I've Reached a New Low

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dancqu, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Are my prints any sharper? My most recent batch
    of Beer's A working strength uses just one gram of
    sodium sulfite per liter. It occurred to that very low
    sulfite levels produce sharper images on film. Have
    I left mushy grained prints behind with that very low
    sulfite brew? Dan
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I suppose if you viewed your prints under heavy, heavy magnification, they might appear to be sharper...
     
  4. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    So the level of sulfite in the developer has "no"
    affect on the sharpness of the image. Do varying
    sulfite levels have any affect on the image? Dan
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No because the grain etc in the paper is already very fine and the level of sharpness is far more dependent on the negative, degree of enlargement, lens used etc.

    Ian
     
  6. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I had the impression that sulfite was a KNOWN offender in this regard (i.e. perceptol, microdol etc) - which are acutance developers - but they also dissolve silver grains...
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Perceptol and Microdol-X use sodium chloride as the silver solvent/restrainer. Never heard of either being called an acutance developer.

    Ian
     
  8. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I'm pretty sure Barry Thornton calls Perceptol an accutance developer in Edge of Darkness.

    In any case, it sounds like film and paper developers are getting confused in this thread. The original post was about paper developer, wasn't it?
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Sharpness is essentially a non-issue at the print level. It isn't an issue at the negative level, either, if you're only making contact prints or small enlargements.

    Now, when you enlarge a 35mm 24x36 negative to large print sizes, it is an issue - a big one.
     
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    He was actually talking about a film developer -and that the result is on the print - if I'm not mistaken. But I was simply talking about sulfite being a dissolver of grain - which may or may not be true (can't remember at the moment - but it was my impression). If perceptol isn't an acutance developer - well, I really don't know what is (we're talking about high dilutions). Doesn't microdol have the same basic active ingredients..? I thought so.
     
  11. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    The opening post was about Beers which is a paper developer.

    Perceptol, as discussed by Barry Thornton becomes an accutance developer at 1:3 dilution which apparently brings the sulfite concentration down to some magical level at which it supposedly no longer acts as a solvent. Just for the record, I tried it because of that recommendation and did not see the effect that he was referring to, but my testing was very limited and hardly conclusive of anything. I could find the quote out of his book, but not tonight. Too tired.
     
  12. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    right. that makes sense to me - well at least the high dilution part. I didn't know there was any relationship with sulfite concentration. I assumed they were independent of eachother - that you could have somewhat mushy grain but still have high acutance. I've used high dilution perceptol for years and years and years and was always very pleased with the effects. I think I was using a much higher dilution that 1+3 though. It makes for hellishly long dev times - but the result is well worth it!
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Minus the bromide it is a film developer of the Beutler type.
    Comparatively a little low on sulfite and carbonate. Dan
     
  14. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    My apologies. I'm easily confused.
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Not at all confused. Beer's A, Ansco 120 and
    likely a few other Paper developers along with
    Beutler's, FX-1, Mason's and likely a few other
    Film developers are all carbonated metol,
    sulfite, developers. Dan
     
  16. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Just wanted to clarify here. Beers maybe a paper dev but that doesn't mean one can't use it on film. It wasn't clear to me whether the OP was using for paper or film. HOWEVER there seemed to be very little doubt he was talking about film based on this quote:

    "It occurred to that very low sulfite levels produce sharper images ON FILM. Have I left mushy grained prints behind with that very low
    sulfite brew?"

    I take his suggesting the sulfite levels producing sharper images 'on film' to mean that it's the FILM that was unsharp. I doubt one would ever have that problem with paper for reasons others have brought up.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I Assumed.

    Yes Beer's is a print developer which when used very
    dilute is of the Beutler's type but lower in sulfite and
    carbonate. I was speaking of a very low sulfite
    Beer's used very dilute as a Print developer
    and the Prints' resulting grain.

    The Beer's components ratios are 1:3:3, metol, sulfite,
    carbonate. Multiply by 8 for a full liter of stock strength.
    Add a small amount of bromide if the Paper tends to fog.
    Ansco 120 is a same and Selectol Soft a similar developer.

    The altered brew has component ratios of 1:1:4. I upped
    the carbonate in order to speed the development
    of Emaks paper. So far inconclusive although
    1 part carbonate won't do at all. Dan