Impression of Ilfosol 3

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lightwisps, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    I bought some Ilfosol 3 to try out with Delta 100. Any tips or feelings on this? I usually buy HC 110 but it is hard to find right now in Ottawa, Ontario. Planning on developing with it either Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks, Don
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ilford's description of Ilfosol is not entirely clear, but we can put together a rough story based on Ilford's literature.

    First, I assume the working characteristics of Ilfosol 3 to be very close to Ilfosol S. I believe the reformulation was primarily to improve shelf life.

    See page 3 in this link for a rough guideline to Ilford's developers: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/200629163442455.pdf

    Here's what we know from Ilford:

    1. Recommended primarily for fine grained films (slow and medium speed)
    2. Not recommended for push processing
    3. Its working pH is quite high (~9.7)
    4. Recommended as a possible equivalent/substitute for Rodinal

    Based on the above, it appears to geared more toward sharpness and one-shot use than to fine grain and film speed. It is a highly active formula as evidenced by the short developing times.
     
  3. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Ilfosol is an extraordinary developer. Sharp, sharp, sharp negatives.

    To me, the description makes it sound like it's similar to Rodinal and I agree it is.
     
  4. dotyj

    dotyj Member

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    I don't have anything to compare it to but I've been using it since I jumped back in to photography last November with good results. Film speeds of 50, 100, 200, and 400 ISO have been great. Lots of my photos on flickr.com/ki7el were done with Ilfosol 3.

    I'm no expert though.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    While some may consider the resultant negatives to be similar the two developers are vastly different in composition.

    The one downside that I have heard about Ilfosol 3 is that the concentrate does not keep well particularly once it has been opened.
     
  6. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    That was Ilfosol-S. Yes its keeping properties were dreadful. Similar to xtol.
    Ilfosol-3 keeps for a much longer period and it's not the same formula.
     
  7. viridari

    viridari Member

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    With Tri-X, I haven't seen Ilfosol 3 to behave at all like Rodinal.
     
  8. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I'm not saying that it is Rodinal or anything like that. But by reading the 4 points in post #2, one could easily mistake it for Rodinal (best with slow films, no push) and my results showed very sharp results. With HP5, for example, the grain is pronounced and sharp, the kind of thing one would expect from Rodinal.

    I like Ilfosol-3 quite a bit. I'm very happy at how my FP4 and Pan-F negatives look. Is it the equivalent of Rodinal? I don't know. And it's not the same as Ilfosol-S that's for sure.
     
  9. whowantstoast

    whowantstoast Member

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    It still goes bad pretty fast. I've been using it for a few years with good results, but I put glass marbles in the bottle to keep oxygen out. Add more marbles with every use. That said, I still rarely finish a bottle before it gets too yellow to trust.
     
  10. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Too yellow to trust might not be a good indication but developer is too cheap to take a risk. HC110 goes yellow really fast and Rodinal goes black as soon as a few days and they last forever.
    But good old Ilfosol-S used to go bad in a few days. If you didn't have 20 rolls to develop in the same day, ditching the opened bottle was a good idea.
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Get some 100ml/250ml bottles and split it up. I stuck mine in the bottom of the refrigerator and I do flood it with nitrogen after using what I need. Last time I used it was a year after buying it and it seemed ok. There's still no precipitate in it. Your mileage may vary tho.
     
  12. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    The myth that XTOL has poor keeping qualities is busted and should not be further propagated. When properly handled, XTOL provides just-mixed quality for at least twice Kodak's specified maximum storage life:


    It might last even longer, but I use up the 5 liters within a year and haven't had to keep any stock solution beyond that.

    To the point of this thread, my primary film/developer combination is Delta 100 and XTOL 1+3. Times are very manageable and small errors not critical, especially with rotary processing at our higher ambient temperatures here. Ilfosol 3 demands uncomfortably short processing times.
     
  13. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    I mixed up some Xtol, put it several small full glass bottles, and set them aside for a age test. I used a bottle every 3 months and that went on for over 3 years. All bottles worked film until I used the last one up 3 years after mixing it.

