Ilford Delta 400 and what developer ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by david b, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    In my own personal attempt not to use Kodak products, I am wondering what works best with Delta 400 in 35mm and 120 ?

    In the past I have used xtol but wish to switch to Ilford products. I will still be using Pan F+ and rodinal but I need a 400 speed film for my xpan.

    thanks,
    david b in santa fe
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like Perceptol at EI 200, D-76 at EI 400, and you could just as well substitute ID-11 for D-76.
     
  3. david b

    david b Member

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    Is there an xtol equivalent?

    I will probably end up with ID-11 but I am thinking on trying them all.
     
  4. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    For Delta 400, my vote is for Paterson FX-39. By far the sharpest developer I have ever used. Try 1:14 for 12 minutes at 68deg

     
  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Chemically speaking, the closest I'm aware of to an XTOL equivalent among commercial developers is Paterson FX-50. Like XTOL, it's a phenidone/vitamin C (PC) developer. It's very different in many other respects, though, and I don't know how similar the results are (I've never used FX-50). I don't know what the closest equivalent is in terms of the effects of the developer.

    If you're willing to mix your own developer, your options open up. Some PC developers I've seen include:

    • An XTOL formula based on its patent filing, or a variant of it. Note that XTOL uses a rather exotic preservative. As I understand it, you can omit it with the consequence of poorer long-term storage, or you can substitute EDTA (as per this post; search for "EDTA"). Note that I've tried neither; I'm just passing on information I've read.
    • Suzuki's DS-10 and DS-12 developers. (Actually, DS-12 uses metol.) These are aimed at being fine-grained and acutance developers, respectively, with keeping qualities superior to XTOL. Suzuki's approach is to use various chemicals as preservatives, which makes the formulas a bit complex compared to some others.
    • Paul Lewis's Mytol or a variant of it.
    • Chris Patton's E-76, which is supposed to work a lot like D-76. (It's basically a PC-based version of D-76.)
    • Several developers created by Patrick Gainer, including PC-TEA and PC-Glycol. I don't have any URL's handy, but try a Web and/or Usenet search, or buy the March/April 2004 back issue of Photo Techniques Magazine. PC-TEA and PC-Glycol are both very simple and are aimed at good long-term storage by keeping water away from the components that it helps degrade. Some of Gainer's earlier experiments in the field of PC developers are available at Unblinking Eye.

    Note that I've not used most of these myself, just PC-Glycol. I fully intend to try some of the others, but I just haven't gotten around to them yet. So far, I like PC-Glycol pretty well. Unless otherwise noted, I'd assume poor long-term storage characteristics. Note that some of these (particularly Gainer's simpler formulations) aren't much more difficult to mix than commercial XTOL, so if you shy away from this sort of thing because of the complexity, IMHO you're doing yourself a disservice.
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I think you may find that Delta rather likes Ilford's own HC developer.

    I used to have FG7 and the "T" variant smuggled to me in Hawaii for Delta 400 as well :smile:
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Delta 100 and Delta 400 both work very well indeed in Pyrocat-HD.
     
  8. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    XTOL!!!!!
     
  9. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    DD-X or Microphen
     
  10. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Undiluted ID11, DDX, and Xtol. Never tried Microphen. Very unhappy with diluted IDll
    or D76.
     
  11. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    It occurs to me that no one has asked you what you like in a negative: fine grain, acutance, smooth tonality, ability to capture a wide dynamic range? In general - pick one, and the developer will be obvious. Getting all four, well, many seek, but few find.
     
  12. rusty71

    rusty71 Member

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    Good point above. That said, I have found Clayton F-76+ to be a beautful developer for delta 400 Pro. See the link below
    Vain Curiosity

    I actually like it a little bit better than Ilford's DD-X, but it's a close shave. I'd say use which ever one you can obtain easier and cheaper. Ilford Micropen powder works well too. Avoid Rodinal or Ilford Ilfosol for the Delta 400
     
  13. david b

    david b Member

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    I am looking for something close to xtol. so fine grain, acutance and good tonality.

    I've been reading around and I think I will be trying dd-x.
     
