Pan F Plus VS. Delta 100

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DF, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. DF

    DF Member

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    I believe, that PanF+ strength's are natural subjects & textures such as soil/dirt/sand, rocks/rocky formations, tree bark, water, and skin/skin tones to name some. Delta 100 covers these elements just fine, just that Pan has that edge I believe in it's grain structure. Delta is good with what's man-made - architecture, day& night, bridges, boats/harbors. Also, Pan is great on a rainy night in the city for those wet reflections off the ground.
    Please give feedback on your experiances with these 2 films - agree/disagree is fine.
     
  2. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Severak x vs y threads lately for some reason. It is difficult to judge because everyone sees things differently. All I can give you are my conclusions based on my own test data. Some quick comments: Pan F+ is inherently more contrasty than Delta 100. This can of course be controlled/altered but I'm referring simply to the film's "natural" characteristics. I have found the relative graininess of the two films to be virtually the same. In fact from an image structure perspective I find them difficult to tell apart. So I wouldn't characterize one or the other as being "better" for a specific type of subject. I'd select based more on the type of lighting/contrast conditions most often encountered. Of course there's also the difference in speed.
     
  3. DF

    DF Member

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    I probably should've posted "Pan F & Delta Compared" rather than "VS". because I'm not in any way saying one is better than the other, but trying to get other's experiances with these two.
    Anyhow, when I use the grain focuser for darkroom work, Delta 100 is easy to see, Pan F difficult.
     
  4. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    IMHO if you get your processing right, you won't be able to tell one from the other even at big (8-10x) enlargements since they're both just beginning to show grain at that point. The granularity when printed is pretty similar despite the differing emulsion technologies.

    The main difference is that Delta is about 1.5 stops faster for a given contrast and has a straighter curve.

    I wouldn't go making any such generalisations about one film suiting a particular subject or anything, they're both just films and they record whatever you shine on them. The lighting of your subject has far greater impact than any film choice.
     
  5. arpinum

    arpinum Member

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    Vision + lighting + subject + film + developer + agitation + paper.
    Given so many variables, I'm not sure my experience relates much to others.
    I don't like critical sharpness, need good tonal separation in the shadows, relatively high contrast prints, highlights less important, sbr in a roll can vary considerably, develop in pyrocat, print on RC paper. To keep shadow detail in Delta 100 I've had to expose at 50, while PanF+ I can shoot full speed.

    Its a compromise, but PanF+ is my sole slow speed film because it can deliver these properties on a consistant basis. I had too much trouble getting good shadow detail with my printing skills when using delta 100. Delta 100 could keep very good highlights in my workflow, and would sometimes lose shadow detail. I'm sure I could have improved my technique to rectify this, but PanF+ was already enough for me.
     
  6. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    "Vs" may not have been exactly your intent, but is handy when searching for information. It seems to have become the standard expression for internet comparisons.

    I like both of these films, but neither has become a standard for me. I think the biggest difference is the characteristic curves. Delta 100 is a tabular grain film that seems to have more of a straight line response with more highlight contrast. Pan F Plus is a traditional emulsion and will shoulder off in the highlights. In some situations like the natural subject textures you mention, this might give somewhat more midtone contrast, depending on the scene of course.

    I never entirely got the hang of Pan F Plus, probably due to the speed, but do tend to prefer a film with at least a bit of a shoulder. Others like a straight line response. The differences are there though to use as you prefer.
     
  7. DF

    DF Member

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    But isn't Pan F sort of "old school" grain and Delta "T-grain" emulsion they're sharing with Kodak?
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yes Pan F is old school and Delta the more modern T-grain "technology" but Kodak's and Ilford's emulsions aren't shared.

    The grain difference between the two may or may not even be significant in the print.
     
  9. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    PanF+, FP4+ etc are not "old school" emulsions. The current versions of these films are somewhere between traditional cubic and tabular grain films.
     
  10. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I've read this over and over again, and not only for these two films. Yet, what are the implications of this? Do we need the same special developers and techniques that the Film Developing Cookbook recommends for T-grain emulsions?
     
  11. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    It is not only those two films. I'm referring to all the current "traditional" technology films from Kodak and Ilford. To get true "old-school" emulsions you have to buy those specialty films from eastern Europe. I believe the "Adox" CHS films fall into that category. FP4, Plus-X (no more), HP5, Tri-X, PanF are what I'd call hybrid traditional-tabular. My understanding is the grains are semi-flattened - one of the reasons these films are less grainy than earlier versions/incarnations. They rely heavily on dye sensitization. They are obviously not full-on tabular films but the tabular (and money saving) technology did make its way into the more traditional films.

    As for these films needing special developers and techniques, I've never really bought that even for true tabular films. TMX - the most "tabular" of all films, works just as well in D76 1+1 as any old film. There is some merit to the notion that films like TMX may "look better" in more dilute versions of traditional solvent developers, or higher acutance developers simply because they are so fine grained to begin with they may lack a subjective impression of sharpness in some cases. But when it comes to micro-contrast, highlight detail etc the tabular discussion is not one of the more value-add aspects of the Film Developing Cookbook in my opinion. The authors are clearly anti-tabular, and that's fine. But in my experience even a super-tabular film like TMX can yield prints with every bit as much tonality and delicate high value separation as any other film, including old-style emulsions, without special developers. I've done a lot of my own testing, but also observed it first hand in the work of others. So my view continues to be that tabular films leave nothing on the table relative to older style films.

    So to me there are no real implications with respect to the current versions of FP4, HP5, Tri-X etc being closer related to tabular films than the older versions. In fact if anything they are more flexible than they used to be because they all have much longer, straighter exposure ranges than they once did.

    Personally I'd take the Cookbook with a grain of salt when it comes to that particular discussion. That goes for the Darkroom Cookbook too. Anchell has made it very clear in the books and in interviews he thinks TMax films are shit. Others may agree. Not me. I've seen way too much evidence to the contrary.

    For those who find the TMax films too "tabular", Delta 100 may be a nice alternative since it has a little more of the traditional look from a grain perspective. Tonality is very similar although Delta has slightly more extreme highlight separation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2012
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The only significant difference that I found in Ilford's literature for development is that Delta should be fixed longer.

    Ilford does brag considerably about the robustness of FP4 both in exposure latitude +6/-2 and for less than ideal processing.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Just an FYI Michael,



     
  14. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Saw it. I have other information. But I don't want to get into any arguments over this so I'd simply suggest people ignore the first paragraph in what I wrote. The rest of it was more relevant to the thread anyway.
     
  15. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Pan F.