Pan F problems?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MkII, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. MkII

    MkII Member

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    Hi,
    I've stopped using Pan F as I was getting patchy results. I tend to send them off for developing and sometimes they come back with all the vitality that you would expect but at other times they come back bad ('noisy', thin etc.). I am now using FP4 instead but would like to change back to Pan F if it is reliable enough.

    Does anyone else have similar experiences or should I be asking more questions of the lab? They have said that this happens with (un?)reasonable frequency.

    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I'd start with the lab. My experiences with Pan F has been nothing short of exceptional quality and I have been dabbling with that film for about...ummm....7 years? If they are thin, sounds like a developer issue. Actually, patchy can be caused too by poor development procedure or spent/incorrectly mixed chemistry.
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Pan F is a beautiful film, nothing wrong with it at all, stick with it.
     
  4. Andre Noble

    Andre Noble Subscriber

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    Hey MKII - the crucial thing about Pan F - which took me YEARS to learn, is that it has very poor latent image keeping properties.

    As long as you are aware of that and work within the film's poor latent image keeping timeline, then this is a great film.
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Is there a much longer delay between shooting and developing for some rolls than others? Pan F is well known for poor latent image keeping qualities. Many rolls will have faint edge markings for this reason. I've kept it a month or so with no apparent ill effects, but this film needs to be developed more promptly after exposure than most.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Great minds think alike it seems. :wink:
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Thanks for bringing that up, guys. The longest I let an exposed roll of Pan F sit was about 3 months and it was thinner than expected, but still very usable in the darkroom.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I wonder what Ilford has to say about this alleged latent image issue with Pan F. I use "alleged" for quasi legal reasons as I don't think there is any incontrovertible proof to date.

    As others have said I seriously doubt that it misbehaves when being processed. I have used it only once when my ignorance of film in general was bliss and didn't see a problem when I processed it.

    Indeed if there was a proven issue on latent image you'd think that Ilford would have mentioned it. I can't be the only photographer not to process for several months so if I were ever to use Pan F again it would be helpful to know what the maximum time it can be left exposed but undeveloped.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Correct. In my experience it could have been any number of things, but I have heard that explanation before so perhaps a test shall be performed...wonder if I have a roll lying about...
     
  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Develop your own. :smile:

    I shoot Pan F+ and even if I could send it some place else, I wouldn't because this is one film that has to be developed "just right."
    Not to say that it's hard to develop but seemingly small changes in agitation, temperature or time can make a visible difference in the result. I just would not trust your average lab to understand that.
    (Unless it is a lab that has experience developing that film... No place around where I live has such experience.)

    Doing it yourself, you have more control over the process. If you want to push, pull or tweak the process.

    If mistakes are made you'll be able to figure out what the problem is. You won't have to worry about what somebody else did to screw up your film.
    (Because you'll be the one who screwed it up! :wink: :wink: :wink: )
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    No legal issues in saying, "in my experience, latent images on Pan F haven't kept nearly as well when development was not prompt as they do on other films" which is pretty much all anyone has said. And I seem to recall something on the box about developing promptly, maybe more firmly worded than the usual such disclaimer - I'd have to dig a roll out of the film fridge to look and that's downstairs.

    This is true in my experience too, to which I have a one word answer - Diafine. Stone simple and works great with Pan F. Tames the highlight contrast and gives a touch more effective speed too. Box says to shoot it at 80. I use EI 64.
     
  12. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I would first consider the lab might be the problem. It all depends on who was working that day. I have a favorite restaurant and the food was always excellent until I changed the day of the week I went. Different day, different chef.
     
  13. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I've been using and loving pan-f and pan-f+ for 30 years (good god). Obviously I like it. But I never send it off to a lab, and it wouldn't be my first choice if I had to do so.
    The latent image issue is real but not drastic. I can't seem to find it now but I believe Ilford has advised about it, I think Simon has confirmed it as well.
     
