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Thread: Panatomic-X

  1. #1

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    Panatomic-X

    After being away from film for 20 plus years, I finally came to my senses and got my camera gear and darkroom back together.

    One of my favorites, if not most favorite films was Panatomic-X. I still have a few rolls (20+ years old) and pulled one out yesterday, shot and developed it. I used PF Divided D-76 and the results did not dissapoint. The images look like they came from factory fresh film.

    Now I am sad because I know it's no loner available and wonder if any current offering comes close. Besides Pan F, any suggestions, recommendations or observations?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Ilford renders softer than Panatomic X , IMHO. But Delta 100 looks promising.

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    I haven't tried it myself but have seen some pictures from ADOX CHS 25 and they looked pretty good. What about CHS 50 maybe as another faster alternative? Has anyone any first-hand experience of these ADOX films?
    " ... a cook who relies on nothing but a sharp knife has no guarantee of producing excellent dishes." - Yoshihisa Maitani

  4. #4
    htmlguru4242's Avatar
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    I love this stuff ... it's from before my time, but the rolls I have shot came out sparkling and nearly fog-free.

    Off topic a bit , yes, but I wanted to throw in here.

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    Kodak said that TMax 100 was supposed to replace Panatomic-X, giving similar grain and sharpness with greater speed.

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    What about it did you love? If you primarily want fine grain, Acros may be worth a look.

  7. #7

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    It was the latitude of the film. Sadly today's slow films just do not match up.
    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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    Well, as far as I know there are no current slow films that are not relatively high in contrast. Mostly that is because the technology has moved on. TMax 100 is virtually the finest grained film around, with very high resolution and has a very long scale. If you don't like speed, you can easily rate it at 50 or lower with softer development. Acros would be a close second in the graininess category. I find them both finer grained than Pan F. I'd bet they are as fine grained or finer grained than films like CHS 25.

    There are those who will recommend the various extremely slow micro/document film options out there with ultra low contrast developers. However even with specialized developers I have seen no evidence these films have anywhere near the exposure scale/lattitude of a general purpose film.

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    I agree that TMX is probably the closest you're likely to come to FX today. The tonality is not the same, but much closer than Acros. I suspect that the right developer might make it a pretty fair substitute. I've got another bulk roll of Panatomic X, so may do some direct comparisons just for fun. FX seems to have a somewhat unique look, but it would be interesting to see whether that really shows up compared to TMX. A developer that improved the acutance of TMX might help; it is sharp but doesn't always have that crisp of a look. More smooth looking to me than FX.

    To me the speed difference between TMX and FX doesn't seem all that large really, maybe a stop or a touch more.

  10. #10

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    TMX is similar to Pan-X only if your only criterion is fine grain.
    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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