Accutance Developer 8x10

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bobbysandstrom, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Acutance Developer 8x10

    What would be a good "Non Pyro" acutance developer for 8x10 contact printing? I use TXP 320 but would be open to other suggestions.
    Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2005
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Dilute Rodinal stand or semi-stand developed would be one of my choices in a non-staining, non tanning developer. Other choices would be one of the Ascorbate/Phenidone developers (like Xtol, DS-10 etc.) or Ascorbate/Metol developers(DS-12, Mytol, etc) . Then, there is always Neofin Blau (probably Metol) and/or Agfa 8 (Glycin).

    When you restrict the developers to non-pyro, that rules out a lot of developers (pyrogallol, hydroquinone and catechol to name a few).
     
  3. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    D-23 does pretty well. Strangely enough, it has very pronounced acutance behavior and is semi-compensating. The main complaint is its high sulfite content. If you are unhappy with the results of using it straight, try it at 1:3 (with about double the developing time). Most any of the acutance developers you would use for 35mm will perform the same way with 8X10. That opens up a whole pile of packaged products. You are not so concerned with grain at 8X10, so one of the staining developers could be very good. Try PMK of Pyrocat-HD.
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    D-76, X-Tol, and even Microdol-X, all 1+3 will give you sharp negs.
     
  5. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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    I have had good results with FX-1 (Photog’s Formulary), dilute Rodinal (Adorama), Calbe R09 and Neofin Blau (J and C) and similar high-acutance formulae.

    My overwhelming favorite since 1967 and also highly recommended as the gold standard by Leica is Ethol T.E.C. 4-ounce liquid now available from Freestyle. Dilute it 1:15 and just watch the magic!

    These chemicals seem to show the most pronounced effect with 400 speed conventional-emulsion films. In contrast, my experience indicates that heroic high-acutance concoctions have less dramatic results with slow modern emulsions like 100 Delta. Especially in LF.

    By the way, Microdol, while a superb developer, is not a high-acutance formula. Quite the opposite, in fact.
     
  6. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    If it's diluted, in can be.
     
  7. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Acutance tends to be much more noticable with 35mm rather than larger formats, by the time you get to 6x9 medium format, any differences are hardly noticable at all. Grain is hardly a problem when enlarging 4x5 negatives and none at all when contact printing, especially a 10x8 negative, the most important thing is to get the exposure and development right.
    Developers such as D-76, ID11, Xtol, DK-50, Rodinal etc should prove to be entirely satisfactory.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    D-76 contains hydroquinone and is thus a pyro family developer.

    Xtol is an acutance developer.

    Microdol-X is not an acutance developer.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I like highly dilute HC-110 (Dilution G, 1:119 from syrup) and reduced agitation. You may not see much difference, in 8x10, from more common dilutions and agitation schemes, however; my experience has been that the best effect is seen with enlargement factors around 4x, as with an 8x10 from a 6x9 cm negative. Less enlargement and the adjacency effects aren't really visible; more, and they quickly become obtrusive.
     
  10. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Yes, but you'll play heck getting it to stain with that much sulfite. If you mix your own D-76, try sometime keeping all concentrations but sulfite by the book, but reduce sulfite to 10 grams or less per liter instead of 100. This will be an experiment, so don't use it on a once-in-a-lifetime shot on LF film.
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    If you want a true acutance developer that is Metol based try Neofin Blau or the Beutler formula posted in the APUG Chemical Recipes.

    PMK contains Pyrogallol, and Pyrocat-HD contains Catechol and D-76, ID-11, DK-50 and HC-110 all contain Hydroquinone, so they are all presumably unacceptable to the originator of this thread.
     
  12. bobbysandstrom

    bobbysandstrom Member

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    Tom, I'm a little confused... pyrogallol and pyrocatechol were the chemicals I was refering to when I said non-pyro. Hydroquinone was not. Am I missing something?

    Thanks
    bob
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I don't agree with this. IMO the advantages of a high acutance developer are even more important with LF and ULF than with 35mm and medium format. With 35mm and medium format one usually magnifies the image in projection printing, which enhances the existing adjacency effects. Only so much is allowable, however, and at some point grain and loss of tonal values becomes objectionable.

