Author Topic: Foma Retropan 320  (Read 3673 times)

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Domingo A. Siliceo

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Foma Retropan 320
« on: May 31, 2016, 01:00:50 PM »
Hardly any examples in the forum with the Foma Retropan 320 film. Wonder why.

The other day, talking with my confrère Javi (MacArron in this and in other forums) through whatsapp about the Retropan, he asked me if I've developed it in D-76 - I answered him that the only process I've applied to this film is the reversal, obtaining black and white slides from it. We exchanged some other messages about that and, finally, he asked me to share my experiences if I finally develop the Retropan with a "normal" developer, not the Foma dedicated.

I have a box of 4x5 sheets in the fridge and since the weather is finally good, bright and dry, last Sunday I went out for a walk and exposed three plates which I show you.

First of all, I believe that Foma is very optimistic about the ISO of their films - with this belief, my first guess was to place an ISO 100 for the Retropan.

The developer employed is the Barry Thornton two bath developer - 21 degrees/5 minutes in bath A, 20 degrees/5:30 minutes in bath B. Fixed with plain hypo for 4 minutes. Some mistakes in the process since it seems I had air bubbles - I didn't clone them. Digitized with my Samsung NX 100 + bellows + EL-Nikkor 5.6/80mm, processed with dcraw and Gimp. Lens in this first set is Rodenstock Ysar 4.5/150mm.







As for comparison, these next two images are also Retropan - I shot them in January or February if I recall correctly. The main difference is that these are reversal processed, i.e., they are slides. A lot of difference, in my opinion - the resulting image here is much more clean and tones are more beautiful. The grain is absolutely absent. Lens in this set is Schneider Angulon 6.8/90mm.





I'm pretty sure I don't like this film...

Ricardo Miranda

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 12:19:57 AM »
Digitized with my Samsung NX 100 (...)
I'm pretty sure I don't like this film...

I'm sorry for you.
Retropan 320 Soft is a beautiful film even in 135 and when properly used and it is as good as at ISO 320 as it is at ISO 640 with the Retro developer.
Try next time to follow Foma's datasheet.

I like it for high contrast. The resulting softness is very appealing.
@320
6-24-2015_022 by Ricardo Miranda, on Flickr

@640
7-24-2015_047 by Ricardo Miranda, on Flickr

Even with stand development at 1+100 with Fomadon R09 it is very nice.
6-22-2015_003 by Ricardo Miranda, on Flickr

I like it very much.

Domingo A. Siliceo

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 08:35:52 AM »
No need to sorry, Ricardo - I think everyone should look and find his/her best film and developer combination and, to me, Retropan is not what I'm looking for. Too soft, too grainy and a lot of work in the digital stage of the process. Microphen times and dilution are in the official PDF from Foma, so maybe I'll try it next time.

Thanks for your comments and your photos.

Ricardo Miranda

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 10:46:51 AM »
You should try to print Retropan the traditional way.
That's what this film is meant for.

MacArron

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Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 10:23:48 PM »
Hi Domingo,

A pleasure to see you here :)

You're absolutely right: the obtained slides seem much better than the negatives. Being as you are a developer cook (with honours :) ) why don't you use some of the recommended developers for this type of film instead of trying marginal ones? I know you are able to mix the ingredients and get the magic potion. It is always exciting to try new things, but to me it is better to follow the instructions and later break the rules than the opposite. This is what I would do (and I will because I have a roll of this kind in the fridge)

I plan to use Rodinal 1+100 and see what happens.

Regards,
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 10:25:21 PM by MacArron »
Cameras to enjoy (I use them all):
Pentax P30/Pentax MZ5n/Yashica FX3/Contax 139Q/Contax RX/Mamiya C22/Exa 1b/Exa 1c/Kowa Six

Ricardo Miranda

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 10:58:00 PM »
Quote
I plan to use Rodinal 1+100 and see what happens.
I've done that as you can see above and I liked it.

Domingo A. Siliceo

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 08:16:14 AM »
[...]
why don't you use some of the recommended developers for this type of film instead of trying marginal ones?
[...]


yes, I'll try Microphen —or ID-68, a very close recipe to Microphen— and see what I'm able to get. As you know, I do not use Rodinal   ;)

MacArron

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 01:27:28 PM »
As you know, I do not use Rodinal   ;)

I know I know. You should try it someday... :)
Cameras to enjoy (I use them all):
Pentax P30/Pentax MZ5n/Yashica FX3/Contax 139Q/Contax RX/Mamiya C22/Exa 1b/Exa 1c/Kowa Six

Late Developer

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 12:23:36 PM »
I bought a roll of Retropan 320 in 35mm at Photographica a couple of weeks ago.  I ran it through my camera (Voigtlander Vitomatic II) and have it ready to be taken to the lab where I usually get my B&W processed.

