Ready to try slower B@W films

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I have been Developing and wet printing Tri-x 35mm for two years now and have become very happy and comfortable with the results. I haven't played around with developers, just D-76. the theory was to learn to use a proven combination and focus on my photographic darkroom skills without complicating the issue by throwing in a bunch of variables.

I have as of late been getting the itch to try a slower film. Ilford's Panf+ 50 and FP4 have both gained my interest. Tri-x will probably always be my mainstay but I would like to find a film for use in the backcountry of Idaho in the winter time for nature and landscape. Before I get hit with the MF club, I have no current intentions of buying a Medium or large format system. I enjoy the look and feel of traditional cubic grained films over T grained films, and I rather enjoy the organic look of film grain. From what I have read so far both of these films are fairly low grain (Panf more so) and capable of amazing images. Most have reported that FP4 is forgiving of both exposure and development while Panf is finicky but gorgeous when you nail it. From what I gather Panf is a "love it or leave it" sort of film. I will most likely be adding Adox Rodinal to my list of developers and using D-76/Rodinal for everything. I like simple!

So, please let me know what I can expect from these two film stocks for the intended purpose and anticipated developer combinations.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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I have never used Panf but I have heard from users that it has a short shelf life after exposure. I'm a large format shooter and occasional medium format shooter. FP4 is lovely film and responds very well in many of the developers that I have used over the years, including D76 (especially at 1+1) and Rodinal. My main developer is Pyrocat-HD. Grab yourself a roll of each film and have at it. That's the best way to decide!
 

John Wiegerink

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If I were in your shoes I'd pickup some FP4+, but my feet aren't in your shoes. I find Fp4+ has just as good a grain structure when developed in Xtol-R as PanF+ does in Xtol-R. What I'm saying is that the grain of FP4+ doesn't look that much different than that of PanF+ size wise. That said, PanF+ and Rodinal were made for each other. PanF+ in Rodinal 1+100 semi-stand is what I like. Of course FP4+ in Rodinal is very good also. I guess what I'm getting at with the above is that if you are expecting PanF+ in 35mm to be much finer grained than FP4+ you will be fooled. Plus, not only fooled, but suffer a speed loss to boot. But like I said, "I'm not in your shoes"! Good luck and have fun,
JohnW
 

Sirius Glass

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Also try developing Tri-X, FP4+ and Pan F in XTOL or replenished XTOL

XTOL.PNG
 

MattKing

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I would lean toward FP4, but mainly because my go-to combination for a long time was Plus-X and TMax 400 (preceded by Plus-X and Tri-X) and Plus-X was/is relatively close to FP4.
In my case, I used to like the difference between traditional Plus-X and T-Max 400 - the reverse of your approach. Are you sure you don't also want to benefit from more difference between your chosen tools?
At present, I am using up the last bits of Plus-X I have and trying to adapt T-Max 100 to fill my needs. In my case, grain is something that I tend to minimize. If I wanted grain now, I'd probably go to 35mm Tri-X in T-Max.
By the way, I'm not sure I have ever encountered "B@W" as a shorthand for "Black and White". "B&W" I've seen a lot, but not "B@W". I'm curious where you got it from.
My reaction is complicated by the fact that I have seen "B@W" as shorthand for "Bored at Work" - any time I see this in a thread title, I think first of that usage :D
 
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I would lean toward FP4, but mainly because my go-to combination for a long time was Plus-X and TMax 400 (preceded by Plus-X and Tri-X) and Plus-X was/is relatively close to FP4.
In my case, I used to like the difference between traditional Plus-X and T-Max 400 - the reverse of your approach. Are you sure you don't also want to benefit from more difference between your chosen tools?
At present, I am using up the last bits of Plus-X I have and trying to adapt T-Max 100 to fill my needs. In my case, grain is something that I tend to minimize. If I wanted grain now, I'd probably go to 35mm Tri-X in T-Max.
By the way, I'm not sure I have ever encountered "B@W" as a shorthand for "Black and White". "B&W" I've seen a lot, but not "B@W". I'm curious where you got it from.
My reaction is complicated by the fact that I have seen "B@W" as shorthand for "Bored at Work" - any time I see this in a thread title, I think first of that usage :D
b@w...................... it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
 

Rick A

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Going with slower emulsion film is fine, I don't see the need to add a new developer to the mix at the same time. I'm not saying don't try a new developer at all, just hold off until you somewhat dial in the new film first. Bringing in a new developer later on is fine once you see what you can achieve with the new film/D-76 combo, then maybe branch out a bit. One step at a time.
 

