On a whim I decided to pick up a couple of rolls of Kentmere 100 film from B&H; mainly because I wanted to reach the minimum $50 mark for free shipping. At $2.95 per roll, I felt it was a good gamble. What's the worst that could happen?
I was pleasantly surprised with this bargain film!
It's no Acros 100, but it's a really good performer. The Kentmere film doesn't have that creamy smooth black that I enjoy. That being said, the film does have an exceptional tonal range, retaining details in the shadows and highlights very well.
I developed the film using my standard 1+100 Rodinal recipe. Nothing out of the ordinary that I could tell. One trait of the film that is really nice is that it dries very flat and flexible. This makes scanning the film a pleasure as opposed to Tri-X which curls and hardens.
Not much more to say other than the film develops cleanly.
Compared to Fuji Neopan 100 Acros
While I don't have a direct comparison, I have one which is reasonably close enough. I shot both photos with my Leica M6 TTL Millennium camera and Summilux-M 50mm ASPH lens. Both were shot around the same aperture of f/2 and EI 100, and both were developed together at the same time. These shots were taken in slightly different lighting conditions and locations though.
The comparison above illustrates the slight differences in rendering. The Acros 100 film has richer blacks and to my eye more base contrast than the Kentmere 100 film. The gentler curve of the Kentmere film holds onto the highlight details much better.
Kentmere 100 is a surprisingly capable film for the modest price. While I'm pretty set with 100 speed film at the moment, it's good to know that there exists a B&W with great value should I need to restock my supplies.