Exposure/Dev. suggestions for old Pan-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nickrapak, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I recently won an ebay auction which included a roll of Panatomic-X in 120 size. Supposedly the film was frozen, and judging by the K25 that came with the lot, it was since at least 1981. The expiration date is May 1967. Do you have any recommendations on what ISO to expose it for, and what length of time to develop it (in D-76)? This is probably my only chance to use such an historic film, expired as it is.
     
  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Wow, that's old. I have 4 rolls of it in 35mm that expired in the mid-1990's. When it was still new, I developed in Rodinal 1+50 and used EI 25. I need to try my old stuff, see if it is any good!
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Microdol-X was the standard developer for Panatomic-X. Although it has no cult following what-so-ever, it does produce the most printable negatives from this film. Pan-X is pretty contrasty so the old "if in doubt overexpose/under-develop" advice holds - even more so if it is very aged. Very slow speed films don't loose much speed or gain much fog with age, but 1967 is pushing it - Xtol may be a good choice as it holds film speed. I would stay away from Rodinal, it looses up to a stop of film speed, though it does have low fog levels it won't do anything to mitigate the fog on old film. Age-related fog is best just printed-through.

    You may find the ink on the 120 backing paper has interacted with the film and you may get frame numbers in the middle of the images.

    You can, however take advantage of the print-through...To make the best use of the one roll you might use it to take pictures of things that you would want to look like they were taken in 1967 on a roll of film found in an old camera. Interesting vintage photographs - very quirky snapshots - sell well and command a good price - here is your chance to forge^h^h^h^hcreate some.
     
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  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd try downrating it a few stops to help get over the fog and see what happens! I might also push the film to increase the contrast.

    At least it was a low speed film.

    I hate to state the obvious, but make sure you don't shoot anything too precious.
     
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  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    HC-110 is supposed to be very good at keepiong fog down on old film. A search here may provide some times for you. Your EI may be around 12 as old films tend to lose speed.

    DF Cardwell has suggested that Diafine is good for old films. With that dev you may be able to shoot at EI 25-32. Maybe DF will catch this thread and chime in.
     
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I recently inherited 60 rolls of 120 panatomic x that was frozen since 1981. I have tested a few rolls and found the film to be (at least it seems to me) good as new with no base fog at all. In the olden days it was often used with Rodinal and I have tested it in that 1-100 and also in Xtol. So far I have had a difficult time of keeping the processing down enough to have normal contrast as the film gets very contrasty.

    When I first tested the film I assumed the speed would be around 16 or less but to my surprise it seems at least box speed.. 32. And I don't shoot anything box speed.
    Dennis