B&W paper chemistry study

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pavelww, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. pavelww

    pavelww Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm doing a study of how and why people use specific B&W paper chemistry products. Those products are listed below. I'm interested in feedback about the charateristics of each product, why you use this particular product, if you use it for any particular type of photography, and the advantages and disadvantages of each product.

    The products are: Agfa Neutol-Plus LOR, Agfa Neutol-WA, Edwal G, Edwal Platinum II, Edwal TST, Edwal Ultra-Black Developer, Ilford 2000RT, Ilford 2150, Ilford Bromophen, Ilford Multigrade, Ilford PQ, Kodak Dektol, Kodak Ektaflo, Kodak Ektamatic S30 Stabilizer, Kodak Ektamatic SII Activator, Kodak Polymax T, Kodak Selectol Soft, Kodak Selectomat.

    I'd much appreciate comments on any or all of these products, and I'll promise to share my study results with responding participants by November 4, 2004.

    Thanks
    pavelww@comcast.net
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    What is the purpose of the study, what is your goal?
     
  3. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

    Messages:
    3,042
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not quite in the spirit of sharing analog knowledge me thinks :sad:
     
  4. pavelww

    pavelww Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The purpose of this study is academic. It's a required assignment at my college, and I'm also seeking to learn more about various chemicals. I'm at the intermediate B&W stage of learning.
    Pavelww
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Well, I dont know, but opinions are like orifices in your body, we all got one, and rarely are two the same. With exception of the Azo minions (kidding guys, lighten up,ok? :tongue:). I find it unusual that someone would assign a research paper on the opinions of people who use these developers. Could the question have been, we have made these paper developers available to you, test them and report your experiences?

    Sorry for not providing any answers yet, but just want to make sure I am not making your homework.
     
  6. titrisol

    titrisol Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use ethol LPD as a paper developer because it's cheap, last a long time and give deep blacks or warm tones depending on dilution
    I have also used Dektol, Agfa MC and Neutol, Ilford PQ universal
    I find AGFA Neutol to give good tonality but I'm hooked to LPD
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    Here's a post that I made about Edwal Ultra Black last December:

    I did some testing last night with Ilford MG RC and MG IV FB. This is just a first test with a single neg but it appeared that I could back off a half a grade over the same print souped in Dektol and still get a solid D-Max while seeing a slightly expanded range in the lighter tones. In other words, the shadows printed like a 2 1/2 while the highlights printed like a 2. I'm looking forward to trying it with a wider variety negs.
    I tested using a 1:11 dilution and a 2 1/2 minute developing time at around 70ºf.
    *********
    Since then, I have switched to using Polymax Fine Art paper in the less expensive and more ubiquitous Dektol 1:2 and have found the results excellent and IMHO, superior.
     
  8. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I don't play around with different chemicals that much.
    I use Dektol and have for over 25 years. It is inexpensive, can be bought almost anywhere yellow things are sold and it gives great results!

    Jorge told me what he uses Agfa Neutol-Plus LOR for, but I promised not to tell anyone. Some things are illegal, even in Mexico.

    -Mike
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,980
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I wouldn't call that a "study" so much as a "marketing survey." What's the rationale for this particular selection of products, some of which aren't even developers?

    If you're interested in what various developers do, you can learn a lot more by mixing up a few trays of different types of developer and producing the best print you can from the same negative on the same paper with each of them. Pick a range that will give you clearly different effects--something standard like Dektol, a soft-working developer like Selectol Soft, maybe a glycin developer (Fine Arts Photo Supply and Photographer's Formulary sell them), and something like Weston's Amidol (Photo Formulary sells a kit). If you want to try mixing your own, you have even more options, and you'll learn even more about the chemistry of developers.
     
  10. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Location:
    sao paulo -
    I use a developer not included in your list : Beers, for contrast control.
     
  11. Juraj Kovacik

    Juraj Kovacik Member

    Messages:
    475
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Bratislava,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I use to use Ilfrod Multigrade, but now I'm working only with Ilford PQ - I like its generall results more, its tonality . I'm printid on Ilford or Foma papers.
     
