I recently purchased a block of Fujifilm Neopan 400 in 120 format from eBay. I actually only put on a speculative bid and was surprised to win the auction so cheaply. That said it was not really cheap as I have made a commitment to only buy fresh film and if I was to obtain expired film it would either be swapped for fresh film or I would buy the equivalent value of fresh film in order to support current manufacturers, so actually it cost me double.
Anyway I digress. The reason I made a bid was because Neopan 400 is a lovely film, one that I only briefly got to try as it was discontinued just as I was starting my journey into film photography. I have shot the 35mm version but never 120. Thus here I am sitting with 11 rolls of this film, taking up space in the fridge. The film was sold as freezer stored from purchase. I guess I will find out soon enough.
I have been thinking about this purchase for a little while now and what type of project I should use this film for. I am a big believer that film is meant to be shot to fulfil its destiny and there is no such thing as a special occasion to wait for. Yes these stocks are finite and someday there will be no eBay finds but so what, even kept in the freezer it will have an infinite life and over time deteriorate.
Thus I have decided to share the wealth and give 10 of you good people a chance to shoot a roll.
Here is the deal, I will send you one roll of this Neopan 400 in 120 wherever you are in the world and at no charge to you (I can’t control customs charge though!).
Here is my ask of you and I will be trusting you to do this:
• Buy a roll of fresh film from your local store/on-line store. You can choose whatever film you like at whatever cost level and you get to keep it and use this fresh film in any way you want but it has to be new fresh film. (see first paragraph if you are wondering why I ask this)
• You shoot the Neopan 400 film within two months of receipt, no hoarding it
• The theme of your shoot for this roll of film is ‘Discontinued’ you can interpret the theme in any way you like but this roll has to be shot on this theme
• You submit minimum one, maximum two images from this roll with an accompanying sentence or five on how it felt to shoot this one and only roll knowing you would be unlikely to ever shoot it again. You are responsible for develop and scan of the film
Here is what I will do with said images and you agree to this too. (I’m a demanding so and so aren’t I)
I will produce a zine called ‘Discontinued’ with the images and words collated from all who have shot a roll, with your name and if you want to provide it your social media contact details, I will have shot one roll also. You will receive two copies of this zine at no charge or postage cost. The rest will be sold at cost plus postage and packing, you will get an option to buy extra copies. There will only be one print run of this zine and then it will be discontinued. Until I produce the zine I have no idea what the cost price will be, but I will share with you the invoice at the time so you can see this is not money making.
A word about the images. Although sold as freezer stored, I have no idea on the quality of this film so this could all fall down at the first hurdle, if so, you have had a free film to shoot and I hope you enjoyed the experience. If however the film is fine, then I don’t want you put off going for this as you think that I am expecting gallery worthy shots. This is about the process and your thoughts on a last chance to shoot a discontinued stock, the images will thus speak for themselves and kind of why I don’t want a description of the actual image. This is not a competition and I will also be submitting mine warts and all. I appreciate this may make some people uncomfortable to take part, it really shouldn’t and is meant to be a fun and interesting project not a professional publication.
Which leads nicely on to the final section, how do you apply? In order to make this fair please leave your name in the comments field confirming you want to take part. Then next week (Week beginning 12th March 2018) if there are 5- 10 volunteers, job done you all get to have a go. If there are more than 10, I will put all the names into draw and pick 10. If there are 5 or less, this project will discontinue.
Oh yeah, one final comment, if you are sitting on a stash of this film don’t apply it’s about having that one and only chance.