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  1. #1
    bvy
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    *Very* Thin Pan F -- Help

    My first film processing disaster occurred last evening. The negative was very thin -- almost clear at first glance. Some frames are featureless or blank. This was a roll of fresh Ilford Pan F that I shot in my Yashica T5 (same as the T4 Super) between April and July of this year. I developed in Perceptol 1+1 at 68F for 15 minutes, with ten seconds of agitation (inversion) every minute. I used 300ml working solution in my two-reel Paterson tank. The top reel was left empty. Then stop (1 min.), fix (5 min.), rinse, and Photoflo -- the usual routine.

    The exposed leader of the film developed black, as I would expect. It's the darkest part of the whole strip. The factory edge markings, however, are very faint, which I found odd.

    This was my first experience with Perceptol. I mixed the stock solution over the weekend and "proofed" it with a 2-inch-square piece of litho film I exposed in my Holga. I developed that by inspection in 60ml of 1+1 for 3 minutes, and the frame came out very contrasty as I would expect. So I think the developer is okay.

    That leaves the camera. I shot in a variety of conditions, but mostly in daylight and indoors with flash. The roll I shot previously in that camera (in March) was Superia 1600, which came out fine. If the camera couldn't read the DX for some reason (and I inspected that -- the contacts were clean), it would default to 100. But I'm seeing more than one stop underexposure.

    An interesting optical phenomenon: If I hold the film strip at an angle to the light, I can easily see positive images. And, very strangely, some of the frames reveal a lot of detail, everywhere in the frame, when viewed like this. But I think it's illusory.

    I'll scan the film this evening, but I don't have high expectations. Very disappointing, as I had shots from my boys' graduation party and other commencement activities. Not that I put all my eggs in this one basket, but still... Any ideas what could have gone wrong?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvy View Post
    The factory edge markings, however, are very faint, which I found odd.
    Pan F edge markings are always faint. The rest I can't explain, however I have found Pan F to be an odd film, had more problems with it than any other film so I don't use it anymore. Presumably a lot of people have good results with it however.

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    PanF is one of these films that you either love or you don't. I can't say I love it really, but I do like it a lot. I had similar problems with PanF and could not seem to get my exposure right as all negs on a roll seemed thin. Then I'd try a roll again and I'd have more contrasty dense negs than I wanted. It wasn't until I did some reading(not smart enough to figure it out on my own) that I found out the latent image holding ability of PanF sucks. If you expose the film and then let it lay around for a year or so you won't be very happy with the results. That's why I had problems. I would always have it in an old second body to use for just certain things and the times between exposure and development were very long. The funny thing is I have used very outdated PanF film and found it to be no problem, but exposed it's different. It's still a film with that certain "look" that I like. As for Perceptol? I like my PanF in Perceptol 1+3 and it works just perfect. I get fairly close to box speed, excellent sharpness and good contrast range. Just my 2 cents..............JohnW

  4. #4

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    Your post covers all the "faults " I can think of except maybe exposure. So I'd look at shutter and aperture. You've even covered ISO settings. I'd forget about processing or developer or PanF itself being the problem.

    Most frustrating - I sympathise - but cannot really offer an explanation

    pentaxuser

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Try exposing a roll at EI 25.

    Develop it immediately after you're done shooting, or as soon as is practically possible. The longer you wait, the more prone to problems it seems Pan-F+ is.



    Quote Originally Posted by bvy View Post
    My first film processing disaster occurred last evening. The negative was very thin -- almost clear at first glance. Some frames are featureless or blank. This was a roll of fresh Ilford Pan F that I shot in my Yashica T5 (same as the T4 Super) between April and July of this year. I developed in Perceptol 1+1 at 68F for 15 minutes, with ten seconds of agitation (inversion) every minute. I used 300ml working solution in my two-reel Paterson tank. The top reel was left empty. Then stop (1 min.), fix (5 min.), rinse, and Photoflo -- the usual routine.

    The exposed leader of the film developed black, as I would expect. It's the darkest part of the whole strip. The factory edge markings, however, are very faint, which I found odd.

    This was my first experience with Perceptol. I mixed the stock solution over the weekend and "proofed" it with a 2-inch-square piece of litho film I exposed in my Holga. I developed that by inspection in 60ml of 1+1 for 3 minutes, and the frame came out very contrasty as I would expect. So I think the developer is okay.

    That leaves the camera. I shot in a variety of conditions, but mostly in daylight and indoors with flash. The roll I shot previously in that camera (in March) was Superia 1600, which came out fine. If the camera couldn't read the DX for some reason (and I inspected that -- the contacts were clean), it would default to 100. But I'm seeing more than one stop underexposure.

    An interesting optical phenomenon: If I hold the film strip at an angle to the light, I can easily see positive images. And, very strangely, some of the frames reveal a lot of detail, everywhere in the frame, when viewed like this. But I think it's illusory.

    I'll scan the film this evening, but I don't have high expectations. Very disappointing, as I had shots from my boys' graduation party and other commencement activities. Not that I put all my eggs in this one basket, but still... Any ideas what could have gone wrong?
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wiegerink View Post
    PanF is one of these films that you either love or you don't. I can't say I love it really, but I do like it a lot. I had similar problems with PanF and could not seem to get my exposure right as all negs on a roll seemed thin. Then I'd try a roll again and I'd have more contrasty dense negs than I wanted. It wasn't until I did some reading(not smart enough to figure it out on my own) that I found out the latent image holding ability of PanF sucks. If you expose the film and then let it lay around for a year or so you won't be very happy with the results. That's why I had problems. I would always have it in an old second body to use for just certain things and the times between exposure and development were very long. The funny thing is I have used very outdated PanF film and found it to be no problem, but exposed it's different. It's still a film with that certain "look" that I like. As for Perceptol? I like my PanF in Perceptol 1+3 and it works just perfect. I get fairly close to box speed, excellent sharpness and good contrast range. Just my 2 cents..............JohnW
    I should have added that I would look into the film canister or DX code contacts in the camera(if it has them) as a possible cause. Many cameras will default to ISO/ASA 100 if there is no DX code on the canister. My speed for PanF in Perceptol 1+3 is ISO 32 and ISO 50 is max, but useable. I personally think DX coding was a step backwards in cameras, but that's just me and I'm from the old school anyway. JohnW

  7. #7

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    I haven't used PanF nor do I use a Patterson tank but my Kinderman tanks that hold two 35mm reels hold 16 oz or 500ml so at 300ml you may not have had enough working solution along with a camera malfunction. Check the battery in the camera and try a roll of say Delta 400 and measure how much a full tank holds and develop as per mfg's recommendations. If all is well that should eliminate the camera as the problem. There is also the possibility of Murphy's Law and that you thought you mixed the chemistry 1:1 but didn't.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  8. #8

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    Perceptol is a fine grain speed reducing developer. You can expect to lose at least 1/2 stop of speed.
    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

  9. #9
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Perceptol is a fine grain speed reducing developer. You can expect to lose at least 1/2 stop of speed.
    Yes. Ilford even notes half of the ISO box speed as 'normal' EI, and doesn't even give developing times for most films at their box speed.
    "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

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Try exposing a roll at EI 25.

    Develop it immediately after you're done shooting, or as soon as is practically possible. The longer you wait, the more prone to problems it seems Pan-F+ is.
    My thoughts exactly. Pan-F isn't noted for latent image stability, so I don't use it in 35 where it might take me several months to finish a roll. Otherwise it's a wonderful film.

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