Home > Photography > A classic black-and-white film is back on the…

A classic black-and-white film is back on the market thanks to Kickstarter

Why it matters to you

The original Ferrania P30 film was beloved by black-and-white photographers for half a century and now a new generation of film shooters can experience it.

In 2014, Film Ferrania raised more than $320,000 on Kickstarter to rebuild a film factory and breathe new life into a classic Italian brand. Its crowdfunding campaign listed numerous challenges in the undertaking, but just over two years later, the revitalized company is ready to release its first commercial product: a remake of Ferrania’s P30 35mm black-and-white film.

The new P30 is being labeled as an “alpha” release and will have limited availability. As in software development, Film Ferrania will use data gained from this public “alpha test” to further improve the film. While a new process is being used to manufacture P30 Alpha — which is being produced from raw materials to final output all in the same location — Film Ferrania has assured eager fans that it will retain the fine grain structure and classic tonality of the original P30. A key to achieving this was keeping the high silver concentration of five grams per square meter, as detailed by PetaPixel.

The release of P30 Alpha follows closely behind the return of Kodak Ektachrome, another discontinued film that is getting a second chance thanks to the rise in popularity of analog photography among enthusiasts. Film Ferrania has not announced pricing for the film, but pre-orders are expected to open later in February.

Ferrania was seen as Kodak’s counterpart in Italy. Its products ran the gamut, producing cheap cameras for consumers while also supplying film stock to the majority of classic Italian movies made from the 1920s to 1960s. The company was acquired by 3M in 1964 and divested in 1999, after which it tried to carry on but was finally forced to call it quits in 2010. It appeared to be another victim of the rise of digital photography, until new owners stepped in just two years later to bring the defunct film producer was back to life. Film Ferrania now operates out of the original Ferrania Research and Development building in northern Italy.