  14. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    For roll film and 5x4 (Delta 400 and Delta 100) I use FG-7 at 1+15, no sodium sulphite. EIs are 200 and 50 respectively with reduced times and one full inversion per minute. I do not use much 35mm these days, and this wouldn't be my first choice for small formats.
     
  15. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    DD-X or Tmax!

    Cheers

    André
     
  16. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    In the description of FX-37, Geoffrey Crawley said that it was balanced to produce the best results for Tmax and Delta films. Following the usual progression of British Journal developers, I am assuming that FX-39 is a variant of FX-37.
     
  17. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    FX-39 is a proprietary developer from Paterson. One might assume it is similar to FX-37 since the same person developed it. But there is no real way to know. My only complaint is that it 'goes off' about 6-8 weeks after opening the bottle.

     
  18. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    This seems to be a general complaint for Paterson developers.
     
  19. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    tmax
     
  20. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    Delta 400 has been my standard 400 film for many years. For the past ten years, I've used a similar formula to Pat Gainer's PC as a one-shot, mixing it fresh (it takes literally 2 minutes to mix) before each session. If I am going to be developing 4 120 rolls in the same session (I have a tank that holds 2 120 or 4 35mm rolls), I can re-use the same liter of developer, increasing the time for the second batch by 20%.

    The formula is simplicity itself and gives great results--extremely fine grain, great accutance, and long tonal scale. Negs are very easy to print.

    I use teaspoon measurements for ease, but I'll include gram equivalents.

    1 liter water
    1 tsp. (6 g) sodium metaborate
    1/2 tsp. (4g) ascorbic acid (Vitamin C powder or crystals)
    4 ml 1% Phenidone stock (1 g phenidone dissolved in 100 ml 90% rubbing alcohol.)

    Time: 6:30 at 70F. Agitate for 5 seconds every minute.

    For slower films (D-100, ACROS, etc.) I increase developing time to 9-10 minutes, or, if I really want the shorter times, I substitute 1 tsp. (5g) Sodium Carbonate (Washing soda) for the metaborate. This is a smashing developer for ACROS.

    The cost of mixing your own, besides the two minutes it takes to throw these ingredients into a liter of water and stir, is much, much cheaper than commercial developers. A bottle of Vitamin C powder will last years, as will a small container of phenidone. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda costs about $3 at the grocery store. The metaborate is also cheap and long-lasting from a chemical store, or you can make it yourself. Search this site for Pat Gainer's formula.

    Larry
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Xtol is Kodak's Ascorbate developer.

    Ilford's Ascorbate developer is Ilfosol S (Phenidone/Hydroquinone/Ascorbate dissolved in water). I would expect long term stability problems with this one.

    Ilfotec DDX is a Phenidone/Hydroquinone developer, the solvent is Diethylene Glycol - no water. I would expect this one to last forever - as a stock concentrate. Should be similar to Kodak's HC-110 and/or TMAX.

    Ilfotec DDX

    http://www.ilford.com/html/us_english/sds/Products/00110220.pdf

    Ilfosol-S

    http://www.ilford.com/html/us_english/sds/Products/00110065.pdf
     
  22. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I've like Xtol with it. The whole hate the big yellow company thing is not going to stop me from using a developer that I like and that i would like to see stay around. People jobs also depend on sales and hopefully their american jobs.
     
  23. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    I use stock Perceptol at 320asa. The Delta 400/Perceptol combo is all I shoot with my Veriwide. I have 12x20 enlargements from its 6x10 format 120 neg that show no grain. The edge transitions are almost as sharp as etchings.
     
  24. lawrenceimpey

    lawrenceimpey Member

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  25. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I had been focused on other films and had quite a bit of 35mm D400 in the freezer that I hadn't gotten around to sorting out. Last winter, I decided to use some of it while following my son's ski team around to meets. I played with various developers and found the film to be quite flexible and I believe you could tune most developers to reasonably good results. The one that really seemed adapted well and gave very easy-to-print results was Ryuji's DS-10. I was getting good shadow detail at 320 and the highlights were easily tamed/controlled. I was able to take good in-chalet shots with available light and also have the same rolls hold up for on-slope action shooting. It showed excellent grain restraint but had a nice, "edgie" look that made eyelashes, etc stand out nicely and add to apparent sharpness. Skin tones had a nice, smooth look, also.