Shanghai GP3: Initial Observations

thronobulax

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Some years ago, I tried Shangai film. I loved the look of the stuff, but the quality control was so poor, it was essentially unusable. Upon hearing (here) that this had been solved and that the manufacturing was no longer in the government's hands, I decided to give it another go.

These observations are only from developing and scanning the film. I've not yet printed it, which is always my real standard. The image below was shot on GP3 at ASA 100 (box speed) and semistand developed in Pyrocat-HD 1.5:1:200 for 60min @20C. Notes:

  • Neither the emulsion nor base look or feel like the Shangai I remember. This appears to be an entirely different film.
  • Quality control seems good with no immediate evidence of spots or emulsion breaks. Certainly a very usable film.
  • The film achieved full box speed ASA in semistand development.
  • It does not take Pyro stain deeply as compared to, say, Tri-X or FP4+.
  • There is no evidence of any relief image on the emulsion side, which I've come to expect from semistand developed films
  • It is about 1/3 less expensive than FP4+ here in the US. I'd imagine similar relative savings elsewhere, but have not confirmed.
This film reminds me of Agfapan APX 100 in many ways. It has a similar response to Pyrocat-HD staining and semistand development.

It's unlikely to become my daily driver but it certainly seems like a decent film. I do intend to explore it a bit more.
 

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thronobulax

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Nik & Trick in the UK are now stocking this film in 220 size.
Yes, that's where I heard that Shangai had improved their quality control. I don't shoot a lot of smaller format stuff, but 220 would be tempting for travel with my 645 and 6x9 cameras.
 

Marley

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I'm definitely in for the 220 on my RB67 and C330 Mamiyas! Plus their Large format size options look good.
 

thronobulax

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I've just put a roll of the 220 through a Graflex RH20 back on a Mamiya Universal and processed as I did the sheet film above. The two films look identical by casual observation (not always the case for roll film and sheet film of the same name - can you hear me Tri-X?).

As above, this film is suggestive of Agfapan APX 100 in its tonality and rendering.

Of course, this meant I had to buy 220 backs/inserts and reels for the longer film, but that's the price of going back in time ;)
 
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