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Thread: Panatomic-X

  1. #31

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    It is difficult to generalize regarding the "sharpness" of diluted solvent developers, particularly extra fine grain formulas like Microdol(-X) or Perceptol at 1+3. In any case it is hard to measure things like acutance objectively. It would also appear to depend on the film. 1+3 is generally sharper than 1+0, but by how much?

    An example concerning Panatomic-X in particular would be the Altman-Henn (Kodak) paper we discussed recently on here. The study included a series of fine grain developers based on D-25 and a series of "sharpness" developers based on Beutler. The results for speed, "acutance" and granularity were compared with D-76 as a reference point. Panatomic-X was one of the three films tested with the series of developers and the results were compared with D-76 1+1. The other films were Plus-X and Tri-X. One thing that jumps out from the data is how different the results could be depending on the film. For Panatomic-X, the best balance of speed, sharpness and granularity seemed to come from D-25. Perhaps surprisingly, sharpness with D-25 scored the same as D-76 1+1, while granularity was significantly lower, and the speed penalty was quite small. The results appear to support unconfirmed claims/reports that Panatomic-X was optimized for D-25, a developer that one would typically expect to produce relatively poor sharpness and low speed. By the way the results for Tri-X were totally different. D-76 could not be bested by any of the test developers. One potential "problem" with the study was the use of continuous agitation, which would tend to limit the formation of edge effects particularly with the sharpness formulas tested.

    Of course D-25 is not Microdol. I'm just using the example to illustrate how it is more difficult to generalize regarding the behaviour of a developer than we might think.
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 01-30-2013 at 09:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #32
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Well that's interesting reading Michael R 1974, thanks.

    I am a big fan of Panatomic-X in D-76 1:1 and when Panatomic-X was discontinued I spent a long time looking for a replacement.

    For a long time, I avoided 35mm TMAX-100. Purely out of anger. How could they replace my favorite with a film that by one measure (I think resolution) wasn't better? This grudge kept me from even trying the new films.

    Years later, I realized that what I really wanted to do was shoot 4x5. So that's what I did.

    Switching to 4x5 gave me an opportunity to move to a faster film. I tossed off my prejudice and gave TMY-2 a go. I am happy I did. Now 4x5 TMY-2 is my new personal favorite, and my de-facto replacement for 35mm Panatomic-X.

    I have a precious few rolls of 35mm and 120 Panatomic-X that I use occasionally. Sensitometrically, Panatomic-X is good as new to me.

    I appreciate it for what it is... But it isn't as sharp as I remember. It isn't as grainless as I remember. At first I thought it had degraded with age. But now I know the problem is my memory. I have vintage negs and current negs and they ARE a little soft and grainy. And they look identical to me. The chief advantage for me to shoot this old film is that prints from vintage and current negs can be shown side-by-side, without the vintage shots standing out anachronistically.

    I work for Kodak and the opinions and positions I take are my own and not necessarily those of EKC.

  3. #33
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Thanks henry finley,

    I've been enjoying your posts too... This is a good site.

    Though I work in enterprise software, a lot of my co-workers are deeply interested in photography. I brought a Kodak 35 to a team meeting and everybody knew how to use it. Some team members are in different parts of the world but we treat each other well.

  4. #34
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henry finley View Post
    That makes the 3rd Kodak man on here I've run up on. Wow, what kind of site IS this? Eastman Kodak--the one company I can bank on that NEVER made an inconsistent or sub-par product. I remember as a teenager browsing the paper shelves at the camera store trying to decide what paper I wanted to experiment with that week. I'd look at those swatch-books at those prints of you guys with a clipboard and pencil, standing in a lab coat examining some production machine. Those swatch prints were so perfect. You could see detail from Zone -100 to zone 100. I'll bet in my lifetime from 1956 on that Kodak NEVER had a return shipment or batch of anything. The thought was always the furthest thing from my mind. Still is to this day. You probably breath so hard down your China producers' necks, that no item comes from there bad, either. I wish you folks could have your company back like it used to be. Regards.
    Kodak certainly had high standards- which made their atrocious-at-times Kodachrome processing all the more baffling.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  5. #35
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Since Ilford Pan-F is mentioned as a substitute, my best results are with a lower EI of 32 to 40 and development in D-23 1+1. This seems to tame this films runaway contrast.
    I like to shoot Pan F+ at EI 64 and develop in Diafine. This also tames the contrast nicely. I don't know how it would compare to 32-40 in D23 1+1, not having tried that. It's a great combo IMHO but it's not Pan-X.

    For Christmas I gave my wife's parents a mounted and framed print 15" square from a 6x6 negative on Pan F+ in Diafine. Even up close it appears grainless.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Since Ilford Pan-F is mentioned as a substitute, my best results are with a lower EI of 32 to 40 and development in D-23 1+1. This seems to tame this films runaway contrast.
    I've found D-23 @ 1+3 even better. Give it a try.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    I've found D-23 @ 1+3 even better. Give it a try.
    Thanks, will try it.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #38

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    I shot a fair amount of HCC and H&W Control in the late 60s up to the mid 70s and found, like just about everybody else, that it could be fabulous but was so touchy it wasn't worth the trouble.
    I liked Panatomic X quite a bit and generally developed it in Edwal Super 20 which worked wonderfully with it. I have a couple bulk rolls from the 80s which were kept frozen from new, but regret to say that no matter what I process it in, it is substantially grainier than my old negatives. I have not had any issues with fog or reduced speed and the tonality is very close to that of the old negatives, but the grain is much more pronounced on even semi-close examination of a16X20 print from a 35mm neg. This differs from what others are reporting but is my experience.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer Jay View Post
    I liked Panatomic X quite a bit and generally developed it in Edwal Super 20 which worked wonderfully with it. I have a couple bulk rolls from the 80s which were kept frozen from new, but regret to say that no matter what I process it in, it is substantially grainier than my old negatives. I have not had any issues with fog or reduced speed and the tonality is very close to that of the old negatives, but the grain is much more pronounced on even semi-close examination of a16X20 print from a 35mm neg. This differs from what others are reporting but is my experience.
    Interesting. Do you know why you FX is now grainier? AFAIK, Super 20 iis no longer made, maybe that's the difference? Perhaps souping it in Perceptol will do the trick, or perhaps one of the fine grain clones from Formulary?

  10. #40

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    Edwal Super 20 contained paraphenylenediamine which had a very strong solvent action. You are not going to get similar solvency from today's commercial developers. I am not surprised that your older negatives are finer grained. What has changed is not the film but the developer used.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 02-10-2013 at 11:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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