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Need some opinions on FP4+/PANF+
Old 07-15-2011   #1
Yoricko
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Need some opinions on FP4+/PANF+

Hello folks,

I am looking for a fine-grain film with high-resolving power for controlled/landscape work with plenty of good light to pair up with my extensive use of Tri-X for everything else.

How does the grain of PANF+/FP4+/Tri-X compare with each other? Is the grain size difference substantial between the PANF+ and the FP4+?

How about contrast, is the PANF+ a high contrast film?

In terms of flexibility, how does the PANF+ compare with the FP4+?

Not really in favor of the Afga 25's due to availability.

I know a MF camera would just reign king over the slowest 35mm film with the best lenses; but I have to take portability into considerations.
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Old 07-15-2011   #2
konicaman
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PANF+ does have finer grain than FP4, but I find it hard to control the contrast with PANF+ - too many blown highlights and not very subtle midtones. I find FP4 much easier to work with and more forgiving. I have souped the 2 films in either ID-11 or Microphen.

I have seen PANF+ developed in Rodinal which seemed to give a better dynamic range but increased grain.

FP4 has quite finer grain compared to Tri-X so that would be my recommendation.
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Old 07-15-2011   #3
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Have you thought about plus-x that goes well with tri-x
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Old 07-15-2011   #4
Yoricko
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I can't find Plus-X in 100'

Also, it is very similar (though not the same) as the FP4+.
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Last edited by Yoricko : 07-15-2011 at 23:55.
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Old 07-16-2011   #5
Doug
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I like the Ilford films, and develop them in Diafine. Pan F+ at box speed ISO 50 gives good tonality and is almost grainless. Just a few years ago I finished shooting some that I'd bulk-loaded back in 1982! New stuff since...

I've shot FP-4 for years, but little recently. EI of 250 in Diafine with crisp tight grain, looks particularly nice with half-frame negs. I've never cared much for Plus-X; my recollection is a sort of harshness in the tonality.
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Old 07-16-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoricko View Post
I can't find Plus-X in 100'

Also, it is very similar (though not the same) as the FP4+.
I thought the Arista Premium 100 was Plus-X in their 100ft rolls?
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Old 07-16-2011   #7
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I asked a similar question some time ago and got a great range of responses. Many folks praised the way PAN-F captures mid-tones, and that's been my experience too, so I'm a little surprised at Konicaman's trouble with it. (Old thread here.) Doug might remember contributing.
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Old 07-16-2011   #8
Stuart John
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FP4 is a great film it shines in D76 1+1 nice combo of sharpness, contrast and grain. I did have some nice results from PanF in D76 1+1 but I just don't us Ilford films that much. My favourite ISO100 film is still APX100.
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Old 07-16-2011   #9
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efke kb25 is also a good choice (though there's less experience with it).

Some medium format cameras are actually portable. But i guess you've made up your mind about that, already. And MF film is definitely not comin in 100' bulk
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Old 07-16-2011   #10
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You might consider Tmax 100 or Delta 100 for very fine grain. I have no experirnce with the latter, but a lot of experience with Tmax 100 and Rodinal, which can look great. It can be hard to control too. I use FP4+ for medium speed now.
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Old 07-16-2011   #11
Yoricko
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All right, I've decided to shoot FP4+ for now until I get the chance to find some time to conduct proper tests for both films; after all, it is best to observe the results first-hand.

Thanks for the help folks
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Old 07-16-2011   #12
Colin Corneau
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I've shot a lot of PanF+ and always used Rodinal 1:50.

It is true it's a contrasty film, but I never found it difficult to work with. The grain is tighter than FP4+ (which itself is pretty nice) and so enlargements are really easy with it.

I'd call it an ideal choice for landscape work.
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Old 07-16-2011   #13
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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 08:20.
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Old 07-16-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka7197 View Post
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.
....
+1.

I think this is true for TMX and TMY films, also.
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Old 07-16-2011   #15
Tom A
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I have used both the PanF and the FP4 (both the "pre +" versions and the modern ones). Both are very good films - nice fine grain, even tones etc.
The contrast problem is more developer dependant than anything else. I tend to use MQ developer for smooth tones (D76/ID11 or home made "soups" like Adox MQ). You get better details in the shadows and less blown highlights with these than with Rodinal.
As for differences between them, in 35mm not that much, unless you are blowing them up to 20x24". I tend to use the PanF+ as a "tripod" film in 120, rating it at 40iso and then developing it Beutler 2 part developer. Not the finest grain - though barely visible even at 16x20- but very sharp, with accentuated edge sharpness.
The FP4+ is my fair weather choice when I dont want to spool up 20+ rolls in cassettes (weather in Vancouver is highly variable - a nice morning f11/250 can soon turn into a f1.4/30 day and pushing the handholding capability of anyone!).
An interesting alternative is Kodaks Tmax2-400. You can rate it at 400, process in HC 110 and it still looks like a 100 iso film! I do it in HC110 1:60 (from raw syrup) for 12 to 12.5 minutes with 30 sec agitation initially and then 10 sec every minute. Not as "flexible" as TriX (but what is) - and you need to meter correctly for it, but you also do need to do that with PanF/Fp4. Advantage is that if you use filters with subsequent loss of "speed" - the 400 iso will gibe you some leeway.
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Old 07-16-2011   #16
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all in this album except first three all are on FP4+, most souped in D76 1+3, only oldest in Rodinal 1+25. As I look on my 1500 scans my fav is Acros.
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Old 07-16-2011   #17
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Fp4 is my go to film for harsh light--summertime, middle of the day, the beach, etc. I dev it in Diafine EI250 and sometimes in DD-X at EI125. Both look good.

Pan F is very fine grain. More so than Fp4 and has higher contrast. I prefer it for overcast days or for winter, morning or late afternoon sun. Also looks good in Diafine but then I rate at Ei100. I use DD-X when I want to shoot it at 50.
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