APX100: which developer for the finest grain?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Ara Ghajanian, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    I suppose the title says it all. I've been developing APX100 135 in Rodinal and I love the results. It is a bit grainy for a 100 speed film, so I was wondering what you guys and gals use for a developer with APX100 to get super fine grain.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
     
  2. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Stock XTOL is giving me fine grain.
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I use DDX for the finest grain.
    However Rodinal 1+100+vitamin C gives similar results with better sharpness
     
  4. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    I've heard about using vitamin C, but never investigated. Obviously, it's not vitamin C in tablets. Where can I buy it, in what form and how much should I use? Also, what exactly does it do for the development process?

    Ara
     
  5. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I think Patrick Gainer is the best person to ask about how does that work.

    From his writings/teachings/messages I have done the following:
    - Ascorbic acid or erythorbic acid can be bought in powdered from from a health store, trader joe's or now foods online. Sodium ascorbate would be best but I have iso-ascrobic acid now.
    - I mix 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid per 300 ml of water, then neutralize the acid by adding baking soda slowly until the fizzing subsides and then add the Rodinal
    - Development times for 1+100+C are the same as 1+50 [without the C]

    Read the article in unblinkingeye about Rodinal, at the end there is a note explaining how this works
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Rodinal/rodinal.html

    Paragraph 7 in the above article gives you the info from Patrick "Gadget" Gainer via his correspondence with Ed Buffaloe. I've tried it on one roll of HP5+ so far and liked the results. It also gives higher EI ratings than Rodinal alone, as the combination is superadditive.

    The Vitamin C is as sodium ascorbate, available from NOW foods, perhaps at a vitamin or health food store near you, but also online from NOW foods. Trader Joe's also carries the correct form at a good price.

    Google on "gainer C rodinal" and you'll learn more.

    Lee
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Other fine grain devs include, but not limited to: D-76 1+0, Microdol-X, Perceptol, and the PPD devs which you can mix yourself or buy from Photographers Formulary.
     
  8. david b

    david b Member

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    Rodinal 1+100
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I just developed a 120 roll (6X9) with a Ewal 12 clone, very tight grain and sharp. I am looking for a replacement for120 Plus X and have 4 more rolls of APX100 and plan to develop them in Microdol X, D76 1:1 and Acufine at 200.
     
  10. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    WD2D+. Amazing results on APX100.


    tim in san jose
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, the lowest price I've found on ascorbic acid is The Chemistry Store, perhaps because they sell "technical" grade, which is presumably unfit for human consumption but works fine as a developing agent. It's best to order from them if you want other chemical supplies, though, to avoid paying too much on shipping, on a per-pound basis.
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    IIRC (Edit: and I didn't recall correctly), Trader Joe's price on the food grade sodium ascorbate is roughly the same as The Chemistry Store's tech grade ascorbic acid, so if you have one nearby, it's probably the most economical. You also don't need to do the baking soda conversion that titrisol mentions with sodium ascorbate. The Chemistry Store doesn't list sodium ascorbate, and Trader Joes' doesn't sell online.

    Lee

    Edit:
    Please note that Trader Joe's carries ascorbic acid, not sodium ascorbate, as mentioned in several following posts. My four month old recall failed me. At least I had the price right. I apologize for any confusion or wasted trips to Trader Joe's.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2005
  13. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    Are you sure that Trader Joe's sells Sodium Ascorbate? I've only seen Ascorbic Acid powder at TJ's, for $ 9.99 per pound.

    Mike Sullivan
     
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  15. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    I've gotten some very interesting results using PMK. That said, I'm now in the process of trying out PyroCat because I want to see how the printing characteristics differ on VC paper between the two developers. Specifically, how brown colored stain affects contrast vs yellow green colored stain.

    Mike Sullivan
     
  16. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

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    I use APX 100 35mm in Ilford Perceptol 1:3 // ISO 40 // 75F @ 17.5-18 Minutes.
     

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  17. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I switch back and forth between Xtol 1:2 and DD-X 1:4 depending on whether I have the time to mix up the Xtol or not. I don't see much difference between the two. But then again I'm not one to haul out a densitometer either. The proof is in the prints and they look fine to me. I was EXTREMELY upset with Agfa disco'd APX100 in 4x5.
     
  18. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Ditto for me. I use Trader Joe's Ascorbic Acid powder in various developers - works great. I have never seen Sodium Ascorbate in Trader Joe's (Thousand Oaks & Manhattan Beach, CA).
     
  19. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I find Paterson FX-39 gives finer grain than Rodinal 1:25.
     
  20. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    another vote for Rodinal 1:100
     
  21. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Sorry folks. My mistake. I was going from 4 or 5 month old memory and didn't have time to make the 25 mile round trip to check the product itself (and you can't check online, which I did try to do before posting). I already had NOW foods sodium ascorbate and another brand of ascorbic acid by the time a local Trader Joe's opened here early this last spring, so only saw the product on the shelf and didn't need to buy any.

    I apologize for any confusion I caused, and will edit my original post to correct it.

    Lee
     
  22. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    As long as you're going to be mixing your own developer, why bother with Rodinal at all? Just use a straight Vitamin C/Phenidone/carbonate developer which will give you great tones and very fine grain with APX.

    You might try this combo:
    4g Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C powder from health food store)
    6g sodium carbonate
    1 g Phenidone (4ml 1% Phenidone solution mixed in 90% alcohol)
    1 liter water

    Try a starting time of approximately 7:30. You can tweak it from there.

    Larry
     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    All these comments are true, I'm sure. As long as you have Rodinal on your shelf, you may as well try adding the ascorbate. I found that the character of Rodinal is still there, but with finer grain and somewhat higher film speed.

    If you get Vitamin C from druggist or heath food store, be sure it is not dehydroascorbic acid or ester C. Dehydroascorbic acid is converted to ascorbic acid by our bodies, but not by our films. Ester C is usually a calcium ascorbate or something similar that is not very soluble in water. Oil doesn't work very well as a solvent for developers. If you get ascorbic acid or its mirror image erythorbic acid, be sure to neutralize it as previously mentioned with sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate. You could also use the potassium equivalents. Without this neutralization, the pH becomes too low for development. The bicarbonate you buy at the grocery store is quite pure, and if you are squeamish you can weigh it and the ascorbic acid to get equimolar amounts. The ratio will be 40 parts of NaHCO3 to 176 parts of ascorbic or erythorbic acid.
     
  24. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    APX 100 + Finest grain

    For the finest grain with all things APX, for 11 yrs I've been using Agfa Studional. (In EU it's marketed as "Rodinal Special"). Especially made by Agfa for the finest grains from their films. Plus the tonality is fantastic. Dilute as per the bottle (1:15) and just wait for the grain to disappear!

    Rolleijoe
     
  25. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    According to the New Zealand (March 2003) MSDS for Agfa Rodinal Special, the ingredients are:

    Potassium sulfite
    Triethanolamine
    Hydroquinone
    Phenidone
    Potassium Bromide
    EDTA-alkali salt
    Water

    Working solution pH is approximately 9.3

    I expect that Ilford PQ Universal Developer at the appropriate dilution would produce very similar results - although I would expect its pH to be a bit higher (carbonate versus triethanolamine).
     
  26. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The cheapest source for sodium ascorbate (as sodium erythorbate) is www.suttonsbayspices.com/Sausage_Supplies.html. They sell it for $6.33 for 16 ounces. Sodium erythorbate or sodium isoascorbate is photochemically equivalent to sodium ascorbate. The people at Suttons Bay are very nice to deal with and very prompt in shipping.