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View Poll Results: Which Classic B&W Emulsions Have You Used?
Agfapan APX25 36 38.71%
Panatomic-X 54 58.06%
Plus-X 79 84.95%
TXP 320 45 48.39%
Pre-2005 Tri-X 71 76.34%
Neopan 400 46 49.46%
Neopan 1600 26 27.96%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

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Which Classic B&W Emulsions have you used?
Old 02-24-2018   #1
sepiareverb
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Which Classic B&W Emulsions have you used?

Recent threads about the resurrection of various Kodak offerings have me wondering how many of us have shot long enough to know what Panatomic-X or “real” Tri-X were capable of. I’m not interested in shooting long outdated films, so which of these did you use way back when when they were still in production?

I know I’ve left many off this list, but these are the ones I hear us lamenting the loss of the most.

I shot lots of all of the “big three” Kodak films, (both sheets and rolls of Plus-X) and a lot of APX25 and Neopan 1600. And many boxes of TXP320 with the view camera.
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Old 02-24-2018   #2
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Verichrome Pan was the most lamentable loss of a B/W film stock for me. I shot this almost exclusively in the 1990s in my Rolleiflex and other cameras. There was nothing like it for tonality. Plus-X was a joke in comparison.

I may be an outlyer, but I actually like the post-2006 Tri-X a lot. Perhaps more than the original.

AGFA APX 25 and APX 100 (the original Leverkusen versions)...after Verichrome, my 2nd favorite B/W stocks. Shot a lot of these in the 90s and early 2000s. They were everything I could want in 35mm film. Gorgeous in Rodinal, smooth rendition, great highlight control and capable of luscious dynamic range.

While I never tried it fresh, I do think it relevant to mention Panatomic-X. I had some rolls made near the end (1990~) that I shot over the course of the last decade. This stock exhibited no fog or speed loss so I feel fairly qualified to assess it, in a word: WONDERFUL.
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Old 02-24-2018   #3
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I learned how to shoot on old Tri-X and Plus-X. Back when I was young, mom still had a bunch of panatomic X around but I wanted that faster film for whatever reason. 30 years ago I thought panatomic X was boring but what did I know then? Plus-X was my favorite emulsion of all time and I still have maybe 5 rolls of 35mm left. I'm about to invest in a few 400" cans of EK5222 because it is the closest thing available but still not the same. That and I want to shoot stills to go along with the 16mm 7222 I'll be using.

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Old 02-24-2018   #4
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Yes to Verichrome Pan.... I still have a couple of rolls of 120. Love it in my Rolleiflex. Agfapan 25 was a truly wonderful film....I have some 16x20 prints from a 6x9 Fuji that are exquisite. Would have loved to see Plus X come back....but I have to say I get amazing results from FP4+ in 120 to 5x7.
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Old 02-24-2018   #5
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The current hp5 plus was introduced in 1989 so I suppose that makes it a classic.
And it gets me thinking: what is the oldest film currently in production?
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Old 02-24-2018   #6
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I'll add a few, Royal Pan, Royal X Pan, Ektapan, Super Pancro Pess type B, Super XX, Verichrome ( ortho pre 1956), Verichrome Pan, Agfa Isopan SS and Ilford FP3 to name a few more.
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Old 02-24-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallard View Post
The current hp5 plus was introduced in 1989 so I suppose that makes it a classic.
And it gets me thinking: what is the oldest film currently in production?
Eastman 5222/7222.

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Old 02-24-2018   #8
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In addition to the 4 Kodak films on the survey:

Kodak:
Verichrome Pan, Royal X Pan, Plus-X Professional, Tech Pan, High Constrast Copy Film (processed for TP like continuous tone)

Polaroid:
T107, T105, T667, T665, T52, T42, T47, T37

Ilford
HP4, FP3, FP4

I'm sure there were a few other films that I shot a roll or two of.
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Old 02-24-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Eastman 5222/7222.

Phil Forrest
Yup. Some quick googling tells me it was introduced in 1959 and has never been reformulated.
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Old 02-24-2018   #10
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I forgot I used to use 2475 Recording film, Adox KB14 and KB17 which became Efke, Efke 50, Forte 200 and Foma 200. I shot a few rolls of Fuji SS as well and will probably remember a few more.

