Given lens design limitations, and just how much resolution a film like TMax 100 is capable of, you often end up with a much smaller resolution advantage in a larger negative compared to 35mm than most people are willing to accept. Of course there are things like grain and tonal shifts to consider as well, but on pure resolution terms the difference between 35mm and 4x5 is a lot less profound than you would think.

But again, I think this is maybe an individual thing, where some of us really care about that smooth grain, or whatever else a view camera supposedly does better, and others simply don't care.

I know that Panatomic-X was a slightly unique, but in the same breath perhaps it's a good idea to simply work with a film like Ilford Pan-F+, accept the differences, and move on with making more good photographs?


Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
I understand your perspective Thomas; focused attention on content is more important than attending to quality but losing sight of what makes it worthwhile...

I was marginally satisfied with Panatomic-X. I wanted always "just a bit more" resolution.

The replacement TMAX-100 offered "more sharpness but just a bit less resolution at more than twice the speed".

I recognized it as a tradeoff that was going in the wrong direction for me.

If a 25 speed regular grain film, or a 50 speed tabular grain film were available, I'd be happy to try that in 35mm. Because that would have MORE resolution than Panatomic-X. (Which is what I am looking for in the first place.)

Meanwhile, my quest for MORE resolution simply led me to bigger film size(s).

That strikes me as an elegant solution to the problem - it gives me what I want, and I am fairly assured it will be available going forward.

Lately I revisited 35mm to see how I really feel about grain. I had a very good time exploring grain, I love it and will use it at times for certain kinds of photography. But I still prefer the higher-resolution appearance that led me to fine-grain film in the first place. So I plan to use 120 and 4x5 when I am looking for fine detail. And I will use 35mm when I want to work faster.