Delta 400 and perceptol

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

  1. mhainz

    mhainz Member

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    Just thought I'd try some Delta 400 in 120 format and was looking up development times for my fave finegrain developer Perceptol. Could only find times with the film rated at 200-320. Does the film perform better at these speeds? Then again considering I'll be printing from 6x7 negs, would grain be an issue anyway?

    What are people's opinions of this film and what developers do you recommend?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Delta 400, Perceptol stock, EI 200, 12 min., agitating every minute is a great combination, with a smooth look, solid blacks and delicate highlights.

    At the expense of a little more grain, try it in D-76 (1+1), EI 400, 14 min., also agitating every minute.

    Try both and see which you like. I prefer it in Perceptol, and would use it more often if it came in sheet sizes.
     
  3. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I use 120 Delta 400 rated at E.I. 200 and develop in Phenidone/Vit. C developer for 6 minutes at 70 degrees. Great tonal scale, and virtually no grain from either 645 or 6X7 negs.

    Developer formula: 1 tsp. Kodalk (sodium metaborate), 1/2 tsp. Vit. C powder from health food store, 4ml 1% Phenidone solution to one liter of water. (I dissolve 1 gram Phenidone in 100ml of 90% alcohol; this stock keeps for many months.) I use it as a one-shot, but one liter will actually process four rolls of film without a problem. I have a two-roll tank, and often do a second run, increasing the time by 1 minute the second run. Can't tell the difference in the negs from the first run.
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I've used Delta 400, rated at EI 320, developed in Perceptol diluted 1+3 for 17½ mins at 24°C. That combination gives me what I consider to be low graininess for the speed. However, I prefer TMY in Perceptol 1+3, and find that I can set my meter to 400 with that combination (12 mins at 24°C). I use 200 ml of stock Perceptol per film - ie 800 ml of dilute developer.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Perceptol vs Microdol

    How does Ilford's Perceptol 1:3 compare to Kodak's Microdol-X 1:3?
    Does Perceptol give an Adjacency Effect with 1:3 dilution?
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    'How does Ilford's Perceptol 1:3 compare to Kodak's Microdol-X 1:3?'
    I'd say it compares closely.

    'Does Perceptol give an Adjacency Effect with 1:3 dilution?'
    I've not noticed anything obvious, but it gains in sharpness over stock Perceptol largely because it changes from being high sulphite to low sulphite (as far as I know). One of the reasons I like it is because it gives a good, natural sort of balance between smoothness and sharpness.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. transporti686

    transporti686 Member

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    Hi everyone, how speed should I use for Delta 400 or TMX 400 in Perceptol 1+1? EI 200 or 320?
     
  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Perceptol and Microdol are similar if not identical. They are essentially D-23 variants (it is generally assumed they contain slightly less Metol than D-23) with the addition of Sodium Chloride for extra solvent effect. This also results in a speed loss. You lose at least 1 stop, and if you wish to maintain the extra fine grain properties of the developer, use the same EI regardless of dilution (1+0, 1+1, 1+3). Even with dilution, if you want the best out of Perceptol I suggest accepting the speed loss, and also developing to relatively soft contrast. Anything else amounts essentially to overdevelopment and the extra fine grain characteristics relative to a standard solvent developer are quickly lost, in which case you've gained nothing vs D-76, XTOL etc.

    Dilution to 1+1 and 1+3 increases sharpness slightly, but don't expect much in the way of compensating action or enhanced adjacency effects even with reduced agitation. It is not that type of developer.

    Microdol-X was similar or identical to Microdol but with the addition of at least one extra compound - an anti-plating/anti-sludging agent which may or may not have improved sharpness slightly. Some sources claim it was a weak anti-silvering compound, other sources say it was a mercaptan. The exact formula is proprietary.

    Perceptol is a fine developer, and extremely consistent in use. However I don't see the benefit of using a speed-losing extra fine grain developer with a fast film such as Delta 400 or TMax 400. You lose at least a stop of speed, and the extra fine grain effect is not as pronounced as one might expect (I don't really find it finer grained than XTOL), so it isn't like you're going to make Delta 400 look like Delta 100 in terms of graininess.

    From a graininess perspective, you are always best off first choosing the finest grain and/or slowest film you can get away with, rather than trying to smooth out the inherent granularity of a faster film. Since you will lose at least a stop with Perceptol, if you want finer grain than Delta 400 normally gives, you're better off using a finer grained film like Delta 100 with a developer giving full film speed (XTOL, D-76/ID-11 etc.). You'll have better sharpness this way too. When you try to reduce the inherent granularity of a fast film with a highly solvent developer you risk getting a "mushy" look to the grain - which will still be prominent.

    Also note regarding TMX 400, it is already an extremely fine grained film for its speed.
     
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  9. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    My film / developer combination of choice for over 10 years has been Delta 400 with an E.I of 200 developed in Barry Thornton's Two-Bath developer (5.5 mins in Bath A and 5.5 mins in Bath B).

    For my work I find it the perfect combination (all the images on my website are using this combination in a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens). My standard prints are on 16 x 12" paper with a white border and I find the grain fine.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  10. ghart

    ghart Member

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    It depends on the "look" that you are after. Very subjective, depends on what you shoot, etc. etc. It's my no 1 film for "pictorial" work, mainly landscape and associated architecture, on account of excellent tonality and even handling of the values from top to bottom. I expose at EI 200 and develop in ID-11 1+1 for 8 min at 20 degC, agitation constant for the first 30 sec then 4 inversions per minute.

    Perceptol gives finer grain but IMO less good tonality. I agree with Michael R's comments on Delta 100. But for my purposes, tonality is better with Delta 400 and unless you print very big, grain doesn't interfere.
     
  11. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    I would choose Xtol over D-76 though.


    Delta 400 exposed at 100, in 24 degrees celsius seasoned/replenished Xtol, two gentle inversions per minute over the development time (Around 5 min iirc) gives a really nice look for landscapes, street, architecture, etc. It doesn't simply look like a contraction, but a completely different film.