Pan F+, Contrast, Reciprocity, etc

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by arigram, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    On my last trip to the US, six months ago, I got myself some Ilford PanF+ in 120 format which is not available around here. I tried it yesterday and I have to say that I am kinda dissapointed by the results, because of my lack of exprerience with this film.
    The subjects where:
    a) Indoors - Black painted achinery. Metered shadows and did 10 minute exposures (incident meter with grey card showed 4'). Not bad but not that much detail.
    b) Room of large stacks of newspapers. Too much contrast that lost the tonallities of the white paper.
    c) Outside shots of buildings and nature. Thunderstorm sky, used orange and red filters for effect but instead the sky came out white! I must have screwed up with the reciprocity effect.
    d) Inside of buildings, through the door. Long exposures 5-15 minutes. Came out so dense that I would need a laser to cut through them! Way over exposed.

    The rolls where developed in Rodinal 1-50 at 21 C for nine minutes.
    The equipment was a Hasselblad 501CM, 80 Plannar lens, Manfrotto tripod and a Gossen Sixtomat Digital ambient meter. All metering was done with a Kodak grey card and also used the correction feature with the filters.

    I have heard of the harsh contrast of PanF+ but this was rediculous!
    So, my questions are:

    1) How do I control the contrast of PanF+ if I only can use for developers D-76 and Rodinal (both of which I have to special order)? I never tried two bath developing. Should I start learning?
    2) How did I screw up my metering? I have the small table of times copied from the book Beyond Monochrome which was for the reciprocity effect and goes like 1/30"-1", 1"-2",2"-5",...,1'-4' . Checking the data of Kodak and Ilford, they list different times for their films but not different for each one (ie all Ilford's have the same numbers in the reciprocity table, PanF+ to Delta). Is there a way to calculate the reciprocity times and go beyond 1' for those really long exposures?
    3) Is there a good alternative of PanF+ with Rodinal? I got the last three (!) rolls of 120 FP4+ and was thinking of trying it out at 50 or 64 iso. The efke films have to ordered from another country and their orthochromatic design puts me off a bit (lack of experience with ortho), so they would be a pain in the ass just to try them out.
    Note: And you people complain about film supplies! In this third world country I have hard time finding anything, thank God we are part of EU!

    I need to find myself a slow film I can use for static subject. All these years I shot mostly animated subjects and the static ones where mostly tests.

    Thanks guys,
    Aristotelis
     
  2. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Pan F development

    I use Rodinal 1:100 13 min @ 20deg 50 ASA
     
  3. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I shoot it at an EI of 32 and process it in D76 1:3. I've also used Perceptol and Microphen with good results using EI's of 25, 32 and 50. The times I use are about 25-30% less than the current Ilford recommendations. I based them partially on some old Ilford literature from the 1970's that gave processing times for two different negative densities. Since I use a condensor enlarger, I process for a thinner negative.

    Pan F is a wonderful film. I especially like it in 120. It can be a contrast monster, however. I've never shot it with exposures quite as long as you detail. Ilford's tech info on this film shows a very steep reciprocity curve. You'll have to experiment with it to determine what works best for your individual working methods.
     
  4. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Then the contrast is on the VERY low side, right?
     
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  5. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Higher dilution should result in lower contrast ........ errrrrm Yes :D
     
  6. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I did 1+100 for 14 minutes and got VERY DULL negs...
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    For me I find that the difference between 1+25 and 1+50 is very slight, but once we get up to 1+100 they do seem to lose some of their "sparkle". As much as possible now I stick to 1+25 and 1+50 unless I really have difficult lighting that requires the extra dilution.
     
  8. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Before you get too depressed with the results might I suggest that you review your methods of exposure, particularly the use of a grey card.

    The subject range that you described was comprehensive and clearly chosen to assess the film/developer combination. However, I would strongly suggest that you stop metering from a grey card and read the light value in the darkest shadows and the brightest highlight to determine the contrast range that you are photographing. Having done that, base your exposure on the shadow reading by closing down the camera lens by one, two or three stops depending on how dark you want the shadow. My suggestion would be to close down 2 stops. If the contrast range is greater than 5 stops reduce development to reduce contrast, if it is 2 to 5 stops develop normally and if less than 3 stops increase development to increase contrast. This is the basis of the old addage, "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights". Clearly, what I have suggested is simply a starting point and from there you can fine tune exposure and development to suit your tastes but the above should give you decent negatives.

    Reciprocity can be a tricky one, but if I have a two second metered exposure I would give 16 to 24 seconds to allow for reciprocity. Have a look around the web and I'm sure you'll find good info on the calulation of recoprocity. My corrections are based on years of making photographs and experimenting until I produced a negative density and contrast the suited me.
     
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  9. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Sounds like the "back to basics" approach for film tests is in order. Fred Picker's Zone VI Workshop is a good starting place.
     
  10. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    I shoot Pan F religiously for portraits.

    Here are my findings:

    ISO 20

    Ilford Perceptol 1:3 @ 75F for 12.5 minutes (Jobo CPE2+)

    Of course you will have to do your own density testing to account for the inconsistency between camera shutter, water quality, agitation method, etc.