  12. pavelww

    pavelww Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Shooter:
    35mm
    More on what study is about

    This is an assignment from a college professor who formed us into 3 teams of about 8 people per team. My team is to look characteristics and pros/cons of all chemistry. Other teams doing film, papers. Within my chemistry team, I'm doing a select number of chemistries for paper. The assignment was to research via photogs, labs, net, etc. There isn't time (or money) to try all these chemicals out, as much as I'd like to. This is not marketing research and will strictly be used to report out at class on these chems.

    Thanks to those who have responded with info on the chems, with whom I'll share my results. Appreciate any more input.

    Pavelww
     
  13. Max

    Max Member

    Messages:
    97
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Wow. That's kind of like a culinary school telling you to research all the kinds of mushrooms (or whatever) by asking people to talk about them.
     
  14. rakuhito

    rakuhito Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    alright. i'll bite -- if only to make some pro arguements for agfa neutol, only to then veer off into inanity.

    agfa neutol is awesome. in my book the best general developer around. it's cheap, once diluted for use lasts quite a long time, is better than most for the environment, and comes in liquid form, i.e. no chemical mixing which is safer and more convenient.

    in the past i always just used the tried and true dektol, but the mixing is a pain -- especially with the high temperature and waiting for it to cool - though one day i did figure out i could just dilute the fresh mix with cold water... (sometimes i think that photography, especially the technical stuff, is a path of minor epiphanies; or as homer simpson might say 'doh!').

    i never cared for ilford products. no reason really. i'd try a roll of film, or the developer or whatever and it just never stuck with me as something to do again. that was back in the day when i was still thinking hard about f-stops, so figuring out why hp5 made my pictures look sucky and tmy didn't was a bit beyond me (plus there wasn't nice places on the internets to ask such things). whereas agfa products just fit me a lot better - meaning that everything just came out right. i don't know. i say this only because i think many photographers just, for whatever reason, find a film/developer/paper/developer combo that works - and sometimes that combo is by accident and circumstance. and, you know, once things are working it's best to not question the fundamentals.

    so, yes, back to my point: as an everyday run of the mill developer agfa neutol rocks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2004
  15. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

    Messages:
    446
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Manhattan Be
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I agree. The old "desert island" question of what one combination would you take if you had only one.... I have used almost nothing but PMFA FD for 5 years, and Dektol was just fine. I have recently tried Edwal Ultra Black, and I like it too, but not enough to justify the difficulty obtaining it--it's special order at my camera shop. The discount stores won't ship liquids to residences. I ordered enough for a year or two, but I could go back to Dektol tomorrow.

    I liked Selectol Soft when using graded paper, but it has little utility with MG. It has a warm tone which is rarely to my liking. If I want brown I use palladium or Kallitype.

    Just as a man who wears two watches doesn't know which to trust, the photographer who knows a little about a dozen developers, in the end, knows nothing.
     
  16. hansbeckert

    hansbeckert Inactive

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Most paper developers are fairly similar. It's pointless to do this as a survey. You should do the comparsions yourself.
     
  17. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

    Messages:
    2,894
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    What a line! You should use that as your APUG signature!
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,105
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i have been using a developer for between 5 and 7 years called ansco 130. it isn't on your list. it isn't too expensive, has a long tonal range, works very well dilute as it does straight, works with film as well as paper, and has a HUGE shelf life ( i just finished stock solution i mixed maybe more than 1 1/2 years ago). in a tray it will last about 30 days.
     
  19. hansbeckert

    hansbeckert Inactive

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Your 'professor' sounds a little 'kooky' to me, or else you have completely misunderstood the nature of the assignment. There is no point to this except as a usage survey.
     
  20. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

    Messages:
    4,532
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thank you, I thought I was the only one to whom this assigment did not make sense...
     
  21. hansbeckert

    hansbeckert Inactive

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Ektamatic? This was discontinued years ago!
     
  22. titrisol

    titrisol Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format