Neopan Acros vs. Pan F+: tonality and developers for landscapes
Recently, I found out about Neopan Acros. I've seen various people calling it a wonder film, and started using it as my slow-speed landscape film instead of Pan F+.
I've been having trouble getting results out of it like I have previously with Pan F. I've been developing it in Rodinal 1+50 and 1+100, stand and normal, and something still seems off about the tonality. This photo of mine (on Pan F, developed normally with Xtol) is exactly the kind of result I'm looking for, but I'm having trouble achieving similar results with Acros. I'm not sure, but could it be the result of developing it in high-dilution Rodinal? Could that increase the grain enough to change the character of the photo, even though Acros is still amazingly fine-grained?
I have Rodinal and D76 ready to use, and Perceptol, Diafine, and Xtol ready to mix. Which of these two films do you guys prefer for landscapes, and why? What developers do you use with them, and how do you develop it?
The photo you posted looks quite high in contrast. Pan F+ is inherently a higher contrast film than Acros (although Acros has very high highlight contrast). Rodinal is not a solvent fine grain developer such as XTOL so they are not really comparable. Diluting Rodinal doesn't make it grainier.
I'm not sure why you'd use Rodinal 1+100, particularly with stand development, to try to get the same contrast and gradation as XTOL developed normally - especially since Pan F is a more contrasty film than Acros to begin with.
Of the developers you listed, if you are looking for fine grain and snappy contrast, I would start with XTOL. It is noticeably finer grained that Rodinal and Diafine, and both slightly sharper and slightly finer grained than D76. Don't use Perceptol to try to get a Pan F look. You have to dilute it to 1+3 for good sharpness, and at that dilution you'd have to develop very fully to get snappy contrast - which quickly results in increased grain so there's no benefit on the grain side. Perceptol is really best for soft negatives. I use it a lot in my work.
The question isn't which film someone else prefers - it is what do you prefer? If PanF in Xtol gives "exactly the kind of result I'm looking for" it would seem you already have your answer.
I like both films, but i don't think it's a developer issue, rather I bet it is more about color response. These two films are different in that respect, and that can have a big impact on tonal relationships. Only you can decide what you like best.
I shoot alot of both, developed in D-76, Rodinal, or Pyrocat-HD. I have no preference, just whichever I load and process on a whim. Maybe you need to either shoot Acros at a slower Ei or develope a bit longer to boost contrast, Pan F+ is a bit contrasty to begin with. Maybe all you need to do is bump up the contrast when you print.
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All good, important points made above.
Thank you for the advice; I've tried Acros at EI 80 in Rodinal 1+50 with normal development, and it blew out my highlights in the landscape photos. I wasn't sure what part of the film's characteristics were giving me the look I got with Pan F.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
Pan F gives me the look I'm looking for, but I wanted to see if I could make that look look better. :P
Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan
I didn't think about that. All of the stuff I've done so far has been shot without a filter (cost issues, before I discovered Cokin's stuff); I hadn't realized that the films might have different color sensitivity.
Originally Posted by erikg
IME, grain is not an issue with either of them, but Pan F is a much punchier film in terms of tonality. Acros is flatter, therefore has more latitude (i.e. is easier to print because it is less technically demanding to expose and develop "properly," in general).
I think you just prefer (or are just used to) the punchier tonality of the Pan F. What you might try (since Acros is very inexpensive when compared to Pan F: roughly $3 for Acros 120 vs. roughly $5 for Pan F 120), is underexposing your Acros a bit, and then overdeveloping it a bit. You can also move to higher filters when printing. No shame in that if you generally like a punchier print than the "norm." Next time, try your Acros at 160 or 200 and add 20 to 30 percent to the time.
Also, try X-Tol instead, since that was your developer for the Pan F.
Acros is also worth learning to love because at this time it is available through Freestyle relabeled as Legacy Pro 100 for very cheap. That is 35mm only, though.
Spectral sensitivity is a real issue, but not an extreme one in most cases. I doubt that color response alone is causing the differences you are seeing.
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Atomic - Acros and XTOL go together like a horse and carriage. Hardly equivalent to Acros and Rodinal..a 'speed-losing" developer.
Much has been made of the 'orthopanchromatic" nature of Acros ,it may explain your difficulty.
If you want to mix your Xtol- read the threads here on replenished Xtol (far better than I thought it would be).
Or, use your ID-11 at 1:1 or 1:2 dilution.
You may well be a happier camper.
If you like PanF+ I say use it. You'll have a hard time making another film look like it. Some say it is too contrasty but I like it, especially souped in DD-X 1+4.