Edit: I remember my dad shooting Highspeed DuPont film but can't remember the name and Ansco Super Hyman 320. I have quite a few boxes of plates rolls from WWII that he shot on Gevert glass plates and either Agfa or Gevert nitrate base 35mm.
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Old 02-24-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesun267 View Post
I may be an outlyer, but I actually like the post-2006 Tri-X a lot. Perhaps more than the original.
I started with Tri-X (TX, that is - TXT/TXP is a different beast) in the late 1970's and it has been my favorite B&W film, by a fair margin, ever since. I don't have any problem with the current incarnation. It preserves what I cared about most - the characteristic curve and resulting tonal scale, and the latitude in exposure and development. The slightly finer grain after the latest reformulation doesn't bother me.
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Old 02-24-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallard View Post
Yup. Some quick googling tells me it was introduced in 1959 and has never been reformulated.
And it is a wonderful stock to use!

Folks are listing other films here which I didn't bother.
After I left the boat in 2000 (USS John C. Stennis,) my buddy James met me up in Seattle during fleet week 2002 and gave me a literal trunkload of what the photo lab there was getting rid of. They wanted it all "disappeared." He filled up the interior and back of his old Isuzu Rodeo with film. I still have 2 rolls of 220 Tri-X from that haul. It included so much VPS that I gave maybe a hundred rolls to my family in 2003. I think I seriously had 50 lbs of VPS in 35mm and 120. They may still have some as that is about the time my mom's Spotmatic light meter gave up the ghost and she started using a little point and shoot Nikon digital. I took about 100 rolls of 35mm to Iraq in 2004. Mostly Plus-X, but some Kodachrome and one special roll of Ektachrome 64T which I still have and intend on one day exposing then processing it. It expired in 1999, went to Guam with me then Iraq, then sat in the glovebox of my Jeep for a few years. Now it sits on a shelf in the original container with a little smiley face I drew on it. Who knows what is going to become of that.
Oh yeah, I can't forget Tech Pan. "Muster the Snoopy team, surface contact, starboard side."
Good times for film.

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Old 02-24-2018   #13
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Found this list:http://www.taphilo.com/Photo/kodakfilmnumxref.shtml
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Old 02-24-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallard View Post
Yup. Some quick googling tells me it was introduced in 1959 and has never been reformulated.
Kodak has been known to make small changes in MP stocks without public announcement, based on (probably) raw material availability, laboratory equipment improvements and changes in recommended chemistry. I doubt if DXN is exactly the same as the 1959 version, but it's no doubt close.
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Old 02-24-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
This link doesn't work
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Old 02-24-2018   #16
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Quote:
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This link doesn't work
Try it again, I fixed it.
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Old 02-24-2018   #17
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I still have my 70's Photo Lab Index and need to refer to it. DuPont, Ansco, Gevert, Agfa and many more made films. Kodak made quite an array of films with variations of a number of emulsions. For example there was Plus X, Plus X professional, Plus X portrait with a toothed retouching base and Plus X aerographic with lower blue sensitivity.

Another thing many people didn't know was Kodak formulated color film for particular markets. A good friend who was a portrait photographer was married to a Japanese lady. He and his wife went to Japan each year and he brought back two rolls of C41 color neg for me because the package was in Japanese. I showed the film to my Kodak commercial tech rep and he wanted to buy one. I wound up giving one to him but he told me Kodak reformulated their color for various markets. Due to more yellow in skin tones Kodak reduced the yellow sensitivity in Japanese products. Studies had shown at the time that the Japanese wanted to look more western. Fuji did a similar thing by upping magenta to create more of a sun tanned look in Japanese skin. I'm good friends with the ex head of Modaks commercial division and he confirmed this.
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Old 02-24-2018   #18
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The first film I shot in the 50's was Verichrome (orthochromatic) which became Verichrome Pan around 1956. My dad taught me to tray develop my 127 under a red satellite. When Verichrome became panchromatic I was too young to k ow the difference and totally fogged a couple of rolls before my dad explained the difference.

When in elementary and high school I shot a lot of no name import 120 that was something like 26 cents a roll. Wish those days were back and it was a decent film. When I got to college I worked as a PJ and shot on average 100 ft-125 ft a week of TX. I continued to use TX as my primary 400 speed 35mm film until it changed in 06. I used some PX but liked other films better and used quite a lot of panatomic-x. I actually liked Verichrome Pan better than PX in 120. Sheets I used Super Pancro Press type B (asa250) through highschool and college with a little TXP mixed in. Super Pancro Press was great in DK50 and Panatomic X in Microdol X.
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Old 02-24-2018   #19
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I totally spaced Verichrome, tho I had just mentioned it earlier in the day. A great film, with perhaps the best keeping properties around. That is the one outdated film I will shoot, in 126 only however.

