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05-04-2018, 06:29 AM   #1
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Pan F as 120 Acros replacement?

I'm curious: now that Acros has gone away, what should I turn to as a replacement? I shoot mostly what I guess could be called "intimate landscapes" here in the Southern Highlands; i.e. a lot of big rocks, trees, and rhododendron leaves under fairly low contrast conditions. (Yes, fame and riches are just around the corner for me...)


Now that I'm back to Square One, do y'all think Pan F a good candidate for the conditions I described? From what I gather, it's a bit less forgiving than Acros in terms of exposure, and its reciprocity failure characteristics will be a pain down deep in the holler, but I've seen some good work on the Web.


Any thoughts and tips for using it, greatly appreciated.

05-04-2018, 07:23 AM   #2
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I never used Acros, but PanF is now my favorite film, since the passing of Panatomic X. I like the tonality of PanF.
05-04-2018, 07:39 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I'm curious: now that Acros has gone away, what should I turn to as a replacement?
Many photographers shot with Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 because of its particular combination of tonal response, contrast, grain, dynamic range, etc.

If you have or download Nik Collectionʻs Silver Efex Pro 2, with any given color image, you can preview the contrast, dynamic range, and tonal response of Acros 100 with other films like Pan F. Youʻll see that Acros was unique and not at all like Pan F.

Homepage - Nik Collection by DxO

I think youʻll need to start experimenting with a range of films to find your Acros replacement. Personally for 120, Iʻd try Ilford FP4+, Rollei RPX 100, as well as Pan F. I often use a yellow filter for more accurate tonal rendition.

And as you probably already know, just the specific developer, dilution, and temps used can have a big effect on matching what you were happy with in the past with Acros. What developer were you using with Acros?
05-04-2018, 07:45 AM   #4
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It's not a replacement when it comes to Acros's reciprocity characteristics, of course. Give PanF a try and see what you think.

05-04-2018, 08:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Youʻll see that Acros was unique

Thanks for the replies, gents--I'm just starting out with B&W, so all of the "exposure/development" matrices are fairly overwhelming without my having put a lot of rolls through the camera. (Acros, whatever its other characteristics, seemed a "turn-key" enough starting point.) I do have big chest freezer down in the basement, though, so I might be able to lay-in enough film against the day to get me through the steep part of the learning curve.
05-04-2018, 08:18 AM   #6
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I'd add, FP4 and RPX 100 would not be as close to Acros to as PanF. Rollei films tend to be a long toe film ( a reference to the film's characteristic response in the low values).

Some PanF examples developed with Rodinal 1+50 :





05-04-2018, 08:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Rodinal 1+50

Very interesting examples--especially the dappled light in the first. I suppose Pan F must be more forgiving than color reversal film, but it probably took some care with a spot meter not to blow the highlights.


BTW, speaking of Rodinal, have you tried stand development with Pan F? I shoot my P67 more like a large format camera--i.e. maybe three or four frames an outing--so fine tuning "N" values for any given roll is largely a matter of guesswork.
05-04-2018, 09:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
...
BTW, speaking of Rodinal, have you tried stand development with Pan F?
I've done a lot of stand and semi-stand development with Rodinal. But not with PanF. I don't do stand dev much if at all anymore. With 120 film, you can get uneven development. All frames on the roll can be fine sometimes and but sometimes a few frames will have uneven development at random. And the better the picture is, the higher the probability that uneven development will affect that image

We agitate film to provide fresh developer at the boundary layer of the developer/film interface that gets exhausted ( a fluid mechanics reference). But with stand development we are relying on some kind of natural boundary layer replenishment process. And in my experience, the larger the area of film the more likely that natural process doesn't work 100% of the time. And I know other people who have had the same experience. It seems to be a more successful process with small format film.


Last edited by tuco; 05-04-2018 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Add info
05-04-2018, 09:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
And the better the picture is, the higher the probability that uneven development will affect that image

Ha, Murphy probably pays attention to how many vertical feet you've humped as well--anything over 3K is probably just asking for bromide drag.


Thanks for the input--I'll bite the bullet and shoot up my remaining rolls of Acros this summer and then see what Pan F holds in store.
05-04-2018, 11:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
I'm just starting out with B&W,
Even more reason to not just stick to one emulsion. I knew people that learned B&W at school with Tri-X only and stuck with that for years because it was familiar to them. Then one day, they try Other-X and absolutely love it and wish they knew about it earlier.

Yes, going straight to Pan F (one of the finest grain and sharpest B&W available today) is a safe choice, but why not sample and taste your options now?
05-04-2018, 11:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
they try Other-X

Ha, good advice--as is often said, you get a new "sensor" every time you change film.
05-04-2018, 12:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Ha, good advice--as is often said, you get a new "sensor" every time you change film.
....and you get a new processor every time you change developers!
05-04-2018, 12:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
.. I suppose Pan F must be more forgiving than color reversal film, but it probably took some care with a spot meter not to blow the highlights.
The second one was taken using the Sunny 16 Rule with my GSW690III which does not have a light meter.
05-04-2018, 01:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd add, FP4 and RPX 100 would not be as close to Acros to as PanF. Rollei films tend to be a long toe film ( a reference to the film's characteristic response in the low values).

Some PanF examples developed with Rodinal 1+50 :
Wow. You convinced me I should try PanF!
05-04-2018, 05:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by murrelet Quote
Wow. You convinced me I should try PanF!
Donʻt underestimate Rodinal, the prime lens, the beautiful light, and tucoʻs attention to excellent technique. Yes, Pan F was on the team too.
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