I can't imagine finer medium format combination than a tabular grain 100 speed film.
We haven't been offered a tabular grain 50 speed or 25 speed film so I don't know how you can do much better.
I'd experiment at least a bit with same film but 4x5 or 8x10 see if that is more satisfying.
Otherwise take some of the fine suggestions here.
Your example shows adequate shadow detail without evidence that you rated the film at half speed. But I want to point out that for the finest results, I believe you need to absolutely give the minimum exposure that provides shadow detail (instead of the safer "half box speed" technique that guarantees results but with potential for overexposure... which would mean more grain).
Originally Posted by ic-racer
Recommendation needed - 'best' B&W roll film/developer combo :-)
Pan F+ and Ilfsol 3
I know I talk about Ilfsol 3 a lot but its my go to developer, it's much newer and specifically designed by ilford for low speed fine grain films and I think it's often overlooked because the Ilfsol S wasn't as good? But that's why they made Ilfsol 3.
But I also hear a lot of people say tmax100 in tmax developer, which also makes sense.
I don't actually know if pan F+ is a T grain or traditional? I suspect it's a hybrid?
I just like slow speed fine grain and its really the only game in town at 50ASA
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If you want fine grain you really should try Ilford Perceptol. My favorite developer. Dilute it 1+2 or 1+3 to get more acutance, otherwise you may not achieve the sharpness that you desired. I use it with FP4+ and HP5+, but it will work very well with PanF+ too from what I´ve read. Delta 100 and Perceptol should also be worth a try. The difference in grain may however be very small between diluted Perceptol and ID11 or Xtol, but it should be recognizeable in the large prints you want to make. Perceptol cuts the film speed in half and comes as powder, so it is not as convenient as other developers, but no black magic either.
PAN F + is a 'traditional' film, I have seen references to 'hybrid' films, no such film exists.... T.Max / DELTA Professional etc are CCG controlled crystal growth films.
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I've had very fine grained results with FP4+ and Perceptol. Also Pan-F in several developers. That said, perhaps my threshold for grain is lower than the OPs, as I find that 125ASA or slower films in 120, developed in most normal 'fine-grained' developers to be acceptable.
And the answer is... Diafine. Or a similar two-bath developer. I could list the reasons why this is the "magic bullet" but no less an authority than Sandy King has already done so in View Camera magazine, the article which you can find here.
Originally Posted by fatso
I used Diafine with TMAX 400, flatbed scans and pigment prints. After being back in the darkroom for over a year, I recently pulled these prints out of the file and realized... gulp... they may be the nicest prints I've ever made.
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Originally Posted by desertratt
Fuji Acros or TMax for ISO 100 would be your best bet for sure.
They are indeed the "'best" concerning grain and resolution of all the 100 ISO films. :P
Don't use Rodinal if you want smaller grain is my second tip, my experience with Acros is that it is very low-grain in most normal developers I've tested it in so far (Tmax dev, Tetenal Ultrafin, HC-110).
If you can get hold of Efke/Adox 25 ISO, it will probably be the cleanest no-grain film possible (except microfilm) but I would think that grain rarely is a problem in 120 with Delta, FP4, Acros and TMax.
Last edited by Helinophoto; 11-23-2012 at 09:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.