Verichrome Pan - Some advice please

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pentaxuser, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I need help here from anyone who can. Old Kodakers with experience of Ilford developers would be ideal but possibly not essential. Read on. Yes I know that Verichrome Pan and its development has come up a number of times and I have used the search engine but have found nothing really close to my circumstances. Let me explain:

    I have been asked to develop this film by someone who has no means of knowing its age except that it is quite old. Not his film originally. It was found in a drawer. My problem is that I only have two developers Ilford DDX and Rodinal. So in at least one case a very new kind of Ilford developer for a very old Kodak film.

    The Ilford website doesn't even list Verichrome Pan on its list of non Ilford film dev times for DDX which isn't surprising.

    Anyone have any ideas as to what a reasonable development time might be for DDX and Verichrome Pan including what might be a sensible additional time to account for its age?

    If no-one has any answers on this combo, I might be prepared to go for some Ilford ID11 on the basis that Ed Buffalo gives 7 mins for D76 at stock and that D76 and ID11 are very similar. I noticed that the agitation times however for D76 exceed those for ID11 considerably. Ed recommends constant agitation for the first 30 secs then 10 secs every 30 secs whereas ID11 is first 10 secs then 10 secs every minute.

    So is it safer to go with Ed's agitation routine? I suspect so but would like to hear others' views.

    Another option is Rodinal which Ed Buffalo's site also gives. It's John Welton's recommendation. I have enough of this developer. I am not a fan in terms of its grain but that may be the least of my problems in this case. It is 120 film and the prints, if the negs are OK, will be small. In fact of the two developers I have(DDX and Rodinal), only Rodinal is mentioned on Ed's site. One further snag is that John Welton's recommedation is film exposed at EI 80. This one will almost certainly have been exposed at standard ISO125. Is there a formula for working out the difference in times?

    To avoid wasting anyone's time, let me say that buying any Kodak developer and/or buying any anti-fogging chemical for what is a one-off attempt to develop this film which is unlikely ever to be repeated is not viable.

    So to summarise:
    Best and maybe safest option might be: Rodinal as Ed lists it for Verichrome.
    I am not a fan of Rodinal but the devil you know might be safest, provided I can find what John Weltons times at EI 80 translate into at ISO 125.

    My preferred option is:
    1. Using DDX if anyone has any ideas on how and experience of this combo
    Other options are:
    Rodinal as per Ed Buffalo site

    ID11 as substitute for D76 as an affordable one-off buy

    Least attractive(probably) for success is Ilford Perceptol which I could and would use for other films.

    I appreciate that as a one-off I have one chance only and Rodinal may be best but I'd certainly appreciate your views and would need times for ISO 125rather than EI 80

    Anyone having used Rodinal with Verichrome Pan at box speed of ISO 125, I'd certainly appreciate their time, temp and agitation routine as these are likely to be different from those listed on Ed's site at EI 80

    Sorry for the length of the tread but my aim is to clarify my position with regard to options to avoid wasting people's time on soliciting replies which may be ideal but not viable for me.
    Thanks in anticipation of any responses

    pentaxuser
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Verichome pan was very close to Plus X times, try 7mints, or to be safe 8, better too dense that to thin. But you can check DDX for plus x or PF4 to come up with a time.
     
  3. eworkman

    eworkman Member

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    Rodinal works great-VP has fine grain, and the edge effects work nicely. So nicely that you can get Mackie lines if you don't use a pre-soak and tilt the tank for pour-in. IIRC I used 1:75 13 min at 75 F.
    Can't tell you how much time to add for the OD factor tho'
     
  4. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I've have quite a few of these to do. I've used Xtol, 1+1 for 8 minutes at 20 deg. C. I agitate for the first minute, thereafter 4 tank inversions every minute. At least one of the films was 50 years old and had moved from kitchen drawer to kitchen drawer over those years. Yes, the base fog's fairly heavy but they've all produced printable images. Full range, fine art prints are out of the question - but with films of this age that's not the intent.