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  15. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Ah-ha, that would explain why most of my Pan-F has very faint numbers. Still a great film and no problems with consistency, which is true of all Ilford films btw.
     
  16. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Seeing as you are in the UK, try sending to Ilford's processing lab.
     
  17. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    +1. PanF Plus (PanF) has been in my arsenal for something in the order of thirty years. No issues at all; an exceptional and absolutely beautiful film (my choice for landscape/architecture/fine art shooting). My guess is that the issue is with your lab; why not process it yourself? Results will likely be more consistent...
     
  18. MkII

    MkII Member

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    Helpful comments, thanks all. I think I've had some latency issues so I'll have another go and send them fresh. Doing it myself isn't the easiest option at the moment, though perhaps in the future. Hopefully I can find a way to make it work as I really miss Pan F - nothing quite like it on a good day.
     
  19. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    It could have been improperly spooled onto a reel, if those were involved. It's a tad more sensitive
    in this regard to even film distribution than some other films, though if the film had actually buckled
    and touched it would show as vertical streaks of whatever mush. Sometimes a pinch of EDTA helps.
    But given basic technique, it's relatively cooperative, and nothing particularly weird about the
    processing variables. Obtaining correct contrast is a different subject.
     
  20. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    So have we a consensus that about 3 months is the max time for exposed but undeveloped Pan F before some deterioration in latent image is experienced or have we others here who have left their Pan F for longer without deterioration?

    If Pan F is unique in exhibiting this phenomenon in the Ilford range, I wonder what makes it this way. I have twice been on the Ilford tour and there was nothing I recall being said about its emulsion or production that even hinted at this problem.

    Of course some might say that Ilford wouldn't reveal this any way and that's why nothing was said and indeed according to one poster Ilford has hinted that such a problem exists or has even stated it( Simon Galley being mentioned)

    pentxuser
     
  21. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear MK II et al,

    Where do we start?

    Latent image stability, a real issue on papers and films, both colour and monochrome some are better than others but by and large they are all amazingly stable especially when you consider the LI performance of 50 years ago. If we talk about PAN F + when the ( all new ) plus emulsions were introduced, one major improvement was latent image stability. I should know, but I don't where PAN F + comes in LI performance compared to our other film emulsions but I will speak to our technical service, they will advise me and I will let you know in the next day or so.

    Dear Pentax user....deeply appreciate the 'allegedly' in the sort of 'Have I got news for you' context, you do not have to worry, ever, I believe in people saying what they think about us and our products, I will always robustly defend, or on occasion agree to differ, but a healthy and positive honest debate is always to be encouraged...

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  22. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Simon thanks for this reply and I look forward to hearing about the tech dept's findings. Allegedly was a tongue in cheek use of the word but my sentiments would have been better expressed if I had said that I was attempting to take an impartial position and "sit on the fence" until the evidence was much clearer.

    For others interested in this matter, I have just done a quick search of APUG on the subject and roughly for every person claiming that there is an issue with PanF+ compared to other Ilford films there is one who has had no such issue. The numbers involved was small on both sides

    You learn a lot in a search, including now a healthy doubt on my part, based on your response, about those saying things such as "from Ilford sources" in this context.

    pentaxuser
     
  23. ROL

    ROL Member

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    I apologize if this has already been said, but if you're interested in controllable consistency (reliability), you should be developing yourself. All the materials can be sourced on the net, if not locally, and a simple dark space will enable you to control your film destiny. Most, if not all, amateurs (i.e., those not engaged in commercial photography) find this quickly learned and accomplished activity to be beyond gratifying.
     
  24. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I stand corrected. Trusting to memory is rarely a good approach, certainly not in my case. I look forward to hearing the official word.
     
  25. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    One thing: Mark, do you know or can you find out which developer was used by the lab? I am not aware of this issue with common commercial developer formulas, but there are some formulas out there (e.g. Ryuji Suzuki's DS-10) which warn of poor results with slow, fine grained films.
     
  26. DF

    DF Member

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    I develop Pan in D-76 1:1. Results are fine.