Overall verdict on Foma films.

By Daniel Devine Photography | 3rd May 2013

Foma films are a classic emulsion. It doesn't rely on sensitizing dyes in order to use less silver and to save money. Because of this, it responds well to changes in development and to the choice of developer. You can easily see grain and sharpness differences between D-76 and Rodinal, for example. You can easily see the effect of shortening or prolonging the development. It responds very well to stand development (tried it myself) and to compensating development in two baths (tried this myself, too). It's a classic film, and all classic theories apply to it.
That doesn't mean it's soft. The emulsion is hardened and isn't more prone to scratching than any other modern emulsion.

It's very strongly affected by the Schwarzschild effect. Some regard this as a bad thing, but I love it. I use the Schwarzschild effect to my advantage, and I just love being able to expose for minutes, or even tens of minutes.

It has a very good base. The base is polyester even in the 120 format, where most other manufacturers use cellulose triacetate. Polyester should age more gracefully, at least in theory. In sheet form the base is clear polyester. No pink tint, no magenta, no gray. Perfectly clear. 120 is blue, though, but that's the color of the polyester itself, it doesn't come from any sensitizing dyes.
The base dries perfectly flat in all formats (well, sheet film doesn't count ), and it has never given me any Newton rings despite using a plain glass carrier in my former enlarger (my current one is glassless). It dries flatter than Tri-X and FP4+, at least in my experience.

The 120 version has a self-adhesive sealing tape, so you don't have to lick it. As far as I now, Fuji is the only other manufacturer that offers this feature.

It's very well documented. The technical data sheets can be downloaded from Foma, and I find them excellent.

On the minus side: too contrasty, a bit grainier than other films of the same speed (but I shoot mostly 6x7 and 4x5", so I couldn't care less about grain, and even in 35mm the grain doesn't look bad at all - on the contrary, it has an appealing classic look), lousy Schwarzschild characteristics (though I personally regard this as an advantage).