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Thread: Panatomic-X

  1. #31

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    Michael, I did a personal quest years ago to find *as close as I could find* replacement for the creamy look of Pan-X. It turns out that Kodak recommendations to use Tmax 100 was pretty spot on; shot at 50 and processed in Microdol-X 1:0 preferably Replenished gave *as close as I could find* look that I was seeking. Creamy smooth non-blocking highlights of broad expansive light/white tones such as bridal dresses in bright sunlight. And yes, Perceptol 1:0 does look different. Something about Microdol-X 1:0 replenished and Panatomic-X just worked. Nice also at 1:3, like that Perceptol 1:3 is close enough to be identical.

  2. #32
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Well if you wanted resolution there was, for many years, Tech Pan. Lots of other problems with that though many people made it work well.

  3. #33

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    Just to clarify, Alan is referring more to edge effects (ie micro-contrast effects) enhancing perceived sharpness, not resolution.

  4. #34
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Well if you wanted resolution there was, for many years, Tech Pan. Lots of other problems with that though many people made it work well.
    Some kind of bell went off in my head when I read that phrase "4x5 quality from 35mm" and in sort of a vegetable drink moment I said A-ha!

  5. #35
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    And a 4x5 won't give you squat without a decent lens..... Yes, grain will be down but "garbage in = garbage out". I only *really* have two decent lens and they make any film look great (or at least better).
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Some kind of bell went off in my head when I read that phrase "4x5 quality from 35mm" and in sort of a vegetable drink moment I said A-ha!
    Bill, for what it is worth, I've never seen a print from tech pan, CMS 20 etc. that looked like anything other than a print from tech pan, CMS 20 etc. (ie short scale, poor tonality). There is no comparison to a print from a general purpose film in sheet format, even if you somehow get the same resolution.

  7. #37
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    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  8. #38

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    It sure is.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Bill, for what it is worth, I've never seen a print from tech pan, CMS 20 etc. that looked like anything other than a print from tech pan, CMS 20 etc. (ie short scale, poor tonality). There is no comparison to a print from a general purpose film in sheet format, even if you somehow get the same resolution.
    This had also been my experience. I have tried several of these films in a variety of developers all of which were touted to give good results. They all failed miserably.

    The problem with very slow files ISO 20 or below is that all the grains are the about the same size. This results in a film with very little latitude and contrast range.
    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

  10. #40
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Given lens design limitations, and just how much resolution a film like TMax 100 is capable of, you often end up with a much smaller resolution advantage in a larger negative compared to 35mm than most people are willing to accept. Of course there are things like grain and tonal shifts to consider as well, but on pure resolution terms the difference between 35mm and 4x5 is a lot less profound than you would think.

    But again, I think this is maybe an individual thing, where some of us really care about that smooth grain, or whatever else a view camera supposedly does better, and others simply don't care.

    I know that Panatomic-X was a slightly unique, but in the same breath perhaps it's a good idea to simply work with a film like Ilford Pan-F+, accept the differences, and move on with making more good photographs?


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I understand your perspective Thomas; focused attention on content is more important than attending to quality but losing sight of what makes it worthwhile...

    I was marginally satisfied with Panatomic-X. I wanted always "just a bit more" resolution.

    The replacement TMAX-100 offered "more sharpness but just a bit less resolution at more than twice the speed".

    I recognized it as a tradeoff that was going in the wrong direction for me.

    If a 25 speed regular grain film, or a 50 speed tabular grain film were available, I'd be happy to try that in 35mm. Because that would have MORE resolution than Panatomic-X. (Which is what I am looking for in the first place.)

    Meanwhile, my quest for MORE resolution simply led me to bigger film size(s).

    That strikes me as an elegant solution to the problem - it gives me what I want, and I am fairly assured it will be available going forward.

    Lately I revisited 35mm to see how I really feel about grain. I had a very good time exploring grain, I love it and will use it at times for certain kinds of photography. But I still prefer the higher-resolution appearance that led me to fine-grain film in the first place. So I plan to use 120 and 4x5 when I am looking for fine detail. And I will use 35mm when I want to work faster.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh



 

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