Pan F+, Contrast, Reciprocity, etc
On my last trip to the US, six months ago, I got myself some Ilford PanF+ in 120 format which is not available around here. I tried it yesterday and I have to say that I am kinda dissapointed by the results, because of my lack of exprerience with this film.
The subjects where:
a) Indoors - Black painted achinery. Metered shadows and did 10 minute exposures (incident meter with grey card showed 4'). Not bad but not that much detail.
b) Room of large stacks of newspapers. Too much contrast that lost the tonallities of the white paper.
c) Outside shots of buildings and nature. Thunderstorm sky, used orange and red filters for effect but instead the sky came out white! I must have screwed up with the reciprocity effect.
d) Inside of buildings, through the door. Long exposures 5-15 minutes. Came out so dense that I would need a laser to cut through them! Way over exposed.
The rolls where developed in Rodinal 1-50 at 21 C for nine minutes.
The equipment was a Hasselblad 501CM, 80 Plannar lens, Manfrotto tripod and a Gossen Sixtomat Digital ambient meter. All metering was done with a Kodak grey card and also used the correction feature with the filters.
I have heard of the harsh contrast of PanF+ but this was rediculous!
So, my questions are:
1) How do I control the contrast of PanF+ if I only can use for developers D-76 and Rodinal (both of which I have to special order)? I never tried two bath developing. Should I start learning?
2) How did I screw up my metering? I have the small table of times copied from the book Beyond Monochrome which was for the reciprocity effect and goes like 1/30"-1", 1"-2",2"-5",...,1'-4' . Checking the data of Kodak and Ilford, they list different times for their films but not different for each one (ie all Ilford's have the same numbers in the reciprocity table, PanF+ to Delta). Is there a way to calculate the reciprocity times and go beyond 1' for those really long exposures?
3) Is there a good alternative of PanF+ with Rodinal? I got the last three (!) rolls of 120 FP4+ and was thinking of trying it out at 50 or 64 iso. The efke films have to ordered from another country and their orthochromatic design puts me off a bit (lack of experience with ortho), so they would be a pain in the ass just to try them out.
Note: And you people complain about film supplies! In this third world country I have hard time finding anything, thank God we are part of EU!
I need to find myself a slow film I can use for static subject. All these years I shot mostly animated subjects and the static ones where mostly tests.
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
Pan F development
I use Rodinal 1:100 13 min @ 20deg 50 ASA
I shoot it at an EI of 32 and process it in D76 1:3. I've also used Perceptol and Microphen with good results using EI's of 25, 32 and 50. The times I use are about 25-30% less than the current Ilford recommendations. I based them partially on some old Ilford literature from the 1970's that gave processing times for two different negative densities. Since I use a condensor enlarger, I process for a thinner negative.
Pan F is a wonderful film. I especially like it in 120. It can be a contrast monster, however. I've never shot it with exposures quite as long as you detail. Ilford's tech info on this film shows a very steep reciprocity curve. You'll have to experiment with it to determine what works best for your individual working methods.
Then the contrast is on the VERY low side, right?
Originally Posted by Mark Layne
Last edited by modafoto; 11-08-2004 at 11:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: I stressed my question
Higher dilution should result in lower contrast ........ errrrrm Yes
Originally Posted by modafoto
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I did 1+100 for 14 minutes and got VERY DULL negs...
Originally Posted by TPPhotog
For me I find that the difference between 1+25 and 1+50 is very slight, but once we get up to 1+100 they do seem to lose some of their "sparkle". As much as possible now I stick to 1+25 and 1+50 unless I really have difficult lighting that requires the extra dilution.
Originally Posted by modafoto
Before you get too depressed with the results might I suggest that you review your methods of exposure, particularly the use of a grey card.
The subject range that you described was comprehensive and clearly chosen to assess the film/developer combination. However, I would strongly suggest that you stop metering from a grey card and read the light value in the darkest shadows and the brightest highlight to determine the contrast range that you are photographing. Having done that, base your exposure on the shadow reading by closing down the camera lens by one, two or three stops depending on how dark you want the shadow. My suggestion would be to close down 2 stops. If the contrast range is greater than 5 stops reduce development to reduce contrast, if it is 2 to 5 stops develop normally and if less than 3 stops increase development to increase contrast. This is the basis of the old addage, "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights". Clearly, what I have suggested is simply a starting point and from there you can fine tune exposure and development to suit your tastes but the above should give you decent negatives.
Reciprocity can be a tricky one, but if I have a two second metered exposure I would give 16 to 24 seconds to allow for reciprocity. Have a look around the web and I'm sure you'll find good info on the calulation of recoprocity. My corrections are based on years of making photographs and experimenting until I produced a negative density and contrast the suited me.
Last edited by Les McLean; 11-08-2004 at 01:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: error in text
Sounds like the "back to basics" approach for film tests is in order. Fred Picker's Zone VI Workshop is a good starting place.
I shoot Pan F religiously for portraits.
Here are my findings:
Ilford Perceptol 1:3 @ 75F for 12.5 minutes (Jobo CPE2+)
Of course you will have to do your own density testing to account for the inconsistency between camera shutter, water quality, agitation method, etc.
I would not recommend using Pan F with any developer that has Hydroquinone incorporated. Those developers contain a lot of restrainer to make up for the miniscule fogging caused by Hydroquinone, leaving you with very muddled results.
Microdol-X, Perceptol, Rodinal, etc are excellent.
I've attached a sample from my recent shoot using the tested recipe noted above.