    I would not recommend using Pan F with any developer that has Hydroquinone incorporated. Those developers contain a lot of restrainer to make up for the miniscule fogging caused by Hydroquinone, leaving you with very muddled results.

    Microdol-X, Perceptol, Rodinal, etc are excellent.

    I've attached a sample from my recent shoot using the tested recipe noted above.

    Andy
     
  11. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    The picture is VERY nice. The skin tones and the hair are perfectly sparkling.
     
  12. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I shot a roll of PAN F 50 yesterday around Battlesbridge. As it was a very grey sky, to avoid it 'whiting out' I used a yellow filter. Most of the exposures were between 1/8 sec and 1/4 sec at f16 and f22. I developed in Rodinal at 1+50, 20c for 11 minutes. The negs seem very dark and even a bit 'muddy'.
    I have only been developing my own negs for a few weeks and have not yet reached anywhere near full 'alchemist' status! Did I go wrong with the developing, or should I perhaps have not bothered with the lens filter?

    See the attached files:
     
  13. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Les that is the easiest to understand explanation I've ever read on this subject, my warmest thanks :smile:

    Andy if that combo produces beautiful images like that I'm going to have to try it on my wife .... I'll deny I every typed this reply even under torture :D
     
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  15. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    I'll pretend you never said that. Give it a try though!
     
  16. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    Try to increase developing time a bit more. Your highlights look a bit depressed (but no way to tell without seeing the negative). Forget about the yellow filter for now. It's good for modifying specific values, but you'll have to know how color filters interact and what value you want to change before you slap one on. Get a successful exposure without any filters first before attempting to add more crazy variables. Try rating the film at ISO 25 and developing it for about 12.5 minutes.

    If you do your own printing, do a straight print, expose for film base's maximum density and that'll give you a direct negative of your exposure.
     
  17. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Pan F+ reciprocity

    I shoot quite a bit of Pan F+ in 35mm, and frequently measure my exposures in minutes. I had a lot of problems until I started paying attention to Ilford's reciprocity charts.

    You can get the tech data for Pan F+ here: http://www.ilford.com/html/us_english/pdf/Pan_F_Plus.pdf

    The reciprocity chart is on page 2. I compared the charts for Pan F+, FP4+ and HP5+ and found it interesting that they use the exact same chart for all three films. I laminated a copy and now keep it in my gear bag with my spot meter and stop watch.

    Bruce
     
  18. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Leetle known fact but yeller filters, nor red for that matter, do nothing with a gray sky. Those filters take the blue out of photographs, not gray. The only way to pick up the variation in a gray sky is to keep your development from blowing through the subtleties of the cloud formation, not easy when you are sitting on the top shoulder of the film plane. Your boat picture shows the difficulty in pulling this off. You have gray skys with no texture, yet your highlights in the other parts of the photo are still a dull gray.

    So, blow out the skys and get the rest of the photo correct. Then add Marshalls Color to get yer blue. *L*

    tim in san jose
     
  19. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you Les, that was indeed a very well written and helpfull advice.
    I thought I had a good metering technique but now I am rereading all the books I have including A.A.'s Negative.
    God knows when I will be able to shoot with PanF+ again as I used my last roll and my local distributor is having problems with that film - no suprise. It's been three weeks since I told him to get me some and he has not even heard from the Greek representative yet. He tells me that PanF+ is not a film that sells in Greece. No suprise there either.
    I shot some simular stuff with Ilford's FP4+ at 64 iso yesterday and I am going to give it a try with Rodinal at 1-100 dillution (Unfortunately that is the only dillution that the Massive Dev Chart lists at 64 iso).
    I thought of going all the way and ordering some efke 25 film but I read around the net that although the image quality is good, it is a pain in the ass to use: fogs easily, curls, doesn't have good spools, is not very dependable, etc
    Any one want to comment on efke 25?
    What about Maco UP 25 ? Has anyone ever used it?
     
  20. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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  21. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Pan F and Rodinal

    This gives me just the right contrast for bright sunlight. Would 1:50 with a shorter time give more "sparkle". Perhaps-I'm not sure
     
  22. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Mark I prefer the lower dilution, but give it a try as it's all personal taste :smile:
     
  23. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I often use 1+25 to make my negs KICK through the walls. Develop +25% and then I prepare for a high contrast neg that 95% of the users here won't like....my I do.

    I works very well with pictures of wood, stone and other materials with structure.

    Morten
     
  24. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Awwwwwww Morton does it show good taste to always be in a minority? Good to know I'm in your 5% Brother! :wink:
     
  25. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Thanks. But be careful with the 1+25 done for 25% longer...It's not suitable for everything...!
     
  26. isaacc7

    isaacc7 Member

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    A different developer

    Pan F is one of my favorite films, just bought over 3000 feet of it recently just in case they decide to stop making it... Anyway, I have been developing it recently in Ab55, a two bath developer. It's not the finest grain stuff around, but i have no problems in restraining the highlights under contrasty situations. I shoot at an EI 32, and then do 5 minutes in the first bath and 3 minutes in the second bath. I only agitate one a minute in the second bath...
    Another thing I've started to do is use DR5. Panf and DR5 are a wonderful combo, I especially like their warm tone developer. You can see some examples on my website.

    Isaac

    www.homepage.mac.com/isaacc7