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  1. #1

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    Thoughts on Ilford Pan F?

    I have only recently discovered Ilford Pan F 50 (I know... what rock do I live under?) Looking at samples, I love the tone and the deep blacks. So finally, I have picked up a roll in 120. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

    I wondered if anyone had any tips or hardwon experience exposing Pan F.

    For reference, I will be shooting it in a Yashica 12 and getting lab process and scan from Downtown Camera in Toronto. (Unfortunately I don't have the time/money/headspace to get into processing and printing my own yet.)
    My other camera is a Pentax

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I used to operate a Yashica 12, and found that with slow speed emulsions, such as Ilford Pan-F+, it worked best in low light due to lens flare.
    Ilford Pan-F+ can be finicky in how you expose it, if you're not careful the highlights will build incredibly fast if you overexpose and don't have a careful check on the development. I would use a compensating developer for sure. Do you know what developer the lab uses?
    Pan-F+ can, like most other films, look fantastic. By the way, after processing 5-10 rolls of the Pan-F professionally, you will have paid roughly what it costs to buy your chemistry and a used daylight tank and develop your own. With finicky films such as Pan-F, it's nice to have the control of processing film yourself.
    - Thomas
    "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

  3. #3
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    As Thomas has indicated, PanF+ is tempermental on how it is to be exposed. Contrast can be difficult to control so bear that in mind when using this film. I do like PanF+ and shoot with it when I'm in the mood to take my time as it has nice tones. Be prepared for the occassional blown highlight, however, until you master it.
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  4. #4
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    I'll definately recommend devolopping this film yourself. I would never trust it to a lab. I know you say you don't have the time and money etc. yet to process yourself, but when you do, I would recommend exposing pan f at EI 32 and developping in rodinal 1+50 for 7 minutes, with gentle (and I mean gentle) agitation the first 30 seconds, then two gentle inversions every thirthy seconds thereafter. The reason for the gentle agitation is to avoid the highlights from being blown out.
    If I had to rely on a lab to have my b&w film developped I would stick with Ilford fp4+ it's a much more robust and easy film to work with, so it will be more difficult for the lab to screw things up.
    Just my thoughts.
    Cheers
    Mads

  5. #5

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    If you need to use a lab I suggest that you expose for the highlight and let the shadows fall where they may. I have a bulk roll of Pan F 35, I like both Pan F 35 in DK 50 and Di xoctol. DDX is also good.

  6. #6
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    When I used Pan F+ I developed it in Rodinal. I think the two were made for each other.

  7. #7

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    The only time I ever tried it I had really deep blacks. The reason was that every frame was grossly underexposed Some of the thinnest negatives I've ever seen.

    I haven't played with it since, so I don't know what the secret is. No doubt it's a film you have to learn to use properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by filmamigo View Post
    I love the tone and the deep blacks.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
    .

  8. #8

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    Indeed, a fussy film, but if processed properly, a very good film. As a suggestion, b/w films really need to be processed by the photographer. That way you can control the contrast to your liking.

    BTW, I'm still trying to master this film, even after 20 rolls. Getting close, tho'!

  9. #9

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    Nice stuff, but not something I'd trust to a commercial lab unless they did custom work. I like mine cooked in D-76, 1+3 for about 15 minutes at 68F. Keeps the highlights in check and allows for full (or very close to) film speed.

  10. #10
    craigclu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    BTW, I'm still trying to master this film, even after 20 rolls. Getting close, tho'!
    What have you settled into for a developer, Jim? I've been occasionally returning to a large freezer stash of PanF+ and haven't hit on a magic combo yet.
    Craig Schroeder

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