The most peculiar characteristic of Ilford PAN F+—besides sharpness and fine grain—is the sensitivity to changes in developing time and temperature. It requires a highly standardised and very accurate workflow. Unlike FP4+, it is not forgiving. Gradation will vary significantly with development time, so do keep an eye on your clock! Ten seconds more or less will make a perceptible difference. You even need to make a standardised ritual out of the pour-in and pour-out actions ... it doesn't matter so much how you do it—BUT DO IT THE VERY SAME WAY EVERY TIME! Otherwise you won't come to terms with PAN F+. So it's not a beginner's film, but it's very nice (fine grain, high sharpness, subtle tones) when you get it right.
In my experience, Ilford PAN F+ tends to be rather high in contrast; I like it best when pulling it by one stop—that is, expose at E.I. 25/15°, then cut development time by approx. 10 %. I prefer Ilford ID-11 (same as Kodak D-76) at 1:1 or 1:2 dilutions. Rodinal 1:50 or 1:100 works well, too.
Last edited by ka7197 : 07-16-2011 at 07:20.