FX-37 Disappointment

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tomasz Klimkiewicz, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Tomasz Klimkiewicz

    Tomasz Klimkiewicz Member

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    Hello, everyone,

    Just thought I would share my recent experience with the FX-37 formula.

    Encouraged by a number of positive reviews posted on different photo forums, and being a mix-it-yourself kind of photographer, I decided to give FX-37 a try. Judging from what the other guys said I thought I would have something like concentrated Microphen at my disposal, in terms of the film speed, only with better acutance. The idea appealed to me, so I mixed a litre of the stuff, weighing all the chemicals carefully.

    I tried the dev on Foma 200, FP-4+ and Delta 400. G. Crawley recommends 1 + 3 and 1 + 5 dilutions. I started from 1 + 7 to obtain more manageable times and overdeveloped the first Foma anyway. All next processes (another Foma, FP4 and Delta) were right on the spot in terms of the highlights control. Unfortunately, I didn't notice any gain in the actual, utilised film speed (as compared to D.76, not to mention Gainer VC). The FP4 came out beautifully sharp, the grain is not an issue, even with 35mm, but the shadows are distinctly more lacking 'substance' than when the film is processed in D.76 1 + 1. I shot all scenes on the test film with bracketing and my estimate is that the E.I. is halfway between 125 and 64. I counted on something close to 160 to be honest.

    Now, the question is, what do I do wrong? Should I stick with the recommended dilutions for more speed?

    Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards to all, Tomasz.
     
  2. skahde

    skahde Member

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    There are several things to consider here:
    First, the formula for FX-37 has been published with errors more than once, the most prominent being tenfold to much benzotriazol which would well account for a loss of speed.
    Second, you don't know if everyone reporting on filmspeed measured it or if this was based on guesswork.
    Third, how did you measure the effective speed?
    Fourth, do not expect a speed increase as high as adverstised for several FX-formulas, I've yet to see it.

    best

    Stefan
     
  3. Tomasz Klimkiewicz

    Tomasz Klimkiewicz Member

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    Stefan,

    Much obliged for the comments.

    I followed the correct recipe for the FX-37 formula. All my chemicals are of good quality (analytical grade, if possible), and tested in other formulas.

    Indeed I have no means to measure the negative density quantitatively. I just compare the negative with what I think prints as 'normal', devved in D.76. So my method is of a purely practical nature, but has always worked for me nonetheless.

    I am beginning to think that the claims on the FX-37 speed enhancing properties are somewhat exaggerated. It's a good developer, nothing special though. I certainly prefer my good ol' D.76 for the tonal range and Gainer VC for speed and acutance.
    From time to time I like to experiment a bit to expand my practical knowledge over unexplored territories.

    Again, thanks for your input. I'm curious if someone has actually used the developer and maybe has similar observations. - T.K.
     
  4. bozgoren

    bozgoren Member

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    Tomasz
    I have been using Pyrocat-HD since one year and PMK for 2 years before that.
    I have tested HP5+ with FX37 1:3 21 C 6 minutes constant agitation with Jobo Expert drum recently and indeed my EI is 500 instead of 160 with Pyrocat-HD. I measure FX37 negatives with a Heiland TRD2 densitometer. Pyrocat negatives tests have been done with standard printing time method. I hope this helps.
     
  5. bozgoren

    bozgoren Member

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    Tomasz
    I'd like to add the following: FX37 1:5 21 C 6.5 minutes constant agitation with Jobo Expert drum. Zone I density EI 500= 0.11, EI 400= 0.15 instead of 160 with Pyrocat-HD. I measure FX37 negatives with a Heiland TRD2 densitometer. Pyrocat negatives tests have been done with standard printing time method. I hope this helps. Bulent Ozgoren