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After a 30 year hiatus, I would like to get back into B&W film photography. Where I live (Guatemala), none of the following films are available, so when I go to New York in a couple of months I plan on bringing a job lot of film and developer back with me.

I used to play with Pan-x (ASA 32) in school (1970s) but as a photojournalist shot only Tri-x (1980s).

I want to do some "artsy" work (mainly landscapes and buildings, but also some portraiture) and hand tint to achieve a "vintage" look. I'm looking for the tonal and dynamic range and fine grain I used to get with the discontinued Pan-x film.

Since Panatomic-X is no longer available, what film will give me the results most similar to the Pan-x? I have been reading about Ilford PanF 50 and Kodak TMax 100, but am not really sure what the difference is between "tabular" grain, and "cubic".

Maybe this is another question, but what developer will give better results with this: Microdol 1:3, or is there something better?

  • Since this is going to generate answers which are largely subjective, my recommendation is to buy a few rolls of each and see which makes you happy. Then order more online. – Carl Witthoft Aug 26 '16 at 11:18
  • Thank you, @CarlWitthoft I was trying to avoid that. None of the film, chemicals, equipment, etc. is available where I live, so I will be buying all when I travel. The only reliable mail delivery system in the country just lost its contract, and things used to go missing in customs all the time due to corruption anyway. – Cascabel Aug 26 '16 at 12:08
  • My apologies - didn't know Guatemala was as bad as Italy (cheap shot) at mail delivery. – Carl Witthoft Aug 26 '16 at 13:28
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    Since the materials will be sourced in New York, I'd suggest talking to someone there. B and H Photo comes to mind and my experience has been that its technical staff is reasonably available via internet and phone and knowledgeable. Though I'd suggest contact during their weekday business hours. – user50888 Aug 26 '16 at 16:17
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    @benrudgers That's exactly the place I'm headed--they always treated me well back in the day. I'm making up my wish-list based on their web-site. I'm starting to think I should buy a block of ten of each (+Tri-x) and D-76 and go from there. – Cascabel Aug 26 '16 at 16:22
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Try:

  • Rollei RPX 25 Black and White (ISO 25!!!) or
  • Rollei Retro 80S or
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100

There are plenty of them in the market, but not very many has so low ISO, which gives you great contrast.

A couple reviews or shots (there are many of them on the net :-) ):

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