The thought occurred to me that I should consider trying the proprietary Retropan developer but, as I don't currently do much processing, that isn't workable in the short-term.  Also, I'm interested to see how it compares to my usual HP5+ and Tri-X using equivalent chemicals.

I'm unlikely to use much of this film as I'm really a fan of HP5+, Tri-X and XP2 Super, however, it will be good to have something lower contrast and a bit grainier available.  I actually like the first three shots posted.  The transparency versions are really very nice but the tonality and absence of grain isn't what I'm looking for at the moment.

Incidentally, the Foma chap at Photographica gave me a trial pack of 5 sheets of the 5x4 film, so I'll be using these (as negatives) so I'll post the results once I've used them / had them processed.

"An ounce of perception. A pound of obscure".

Ricardo Miranda

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2016, 07:45:28 PM »
I hope you enjoy using it.

Domingo A. Siliceo

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 08:52:48 AM »
[...]
the tonality and absence of grain isn't what I'm looking for at the moment.
[...]

in my opinion, grain and very low contrast are two strong characteristics in Retropan. At some stage of the reversal process —Sulphuric Acid, maybe— the grain completely disappears, but tonality is still there and remains basically the same as in negatives: after I digitized the negatives, I must push energetically the contrast and the blacks in PS.

I think HP5 has more contrast and less grain - I don't know about Tri-X or XP2.

Late Developer

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 07:40:07 PM »
[...]
the tonality and absence of grain isn't what I'm looking for at the moment.
[...]

in my opinion, grain and very low contrast are two strong characteristics in Retropan. At some stage of the reversal process —Sulphuric Acid, maybe— the grain completely disappears, but tonality is still there and remains basically the same as in negatives: after I digitized the negatives, I must push energetically the contrast and the blacks in PS.

I think HP5 has more contrast and less grain - I don't know about Tri-X or XP2.

Thanks Domingo.  I gave the film to the lab today and will see what comes back.  I shot the 35mm at ISO200 so getting a decent neg shouldn't be an issue (unless my old Voigtlander's meter is way off).
"An ounce of perception. A pound of obscure".

Domingo A. Siliceo

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2016, 11:04:35 AM »
Four more shots from last Monday.

This time, as per Foma technical sheet, I exposed the 4x5 negatives at ISO 320 and used ID-68 (Microphen clone) undiluted, 8 minutes, 19 C degrees, as the developer. To my eye, contrast seems much more adequate and grain looks restrained and tasteful than with Barry Thornton two bath developer - definition remains low. Negatives have been easier to digitize, with tiny adjusts under Gimp.

With those process conditions, I've had some defects in the emulsion (as you can see in third image, upper left corner) - maybe one should use hardener fixer. Don't know if others have had this same issue. I know I should clean my Samsung's sensor, I know, I know...

These are the images.









Domingo A. Siliceo

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2016, 08:33:51 AM »
If someone wants 10 sheets of this film, I've posted a message in the Share the Film II thread.

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2016, 03:18:59 PM »
The results from developing Retropan 320 in non-bespoke Foma developer were considerably grainier than I imagined.  I don't know what developer was used, by the way.  I like grain, generally, but this was considerably more than I get from Tri-X and HP5+ and I'm still not sure if I like it.  The camera I used was a Voigtlander Vitomatic II with a great lens on the front.  Exposure was just about right, looking at the negatives.  However, I might just give the film another go in a modern camera with a modern meter (probably my F5). I do like the sort of "glow" that the film seems to produce.

These were shot at Bradwell on Sea (Essex coast / salt marsh / mud-front) a few weeks ago. I've had a bit of a play with the jpegs in LR CC and Silver Efex pro, to boost darks and lights and add a slight sepia tone as I really didn't like the straight B&W look. I've got another set on this board - taken the same day but using XP2 Super via a Hasselblad SW/C:  http://www.filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=8690.0 and the results couldn't be more different.


"An ounce of perception. A pound of obscure".

AJShepherd

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Re: Foma Retropan 320
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2016, 04:53:58 PM »
I shot a roll a few weeks ago in my OM-1 and developed it in rodinal. Was quite shocked by just how incredibly grainy it was. Maybe I should have tried Caffenol instead as that was the only other thing I had to hand.
Also had a strange fogging - does it have a weak anti-halation layer? Looked like light had got in the top few layers through the slot, as in the image below.
Don't think I'd try again as I'm probably not going to want to shoot enough of it to buy the special developer.