    With LF and ULF, assuming the same film, developer and type of agitation, you will get the same level of .effects, but they will not transfer into as much apparent sharpness in a contact print because they are not enhanced in magnification..

    So with LF and ULF I think it best to chose a developer and type of agitation that maximizes acutance, since grain and loss of tonal qualities will rarely, if ever, become a major problem with film of size. Essentially one can get away with much more exaggerated effects since they won’t be magnified in enlargment.



    Sandy
     
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  15. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Bob,

    What Tom means is that pyrogallol, pyrocatechol and hydroquinone are all in the same family of developers, and there is not of lot of difference in toxicity between them. So if your purpose in rejecting pyro developers is based on concerns about toxicity, logic suggests that you would also want to reject developers that contain hydroquinone, which include many common ones.

    Or maybe you could just use catechol and not call it a pyro developer! Would Pyrocat-HD still be a pyro developer if I changed the name to CATCH-22?

    Sandy
     
  16. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes,

    Hydroquinone is a benzine ring chemical which differs from pyrocatechol only in the position of the OH on the benzine ring. In low sulfite developers, it proportionally stains and tans the emulsion. Its human toxicity level is similar to that of pyrocatechol.

    Pyrogallol, Pyrocatechol and Hydroquinone are most toxic to humans as dry chemicals - inhaled or ingested (this is also true of Metol, Glycin, PPD, Amidol, etc).

    In solution at working dilutions they are not really a health problem, unless you expose your skin or mucous membranes to them or drink them.

    When weighing and mixing dry chemicals do it under a hood or use a proper filter mask/respirator.

    Use nitrile gloves (I use SafeSkins) when handling wet chemistry. This precaution should be taken with most (if not all) developing chemistry.
     
  17. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Accutance developer .... humph! - An accutance developer builds ridges on light and dark borders. You can have a sharp photo without much accutance but high accutance will appear much sharpter. High accutance developers usually make the grain bigger. D-23 and MicrodolX erode the grain and have so much sulphite in them that they reduce sharpness for smoother tonality (which makes them low accutance). Most pyro developers increase sharpness by tanning the emulsion which allows greater activity at the edges. D-76 1:1 is pretty good at disolving and then re-depositing silver at the edges - but 76 full strength doesn't. XTOL has sulphite and does have decent accutance but I wouldn't say it is an accutance developer. Ascorbic Acid and Phenidone both tend to reduce accutance unless there is other chemistry that conpensates. I like 510 Pyro but it doesn't have near the accutance generation of P'cat. I have not seen triethonalamine developers - PC-TEA or 510 Pyro increase accutance alothough they make a sharp image, edge effects are not enhanced. And I have used all these developers quite a bit. For good usable accutance - I would place my money on P'cat but for non pyro: I'd stick with D-76(d) 1:1 D-76(h) is simpler and easier to homebrew - (no hydroquinone) or better would be Mytol - an XTOL homebrew using mostly vitamin C and a tiny bit of Phenidone and some ph buffers.
     
  18. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Hydroquinone solutions are not regarded as dangerous by contact. Millions of people have used skin creams with hydroquinone in concentrations around a few percent, comparable to very strong developer. They are regarded as safe by dermatologists for use up to three months.
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I beg to differ. Since sharpness and grain do not change to any significant degree with developing (still speaking LF and ULF here, where enlargement is typically small to none), I would place the main emphasis on tonality. Loss of tonal qualities is the only important thing to avoid. So find the developer and agitation pattern that gives the tonality you want, and forget about acutance and grain! The acutance, by your own argument, is irrelevant "since they won't be magnified in enlargement."
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    But your premise is incorrect because sharpness and grain do change in developing. That is why many people have switched to minimal types of agitaiton with LF and ULF to produce very enhanced adjacency effects. This also increases grain size somewhat but the effects are not significant with LF and ULF film.

