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  1. #1
    MatthewDunn's Avatar
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    Ilford Pan-F+ - Why don't more people use/recommend DDX?

    In the short time I've been here (and a much longer time lurking), it seems that DDX is rarely recommended as a developer for Pan-F. I only note it because I believe the Ilford data sheet notes that, among liquid developers, it is the "best" for overall image quality, grain, sharpness, wart-curing, peace-in Syria-ing, etc. No horse in this race here and purely asking out of curiosity as to why so few people seem to recommend the developer that the manufacturer seems to think is tops...
    "Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur." - Alfred Eisenstadt

  2. #2
    JLP
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    It would be a bit strange if a manufacturer of a film, in this case Ilford would recommend a different developer than what they make in house.
    I think the recommended developer DDX is the best of what Ilford makes and not necessarily the best developer altogether.

    Best is also very subjective, what is best? only the photographer can make that determination based on experience and vision.
    Pan-F is a fine film but in my experience difficult to use in particular if lighting conditions are different from the first to the last frame. It really is a film that would work much better in sheets where you can meter and develop for the individual frame.
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    JLP
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    Re reading your post Matt it finally dawned on me that it was not so much the film that was in question but the developer.
    I think one of the reasons for the lack of recommendation is the price, it is fairly expensive in use compared to other developers and I think many here on APUG mix up own developers based on the multitude of recipes that are out there for free.
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  4. #4
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    DDX is similar to Kodak Tmax Developer, being a good general purpose developer and an excellent developer for pushing high speed films. There are better developers for slow films like Pan-F. Rodinal gives beautiful tonality and sharpness with Pan-F. Even D-76 works better than DDX for Pan-F, in my opinion, but Rodinal 1+50 is great.


    This is 35mm Pan-F developed in Rodinal 1+50.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

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  5. #5
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewDunn View Post
    In the short time I've been here (and a much longer time lurking), it seems that DDX is rarely recommended as a developer for Pan-F. I only note it because I believe the Ilford data sheet notes that, among liquid developers, it is the "best" for overall image quality, grain, sharpness, wart-curing, peace-in Syria-ing, etc. No horse in this race here and purely asking out of curiosity as to why so few people seem to recommend the developer that the manufacturer seems to think is tops...

    Pan F Plus responds really nicely to being processed in compensating developers
    . If you want to have a try then 510-PYRO is an excellent place to start.


    RR

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    High speed film, low speed film, DD-X works real well.

    I've yet to see it do a bad job, like ID-11/D-76 it is a great general purpose developer.

    Rodinol may get you a bit sharper look, but I'd bet you'd need a microscope to see it in a controlled test. Compensating developers are fine too but compensation is essentially a tool to get the film to shoulder off sooner, it compresses the highlight detail on the film; that may or may not be what you are after.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    ...
    Compensating developers are fine too but compensation is essentially a tool to get the film to shoulder off sooner, it compresses the highlight detail on the film; that may or may not be what you are after.
    True.

    Handy with roll film though if you may have had to "over" expose the highlights because you were making sure of some shadow texture...

    RR

  8. #8

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    DDX is my go to developer for PanF+ EVERY time.

  9. #9
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regular Rod View Post
    True.

    Handy with roll film though if you may have had to "over" expose the highlights because you were making sure of some shadow texture...

    RR
    The alternative is burning in the highlights. Burning, in contrast to compensation, can provide more contrast in the highlights on the paper.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    The alternative is burning in the highlights. Burning, in contrast to compensation, can provide more contrast in the highlights on the paper.
    I suppose you could create some grey in the highlights but if the highlights are blocked all you can do is fake the texture. It's a lot easier to retain some highlight texture in the negative and simply work without trying to burn in something that is no longer there because the highlights have gone solid.

    RR

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