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Thread: Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    I'll be the first to admit that I was disappointed and annoyed by Kodak's decision to discontinue Tech Pan. But I will also be the first to admit that I hardly ever use it. I have tried it in 35mm and 4x5 only because I got a super deal on the film. I developed it in Rodinal 1:75 and acheived good results. When I mentioned this to other folks I know who develop B&W film, I never found anyone who uses it. Most considered it too fussy to work with. In my mind, it has always been a reference for extreme sharpness, high resolution and very fine grain. However, the results acheived with Delta 100 and T-Max 100 have been satisfactory for me (personal choice of course).

    Now for the questions.....

    Are there any other B&W films (with fairly normal contrast) that will yield the same (or close) results as Tech Pan (Resolution, Sharpness, etc.)?

    How does Ekfe 25, Ilford Pan 50, etc. compare? Are they even close?

    Is Tech Pan overkill in large format?

    I'd like to hear strong reasons for liking or disliking Tech Pan.

    Thanks in advance!

    J. P. Mose

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    It isn't overkill in large format. While the fine grain may not be needed, it's an excellent film in very low contrast situations. For example, in their southwest workshops both John Sexton and Don Kirby teach a method for using it to photograph petroglyphs, where there often is no more a stop difference between the colors in the petroglyphs and the underlying rock.

    It looks like Kodak is determined to get rid of all their black and white films except T Max.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  3. #3
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Saitama, Japan

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    I won't miss it, personally, as I never use it, but it does bother me that they're dropping yet another film. Maybe they really are determined to reduce their offerings to nothing but TMax. Realistically, probably not, but it sure feels like that sometimes.
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  4. #4
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    Never used it. But the reason to morn is, you've lost the option to use it should the need arise. Sort of like taking that short stubby screw driver I've used about once out of my tool box. If I do need it, then what?

    When they reduce the tool box down to a single size of phillips screwdriver, I'm in trouble.

    Then again, if that screwdriver his 100TMax, I'll already be gone. I've never used that particular tool either... Why they keep pushing TMax, when their biggest seller is Tri-X, is just bonkers. Clearly, TMax has a higher profit margin -- but what happened to the idea of making what the customers want?

    Oh, wait - George Eastman died, didn't he?

    Bruce Watson

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    It was a very fine grained film but difficult to handle in a landscape situation and the grain wasn't all that sharp I found.

    The slower speed films out there on the market are excellent and are an easy to use alternative. Good edges and although the contrast can get out of control if you aren't careful they aren't even close to Tech Pan. Just my 2 cents :-)

    CP Goerz

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    Hogarth, he didn't just die, he chose to die. Suicided. Set an example that I hope EKCo isn't following.



  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    I don't know of another film like TP, and I will definitely miss it. For portraits in very low contrast light, it has no equal. R.I.P.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    Great for 35mm. I've shot quite a bit of this with a Leica and a DR Summicron and other Leica lenses and it is astonishing given the right light and lens/aperture combination. It has it's own look and feel but in the right situation and with the right developer (not tecknidol) there is simply no contest with other films. I will probably end up buying some for a rainy day.

  9. #9
    Jim Ewins
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    For drama its hard to beat Tech Pan. I've used it in three formats to good effect. I don't know about fussy. Rodinal & HC110 both do a great job. I've had less bromide streaking with it than others esp in 4x5. I may lay in a life supply (wouldn't be all that much) Jim

  10. #10

    Loosing Technical Pan...Who Will Really Miss It?

    I'll miss it. The only problem I have had with it in twenty years of shooting it involved streaking with the 120 size. A pre-developer water bath cured that. I love the film. I have never understood why so many have had problems with it. As has been stated before, there is nothing like it on the market. Peter

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