Lachlan Young

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Try D-76/ ID-11 at 1+3 before getting sidetracked by Rodinal. Very good indeed with FP4+ or Pan-F. And dismissing the grain structure of current technology controlled crystal growth films (all currently produced films are actually 'controlled crystal growth', just in different ways) suggests that you have either not used them, or have not taken the small amount of time to understand the ways they can be made to do what you want.
 

Agulliver

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FP4+ is a great idea, as it's got a traditional look to it and the contrast in ID-11 (=D76) is utterly gorgeous for landscape shots. Pan-F I prefer for portraits, which I rarely do, and as someone mentioned the latent image does have a short "shelf life". Ilford recommend you process within 90 days of shooting but people have reported issues with Pan-F two months after shooting. I've not used it in a while and always would shoot a film and process within a week, that's just how I roll.

If you can get it, don't rule out Fomapan 100 (= Arista EDU 100). It's a lovely traditional film, higher contrast than FP4+ and usually considerably cheaper. It's actually my "go to" 100ISO B&W film now. It is quite forgiving of over and under exposure and has the traditional cubic grain structure that you like. It's not as fine grained as FP4+, which it sounds like you might like.

But...you cannot go wrong with FP4+ in D76
 

RalphLambrecht

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If I were in your shoes I'd pickup some FP4+, but my feet aren't in your shoes. I find Fp4+ has just as good a grain structure when developed in Xtol-R as PanF+ does in Xtol-R. What I'm saying is that the grain of FP4+ doesn't look that much different than that of PanF+ size wise. That said, PanF+ and Rodinal were made for each other. PanF+ in Rodinal 1+100 semi-stand is what I like. Of course FP4+ in Rodinal is very good also. I guess what I'm getting at with the above is that if you are expecting PanF+ in 35mm to be much finer grained than FP4+ you will be fooled. Plus, not only fooled, but suffer a speed loss to boot. But like I said, "I'm not in your shoes"! Good luck and have fun,
JohnW
I tried FP4+ in Rodinal a few months back and was surprised how little grain there actually was. I made 30x40cm prints without distracting grain; no problem.
 

paulbarden

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Slow? Maybe try Svema MZ3! (The name hints at the ASA)
 
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This certainly gives me a lot to think about. Sounds like FP4 would be the easiest and possibly the most versatile of the two stocks. But, I just cant get over the Oil painting look of Pan F. That's it! I have to just try them both. Thanks for all the insightful replies.
 

Lachlan Young

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This certainly gives me a lot to think about. Sounds like FP4 would be the easiest and possibly the most versatile of the two stocks. But, I just cant get over the Oil painting look of Pan F. That's it! I have to just try them both. Thanks for all the insightful replies.

Try them both & rate them at an EI of 50 (FP4+) & 25 (Pan-F) & follow the Ilford times for those ratings & you should get some nice, easy to print negatives.
 

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abruzzi

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For when ISO 3 is just too fast:

1.6? Sheer luxury. When I was young, we used to dream of shooting ISO 1.6! (Apologies to Monty Python)

How about .8:

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(Add to that they develop direct to positive, though I’ve never tried either...)
 

paulbarden

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1.6? Sheer luxury. When I was young, we used to dream of shooting ISO 1.6! (Apologies to Monty Python)

How about .8:

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(Add to that they develop direct to positive, though I’ve never tried either...)

I saw the direct positive version and was sorely tempted. But I haven't bought it (yet) because I don't have a use case for transparencies.
 

abruzzi

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yeah, I'd love to try just to try--it may look awful, but its interesting. Sunny 16 says it should be exposed for 1.25 seconds (1/.8) at ƒ16, or just a tiny bit faster than 1/50 at ƒ2, so it could be handheld with a fast lens on a bright day.
 

Theo Sulphate

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1.6? Sheer luxury. When I was young, we used to dream of shooting ISO 1.6! (Apologies to Monty Python)

How about .8:

We would've loved to have .8 when I was a lad. When I mentioned 1.6, that was our ultra high speed film. What we normally used was a dry leaf coated with blackberry juice.
 

faberryman

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For goodness sake, just buy a roll of each, process them according to the instructions, and see what you think.
 

destroya

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I still prefer APX 25 shot at 12 in rodinal or pyro-m. in 120 in sings and is the only thing keeping me from moving up to 4x5 (I dont print over 16x20).
 

abruzzi

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For goodness sake, just buy a roll of each, process them according to the instructions, and see what you think.

Yeah, I'm still in this phase, but I'm slowly narrowing in on the films I like the most. Especially if you're developing at home, test rolls aren't that expensive.
 
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