Last December, I joined Casual Photophile’s Film of the Month club. The subscription, offered via CP’s shop, FStop Cameras, delivers a random roll of 35mm film to your doorstep every month. When signing up, there is no telling as to what type of film you will receive in regards to brand, exposure count, box speed, country of origin, type of emulsion or even, when the film is to arrive. But arrive in the padded yellow envelope some did and with now, I am stoked to welcome you to the first of this year’s FoTM Club reviews!
I had no real familiarity of the Foma brand. I have come across the name a few times, but not because I was looking for it. A quick google search tells the story of Foma, or Foma Bohemia, a company started way back in 1921 in what is now referred to as the Czech Republic. Back in the late nineteen-teens, a couple of engineers started a company in Prague, only to move to Czechoslovakia a couple of years later, calling the company FotoChema. While the U.S. was coming to grips with the 18th amendment, these Czechs were specializing in photographic chemicals, and plates. Soon, they developed black & white photo paper and in 1933, film. Apparently, the money was in the medical field as they spent the 40s and 50s crafting x-ray film and papers and copy technologies. Color paper and negatives came on in the late 50s, probably establishing the roots for the current version of the Foma company. Some restructuring and things in the 80s and 90s occurred and the Foma Bohemia company was established. Something, something; it’s 2020 and a roll of their film arrives at my door.
All of that wiki-history is nice, but it doesn’t describe what the company’s film offers in terms of performance, quality and the other attributes photographers are in the hunt for when choosing an emulsion. In digging further, it seems that Foma offers a number of different films, all cutely named based upon their ASA/ISO speed:
- Fomapan 100 Classic. This is listed as Foma’s fine grain “general” purpose film. Fine grain, 100 ISO.
- Fomapan 200 Creative. This is also listed as…