I have some questions and profound thoughts about TechPan that hopefully some of the bright minds here can help me grapple with.
Now my understanding of this film is that for once the Great Yellow Father's instructions on exposure and development are spot on. Yet the Data Sheet for TP seems to contradict itself on how long to develop TP in Technidol. On pub P-255 page 2 it suggests an EI of 16 to 25 for development in Technidol for 5 to 11 minutes. So in theory if I'm choosing an EI of 25, I would develop the film for 11 minutes.
On page 6 it suggests a time of 9 minutes in Technidol at 20 degrees but only for 35mm.
I've just started playing with this film. Last week I shot a couple of rolls of 120, mainly pictures of my kids using a strobe so the shutter speed wouldn't be an issue. I exposed at 25 and developed the film for 9 minutes in Technidol (I didn't see the caveat regarding 35mm film until just after I finished). Overall I'm very pleased with the results. The highlights in the skin are perfect; the overall skin tones are that lovely creamy tone we're all trying to get but can't quite define. It was just sharp enough without being too sharp for a portrait. But I did think that some of the skin tone in the area's of my daughters' faces that weren't getting the full blast of the strobe could have been about a half a Zone higher in value.
So my thinking now is to continue to expose at 25 but for these sort of images to develop for 11 minutes. Unless I'm reading the Data Sheet wrong and someone could correct me?
Overall I'm very pleased with the results. I've been trying in vain to eek out that sort of glowing skin tone using other films and there it was all along. One nice benefit of the extended red sensitivity - my six month old daughter has a rash on her chin from drooling (that's her job these days, she drools) and in the picture it just wasn't there at all.
Anyway, if anyone else is using TechPan for portraits or nudes or other sort of people pictures, I'd be greatly interested in your thoughts, suggestions, etc. And if anyone has an alternative to Technidol which is impossiblely expensive for such small quantities, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to try Rodinal next - I've heard 1:100 for six minutes is a good start.
I have made a very few exceptional photographs on Tech Pan. I have also lost many great shots as a result of using Tech Pan, so I'm highly conflicted about it. Some people swear by it, others swear at it.
I have a page of recommendations for developers and times from various people at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Times/Te...an/techpan.html.
You might also check out my article on a possible precursor to Perfection XR-1 at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/XR-1/xr-1.html. The patent says: "The composition of this invention is especially useful as a developer for photographic film, and particularly for black and white high contrast photographic film comprising extremely fine-grain, silver halide emulsions." It doesn't specifically mention Tech Pan, but I think it is probably a good match--I don't have times for it, though.
Personally, I would use T-max 100 for this purpose.
As always, a source of wisdom. Personally I was swearing at the film itself as I was trying to get it on the reels. It's like pushing noodles up hill.
I am one of those that swears at the film too. Tech Pan is a picky film. I too use Tmax 100 (shot at 80) when I want grainless prints. I can easily get 11X14 out of 35mm frame this way. and much much larger with my 6x7.
Here's the image
with the usual caveats about the original print being much finer.
technical stuff... I lit this with a Vivitar 283 on a stand bounced off of an umbrella to the left of the picture and a relector on the floor pointed a bit upwards to catch the ambiant light of the room.
and yessir... they are my babies!
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Nice photo dparmet, it turned out well. Just curious, what made you decide to use Techpan for this? I am surprised that you got enough light out of a 283 to get adequate depth of field.
Brian -thanks for the compliment. As to why techpan, it's a long story.
The room I shot that in is our living room - it has a cathedral ceiling with skylights and is very bright most of the day. So there was a lot of ambiant light. I got a reading of f4 with my flashmeter. Not a lot but enough for what I wanted.
I always wanted to try TechPan out for portraits and that was the opportunity.
Around my house, we have three kids under the age of three. So when I'm working on a family picture project, of which I have a few running at any given time, I usually just set up my camera and light, throw up a background somewhere and see what happens. Usually I'll get something usable. With three kids and a wife, chances are at least someone will cooperate.
You'll have to share your secrets on how to get them to cooperate. I only have one kid and a wife... no cooperation there!
In the case of my son - he's three and responds well to the subtle notion that his grandmas and grandpas will just love the beautiful pictures of his baby sisters and boy will they be sad that they don't have any of you (yeah, I'm evil).The girls are only six months old so you can pretty much put them down and they stay in one place (a nice thing about infants).
My wife, well that's tough. I have to constantly top myself in the darkroom, returning each morning with even more beautiful images of her to get her to model for me just one more time. The TechPan / Glowing Skin thing will get her in front of the camera just as soon as we aren't juggling babies.