Kodak Technical Pan, Super XX, and Verichrome Pan films – Were these better film stocks than what we can find today?

I ask my friend Greg why really old expired Kodak Tech Pan film fetches insane prices on eBay and his reply was, “It’s God’s film”.   He said that with the right developer, it would provide incredible grainless detail and long smooth tones and that it was better than say the ADOX CMS 20 II film which isn’t sensitive to all colors like Tech Pan was.   Greg is the one who also introduced me to Kodak Verichrome Pan which I immediately took to for the beautiful tonality that it can render.   Unfortunately for me, I’m very curious by nature, and have spent too much time and money collecting film from all these no longer produced emulsions.  I’ve just recently purchased 10 rolls 120 rolls and 100 sheets of 4×5 in Tech Pan, and a bunch of Verichrome Pan in different formats.   I also have some of the Adox CMS 20 II in 120 and 4×5 and am interested to compare it to the Technical Pan.   One problem with the Technical Pan is that the developer for this film called Technidol is also no longer produced.  You can find some on eBay but I don’t know how well it’s aged.   As I begin a foray into old film stocks, I’m adding some articles and blog posts that I’ve found along the way.

The first is one from Toivonen Photography that shows some images he made with Tech Pan in Technidol both expired. I’m just sharing one of his images that I think really shows the potential of this film, but check the link to his blog post to see a bunch more.

Kodak Technical Pan is one of those films that has interested me for decades. I remember reading about it back in 2003-2004 and of it’s extraordinary sharpness and smoothness. But, it was also famous for being difficult to process and having difficult to tame contrast. Last year, in 2020, I managed

Source: Tech pan in Technidol LC — Toivonen photography

Here’s another blog post on Tech pan, this one from Alex Luyckx, and using both liquid Technidol with Tech Pan and also some results using Pyro as a developer for Tech Pan. Again I’ll only post one image, this one taken with TP and developed in Pyro. There’s a lot of detail but it seems to me the highlights are lost? Very hard to make any calls on this with so many variables.


Downtown JC
Alex Luyckx Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Kodak Tech Pan @ ASA-25 – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 11:30 @ 20C

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