    Used distilled water
     
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  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    NO, I was speaking about Ilfosol 3 which appears to have a short life compared to other developers. There was a thread some time ago about the problem
     
  16. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ilford indicates a solution life of 24 months in full bottles and 4 months in half full bottles. This compares to 6 months in half full bottles for Ilford's other liquid developers.

    Ilford describes it only as an enhanced version of Ilfosol S. It is not clear whether or not the reformulation had anything to do with keeping properties, but note Ilford's indicated keeping properties for Ilfosol 3 are the same as in the Ilfosol S documentation. Recommended developing times for Ilfosol 3 are quite different than for Ilfosol S, which may or may not be an indication the formulation is significantly different (although the pH is identical).
     
  17. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I have used Ilfosol 3 frequently over the last 5 or 6 years. It gives good results with Delta 100, but I also find that it goes off quickly. If you make up 500ml for each film, you get 10 films to a bottle. If you get through that amount of film in 2 months, you should be ok. I have tried using Tetenal Protectan spray to preserve it, but it made no difference. If you only process one film a month, something like HC110 might be better. Alex
     
  18. AGagnon

    AGagnon Subscriber

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    Did you guys find any difference between the two Ilfosol 3 dilutions (1+9 and 1+14), like there are between D76 dilutions?
     
  19. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Don,

    I read the others comments, I started with ilfsol 3, being really cheap and not being able to buy Rodinal at the time because it was the only thing on the shelf, it's a great developer and being cheap I tried re-using it with tons of success, I could develop about 6 rolls safely, adding only 30 seconds dev time to each new roll. It's supposed to be a 1 shot but I never used it that way and never had an issue. It gets a little grainier on the last two films but the exposure seemed ok.

    I now use HC-110 an Rodinal for most everything and DD-X for the REALLY special stuff because let's face it DD-X is awesome for Tgrain and for pushing films.

    But ilfsol 3 seems good, and the times listed on the massive dev chart seem relatively accurate. But I agree pushing high speed films isn't recommended, I used ilfsol 3 on p3200 and D3200 and both came out dark at the given times and very grainy.


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370995025.038476.jpg

    Tmax400 with red filter in ilfsol 3 (35mm)

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370995049.946673.jpg

    Panatomic-X in ilfsol 3 (120)


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Is that T-max 400 image from a negative or print scan? The grain is extremely high.

    Tom
     
  22. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I rebottle my Ilfasol 3 in 30 cc bottles to fill and use one Per 8x10 film. It keeps as per an unopened bottle that way.
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Neg scan, off my v750, but remember this was with a red filter...


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. macmaster77

    macmaster77 Member

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    I know this thread is quite old, but I thought I might ask anyway. I'm new to LF (8x10) and I'm using a rotary processor. My biggest issue is the highlights seem to loose detail quite quickly. I have been told that Ilfosol 3 is quite "aggressive" and I need to keep reducing my development times. Ilford suggests 7:30 (1+14) to start and to reduce 15% if using constant agitation. That put me at 6:22. The highlights were blown. Then I reduced to 20% and that took me to 6:00. It's better but I want to go to 25% and see what that does (5:38). Has anyone had these kind of issues? I'm using Delta 100. I have been spot metering the darkest shadows that I want detail in and same with the highlights. Then I take an average. The meter then tells me what the dynamic range of the scene is. It's contrasty here in Florida, however most of the time I can get it in a five stop range. Any ideas would greatly be appreciated. Thanks...
     
  25. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    Ilfosol 3 is a wonderful developer. The only drawbacks is that it does not last long once opened and it is not economical as others higher dilution developers. It delivers very fine grained negatives and although it is not recommended for pushing you can get a couple of stops more with minute grain.
    To get a wide tonal range try reducing agitation down to a couple of inversions every three minutes and extend the development time by 50% keeping an eye to the temperature of the development solution.
     
  26. serge silberman

    serge silberman Member

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    Did you work out your problem with the blown highlights?
    Maybe DDX would be better for a rotary processor?