Cursed Panatomic X

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by royall_berndt, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. I could never get decent results from that film. I always underexposed, and the shots were too contrasty. Here is a dismal example. Anyone do well with this emulsion? Pan X.jpg But there's no grain!
  2. Never had problems with it. During college (1970's) and near the end of its production I used D 76. When I started buying outdated Panatomic-X I used HC 110 initially dilution B and later dilution H.
    Some of my results:
    outdated in 1982, HC110 dilution H
    Here's one I shot in the late 70's and processed in D76
    shot with Konica Auto S2
    From a roll outdated in 1977, HC110 dilution B (shot about five years ago)
    Panatomic-X will keep for a long time without showing fog. Here's a shot from a roll that expired in 1964 that I shot about 8 or so years ago.
    box speed then was 40 and not 32, also used HC110 dilution B
    My observation is that while Panatomic-X has a wide latitude for a slow fine grained film, overdeveloping, underexposure, or both will increase the contrast.
    ericphelps and James Bryant like this.
  3. FWIW
    When I started with 35mm film, all my black and white work was with Panatomic-X. It did require accurate metering or it might look 'flat'. I shot Kodachrome (ASA10) for color.
    When Kodachrome 25 came out I shot everything at ASA32.
    I still miss the film.
    Modern Photography 1972-09

    Expose around f/8-11 at 1/125th, develop in D76 for some minutes....:rolleyes:
  4. You could also reverse process it for B&W slide, though I didn't do that often.
  5. Some of the best tonal quality I ever got was on Panatomic-X, but the slow speed didn't suit most of what I shot. Days long gone.
  6. As with any negative film, expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights.

    At the peak of the ISO (ASA) race in the 60's, Kodak doubled the labeled speed of their B&W film without any changes in formulation. Tri-X went from 200 to 400, etc. I got best results metering shadowed skin tones, which is roughly half the reflectivity of 13% grey, and equivalent to using half the film speed for "average" exposures. Loss of shadow detail was especially problematic for indoor candids, because of increased red content, and shadows cast by normal room lighting.

    My favorite developer was D-76, diluted 1:1, for a longer time (per label), and discarded after each use.
  7. The answer is right there.
    Expose more - develop less!
    AJG likes this.
  8. I recall using Panatomic X for a project that was going to be printed larger than 8x10 and needed to have good tones and less grain than Tri X which was an everyday film. We were also shooting 35mm, didn’t have good access to a Hasselblad in those days. I liked it and wish they would bring it back.

    Rick H.
  9. When I was young, Panatomic-X from Freestyle, in 100 foot rolls for $5, and developed in Diafine, was my favorite.

    The Diafine box has recommended between EI 160 and 250, over the years.

    I now have both Diafine and HC-110, and use both with it.
  10. I dont find Pan X extremely contrasty at all. It for me is anything but. I find its contrast softer then other slow speed films. This film is one of the best tonal quality films I've ever used. I wished Kodak would bring it back to be honest. In the mean time, I still use what of the stash of it I still have left over.
  11. My experience with Panatomic-X is that when you got every thin right it was beautiful and fine grained. However it was not as forgiving as films like Tri-X. If you look at the curves for density v. exposure Kodak published you will notice it did not have the range as was not forgiving of mistakes.
    Dave Luttmann likes this.
  12. Exactly. This is the same for Ilford’s Pan F 50 which is a beautiful film, but still less forgiving than say HP5.
    James Bryant likes this.
  13. PanF+ is well known for poor latent image keeping.
    After not so long, the preprinted frame numbers are almost gone.

    I once had a roll of Tri-X that I forgot for 30 years.
    (Borrowed the camera from my father, and returned it with a roll inside.)

    I also had a roll or two of Panatomic-X and a roll of Verichrome Pan
    that were close to 35 years after exposure. All were not so bad,
    considering the years. (And that they might not have been so well
    exposed in the first place.)
  14. Another slow film that some like and others don't was the original Rolleipan 25 (not new RPX 25). I would develop for 10' in HC110 dilution H.
    Here's a Rolleipan 25 shot from a few years ago.
    James Bryant likes this.

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