"Best" developer for Fuji Acros

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ssloansjca, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    I bought a boatload of this film in 35mm. Here's what I value in the kind of photos I shoot (moving trains):

    1. Long Tonal Scale
    2. Speed (in this case ISO 100) since I shoot moving subjects
    3. Sharpness
    4. Fine Grain
    5. Economy

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. I have been considering Rodinal. My normal dilution being 1:25.

    Here is my work flow:

    I keep a couple of gallons of water at the same temp as my developer. There is no possible temp variation from the moment the film is wet until the film is hardened.

    1: Pre-soak
    2: Develop
    3: Post-Soak
    4: 1 minute in stop bath (28% glacial acetic acid diluted 1:32)
    5: Fix four minutes or twice the time to clear the film in Rapid-Fix w/hardner, whichever is longer.
    6: 1-2 running water rinse.
    7: One min in Perma Wash
    8: 5 min running water rinse.

    Your suggestions are greatly appreciated:

    ~Steve Sloan
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    As a dev/film combo I'd have thought that Acros and Rodinal would be fine but even in the light conditions of your location and depending on train speeds, camera to subject distance and angle, I'd have thought that ISO100 is maybe taking a risk unless you pan as you shoot.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    For a long tonal scale, I'd recommend stand developing in Rodinal. I find that it's fantastic with Acros. I usually dilute 1+100, agitate for one minute, and let it stand for an hour, maybe with one or two inversions at the thirty-minute mark. It's especially good for taming the contrast of a very sunny day.

    Here is my favorite example of this technique from my own work.

    Unless I'm mistaken, it should give you everything you're looking for, especially economy. Of course, I've only been shooting for two years, so if I'm mistaken with any of my information, I welcome more experienced photographers to correct me.
     
  4. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    rate at 160, dev 5+5 in diafine.
     
  5. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Replenished Xtol.
     
  6. Rob Archer

    Rob Archer Member

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    I've had good results with Rodinal at 1:50. The best I've had with this film, however is ID11 at 1:1. I generally downrate the film to 80 for sightly better shadow detail, but I accept that you probably wouldn't want to do this for moving train pictures! It's an unusual choice of film for such a subject if I may say so.

    Rob
     
  7. photophil

    photophil Member

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    I got very good results in SPUR SD2525 but then you only have effective ISO80. So mybe thats to slow for you.

    PHILIP
     
  8. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've processed very little Fuji Acros but remember DD-X worked well.

    Tom
     
  9. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I'm keeping an eye on this thread. I shot my first roll of 120 Acros and soup it in Xtol this weekend. My first impression is that it's amazing stuff. Haven't see a film base so clear since I used T-Max 20 years ago. Shooting it at the rated ASA and souped in Xtol yields fantastic shadow detail. The other developers I use are HC-110 and Pyro PMK. My usual film is Arista EDU Ultra. I love the film souped HC-110, but it goes into reciprocity failure too fast. I plan to take a trip to Cambodia and do some interior shots. I think Fuji Acros would be an ideal film for long exposures with a tripod. I'm still in the testing phase. My intention is to print with the negs. I hope my negs print easily. But so far, I'm impressed.
     
  10. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    This looks like it was shot in the sun; do you remember what your actual exposure was (f-stop and shutter speed)?
     
  11. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    Thanks for the tips!

    Not able to speak for others; but 1/500 at f 6.3 is plenty fast enough to stop action of the types of trains we have here in the US. Most of the places I prefer to go shoot is in the mountains and the trains are going less than 35 mph. I used to use Kodachrome II and Panatomic X in my cameras. Now I use Astia/Provia and Plus-X/Acros. For low light and long lenses I have two other cameras with Provia 400X and Tri-X/Neopan 400.

    For those who are interested, here is some of my work.

    ~Steve Sloan
     
  12. Hal Reiser

    Hal Reiser Member

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    I have been shooting moving trains for the last 35 years. Based upon my experience you should be fine with Acros on sunny days. To achieve what you say you want to, your going to need to work with high shutter speeds and smaller lens apetures to hold the train and to get as much depth of field as possible. If you have fast lens' than you should be okay. If you shoot on cloudy days than you might have trouble holding those parameters.


    I orginally started out in the late 70's shooting in 35mm. After about two years I went to medium format mounted on a tripod. If your serious about shooting trains you might want to think about that as the jump in fine grain and tonality is as different as night and day compared to 35mm.


