Neopan 1600

Fuji Neopan 1600 (also known as ‘Super Presto’ in Japan) is one of the best 35mm films that was ever made. You might think otherwise, and everybody is entitled to an opinion. However, your opinion would be wrong.

Neopan 1600

NP1600 was only available in 35mm, and had a short development time by design. This matched Neopan 400, which meant you could develop the two films at the same time. If memory serves, it only took about five minutes to process, which was great.

Unfortunately Neopan 1600 was calluslously discontinued in 2009… and its relative Neopan 400 followed suit in 2013. Out of all the film losses we suffered in the 2000s, this was the one that I felt most keenly. With NP1600 gone, the only two high speed black and white films left were Delta 3200, and Kodak’s TMAX 3200 – neither of which (sadly) have the tonal quality of Neopan.

Neopan 1600 was (and still is) my favourite film. I shot it constantly for many years, and some of my favourite pictures of all time were taken with it. You could use NP1600 in all sorts of scenarios, and it was especially effective for the fast shutter speeds needed for street photography, and for dimly lit bars. Despite the film’s demise, I still have a bit of a stockpile… having picked up full boxes of the stuff, but as time has gone on the effective speed has decreased, and the grain increased. This is inevitable given that even the freshest rolls will now be 11 years old, but it does take away from the film’s character a bit.

Neopan 1600

As a tribute to the greatest film in the world, I have gathered a whole pile of different pictures I’ve shot over the years with Neopan 1600 below. Don’t take any of these pictures as the quintissential NP1600 ‘look’ at its peak, as they are all subject to years of poor storage past the expiration date, as well as my shoddy exposure and development practices.

This isn’t quite the end of my story with NP1600, as I still have a bit of a stockpile left, but for now, here’s a look back.

Sample Images

Neopan 1600

Neopan 1600

Neopan 1600

Leica M2 Neopan 1600

Neopan 1600

Pentax Portrait

French bulldog

Neopan 1600

Glasgow street 35mm

Leica M2 Neopan 1600

Fuji Neopan 1600 35mm

Glasgow 35mm

Glasgow street 35mm

Fuji Neopan 1600

Glasgow street 35mm

Leica M2 Neopan 1600

Neopan 1600

Fuji Neopan 1600

French Bulldog

Neopan 1600

Glasgow street 35mm

Neopan 1600

Neopan 1600

Glasgow street 35mm

Neopan 1600

 

6 thoughts on “Neopan 1600

  1. I recently found a 100′ spool of this in a drawer. That’ll be the end of mine.

    How are you souping it?

    1. Score! I unfortunately did similar a few years back, but didn’t realise and opened it. Ruined the whole thing. It haunts me to this day.

      I’ve tried a bunch of different developers, and was using TMAX Dev for a long time, but in the past year I’ve shifted to using HC-110 because the economics are so much better.

  2. I didn’t know how much you loved this film! I only had a chance to shoot a handful of rolls of it before it disappeared. Their color film of the same speed was my voice for color photography. I will never forgive them for stifling it. I would imagine you feel similarly for how they treated Neopan. Eventually they’ll have to axe ‘film’ from the name of their company as well.

    1. Yeah man! My favourite film of all time. I’m familiar with the colour equivalent as well. I still have a bunch of rolls of Superia 1600 and Natura 1600 (the latter I picked up in Japan), but in recent years I’ve struggled to get decent results. I suspect they are just failing because of their age. I was meant to go back to Tokyo last year and was going to shoot a pile of it, but alas… It seems like all the great films they made got killed off.

      1. I always had worse luck with the Superia variant for some reason even though I know they’re the same stock. I still have three rolls of Natura left but struggle to bring myself to shoot them because I know when they’re gone they’re really gone.

        Fuji’s current relationship with film seems so sad. Even their roster of film cameras at the end of their production were all SO incredible. I feel like their films rivaled them equally… but they just don’t seem to care. If it ain’t Instax it’s gonna get inst-axed.

      2. 100%. I always felt like Natura was better, even though I know fine well it was the same stock. I thought Superia seemed more ‘yellow’, but that could just have been because of the label…

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