Lots of Grain with Classic 400 and HC110 Rotary Processed

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Paul Sorensen, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I am wondering if I have the wrong film/developer/agitation combo here or is this what others experience with Classic Pan 400 film. I developed 4X5 sheets in a Joboi, using a manual contstant agitation floating in a water bath. The density was a bit high, I think I need to reduce my times a little, but I love the contrast and thought that the image came out beautifully, except for way more grain than I expect from 4X5 film.

    When I printed this to 11X14, it looked more grainy than what I am used to with TX and 645 fomat negs. That is a ton of grain for 4X5. Is this a bad developer for the film or for constant agitation? Do you also wonder if maybe I was too agressive with the speed at which I spun the drum? Any other ideas?

    I am attaching a couple of scans. One is most of the image and the other a crop of part of the image to show grain. I have only done unsharp mask, 100% at 1 pixel, to the scan, not other manipulation. Excuse the crap from the scanner bed!

    Thanks!

    Paul.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Paul,

    Well, on the bright side, the highlights aren't blocked up :smile:. I agree, that grain is way more than I would have expected. I've not tried Classic 400 but, do have some little bit of experience doing TXP in HC-110 with continuous rotation (Jobo tank, lego lift). I use dilution D and have never seen grain like this - not even with 35mm at 8x10.
     
  3. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    That's it, I need to get me one of them lego lifts. I do have some TXP on the way, but I think I will burn a couple of sheets and try to replicate this with a lighter touch on the agitation. I am suspicious that I overdid it.

    Thanks!

    Paul.
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

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    what dilution did you use Paul?

    lee\c
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Good question. I used B and since it was a new film/dev combo for me, I used Massive Dev Chart times minus 20% for contstant agitation. (About 7 minutes)
     
  6. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    I have a CPP2 with lift but,...what is Lego Lift ?
     
  7. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Brad is a very inventive fellow.
     
  8. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    That's for sure, I used to love Lego.
    Tell me more about it !
    Best,
    G.
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Just a real simple contraption made of legos. A base plate some wheels. Motor and motor control are yet to be added. :smile:
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Cool...

    Do you have a Lego robotics kit? My son has one. You could program your own custom agitation sequence with complete control over speeds, reversing, etc. It could stop and beep at the correct time for solution changes. The mind boggles...

    If you really are using a lego lift-and-dump mechanism, you should post a photo.

    Lee
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I've not done anything that fancy yet but, the ideas are starting to get crowded in the back of my mind. I once came across a page on the 'net that described how a guy have built a robot completely out of Legos that solved Rubik's cube! A full blown Lego-lift would be relatively simple by comparison.
     
  12. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Quick bump in hopes that someone will have an idea about my initial question. :smile:

    Thanks!
     
  13. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Subscriber

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    Hi Paul,
    Sorry for the "Lego Interlude".
    I haven't done HC110 for a long time and never with Jobo which is my main dev processor.
    You should check and try different dilutions. Do you use the same dilution with other films that are working fine ?
    Try a different speed, it's maybe too fast ( contrast )

    I did some test with Classic 400 with Rodinal and WD2D+ and it was good.
    Not much an help sorry.
    Guillaume
     
  14. Leonidas

    Leonidas Member

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    Classic Pan 400 or 200 is Forte film.
    I am using 200 in 5x4 and the grain is large for the speed, but it has a fantastic tonal range.
    That is the structure of these films. Some people call it "older technology".
    HC-110 and rotary process would not help.

    All the best.
     
  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    This isn't really helpful either except to me but I can only detect grain in the thumbnail on the right. The left one looks totally different in terms of grain - much smoother. To my probably untrained eye there is a real difference between the two thumbnails in terms of grain.

    Pentaxuser
     
  16. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Hi Paul, could it be reticulation? I know you use a water bath during processing but how about the wash temps. This film may be more sensitive to temperature changes than others..just a thought.

    --John
     
  17. jandc

    jandc Member

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    From the looks of the scan the grain is excessive and not typical of this film. However, I find it difficult to compare scan results to the real thing.

