Ilford Microphen and high ISOs

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by arigram, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Is Microphen the only chemical recommended to develop
    film of high ISOs such as pushed HP5+ beyond 800 and
    Delta 3200?

    The reason I ask is because I very rarely shoot at those speeds
    which means I rarely need to use that chemical which means
    every box is often one-use as it would be dead by the time I
    needed it again.

    Right now for example I have three rolls of 120 Delta 3200 to
    develop but I am reluctant to use my only box of Microphen
    as its hard to get around here.

    Any "open-source" recipes I can mix up myself?
     
  2. Paul.

    Paul. Member

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    Arigram,
    I push HP5+ to 1600 and develope in ID11 the times are in the box. the only time I used Delta 3200 I rated it at 1600 and used ID11 to develope.
    I know others will tell you it should not be done but I have successfuly split a 5 litre pack of ID11 into 1 litre mixes by weighing out the two powders and splitting them into 5 parcels, mixing up each parcel as I needed it without any descernable ill effects.
    Could you split your box of microphen so that you only mix the amount you need to develope the three films you have, and keep the rest in powder form.
    If you mixed up half the powder from a 1 litre box and used it 1+3 it would give you 2 litres of working strength developer which if used one shot at 600ml per film would only waste 200ml of dev.

    I know I am a tight arse and the purists here will diagree with me but I hate waste and have found this system works for me.

    Regards Paul.
     
  3. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I often do the same as Paul, with no bad effects. I just make sure the powder is well stirred before taking the amount I need.
    As has been mentioned a lot, if you used an iso of 3200 to expose the film, use the time for 6400 to develope it.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ari, the Ilford ID-68 formula was published by Ilford by themselves as being similar to Microphen. It is and works identically.

    Ian
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Ok, great!
    Thank you guys!
    (now I only need to find some more Delta 3200s
    as those three were all I had -and expired in 2006)
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I know I'm late in the game, but Ilfotec DD-X works really well pushing the Delta 3200 to 3200. I've also used Tri-X at 1600 with a surprising amount of shadow detail. So if you can get DD-X, it's the cat's meow.
    :smile:

    - Thomas
     
  7. arigram

    arigram Member

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    How about D-76?
    DD-X and ID11 is hard to find...
     
  8. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I've used id-11 with delta 3200 with good results, but as I said earlier using the times for 1 stop faster than Ilford suggests. Apparently id-11 and d-76 are pretty much the same.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    A friend of mine used to be the master printer at a pro lab here in Minneapolis. I have a lot of respect for his skills and his favorite film developer was D76, especially for pushing. If you want 3200 speed out of Delta 3200 it's almost a two stop push, but I'm sure it can be done.
    I have no idea how it looks, but I do know that negs developed in D76 print very easily for me. I don't use it myself, but other people I print for do, and the results are great. If you can get D76 - use it! It's hard to beat.
    - Thomas
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thomas, ID-68 is actually far better for push processing, it evolved from ID-11 (which is D76), first Ilford tried a PQ version of ID-11/D76 which is incorrectly said to be Microphen in the Darkroom Cookbook. The PQ variant of ID-11 was first published by Ilford in 1954, a little later the formula was adjusted to give improved performance, ID-68, and has been sold commercially ever since as Microphen.

    A PQ variant of an MQ developer is slightly more active and usually gives approx half a stop more film speed, they are also slightly cleaner working which helps when you are push processing.

    Ian
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have not tried it but I think Ilford DD-X may be good for pushing HP5+. In fact, in the data sheet of developing times attached to the bottle, the lowest EI for HP5+ is 500 - no time given for 400 which is it's stated film speed.

    Are you having difficulty getting any Ilford product? I know your favourite (and mine) developer was Ilfosol and that we are waiting for the mythical Ilfosol 3 to appear. After trying LC-29 and then DD-X, DD-X has become my (new) favourite developer. The only way I can quantify is that my negatives just look right (to me) when I use DD-X.


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
  12. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    With HP5+ in DDX, I have pushed it to ISO 25000 and got decent images. Thank you.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Ian,
    I really don't know the difference between PQ and MQ developers. I don't even know what it means. I just know what I see from the results of different developers and how they print.
    Microphen is one I have only used once; I was so wound up in trying different films and developers I tossed them all out and bought a single developer to do it all.
    I do agree that some developers seem to work better for pushing than others. So far I've had good luck with DD-X (full shadow detail at EI3200 with Delta 3200 and EI800 with Tri-X 400) and Xtol has been good too. The worst developer I've ever used to push film was Rodinal. No shadow detail at all... :smile:

    - Thomas
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thomas, an MQ developer is Metol & Hydroquinone based, a PQ developer is Phenidone and Hyroquinone, although Ilford have switched to using another developing agent similar to Phenidone in many of their developers.

    The type of developing agents makes a significant difference to the final developer, and this can have an impact on film speeds and how good a developer is for push processing.

    Xtol and DD-X are the modern developers from Ilford and Kodak and either would be an excellent choice as a standard developer for all your films.

    Ian