Verichrome Pan, in loving memory

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by noacronym, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually a dumb eye-catch attempt to attract readership for my question. The question that I never knew an answer to: What was the difference between Verichrome Pan and Plus-X in the 1960-s till VP was finally dropped? Both 125. Both development times for D-76 and Microdol were the same. But what was the real difference? Just the printing on the box and paper backing? And last question. Why is it that I'd rather have VP than PX or Tmax?
    Why did Kodak make 2 125 sped films for 60 years?
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,811
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Verichrome Pan was really effective in box cameras and when used in situations where accurate metering was difficult. It emphasized latitude and exposure "forgiveness" over concerns like sharpness and fine grain.

    Plus X was capable of better results when exposed accurately.

    IIRC, the two also exhibited slightly different spectral response.
     
  3. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,363
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Merimbula NSW Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Someone with vast knowledge of these things will give a complete answer, but I think that VP had a kind of double emulsion so it could handle extremes in exposure much more readily than Plus-X. Obviously the VP was aimed at the amateur/beginner market with their Box Brownies etc., so they could get more acceptable results when they stuff up the exposures, unlike us, who never get it wrong :smile:
    Thing is, I like the results from VP more than Plus-X, don't know why, just looks better...maybe my exposures are crap! I think that answers why they made two films, one for them and one for us. I'm down to my last three rolls of VP, which is from the last production and dated 2002.
    Incidentally, like all thick emulsion films it seems to go very well in PMK.
     
  4. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,351
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had a cousin who was a very successful professional. He used VP all the time, as Tony said, he just liked the tonality and overall results.
    I miss VP, and use FP4 in Microphen most of the time as I find it similar.
     
  5. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have recently used some VP from the 60s. I took a shot, realized I was four stops off. Retook the shot at the correct exposure. When I developed the film, I couldn't tell which was which! I suspect it was almost impossible to get the wrong exposure with the stuff.
     
  6. timhenrion

    timhenrion Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I started out on Verichrome Pan because it was the only B&W film available in 126 format (my first camera was a Kodak Instamatic). As I do remember, it was very difficult not to get a usable neg, even with a camera that only had a couple of shutter speeds and aperture settings.
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,542
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never used Verichrome Pan, but perhaps interestingly, in Anchell/Troop they actually describe it as superior to Plus-X (or at least the incarnation of Plus-X that existed when Verichrome was around). They say it had a longer scale and more flexibility, but also better image characteristics (grain structure etc). No data or details are presented to support this claim so take it for what it is worth, but just throwing it out there.
     
  8. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. zsas

    zsas Member

    Messages:
    1,961
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Love this film! My last roll, I see it every day when I open the freezer "smiling" back at me. One day the light will be right and off it will go....
    [​IMG]
     
  10. mfohl

    mfohl Subscriber

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Westerville,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My anecdotal experience is that VP just has a better look to it. It may have more latitude, but the main work I do is sunny 16 stuff, so I'm rarely off on exposures. And my experience is that it is sharper and has better grain than Plus-X. I still have 30 or so rolls of VP in the freezer. And no, they are not for sale.
     
  11. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It still is my favorite B&W film, but I have no stock left. I used to like it in Edwal's FG7, but my favorite soup was Microdol and later Microdol-X. Life was so simple with that combo! I never really could figure out why Kodak dumped VerichromePan? I could see it if Plux-X was a much better film, but I knew many folks back in the "old days" that didn't feel that way. Me included! JohnW
     
  12. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The compromise with Verichrome Pan is that the acutance (edge sharpness) is kind of low compared to Plus-X or TMAX 100. If I want sharp, I use TMAX 100. If I want smoooooth, I use Verichrome Pan. If I want exposure latitude, I use Verichrome Pan.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,667
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Of all the long gone films VP is the one film I miss. ISO 100 D 76, 6X9 landscapes.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It certainly was a great film when I remember how I abused it in a Kodak developer called, I think, Universal MQ that came as a powder in little packets. It was pretty hard to produce an unprintable neg but I don't recall getting too many knock-out winners either - probably due to my technique rather than the materials. I still have a roll each in 127 and 828 that I keep for their historic value. Do I recall correctly that it was never made in 35mm? Ilford also had a film called Selochrome that was similar. OzJohn
     
  16. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Has anybody, that still has some, ever souped it in Pyrocat-HD? I bet it would be a pretty good match, but it was good in most of the developers I tried( ID-11, HC-110 dil. B, FG7 and Microdol).
     
  17. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To me, Verichrome Pan 120 in Microdol X 1:3 is one of the things in this world that never needed to be made any better. Anybody remember Special K before Kelloggs "improved" it back around 1978 or so? Oh, that's right--none of this matters any more since the computer and digital cameras fouled everything up.
     
  18. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You won't get any argument out of me on the VerichromePan 120 and Microdol-x combo. The first time I ever used it was with my first Hasselblad and a old 50mm chrome Distagon. The negatives were to die for and had a slight brownish tinge very similar to a pyro negative, but the negatives were a little more dense. I have never used either Microdol-X or Ilrord Perceptol at a dilution other than 1:3. I'm now experimenting with home-brewed Perceptol and it seems to work, but I'll continue to buy Perceptol while it's still here. I wish I could say the same for VerichromePan 120! JohnW
     
  19. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    AHA!! I have always said Microdol was a staining developer. Now I have someone else who says the same thing, unsolicited. Your Honor, I submit the Microdol X 1:3 IS INDEED a staining developer. And ask the case be dismissed with prejudice.
     
  20. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,542
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is not a staining developer. The brownish colour can apparently occur with some highly solvent developers in which physical development activity is significant. The colour is said to be a property of the silver grains which have been "plated" with dissolved silver (as opposed to the filament-like structure of metalic silver produced by direct chemical development).
     
  21. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I couldn't have said it better myself! Truthfully, I really don't know what happens with Microdol-X and Verichrome Pan, but I do know I liked it. Slight brownish tinge and all! I've used Microdol-X and now Perceptol on other films and the brownish tinge is hard to see. With Verichrome Pan it was very obvious. JohnW
     
  22. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,469
    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    Stittsville, Ontario
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I rememeber that the Kodak Data sheets for Microdol-x mentioned that it might give a slight brownish twinge.

    Kodak sold a packge of microdol-x in little foil pouches, making 4 US Oz each, which of course were used 1:3 to fill a 16 oz tank. This went well with the TRI-Chem Pack.

    I also recall getting Microdol-x Liquid in quart brown bottles. The label had a space to mark the number of uses, butI think I just diluted it.

    I don't beleive VP was made in 35mm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2013
  23. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Michael R 1974, you are also an EK man aren't you? It seems I've come to regard reading when I see that name, to be somebody who knows something. I haven't got any problem standing corrected by you, from what I can tell. At the same time, I'll always hold high praise for Microdol. It's some great stuff. View camera work from a 35, if you want to do it that way. From a 2 1/4 you don't need any big individual negative and the zone system. It's like zone system in a bottle on a roll of film with all kinds of curve planning.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2013
  24. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,542
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not an EK man, nor am I a photo-chemist/engineer. Just a regular guy who tries to read (and pass on where appropriate) accurate information from the right sources.
     
  25. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,514
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    They made Verichrome Pan in England as well,possibly Harrow.Nice packaging:
     

    Attached Files:

  26. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I have two old rolls of 127 VP in the freezer. I will shoot one this spring and develop it in HC-110-H.

    My only other experience was a found roll of 616 that was exposed around 1959. I over developed it using HC-110-B but still got usable negatives.

    I'm hoping fresh exposures and dilution H will keep the fog down and yield smooth creamy midtones.