    It sounds like you are familiar with Rodinal so work with that and see how you like it. It will probably be a little on the grainy side depending on how large a print you make.

    For years my developer was D-76 1:1 but several years ago I switched to a Xtol replensished system. It yields really fine grain negatives with a full tonal range. If you're not comfortable with replenishment then Xtol 1:1 would be a good alternative.

    Hal
    MP 30 Hudson Division
     
  13. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    I just posted today my deal with Acufine and you can shoot at a higher asa/iso that the film indicates. Not sure why the post soak I would be afraid of uneven development if any residual developer was left.
     
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  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Rodinal will give you a long straight line and Xtol 1+1 or 1+2 will give you finer grain and smoother tonality at large enlargement, but less bite. It might also tame hot highlights a touch by introducing a slight shoulder.

    If making big prints out of 35mm, I would go for Xtol. It will also give you more film speed than Rodinal (by about 1/2 stop), but as always its about personal opinion. I love rodinal with some films but it can be a bit hot when the sun comes out, unless you are able to develop a whole roll with contrast reduction in mind.
     
  16. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Unfortunately not, since I never keep notes on anything except large format, which I've just started. I do remember, though, that it was taken when I was in a habit of ignoring the light meter and adhering to the sunny 16 rule, and this was a sunny day. So the odds are very good that it's EV 15, so either 1/125@f/16, 1/250@f/11, or 1/500@f/8. The camera had just been CLA'd, too, so the shutter speeds should be pretty good.
     
  17. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    The best developer is ID-11. Hands down. No competition. Close the thread.

    PS I haven't tried anything else. :smile:
     
  18. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I'm not sure if it's "the best", but Fuji's Super-Prodol developer is quite nice for Fujifilms (unsurprisingly). I'm not sure of its availability in the US, but at least in Japan it's rather cheap (only a few dollars for a bag of 1liter mixture).

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=super-prodol
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That film looks great in any developer. It is sharp and fine grained, period, and won't show differences between developers as readily as some coarser-grained and less sharp films. You will likely see differences in tonality using box recommendations, but if you are testing for "normal" developing to begin, the differences in tonality between developers will be slighter than you would imagine. Lighting and printing are significantly more important than the film developer used. I would just use whatever I was already using. Or, if you really want to try something new, and since you mentioned economy, how about replenished D-23 (or even one shot D-23)?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2011
  20. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    What's a "post-soak"??? Never heard of it.

    Of course, I've only been developing film for 56 years, so perhaps I missed something. :confused:

    - Leigh
     
  21. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    Leigh B:

    I "post soak" in water at exactly the same temp of the developer, after development, with inversion agitation, to remove excess developer so there is no chemical reaction with the stop bath. Water is cheap. I store a couple of gallons of water and all my chemicals in the same place.

    Then into the stop it goes, then into fixer. I do not want any temp variation at this step so I do not use a running water rinse until the film is hardened; because in my house that varies a lot. I have never had a problem with this, but I have only been developing film for 20 years less than you have. I was born shortly after you started developing film.

    :smile:

    ~Steve
     
  22. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    But a chemical reaction is the whole reason for using a stop bath in the first place.

    - Leigh
     
  23. ssloansjca

    ssloansjca Member

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    I use the added step so the transition from developer to stop is less abrupt. Since I cannot use a running water bath at this stage because the temp fluctuates so much, developer, then water bath with agitation then stop, then fix, does a pretty good job in my work flow. Hey, it works for me and I was having reticulation with the running water and pinholes with thin emulsion films going straight from developer to stop.

    ~Steve
     
  24. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    I've never heard of anybody using running water as a stop bath, nor have I ever seen it recommended in any literature.

    - Leigh
     
  25. sewarion

    sewarion Member

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    I developed half a dozen of rolls of Acros in FX-39, 1+14, 9:00 min, 2 inversions per minute. E.i. 80. Great sharpness and good shadow detail, but the look is a bit dull (long, but rather flat tonal scale*). Maybe I will go back to 9:30, which is what I did my first two rolls with (found it to be a bit dense, that's why I reduced the time), or try 6:30 in 1+9. Anyway, I like both the film and the developer, it's just a question of refining my process.

    cheers,
    sewarion

    *The look I get is quite similar to yeknom02's sample image, as far as it is possible to judge from a scan (I do not scan but only print).
     
  26. Domingo A. Siliceo

    Domingo A. Siliceo Member

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    have you tested this combination? DigitalTruth says ISO100, 9 minutes. Aside from that, really poor information about this combo in the internet...