For a Plus-X-like look I find ORWO UN-54 in Perceptol 1:1 to be even closer than XX, with very similar creaminess to the upper midtones into the highlights. I haven’t tried XX in Perceptol yet, I suppose I should. That was always my favorite developer for Plus-X.
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Old 02-24-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
For a Plus-X-like look I find ORWO UN-54 in Perceptol 1:1 to be even closer than XX, with very similar creaminess to the upper midtones into the highlights. I haven’t tried XX in Perceptol yet, I suppose I should. That was always my favorite developer for Plus-X.
Unfortunately, ORWO is currently out of stock of UN-54 in both 35mm and 16mm in the USA.

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Old 02-24-2018   #21
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The only change ever made to Eastman 5222 was to add a lubricant, to make it less prone to acquiring static charges, and flow more smoothly through 35mm Professional Hollywood Movie Cameras (eg: Panavision etc). No changes to the emulsion since the 1958 original formulation.

Amazing ain't it?
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Old 02-24-2018   #22
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Great idea!

I use, in addition to, Ilford black and white film. Have a 120 Delta 400 currently using.

And I recently bought some 120 HP5 Plus. First time!
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Old 02-24-2018   #23
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Orwo NP20 and NP22 in 6.5x9 and 9x12cm sheets. Also Fotopan FF ISO 50 6.5x9cm (from Poland). Kodak High Speed Infared 2424 Aerographic 70mm, Kodak Plus-X Aero Recon Film 70mm, Kodak Surveillance Film 70mm, Kodak Plus-X Aerographic 2402 70mm. Unperforated 70mm Tri-X bought fresh from B&H, Efke 100 70mm unperforated 70mm from J&C Classic. Original Plus-X 70mm still in very excellent usuable condition. 35mm Panatomic-X also in excellent usuable condition.
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Old 02-24-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Unfortunately, ORWO is currently out of stock of UN-54 in both 35mm and 16mm in the USA.

Phil Forrest
I check the site often, But should perhaps not be pushing it on folks as I am getting close to the end of my stash.
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Old 02-24-2018   #25
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I have used them all and still have at least a little of each, although I haven't checked recently if the Neopan 1600 has fogged.

The problem for me with motion picture films is that I like to wet print and all the motion picture film I have used has a much higher rate of defects than film for still purposes. I have never had an emulsion defect in a roll of Kodak film for still cameras (it happens, I know, just never to me) but I had about 10 in my first 400' of XX, and the Orwo I tried was worse. Spotting is one thing, but trying to repair a wet print that has a large defect is unnecessary hard work that I would rather avoid by using good film.

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Old 02-24-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
Unfortunately, ORWO is currently out of stock of UN-54 in both 35mm and 16mm in the USA.

Phil Forrest
ORWO has changed their distribution structure in the US, I understand. Colorlab is now the distributor for 16mm MP film and had it all in stock last time I checked. I'm not sure what's going on with 35mm.
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Old 02-24-2018   #27
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I have some cold stored Panatomic in 35mm, it still shoots like new. It's a very good film but it doesn't live up to the mythical "back in the good old days" legend that has been created for it.

Popular culture doesn't give modern emulsions the credit they deserve, IMO.
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Old 02-24-2018   #28
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I didn't consider Delta or TMax films as classics since they're so new but have shot all versions. I especially like Delta 100 and 400. Also have shot some of the Chinese film.
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Old 02-24-2018   #29
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i used several and managed to keep some of them in my deep freeze. have 1 bulk roll of plus-x left and 7 220 rolls 3 bulk rolls of APX 100 and many many rolls of APX 25 in 120, which I love printing. It just has a magic to it that I can't seem to replicate with T-grain emulsions.

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Old 02-24-2018   #30
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I stumbled on some 70’s Pan F rolls (8 rolls for £12 on eBay). That film, while not stored well, gave wonderful results. Now I’m chasing it down, lol, so it’s a long lost film to me.
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Old 02-24-2018   #31
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I learnt on Verichrome Pan in a Box Brownie 620 in the 1960s. I seem to remember it was the only bw film we could buy at the local Chemist shop. I can't remember what developer. I like the results, still have the negs.

In the 70s I used Panatomic-X and Tri-X, processed in D76. Liked them both. European films were hard to find in suburban Sydney back then, apart from Agfa, distributed and processed locally by Hanimex. The only Agfa product I used was Agfachrome reversal film, which exhibited strong colour fade and magenta cast over time.
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Old 02-24-2018   #32
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Never used Verichrome. But, I have used all of the films in the poll, and still have one or two of them in the freezer.

I did really like Pan-X. I wish I was in a position to really exploit its capabilities back when I was a young stupid grasshopper. If it were still available, I'd be more worthy today. There are some modern "equivalants" that I should give a try. Adox has a very well respected slow ultra-fine grain film...

Just one roll of Pan-X left in the freezer. Another thread here on RFF has had me looking at that roll lately. Do I have the right subject? Not until a little later this spring, but I've decided to load it up and end the era.
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Old 02-25-2018   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
I have some cold stored Panatomic in 35mm, it still shoots like new. It's a very good film but it doesn't live up to the mythical "back in the good old days" legend that has been created for it.

Popular culture doesn't give modern emulsions the credit they deserve, IMO.
I’ve tried more than a few rolls of Panatomic-X in the last decade, all had been frozen, and none have looked like the rolls I ran in the early 80s. It always seemed like the ends of the range had been clipped off.

I find ORWO UN-54 to be one of the best films I’ve ever shot, period. I am also a fan of the Delta films in sheet formats under tungsten light, and for sheer range of uses HP5 is hard to beat.
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Old 02-25-2018   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesun267 View Post
Verichrome Pan was the most lamentable loss of a B/W film stock for me. I shot this almost exclusively in the 1990s in my Rolleiflex and other cameras. There was nothing like it for tonality.
Me too! No question the most tonality with the least exposure knowledge.

I always like this shot by me with an Instamatic 104; lots of highlights and still shadows.



Untitled by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 02-25-2018   #35
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Me too! No question the most tonality with the least exposure knowledge...

Very well described! Was Verichrome Pan ever available in 35mm?
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Old 02-25-2018   #36
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VP was never available in 35mm. i don't think it was available in anything other than paper backed rolls like 120, 620, 616, 127 etc. it may have been in film packs but not sure.

Edit: I looked up and found VP did come in filmpacks, at least 2x3 packs.

I bought a few rolls that expired in the early 80's. No idea how it was kept. I exposed a roll just for nostalgia and ran it in HC110 B. Unfortunately it was seriously fogged. I did the same with TX 35 dated late 80's and it was completely unusable with very heavy fog.unlike those films I bought a few rolls of mid 80's dated FX and exposed some and ran it in Mic-x and it was beautiful. Slow films, there's a chance they're ok thirty years out of date but faster films, no way.
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Old 02-25-2018   #37
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I could be mistaken but I believe I've seen 126 size rolls of Verichrome at some point in the past. Why it was never in 35mm is a question for the ages.
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Old 02-25-2018   #38
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This kind of thread makes me miss Tom A. And Verichrome.
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Old 02-25-2018   #39
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"Used" ?

I still have 50 rolls of Neopan 400 in 35mm and another 40 rolls in 120,about 40 rolls of Neopan 1600 and 40 rolls of Plus-x in 35mm and 120.

I am on the 23rd frame of a 36 frame roll of Neopan 400 in my Zorki as we speak and I shot a roll of 1600 before Christmas ^^

Heck, I still have some left overs from a pro-pack of TXP 320 in 120 (Now that is one cool film).

Never tried pre 2005 Tri-x to my knowledge (we used some 400 iso speed in school in 88/89, but it was never revealed what film it was) and other others are so vintage that I really don't know a whole lot about them, other that fans of those, tend to reveal their age a bit :P
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Old 02-25-2018   #40
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I could be mistaken but I believe I've seen 126 size rolls of Verichrome at some point in the past. Why it was never in 35mm is a question for the ages.
It was in 126 and pretty much ever size that fit any kind of box camera. I have some family negs that were shot on roll film and the image area on the neg is approximately 4x5. For some reason though it was never in sheets but was in packs. I've only seen 2x3 but may have been available up to 4x5.

There were some really large roll sizes. I'm pretty sure Verichrome (original ortho version) came in rolls for circuit cameras. They would have been available up to 12" or possibly longer by whatever length was popular. I'd have to do some research.

For some strange reason VP was billed as an amateur film but I and several other pro friends prefered it over PX. I shot many hundreds of rolls of it.
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