    Obvioulsy you don't want to lose tonal qualities, but that is not going to happen with LF and ULF film so long as the macro contrast of the negative is normal. I suppose it is possible that the exaggerated edge effects could become so great at some point that they might interefer with tonal qualities, but this is not very unlikely to be seen with LF and ULF film because the effects are not enhanced by magnification.

    You are free to agree or not with my observation, but I know for a fact that in my own work I see greater apparent sharpness in contact prints that are made from negatives developed with minimal and extreme minimal agitation than from negatives developed with continuous agitation, as in rotary processing. And that is assumes that the negatives are developed to the same macro contrast. And in fact, before the thread was hijacked, that is exactly the point that people like Steve Sherman were making in the recent thread on stand development.


    Sandy
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In my experience the macro contrast is not related to tonality, instead tonality is something which "lives" between macro- and microcontrast. For lack of a better term I think of it as mesocontrast. Think of this as contrast over a range of up to a few mm - more than edge effects, yet too small to correct by burning & dodging.
    The greater apparent sharpness with minimal and extreme minimal agitation are due partly to an increase in mesocontrast as a consequence of the longer development needed to get the same macrocontrast as with continuous or "normal intermittent" agitation.

    I have seen the same effects, and in many cases find that it damages the "smoothness" I want. In other cases it is better, I won't argue against that.

    But my point is (or has become by now) that the agitation pattern is more important for the tonality than the type of developer. Still I have some favorite developers that I use when I have specific wants for tonality - like Efke 25 and 50 in Neofin Blau (or Beutler's).
     
  22. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The two proven, reliable, and best: FX-1 & FX-2

    I'd go with FX-2

    The easiest way is TFX-2, from Photographer's Formulary.

    Don't tell ANYBODY, but it is all that Pyro is and more. The KING.

    Comes in a two bottle kit. Easy.
     
  23. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    And then there is such a thing as too much accutance - like etching there is a point where the content of the image is distracted by the unusual look. I have used FX-2 and for moderate enlargements and greater - the accutance seemed harsh. I think there is a point of diminishing benefit. That point comes later for contact printing but I have found that for me; the accutance of p'cat in semi stand developing on MF through 4x5 with moderate enlarging is ideal. If I was going to make 16x20s from 6x6, I would stick to XTOL/MYTOL but for 11x14 - I get the smappy edges I am looking for from P'cat
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The use of the term "meso contrast" is new to me but I can understand how it might apply to prints from 35mm and medium format negatives when then net appearance of exagerrated adjacency effects are multiplied by magnification.

    Regardless, I have never seen any loss of tonal qualities of this type when contact printing with LF and ULF negatives. Granted, my own use of minimal and stand agitation has been with moderately diluted solutions of pictorial formulas such as FX-2, Pyrocat-HD and Rodinal, not with really extreme developers and dilutions. It is entirely possible that one might force the loss of tonal values with something akin to a 1:1:1000 dilution of Pyrocat-HD with stand development of 6-8 hours but I have never tested the premise.

    Sandy
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Nothing in photography seems to raise more controversy than the subject of adjacency effects as they relate to apparent sharpness. Part of the problem has surfaced here. There seems to be no combination of developer and procedure that gives optimum sharpness enhancement to all sizes and types of film. My experience with 35 mm film does no LF user much good. Their experiences do not help me a lot. But we load up and shoot at each other nonetheless.

    When I have found out as much as I can about sharpness in 35 mm format, I will post it as such. I will no longer ask anyone how the virtues of a specific developer can prevent the need for dodging and/or burning when printing a wide range scene. Perhaps when I have learned all there is to know about 35 mm, I will get someone to haul my 5X7 out to where I can do some good with it and start learning about it.
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sandy, I believe the only prior use of the term "meso contrast" is mine - from a discussion here at apug quite a long time ago. I use it as a "tag" for what I see happening with tonality independent of overall contrast and adjacency effects.

    A 35mm negative doesn't really have much of it; it's all macro- or micro- since the adjacency effects will be enlarged along with everything else. But from MF up I find it a very useful way to think of the intermediate-scale effects of dilution and agitation.