Royal Pan, Ektapan, Super XX, etc.....tell me about.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by PHOTOTONE, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Kodak has discontinued a lot of b/w films over the years.

    I have questions, hopefully someone out there has answers.

    First..Kodak Royal Pan...ISO 400. What was its intended purpose, since Tri-x is virtually the same ISO?

    Ektapan..I have used it, but why was ther Ektapan and Plus-X, almost the same ISO?

    Super XX, ISO 200..Why is it legendary? Is it better than Tri-X? (was)

    Curious minds want to know.
     
  2. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    IIRC, Royal Pan was made in sheet film only. When I started in the 60's, it was a favorite of pros. Back then, I shot most of my commercial B&W stuff on Royal Pan.

    Bob
     
  3. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Royal Pan was also made in ISO 800, or maybe it was Royal Pan Plus

    Ektapan and Plux-X have different curves. Many people used Ektanpan primarily in the studio, Plus X outside.

    Super XX is legendary because of its long straight line curve, similar in all colors, and for its great potential for expansion and contraction development.

    Sandy
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    In regards to Super XX, in addition to being a silver based film, it had a gold component in the emulsion (if I'm not mistaken). It is claimed to hold a longer tonal scale than any other negative film manufactured.
    Go to www.michaelandpaula.com - you can find information on Kodak Super XX on those pages somewhere. I have seen a large collection of Michael Smith's prints at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and they are phenomenal Azo prints.

    - Thom
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The high speed film was Royal X Pan. It was awful IMHO.

    All films currently in production have a gold component.

    Super XX was a fine film for its day, but used environmentally hazardous materials including mercury IIRC. It was discontinued.

    PE
     
  6. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I have a full box of 4X5 Royal Pan in the freezer. Hopefully, it will be used up by the end of the summer. I'm anxious to see what it does.
     
  7. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Ektapan was great in the studio with strobes. It was very useful when you had to shoot the same image (often a product shot) in color and B&W. It gave you a similar tonal "look" to color films of the day. It was terrible out doors, looked flat.
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PE,

    Yes, Royal-X Pan was pretty bad -- but it was also ASA 1250, which no-one has mentioned yet. What killed it, I believe, is the decline of 4x5 inch/9x12cm for reportage. With the much faster lenses of 35mm and even roll-film cameras, the market for an unbelievably grainy, low-contrast, expensive, super-fast film diminished abruptly. Though Ilford's HPS (ASA 800) vanished around the same time, and that was available even in 35mm, I think.

    Carl Kohrt told me that Super-XX was the last Kodak film containing cadmium and was knocked on the head for that reason alone. People were still buying it, and Kodak will make anything as long as people buy it. The last time I checked, Ektachrome 64 was still in production, despite the fact that almost any Kodak slide film of the last 20 years was better by any objective criterion.

    Do I recall correctly that gold sensitization was an Agfa discovery?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  9. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Royal X Pan also came in 120 rollfilm back in the 70s

    Gord
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I had some 120 Royal X Pan. I shot the last of it 3 years ago.

    Gold sensitization was an Agfa discovery, sulfur sensitization was a Kodak discovery.

    PE
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Frances reminded me that it was not Carl who told me this, but another senior Kodak man who remains nameless because of the following quote: "I was responsible for discontinuing Super-XX but I have always kept quiet about this because I was afraid of death threats."

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Royal Pan (400) was the sheet film and Royal-X Pan (1000 or thereabouts) was the rollfilm. I had some long outdated Royal Pan, and it was pretty grainy stuff, though of course age could have made it worse.

    I have some of the last run of Ektapan in 8x10". It's great for Hollywood style portraits.

    I've used some Super-XX and have some 8x10" in the freezer, waiting for a special occasion, I suppose.
     
  13. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Royal-X Pan was used primarily by freelance and other news photographers who regularly worked in extremely low light situations.

    The film speed and curve of Ektapan was meant to match that of Eltachrome 100 for use as a proofing film for commercial photogrpahers. As far as I am concerned this has been the biggest loss other than Super XX. I considered it so far superior to Plus-X for my work that once I got used to it, I never exposed another sheet of Plus-X.

    Enough has been said about Super XX. It was the favorite of dye transfer printers because its long straight curve provided excellent separation negatives.
     