    Good luck - let us know how it turns out.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks. What is the OD factor to which you refer? Are you giving me the times for ISO 125? My assumption is that you are as your times are quite a bit longer than those on the Ed Buffalo site for EI 80.

    Can you confirm? Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  6. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    I recently posted an image taken on Verichrome Pan 120 in the technical gallery. It was exposed in 1964 and developed a few weeks ago in Calbe R09, which is quite similar to Rodinal. R09 is, in my experience, not as concentrated, as Rodinal and I would recommend you to develop the film for 9 minutes in Rodinal instead of the 10 minutes I used with R09. I have found that mid-tone separation on old films can be poor if you don’t agitate every thirty seconds.

    However, this advice is only valid if you believe that the film you have is from the late fifties or sixties… The backing paper on these films is almost crimson red with Kodak Verichrome Pan written in yellow. The Verichrome films I have developed are, according to the box, manufactured in England.
    I hope this helps

    Claes
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2008
  7. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Rodinal works great (as mentioned above), I process it in WD2D+ also (9 minutes in Jobo).
    Wouldn't be too worried about the exact shooting iso, it's a very forgiving film...
    I stocked a lot of VP and uses regularly.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks all so far. Looks like Rodinal is the safest bet so far.

    Thanks Claes, your description of your mid 1960s Verichrome Pan will be useful in helping to identify my film's age. I have yet to be given it. I will get it tomorrow and I'll let you all know its age if that is possible to identify and how it turns out.

    Now you mention it, I I remember your picture in the gallery. If these negs turn out anything like as good then I'll be very happy.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    I forgot to mention that I used R09 diluted 1+50…
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You wrote, "If no-one has any answers on this combo, I might be prepared to go for some Ilford ID11 on the basis that Ed Buffalo gives 7 mins for D76 at stock and that D76 and ID11 are very similar. I noticed that the agitation times however for D76 exceed those for ID11 considerably. Ed recommends constant agitation for the first 30 secs then 10 secs every 30 secs whereas ID11 is first 10 secs then 10 secs every minute."

    I haven't used Verichrome Pan for a long time, but when it was freely available I used it all the time. Back in the day, I used Microdol-X and D-76 but preferred D-76. ID-11 is functionally equivalent so that won't be a problem. Just use the manufacturer's recommended time of 7 minutes at full strength or 8 minutes diluted 1+1 at 20 deg. C.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks fschifano. You mention going with manf's times but in using D76 what agitation did you use - the Ed Buffalo one, the Ilford one or one in between? Given the age of the film and Ed' agitation I am inclined towards Ed's but what agitation did you go with?

    To all. I should have mentioned that it is Verichrome Pan in 620 not 120 but as far as I can recall, a 120 reel will accept 620 film. Am I righ and any other things to watch out for in loading?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  12. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    620 film and 120 film is exactly the same film, The only difference is the shape of the spool it is wound on. No special concern about loading on processing reels.

    Many, many people choose to develop vintage film in Kodak HC-110 dilution B, as this developer is very clean working and minimizes age fog. I think Ilford makes an equivalent. This comes as a liquid concentrate that has an amazing shelf life (years) even in open bottles. You use HC-110 as a single-use solution, mixing up a working solution for each tank of film you process.
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Thirty seconds continuous agitation to start, then 5 seconds of good vigorous agitation each 30 seconds to completion. Unless I have a good reason to do it differently, that's my standard.
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Claes. Just one more question. Is your recommended development time of 9 mins for Rodinal based on 20 degrees C? John Welton's recommendation on Ed Buffalo's site is 10 mins at 22 degrees centigrade and this is based on EI 80 instead of ISO125. As exposure at EI 80 suggests that a shorter development time might be better than at ISO 125, this suggests that I should maybe go for at least the full 10 mins which is what you use for RO9 even if this is at 20 degrees centrigrade.

    However knowing your temperature will help me decide by how much I should maybe go beyond 10 mins. I think that based all of the above facts I should go for at least 10 mins and maybe 10% more which is 11 mins.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  16. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Plus X times always worked perfectly for me with VP120 and Rodinal is a really fine developer for VP because VP tended to be a bit mushy in the high tones. It benefited greatly from the nice separation given by Rodinal.

    In my opinion, VP Pan was one of the best kept secrets in medium format films. Very forgiving, long-scale film, oft maligned as an "amateur" film.

    John, Mount Vernon, VA USA
     
  17. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Yes, I have developed the film at 20 C.

    I usually end up with rather short development times, compared to other users, when using Rodinal or R09 – so you might want to prolong development a bit. On the other hand – longer development can result in more fog…

    You should also bear in mind that I don’t know what EI my father used when he exposed the old films I have developed. I know for a fact that he did not use a light meter (apparently he did not need one. He has left an archive comprising of thousands of very well exposed Kodachrome slides from the sixties and seventies). However, when he taught me the basics of B&W photography he advised me to base my exposures on the shadows and that it is usually better to use a lower EI than the stated speed of a B&W film. I can only presume that he followed his own advice.

    Cheers

    Claes
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    To all. I developed the film last night in Rodinal at 11mins and 20 degrees C with 30 secs agitation to begin then 2 inversions every 30 secs. Results were pretty much as I expected from a film so old. The first three negs had developed OK but had high base fog as I was warned about. There were no light leaks despite being rolled and put in a drawer for years. However the photographer had stopped after three negs and he/she or someone else had then extracted the film and rolled it up but fatally had done so loosely as there were light leaks at regular intervals on the rest of the emulsion. Fortunately there were no exposures there anyway. So luck played a part in that the first three negs were so far embedded in the roll that even rolled loosely the light failed to penetrate that far down.

    It was probably not a fair test of Rodinal due to high base fog and maybe I have a bias against Rodinal having used it on 35mm but there still seemed to be a characteristic graininess despite the negs being 6x9.

    Claes. I think that maybe your recommendation of 10 mins would have been better. I don't think it needed any extra development because of its age. The backing paper was crimson with yellow writing so probably late 1950s or early 60s. At what point did Verichrome Pan change from a crimson backing with yellow writing? At least this will give me a latest date by which this particular film had to be produced. Thanks

    One lesson for the future I must remember is: Beware of loose rolls. I need to tape the end down very tightly and probably not delay in processing. Can you get a film container for 120 as you do for 35mm? I have had problems with what I think was a loose roll last time in my Agfa Isolette 1 and I am tempted to extract the next roll in darkness, roll the end very tight and if not processing it on the spot then transfer to a container which I will open only in the dark. At least that way I'll eliminate one cause of the faint light(?) streaks on my previous roll.

    Anyway thanks all, once again. Without APUG I could have spent forever trying to find out about Verichrome Pan development and still not have succeeded.

    pentaxuser
     
  19. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Sorry to be like a dog with a bone here but I'd like to see if a further check is possible on the age of my Verichrome Pan film. It does have the crimson backing paper and the yellow writing which Claes tells me means it was dated sometime between the late 50s to early 60s

    Can anyone tell me what the earliest and latest date might be from the description of the backing paper and writing? There was presumably a point in time when either Verichrome Pan ceased to be produced or something changed about the backing paper in the same way that Ilford changed the writing on its FP4+ cassette a few years ago.

    I have since learned that with 35mm Ilford films, all have a code on the emulsion which when quoted tells Ilford what the date of production was. There was no such code or any identifying letters/numbers on the edge of the Verichrome Pan that I could see. Perhaps Kodak didn't bother with such things way back then but if there is any way to identify the age of the film or a Kodak contact I could use to at least identify the beginning and end dates of this film with a crimson backing paper and yellow writing in the form of "cursive script" I'd be glad to know of it.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  20. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    It can't be any earlier than about 1957, since that's when Verichrome Pan replaced Verichrome.

    There may be a graphic date code printed on the edge of the film, but there may not. The plant code is a dot somewhere in the Kodak Safety Film lettering.

    The classic looking yellow paper went on for a long time. At least until the 1980's. Note the film speed -- is it 80, 100, or 125? Is the Kodak logo serif or sans-serif?
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks John. The film is definitely 125. It says so on the backing paper. The Kodak logo is in yellow and serif. The end backing paper when the film is wound off after exposure is a red/crimson colour. At the beginning there are simple instructions along the "sunny f16" rule and these are in black on a yellow backing. So end of roll writing is yellow on crimson and beginning is black on yellow.

    Nothing else to identify date etc. PE said that in Kodak 620 of this age there were no codes or other identification along the edge of the emulsion and there is nothing else to establish date on the backing paper.

    He went on to suggest that I ring the Kodak toll free number where help could be provided. Well there is such a toll free number in the U.S. but in the U.K. it is a 0870 number which is actually more expensive than ringing the Harrow, U.K. head office direct! This may be an oversight on Kodak UK's part but I doubt it and if not then it speaks volumes about Kodak's attitude to its UK customers compared to its US customers. There is no e-mail address either

    I checked the UK site fully and it lists 3 print films only Ultra Max 400, Kodak Gold 200 and the Chromogenic B&W film Pro BW400CN. No trad B&W such as old TMax, no Portra, no mention of the new TMax etc.Compared with the Ilford site it's a joke. Don't they want new custom?

    I wasn't anti Kodak before trying the site but in all honesty Kodak seem to be doing very little to win over UK potential customers. However maybe feelings based on my findings are for another thread.

    Oh there is a UK toll free number but only for the Kodak Picture Support Kiosk! This may say everything about Kodak's view of its few remaining Analogue customers

    pentaxuser - a little disillusioned with Kodak
     
  22. RichMoss

    RichMoss Member

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    For reducing fog I came across a quote on a blog (silverbased.org) referring to a table of developing agents on page 455 from CEK Mees The Theory of the Photographic Process (1942) which he says the image to fog ratio appears generally to be around twice as good at 15 C than at 25 C.
    I don't have a copy of the book but thought it may be a useful note if you have temperature /time curves for the film. Maybe someone here has the book or can enlighten further.
    Richard
     
  23. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    ASA 125 with a serif Kodak would probably make it late 1960's to early 1970's. Sans-serif Kodak happened in the 1970's, and the jump to ASA 125 somewhere in the 1960's. I think my VP with mid-1960's expiration dates is ASA 100.
     
  24. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes! From my experience, Kodak D-76 will work fine with Verichrome Pan (Thus, Ilford ID-11 should also work fine - it is Ilford's version of D-76).

    In my experience, Kodak Microdol-X also works well with Verichrome Pan, so I would expect Ilford Perceptol to give the same results at the same time, temperature and agitation.
     
  25. paladin1420

    paladin1420 Subscriber

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    Me too

    Tonight I was going through some boxes in my garage and came across on old Kodak folding camera that I picked up a long time ago. I can't remember where I got it, probably at a garage sale or something. My father had one just like it, but I don't think this was my father's because, to my amazement, there was an exposed roll of Verichrome Pan in it and I'm pretty sure my father would not have let something like that slip. Also, if it was my dad's, I'm sure I would have opened it up a long time before this.

    Anyway, the film says "Verichome Pan 620" in yellow on a green stripe on each edge of the paper, which is red. "Kodak" is in yellow, serif. It also says "Pan Film" in green in two small yellow rectangles right over the "Kodak" There is no indication of film speed. For obvious reasons I can only see the last inch or so of the exposed end of the backing paper.

    I can guess that the film is at least 40 years old and that fogging will be a problem. I know for sure that this camera has spent time in both my attic and garage, through summers and winters. So it's been roasted and chilled pretty good. I have no idea how it was stored before I got it and I've got it at least 10 years.


    All I have on hand is D-76 so I'd like to use that as the developer.

    Can anyone suggest a good combination for reducing fog? Does it matter if D-76 straight or 1:1? Lower temp with longer time or vice versa?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Louis
     
  26. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I have several rolls of Verichrome pan that expired in 1994. They've not been exposed and were kept in cool environment, but not refrigerated. Does anyone think they're worth using?