120 Tech Pan and Technidol

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by ben_hutcherson, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. In one of my fateful trips to the local camera store today, I came home with a box full expired film(who could say no to ~40 rolls, including some good stuff like Neopan F and a bulk roll of XP1 Super, at about $1/roll). I also brought home a box of chemistry which I'm guessing is probably mostly dead, but there was an unopened bottle of HC110 and some stuff that won't go bad like acetic acid.

    What really got my attention, though, were the half dozen rolls of tech pan that expired in the early 1990s, along with two boxes of 6 little packets of Technidol. I WANT to shoot this, but am a bit concerned about it:

    1. I know the "conventional" advice was to rate TP in Technidol at 25, but I'm wondering if I should drop it to 12 or even lower

    2. How good is the shelf life on those little packets of Technidol? BTW, this specifically says it's for 120 only, and not for 35mm, so I don't know if that makes a difference. I've found some discussions of using dilute HC110 or Rodinal, both of which I have on hand(fresh) so I'm wondering if I should just use that as-is. I know D76 is a bad idea.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. I have a thought on this. Why don’t I ever find deals like this! Can’t help with the technical stuff, but have fun with it!
  3. I have tried HC-110(F) with the recommended times and recommended EI 25, and it works fine.
    HC-110(F) has the next lowest gamma of the listed developers to Technidol.


    For all developers, there is a time and EI range, and for Technidol EI 16 to 25.

    For low speed films, I shoot at box speed and have always had fine results.
    (Much of my film is in my basement darkroom at about 50F to 68F.)
  4. The packets must be Technidol LC - are they marked as such?

    Technidol LC contains only Phenidone as its developing agent according to one source. The liquid version contains both Phenidone and Hydroquinone, as stated in the MSDS.

    Phenidone keeps 'forever' as a dry powder, leaving only an alkali and preservative as other possible ingredients (or maybe just sulphite as a combination of the two?).

    IMO its worth the risk to use the packets, and you can always do a room-lighting clip test to check the developer's activity. - Expose the film as usual and snip a piece off the end of the roll for this. Chances are a 1/2" length won't even cut into one of the frames.

    In any case, TP is tricky stuff and you'll likely waste at least one roll trying to find a suitable EI and dev time.
  5. Thanks guys.

    Apparently I'd misread the packets-it's Technidol for both 120 and 35mm(don't why/how I'd read it otherwise). They are marked "Technidol Liquid Developer."

    Fortunately, I counted last night(my initial post was an estimate) and I actually have 11 rolls to play with, so hopefully I can nail it down and get it right.
  6. Maybe by roll number 10 IME.
    Here's wishing you better luck than I ever had with TP - apart from deliberately contrasty near-lith copying.
  7. We'll see! I have Hasselblad magazine loaded now, so I'll see what happens. I just wish that I had the allegedly "perfect"(or as close as possible for an old SLR lens) 100mm Planar, but I don't want to spend the money for what would be a somewhat less than useful focal length for me. If nothing else, I'll have it parked on the tripod using mirror pre-fire.
  8. FWIW, Technical gave me the best negs from Tech Pan. I tried HC-110, at Kodak's recommendation, but it was too contrasty. I eventually moved back to Pan-F and APX 25. They weren't as sharp as Tech Pan (although sharpness was still good) , but much easier to work with and had better tonality.

  9. For sharper negatives with Pan F+, try developing in Rodinal (1 + 50 is good), sharper the either DD-X or D76. The disadvantage is it will show every skin imperfection. I use to think it would show wrinkles that will be there ten years form now <grin>.

    One advantage of Tech Pan over most other films is the extended red response. It removes skin blemishes (at least on Caucasian skin); it is wonderful for taking pictures of people with acne.

  10. Thanks, I'm already doing Pan-F in Rodinal 1+100.
  11. Do you mean dilution F? There are times and gamma values for B, D and F.

    And for each, different EI values and times.

    I have only tried one, but was reasonably happy with the results.

    But then I like PanF+ and Panatomic-X, too.
  12. Sorry, but I don't remember the dilution that Kodak recommended over the phone. I haven't shot Tech Pan in 25 years.
  13. But a red filter plus any old panchromatic film will do the same. Conversely a blue filter will darken caucasian skin, giving the effect of a suntan or enhancing texture to give a 'silvery' sheen. No tricky developing needed.

    It doesn't even need to be film; red and blue virtual filters work the same for monochrome conversions from digital.

    IME T-max 100 is capable of just as fine detail as TP once you move up to120 film, where lens resolution tends to be more of a limiting factor than on 35mm.
  14. TP goes out closer to 700nm than most films, which fall off closer to 650nm, maybe 670nm.

    To actually answer the question, you need the spectrum from skin blemishes.

    Most dyes and inks have somewhat wide spectral curves, such that a little
    earlier cutoff wavelength in the red end can be corrected (often enough) with
    a little more sensitivity in other red wavelengths.

    For something with a sharper reflection cutoff, this won't be the same.

    Yes an appropriate red filter could fix that, but you don't want only
    red, just a little more of it. Maybe not so easy to find the right one.
    bgelfand likes this.
  15. You're making this out to be a lot more complex than it is in reality Glen.

    The effect can be readily and simply seen using the monochrome conversion sliders in Photoshop. Extra red lightens and smoothes caucasian skin tones, while dropping the red and raising the blue slider creates a tanned and exaggerated skin texture effect. QED.

    No need for fancy filters or an extended red sensitivity. Which only goes out to 690nm with TP in any case.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  16. In my, admittedly limited experience, there is a difference between the extended red response of Tech Pan and using a red filter with regular panchromatic film. I preferred the Tech Pan.

    Of course with digital and Photoshop I have the content aware healing brush...
  17. Tech Pan in Technidol is pure magic. Even in 35mm, I used to produce 16x24 prints with little to no grain. In 120, that will extend outwards of 40" prints. Great tonality from Technidol as well. The only film to beat it now is Adox CMS 20 which has about 1/2 to 1/3 the grain of Tech Pan 2415. I used to hypersensitize it in the 80's for astrophotography because of the extra red sensitivity. Hypering brought up the speed to about 400 and greatly reduced reciprocity failure. In 120, it will give you finer grain than TMax 100 or Delta 100 in 4x5. You'll need a good scan to pull all the detail out. I often did 35mm scans on an Imacon at 6300ppi and 8000ppi
    bgelfand likes this.

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