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Thread: Technical Pan

  1. #11

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    Re: Technical Pan

    The basic issue is that TP is a high-contrast film. Taming that contrast, by using special low-contrast developers, is a difficult (and usually losing) proposition. The nice thing about LF is that film grain doesn't really matter, as the ordinary enlargement ratios are so small... usually 1x to 4x.
    Since you're just starting, I'd recommend a medium-speed film (as others have mentioned). FP4+ is a fine film, with excellent resolution and lovely tonality, that is also easy to learn. Then a year from now, when you have some experience, give the TP a try (if you're not satisfied with your FP4+ results). That will save you a lot of frustration, I believe. Best of luck!

  2. #12

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    Re: Technical Pan

    If you end up keeping the 5x4 TP, then by the time your finished testing the sensitivity (remember it's 30+ years old) and finding the right developer for your tastes, your box of 50 sheets will be well depleted......and there is a VERY limited supply of material.

    The advantage of sticking to something like FP4+ is that it's still available (and hopefully will be for a long time to come) and is much more flexible in terms of exposure and development.

    Mike

  3. #13
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Pan

    I’ll echo what others have said - TP is not the right film for general use, especially starting out. I’ve used it with the special developers to tame the contrast (Kodak Technidol LC, Tetenal Neofin Doku, both gone now) only in 35mm and a bit in 120, years ago, before I started with LF. As Drew mentions, its exposure latitude even with those type developers is small, and blocked highlights are hard to avoid with anything more contrasty than normal. In zone system parlance, anything beyond a zone 3-7 range is going to be flat in the highlights. It can work with low contrast scenes, such as this: https://www.arnecroell.com/p926133692/h4cae6f7#h4cae6f7 (that is in 35mm), but that is more the exception than the rule. It’s main attraction with those developers is the small grain, but we are talking LF here, so unless you want to enlarge to 40x50”, a film like Tmax 100 works perfectly fine.

    It has its uses for VERY low contrast scenes as mentioned by Eric, something I learned at a John Sexton workshop years ago, using a regular developer such as HC-110 in a high dilution to expand it by several zones. An example are petroglyphs in the Southwest, which often have only 1-2 stops of contrast range. Exposure has to be just right for those applications. So I’d either try to sell it, or put it back into the freezer for the time you might need its special properties. Since it is quite a low speed film, age fog and loss of sensitivity shouldn’t be too pronounced when stored cold.

  4. #14
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Pan

    My favorite use for Tech Pan is as a solarized negative. An exposure index of about 25 and a brief development in Solarol developer with a reversal flash worked well after much experimenting. A pre-wash is absolutely necessary when doing this. In this photo the background was completely black.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Symph20d.jpg  

  5. #15
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Technical Pan

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_48fdG46oyK...00-h/Agave.jpg

    I don't know how these links work. Hope this shows up.

    This image was made on Techpan. Probably developed in D23 divided. Subject is a plant that is green with a delicate edge that is brighter as the light filters through, creating the white lines. Development I'd guess, by conventional terms, might be N+4 or 5 or ... I think I made only one exposure and got lucky.

    As mentioned, grain is very fine or nonexistent. Its feeling of sharpness seems to more related to its edges. TP develops a fine edge.

    Mentioned several times as not a beginner's film. True enough, but we are all beginners once. You have plenty to have a good time. Not enough to make a career or even a party, but enough to enjoy. Shooting it as high contrast is a crap shoot no matter what. True with any film that can do N+4 and beyond. I have a lot of this film and I've shot it for 35 years -- it's a guess every time. Only film I've found that might be close to TP available today, except for spectral sensitivity, is Ilford Ortho. Ilford FP4+ will do a nice N+4 in a more controlled sense (that is nice gradation) with one of Wimberley's pyro formulas.



    As for selling it; most don't want to pay the price.
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  6. #16
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_48fdG46oyK...00-h/Agave.jpg

    I don't know how these links work. Hope this shows up.

    This image was made on Techpan. Probably developed in D23 divided. Subject is a plant that is green with a delicate edge that is brighter as the light filters through, creating the white lines. Development I'd guess, by conventional terms, might be N+4 or 5 or ... I think I made only one exposure and got lucky.

    As mentioned, grain is very fine or nonexistent. Its feeling of sharpness seems to more related to its edges. TP develops a fine edge.

    Mentioned several times as not a beginner's film. True enough, but we are all beginners once. You have plenty to have a good time. Not enough to make a career or even a party, but enough to enjoy. Shooting it as high contrast is a crap shoot no matter what. True with any film that can do N+4 and beyond. I have a lot of this film and I've shot it for 35 years -- it's a guess every time. Only film I've found that might be close to TP available today, except for spectral sensitivity, is Ilford Ortho. Ilford FP4+ will do a nice N+4 in a more controlled sense (that is nice gradation) with one of Wimberley's pyro formulas.



    As for selling it; most don't want to pay the price.
    Nice image, Eric! As for N+4 or similar, you might want to have a look at the Rollei RPX 25 (it does come in 4x5”). I haven’t tried it for that, but when I tested the 120 version for normal photography when it came out, I found it exceptionally contrasty and blocking highlights, similar to TP in the special developers. I have a feeling it is of similar origin, tamed somewhat in this case by the emulsion formulation and not the developer. It might just get you to N+4 or similar with a concentrated developer.

  7. #17
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Technical Pan

    Arne, your website is absolutely splendid.

    I purchased Rollei film, but never used. Decided that the last thing I needed was yet another film to learn. I'm sticking with HP5, FP4, with a little Ortho and TP thrown in for tricks. N+4 is easy with FP4 developed in that "nuclear pyro" formula from Wimberley.

    Yes, the highlights can block, harder than any film I've ever used. Absolutely bullet proof highlights in some cases.

    Last time I used Tech Pan was the spring. I was photographing at a friend's house, in total shade, at sun down. Point is the meter read no zone differential. I used TP. 20 sec exposure. Resulting image had plenty of contrast.

  8. #18
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Woodbury View Post
    Arne, your website is absolutely splendid.

    I purchased Rollei film, but never used. Decided that the last thing I needed was yet another film to learn. I'm sticking with HP5, FP4, with a little Ortho and TP thrown in for tricks. N+4 is easy with FP4 developed in that "nuclear pyro" formula from Wimberley.

    Yes, the highlights can block, harder than any film I've ever used. Absolutely bullet proof highlights in some cases.

    Last time I used Tech Pan was the spring. I was photographing at a friend's house, in total shade, at sun down. Point is the meter read no zone differential. I used TP. 20 sec exposure. Resulting image had plenty of contrast.
    Thank you, Eric. Btw, Rollei RPX 25 is made by Harman/Ilford. When I checked out the roll film version I was hoping for a successor to Agfa APX25, but no such luck😞.

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