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  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Super xx (at least the stuff I have) has larger/more grain than txp or tx, and a wide tonal range. I was going to use it for portraiture with a minus blue or minus red filter, but Have decided to use TXP for that instead. I may use the SXX for architecture instead. It is really nice film, but as I learn more about B&W I find it less amazing and more interesting. The film I have went out of date in '93. Without checking my notes, I recall that it produces an excellent neg at iso < 50 in ABC pyro, iso ~64 for microdol-x and as fast as iso 100 in D76. I may try varying dilutions of HC110 before committing to the use of the film. I'd like for the film to indicate to me a use. To be brutally honest, much of what I've seen it used for is really boring stuff. As it stands this old film is about as slow or slower than PXP, has more grain and from my testing is not as the malleable as others suggest. It may be the age of the film, but it doesn't appear to have much base fog, it may be the developers I'm using (I'll try others), but from what I've read most people never got more than ~ISO 100 out of the film. Don't get me wrong it is lovely film, but not magical.
     
  16. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I still have about about 6 rolls in the freezer that I am going to shoot this spring - hopefully with a little "anti-fog" I will get a useable negative.

    Regards
    Gord
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    I thought they just improved the emulsion and added an X for tri-x

    Noel
    Quote...
    Garry D. Lewis , jul 10, 2005; 04:12 p.m.
    Just thought I'd through in some "historical data". }:^)> I ran across an old book from 1955. Amoung the articles is one on "the New Tri-X film" by David McLane. The times for Promicrol were--
    ASA 200= 9' @ 68 degrees.

    ASA 320= 12' @ 68 degree.

    ASA 600= 15 1/2' @ 68 degrees.

    Of course these are for what is now "our" old Tri-X. }:^)>

    P.S. it also says that the limited test rolls, sent out for evaluation, were labeled as "improved type XX".
     
  18. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    No flames, please, just an honest question:

    Everyone who pines for Super-XX speaks of its long, straight, curve, but that's also what TMax has, at least if I read the curves correctly. Yet it seems that TMX/TMY are viewed with far less affection. I've read the forums, but where is the major change, beyond being slower to gain density in development, between the two? Do you really miss it, or do you sit back in your chair, sigh, and think of the days of Super-XX, Bell-Bottoms , and Hippie-chicks?
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hippie-chicks!?
     
  20. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    God bless 'em.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The spectral sensitivity of TMX and TMY is very different from films like Tri-X and FP4+, and all four of them are different from Super-XX. Landscape shooters would say that skies would "light up" with Super-XX in a way that didn't happen with other films.
     
  22. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    David is correct. I save my limited supply of Super XX for images with trees, particularly wet ones, and good skies, which are rare in Southern Cal.
     
  23. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    Fair enough. I'm afraid that Super-XX was gone by the time I had access to anything to shoot it in, so I've never actually seen it in the flesh. In a way (loosely) similar to my missing the response of Agfapan 100 in the desert.

    As for the hippie-chicks, there are pictures from relatives, or hanging in my older colleague's offices which indicate that with or without the hyphen, there were there in the 70s.
     
  24. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    From the Kodak B&W Darkroom Guide, 1974:

    Royal-X Pan: rollfilm, 1250 ASA, Medium grain, Moderately Low resolving power

    Royal-X Pan 4166 (Estar thick base): sheet film, 1250 ASA, Medium grain, Moderately Low resolving power

    Royal Pan 4141 (Estar thick base): sheets, roll, 3.5" rolls, film packs, 400 ASA, Fine grain, Medium resolving power

    Super-XX Pan 4142 (Estar thick base): sheet film, 200 ASA, Fine grain, Medium resolving power

    Ektapan 4162 (Estar thick base): sheets, 3.5" rolls, film packs, 100 ASA, VF grain, Medium resolving power

    Tri-X Pan: rolls, 35mm magazines and rolls, 70mm, 400 ASA, VF grain, medium resolving power

    Tri-X Pan Professional: roll film and film packs, 320 ASA, VF grain, medium resolving power

    Tri-X Pan Professional 4164 (Estar thick base): sheet film and 3.5" rolls, 320 ASA, VF grain, medium resolving power

    On top of being a different emulsion from Royal Pan, Tri-X Pan (400) was also offered in many different formats. Perhaps there were some coating issues as well, so that Royal Pan emulsion was harder to coat on a 35mm base, IDK.
     
  25. panchro-press

    panchro-press Member

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    My first favourite film was Kodak Super Panchro-Press. I was dumbfounded when it was discontinued. Then, I began a long association with SuperXX. A wonderful film, there was nothing beyond its' capability. I figured it would be my film until I could no longer make photographs. After all it was a great all-around film, and the colour separation folks used almost nothing else. Yeah, right.
    Now I use Tri-X. I mention that as a warning.
     
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  26. Confusion Circle

    Confusion Circle Member

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    <------ still crying myself to sleep nightly over HIE. :sad: