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Ilford PanF Plus

8 Sep 2007 1:38PM

today Mr. Postie delivered my parcel of 2 sets of slides, Agfa Precisa and I set of prints, my first attempt using PanF Plus black & white film. In general I'm quite pleased with the results. I used a screw-in orange filter on both 17-40 L zoom and 28-105 L zoom.

I used this film recently at an open day at Strumble Head lighthouse. In some images, I was shooting into the sunlight and all shots were hand-held, so maybe they could have been sharper.

My question is, how do I treat scans of these negatives? Any differently to colour images?


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9 Sep 2007 10:33AM
What do you mean by "treat" them? Do you want to know how to scan them in the first place, how to enhance or manipulate them or how to print them?
Snapper Plus
12 4.2k 3 United States Outlying Islands
9 Sep 2007 11:01AM
Well funnily enough you may be better scanning them as colour negs rather than b&w, then convert them afterwards. This allows the scanner to pull out as much information as possible and the scan will probably end up looking like a toned b&w shot. Conversion would then be done by channel mixer or whatever method you normally use.
10 Sep 2007 12:25AM
Hi Chris,

I know how to scan them into the PC, and I know how to print them, but don't know how print to the edges.

Photoshop I'm still a beginner with.


thanks for that. I wouldn't have known about scannish as colour negatives. Maybe if they end up toned, it may improve the image!

With photoshop, I'm still learning, so nothing is normal! Smile

10 Sep 2007 6:03PM
Not sure about printing to the edges as my bottom-of-the-range printer won't do that, although most decent ones will these days I think. Don't you just set the margins to 0, or set the print scaling to a percentage that makes the image fit the paper size exactly.

The ideal scanner settings for various media types depends on your individual scanner so it's worth experimenting. Mine (Epson) produces better results when conventional b&w negs are scanned as such but XP2 scans better as colour neg.

By the way, PanF is an excellent film, my joint favourite with HP5, but not always practical due to the slow speed unless you're one of those nutters who lugs a tripod around Smile
12 Sep 2007 12:10AM
Hiya Chris,

Ha ha, yes, I'm a nutter and I got a tripod!

Seriously though, is HP5 a good all round black and white film? I understand Pan F is mainly for landscapes, which is my main enjoyment.

12 Sep 2007 9:58AM

Quote:is HP5 a good all round black and white film?

It's 400 and is famous for its latitude so is very versatile and can be used in most lighting conditions without running out of usable combinations of shutter speed or aperture. Not the obvious choice for landscapes with a tripod but definitely worth trying for more general photography.

You might also try Delta 100 which is excellent although it doesn't really suit me personally - horses for courses.
matt5791 Plus
12 747 1 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2007 10:53AM
HP5 is very good for photo-journalism, but as chris says, not a typical landscape film.

In 35mm, for classic landscapes, you would want to look at PanF and a tripod. However there is no "rule" that says you have to use a slow fine graned film for landscapes - you might want the extra grain of HP5 to impart some sort of feeling to the photograph - its all down to personal preference and what you are trying to achieve.

For the record, I think monochrome landscapes are one of the toughest areas of photography, and, in time, (not necessarily now) but once you have understood the basics and gained some experience, you might want to consider looking at Ansel Adams "The Negative" - the foundation stone for black and white negative exposure techniques, particularly for landscape photography.
12 Sep 2007 3:39PM

Quote:I think monochrome landscapes are one of the toughest areas of photography

Dead right there Matt, I've given up even trying. All I ever end up with are really boring images consisting of a few patches of uniform grey.
Mike_g Plus
10 38 United Kingdom
13 Sep 2007 9:56PM
It can be quite difficult to control the contrast on PanF. Try Delta 100 or FP4+, a little more speed, good tonality and not too obtrusive grain.

As far as boring uniform grey images, then that may be due to a number of factors. Are your negatives OK? Do they have a full range of tones? If yes, then try increasing the contrast by printing on a harder grade of paper or using levels in Photoshop. If the sky is boring, then burn it in, not all of it but perhaps graduated from the top. Try using an orange or red filter to darken the sky when shooting.

Look at other photographers work and try and work out how they have done it. Ansel's a good start, but some of the British photographers may be better -- try Fay Godwin and John Davies.

If your negatives are flat and lacking in contrast then try developing the film for 10-15% longer. If it's a very bright contrasty day then reduce development by 10%.

14 Sep 2007 10:23AM
Thanks for the advice Mike but I think my inability to do b&w landscapes is due not to bad technique but lack of empathy with the subject. I have to admit that I find the countryside a bit boring and that comes through in the photographs I take of it.

Easy problem to solve - I just take photographs of subjects I find interesting. Fortunately some photographers can make landscapes look interesting and I like to see their work, but I'll leave it to them.
Mike_g Plus
10 38 United Kingdom
14 Sep 2007 9:40PM

Quote:Thanks for the advice Mike but I think my inability to do b&w landscapes is due not to bad technique but lack of empathy with the subject. I have to admit that I find the countryside a bit boring and that comes through in the photographs I take of it.

Not a lot I can do about that. Other than to encourage you to get out into the country more -- it's a wonderful place!

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