    I've never gotten really good results with HC-110 and the Forte films. Developers like Microphen, D-76, A-49 and the various pyro formulations all seem to give better results in my experience. The limited testing I've done with HC-110 and this film was in 35mm format and it's difficult to compare to your results. My recollection was that it was grainy but good looking grain.

    I would also look at the temps as a possible cause.
     
  18. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their replies. I will try D76 and see how that works out. I will also try to be more gentle in my agitation, since I suspect I was kind of rough. Hopefully that will work better.

    Thanks!

    Paul.
     
  19. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Well, I seem to have solved the problem. This time I developed in D76 and was very gentle with the agitation. Basically, I agitated about as gently as I could while maintaining constant motion. I am very happy with the results. I am attaching scans of the image that I took today, a still life of a light from our studio, and the one from the original problem negative. They are very different subjects, but I wasn't about to drive an hour to take a test shot, so I just found something. The difference is quite dramatic. I might try HC110 with gentle agitation just to see if it was mostly the difference in agitation or developer, but one of the two changes sure made a world of difference.

    FYI, both of these prints were made today with the same paper to exactly the same magnification. I basically moved my enlarger up as far as it would go and printed an 8X10 crop of the resulting image, so this is a pretty large degree of magnification, equivalent to a print larger than 20X24.

    Thanks again to everyone who posted replies.
     

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  20. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    A while back I pulled out some of my old supper-xx negs that were tray developed in HC110 Dillution B With the grain focuser I thought I was looking at a boulder field. I didn't remember them being that grainy back then. Try some rodinal then you will be happy with the grain you got now. Speaking of which, I want a developer that will give me the delicious flaver of rodinal and the grain of my pyrocat. That would be better than sex, well almost.
     
  21. Ralf

    Ralf Member

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    Paul,

    the Classic Pan 400 (= Fortepan 400) are indeed "classic" film from Hungary, quite different from modern emulsions. Seems like a lot of Germans over here have experience with it, here's a summary:

    - Famous for it's grain. Seems like fans of that kind of grain do like the film.
    - Classic look, good midtones.
    - Sharpness okay
    - Exposing the 400 at ~ 200 ASA not a bad idea.
    - Classic Pan is more like a tungsten, not a daylight film, with it's expanded red sensibility.
    - D76 / ID11 seem to deal quite well with it.

    General problem: The manufacturer does not have quality control comparable to, say, Ilford. The film can behave quite differently depending when and where you got it. People here call it a film for enthusiasts, but most users are disappointed by it and discontinued using it. Personally I only used it for a few rolls, long time ago, in 35mm. The results were horrible, but that of course was also due to the small neg size.
     
  22. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Hi: I've been tray developing JandC 400 in HC110 dil. H, with very good results, and have not been experiencing excessive grain. In fact, I like the look of the film. I enlarge to 11X14 on Kentmere and get some pretty smooth skies, nothing like what I saw on your scan.
    Like others, I've always thought Kodak has done everyone a diservice by promoting B as the standard dilution. I've always gotten better results by using a greater dilution, usually E or H.
    I'm exposing at e.i. 200, and developing for 8 min. at 70 degrees, with one flip through the stack every 30 seconds for agitation. Then, water for stop and 4 min in Photographers' Formulary TF-4 rapid fix. (Talk about mixing your brands. You should see what I do with designer clothes.)
    Not sure if any of this is relevant since you use a Jobo. I love those things (I used one at a place I used to work for) but they're soooo much more expensive than a set of trays. Dean
     
  23. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    7 minutes


    Ah, 7 min is way too long. I usually do mine between 5.5-6.5 min depending on the contrast of what was shot. By looking at your scans, while it's not quite a grain-fest, it does seem to show more grain than would be expected from LF film.

    Rolleijoe
     
  24. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Here`s a picture
    Classic 400, HC-100 Dil H in a CEP-2.
    Developed in dil B I get more grain too, in dil H it seems smoother.