FX39 and/or FX37

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Kevin Caulfield, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I'm considering mixing up my own developer for the first time ever. I'd like something close to FX39. I know there are some older posts regarding FX37 recipes, etc. Could people please share their experiences of FX37 recipes, and how similar it is to FX39? FX39 is becoming much more difficult to buy here in Australia.
     
  2. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    FX-37 is one of my favorite developers for TMY in LF. I expose TMY at Iso 500 and get well defined shadow details. I mix it 1+5
    I have no experience with FX-39
    FX-37 is not a fine grain developer, i have used it for 35mm TMY but that is not a good choice. For LF where grain is not an issue it is hard to beat the increased speed you can get from this developer.
    Mixed it also last a long time, i have had a bottle semi full but filled with Argon for about a year and it is still working fine.
     
  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Thanks. Which recipe do you use? The one posted by Gerald Koch?

    This one?

    Distilled water (50°C) ................. 750 ml
    Sodium sulfite (anhy) .................. 60.0 g
    Hydroquinone ........................... 5.0 g
    Sodium carbonate (anhy) ................ 5.0 g
    Phenidone .............................. 0.5 g
    Borax .................................. 2.5 g
    Potassium bromide ...................... 0.5 g
    Benzotriazole, 1% ...................... 5.0 ml
    Distilled water to make ................ 1.0 l

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  4. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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  5. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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  6. ooze

    ooze Member

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    A couple of weeks ago, I mixed my first batch of FX37, albeit with the wrong amount of Benzotriazole; 50 instead of 5ml (from an incorrectly published formula). The medium format TMX looks OK. I haven't printed them yet though. On the other hand, 35mm TMY is definitely grainier than ID11 (1+1). I made comparison prints and decided I definitely prefer the look from ID11.
     
  7. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    My findings pretty much mirror the results above only I was using 120 film (Acros and Tmy2). The speed increase for me was very small, but was there. I also tried it with some well outdated 35mm HP5+ and it did much better than I expected. It seems to be a little like Xtol in that it is a "clean" working developer. At least it seemed that way for me. My batch is gone, but I will be mixing more to try with some 120 Arista EDU 100 (aka Foma). I'm really curious to see how it works with this older style film. JohnW
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Thanks for the input. I just mixed up my first batch and developed a test roll. Awesome!
     
  9. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin, what film, what speed and which developer?

    The suspense is killing me!

    Mick.
     
  10. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Mick, Acros 100, rated at 100, in FX37, for 5 mins at 20 C.
     
  11. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Some interesting comments at

    http://www.clayharmon.com/misc/BTZS.pdf

    I haven't tried it. It seems that there are different perceptions of the grain.

    You don't need benzotriazole if you double the bromide.
     
  12. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    By the way, Mick, you were the one who showed me how easy it is to mix your own developer, so thanks. :D
     
  13. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Unfortunately, I do not have my FX-37 formula with me right now. It was one published shortly after that developer was announced, and, as I recall, was similar to what has been shown and referenced here. I've used FX-37 a fair number of times for both TMX and TX. It has always produced outstanding results. I wish there was more information on developing times available, however. FX-37 is pretty complicated to mix, so I generally favor the simpler D-76. FX-37 may give slightly superior results, especially in the sharpness department.
     
  14. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I have the original article BJP Mar 27 1996 in which Crawley first published the formula for FX-37 and can confirm that the formula given in APUG's Articles section is correct:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum223/33275-crawleys-fx-37-developer-t-max-delta-films.html
    Elsewhere the formula is given with 69g sulfite ,which may have originated as a typo, and in the Film Developing Cookbook the formula is also wrong, having a large excess of benzotriazole.

    Later, when he was technical consultant to Amateur Photographer magazine, he stated that the potassium bromide could be increased from 0.5g/L to 1.0g/L if the benzotriazole is omitted.He said this was a move to help the amateur as the benzotriazole (originally included for conditions of professional re-use) is difficult to dissolve.The change has no effect on image quality.
    He also stated "the closest published formula to FX-39 is FX-37".

    In Amateur Photographer Aug 27 2005 he published " a guide to development times of some popular emulsions when rated at their nominal ISO speed" , these times are close to those given by Gerald Koch in the APUG Articles section.
     
  15. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I see someone linked that old pdf I made about FX-37 a few years ago. I still feel the same way about that developer…. It is still the only developer I use on roll film. It gives me full film speed, controllable highlights and superb sharpness, plus it has that very hard-to-explain but very easy-to-see grain structure that I like. The grain clumps have very defined sharp edges, and this can lend an apparent visual acuity to the resulting prints that makes even so-so lenses look pretty good.
     
  16. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    The Film Developing Cookbook in its current edition has the formula correct, with 5ml of a 1% benzotriazole solution.
     
  17. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I think you are referring to the DARKROOM Cookbook 3rd ed 2008 p216 which is correct.
    AFAIK the most recent revision of the Film Developing Cookbook dates from 1998 and has the wrong formula 50ml on p61.
     
  18. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    Thanks Clay. It's good to know that you still find it satisfactory. Time to get out my chemistry set!

    (as an aside, speaking of chemistry sets: I had one or two when I was young and found chemistry fascinating. I haven't seen on in the shops for ages. Are they now deemed too dangerous for modern kids?)
     
  19. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You would be surprised what is considered dangerous today. We should all have died as children. Parents have been warned not to bring food to school for their child's class. The end of cupcakes. The "wisdom" behind this is that a child might have an unspecified reaction, get sick and sue the school.
     
  20. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Oh yes! I think back to all the things I played around with and you're right, I shouldn't be here right now. My granddaughter was told not to bring peanut butter sandwiches to school. I ask my daughter why and she said that one of her classmates has a "peanut" allergy. Now nobody in the whole class can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That pissed me off since I used to live on those throughout my whole school career. I said they should let the little bugger eat in the janitors office and let the rest of the kids have their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sometimes life sucks and it shouldn't have to. As for darkroom chemicals go? There are a few bad ones, but if we new what was dumped into the stuff we eat we probably starve to death. Well, I don't know about anybody else here, but I'm not going to starve to death and I'm not giving up the darkroom either.
    Thursday I'll be souping some Arista 120 EDU ISO 100 (aka Foma) in some mixed FX-37 1:5 for the first time. Does anyone have any experience with this combo? JohnW
     
  21. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    No, I am referring to the Film Developing Cookbook. I bought it very recently (within the last two months or so), and it does date from 1998, but it also states that it went into digital publication in 2009. There is a number reference near the back which seems to indicate that my copy was printed in January this year. Also, inside, Troop and Anchell state that many of the FX formulae have been published incorrectly in the past, and that those errors have now all been corrected.
     
  22. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    Thanks for this update Kevin.
    Can you say where the updated version of the Film Developing Cookbook was purchased?
    I had a look on Amazon for the Film Developing Cookbook but p61 with the FX-37 formula is not available as a preview.
    So IDK if Amazon are selling the updated version.
     
  23. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Alan, I bought it from Amazon. In the back it says "Printed in the USA BVOW061946170113". In the front it says "Transferred to Digital Printing 2009". As I understand it, digital printing is a print-on-demand arrangement.