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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Paul Howell, Nov 29, 2006.
Has anyone used PP Excel Film Enhancer?
I have not used it and I don't know what's in it. I suppose ascorbate is a possibility.
sounds like a liquid counterpart of acufine
I've not used it but have a friend who does and swears by it. I just use a high acutance developer instead.
A liquid form of Acufine would be some sort of a Phenidone/Hydroquinone Developer mixed in Glycol - perhaps something like Kodak Tmax developer, HC-110 or Ilford DDX, etc.
Photographers Formulary Excel is a developer additive in liquid form.
I guess I will buy both the print and film enhanser and give both a try.
Which developers do you want to enhance, Paul?
DDX for Tmax 3200 at true 3200 rather than 1600. I have been been shooting Rodeos, both in bright outdooor sunlight and indoors. The deep shadows under the brim of the riders cowboy hats are diffcult to meter for zone 3 due to the fast action. I also have a nember of cans of Ansco Normadol which I think is Ansco 17, and I have a lot of Dk 50 and Polydol to use up.
I used to use it. Do you a have a particular question?
How does it affect the grain and contrast?
It generally reduced the grain and since it can also increase shadow detail, in those images where there actually is some to be inceased the overall contrast of an image can be reduced. Having said that, I felt that these things are true but it will not save one from images that have been exposed poorly and/or the film has too extreme of a contrast to benefit (be saved).
I do not use it anymore because with my current processing techniques and chemicals the development times would be too short, (it reduces development time).
Thanks for the input, I may give a try with Ansco 17 which has a relative long development time and TMAX 3200.
Ansco 17 was Ansco's version of Kodak D-76.
Have you tried developing TMAX 3200 in XTOL? XTOL would be my choice.
Formulary's EXCEL Product
If I may.
Excel was originally developed for the X-RAY industry. Years ago as one of the principals of the Formulary was going thru an extensive amount of medical treatment x-rays seemed to become a daily part of life, and the exposure of the radiation from those x-rays became a concern as it is for many. So Excel was formulated to help with reducing that exposure, and it does. Adding excel to a normal xray processing machines developer, the exposure time of those xray films could actually be cut in half.
That said, if you think convincing a photographer to try a different method or solution to improve an image, try dealing with the medical industry even with something as obvious as this, to make a change. Even though it was shown to cut exposure in half, and increase the detail and readabiltiy of an x-ray.
Today the x-ray business is going digital faster than the photography market and has no interest in improving its wet process.
Excel is still on the market as a "film enhancer"
By adding 30ml to a liter of working solution of say D-76 you can get a speed increase of one stop, enhanced shadow detail, reduced gain structure, for a really crisp negative without blocking up the highlights. Or it can reduce development times by approximately 1/2 still maintaining the above benefits,without the speed increase.
No I do not have charts and graphs detailing the combinations of excel and every film developer on the market with times and dilution ratios, so please don't ask. The combinations are endless.
As said in this thread, it just makes the end result a little better.
I have Ansco 17 listed listed as a fine grain developer as opposed to a general purpose devleoper like D 76.
Methol 1.5 grams
Sodium Sulfiate 80 grams
borax 3 grams
potassium bromide .05 grams
methol 2 grams
Sodium suifite 100 grams
hydrogquinone 5 grams
sodium metaborate 2 grames
I can see the similiarites and its trade name was Normadol, some of the links I found linked Ansco 17 to a softer working version of D 19.
I used Xtol when it was avialble in quart sizes, I bought the Ansco 17 because in was in quart sizes and I got 12 cans for $6.00. My mainstay 35mm devleoper is Edwal 12, but I dont like TMax 3200 in Edwal at all. DDX and Tmax is excellent at 1600, but shadow detials suffer at 3200.
Thanks for the input, I will order some today. I use PP version of Edwal 12 with replenishment, will Excel have any impact on storage life? I have been running a batch of PP 12 for about a year and 1/2 now and I plan to keep it active and dont want to add anything that might be problamatic.
This product sounds very much like Chrone Additive which was sold for years to be added to D-76. It consisted of a solution of Phenidone. It wasn't magical and you might as well just use a PQ developer to start with than to try to convert an MQ developer. Save your money.
Too late, I ordered a bottle, I plan to experiment with Ansco 17, DDX, and Microdal X 1:3, if I understand PP correctly I should be able to reduce the development time for Microdal from 15 to 7 1/2 mits. My usual developer for 35 is PP's clone of Edwal 12 and if EXCEL works well with the others I may try as well.
Even if you are not a darkroom chemist, you should be thinking: if it's really so magically effective, why don't all developer formulators incorporate this technology to their formulae, rather than relying on a third party additive?
The answer is somewhat simple. Take D-76 or something of that era and popularity. It's too late to change the formula or introduce a replacement product. But look at more modern formulae. There were so many bad ones that didn't offer any advantage, but those that are good and still used, such as Microphen and Ilfotec DD-X, use Phenidone or its derivatives in a well balanced formula, so that adding more Phenidone may shorten the development time but won't improve anything else. Adding this type of agent to some developers, such as Microdol-X or D-23 may even alter (i.e., worsen) their fine grain property.
I mixed Excel with Ansco 17 and compared it with Ansco 17 without Excel with HP 5 4X5. Without a densitmeter I can not be very percise, but Excel seems to work as advertised, shorter development times and better shadow details. The instuctions also lists a rapid development delution for 90 seconds. Although the direcitions called for D 76 I used DK 50 but it did not work. I would have thought that DK 50 would have worked even faster than D 76, just goes to show how little I know.
Some time this week I plan to test TMax 3200 DDX and Excel.