given its elongated image format, simply requires one to think about composition and light above all else.

Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Fomapan 400
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Wide Pic Panoramic camera with Ilford HP5 Plus
Sources/further reading:
Camera-Wiki: Panorama Wide Pic & Ultronic Panoramic entries
Panorama Wide Pic on Canny Cameras
Wide Pic Panoramic camera vs Fuji TX-1 by Ryan Minchin