Minimizing grain with kodak HIE - developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by walter23, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Resigned to the fact that only HIE is really like HIE right now, and it's only in 35mm, I'd like to find a way to minimize the grain. Any suggestions for development?
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I had decent luck with Pyrocat HD, you may even want to try PMK since it has more of a grain masking effect than Pyrocat.
    I used to think that 11x14 prints of Tri-X from Medium Format negs were grainy looking until I started using Pyrocat. With the HIE I got a similar improvement, but from 35mm the grain is golf ball size anyway.
    Have you checked out the new Efke infrared film? Comes in 35mm, 120 roll, as well as 4x5 sheet film (if you really want to eliminate the grain).
    - Thomas
     
  3. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    I'd second that-PMK worked well for me with HIE. You might alsowant to try Exactol Lux/Presycycol EF or Perceptol. Maybe Aculux as well?
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've never had much luck with HIE, but I do shoot a lot of Ilford's SFX; I know, not the same film, but both are grainy. I used to soup the SFX in Rodinal and got plenty of grain, and grain can be an infrared's charm. Lately I've found that good ol' D-76, 1+0 does a good job at rducing the grain of SFX; should do well with HIE.
     
  5. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Neither Pyrocat HD or PMK are fine-grained developers. They're less grainy than other pyro developers, but that's not saying much. (I'm using Pyrocat HD for my medium and large format negatives.) Morever, with PMK you probably have a problem with low contrast highlights on HIE, especially on VC paper. Xtol, ceterus paribus, will be less grainy, and it works well with HIE. (I've used this combo extensively.) I've never tried a real fine grained developer, such as microdol -x with HIE, but it might be worth a try. (You'll probably lose about 1 stop of speed compared to Xtol.)
     
  6. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

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    This is good to know. I've done most of my HIE in D-76, and its not super grainy, though its really noticeable even on 5x7 prints.

    I'd always assumed that it was a property of the film and a different developer wasn't really going to help much.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I've printed negs from Ilford FP4+, 35mm, where developed in Xtol grain was mushy and dull on a 12x16" print, where the Pyrocat-HD neg in a similar situation with a similar size print, on the same paper yielded a print that I perceived as less grainy, because it appeared sharper. I'm not sure whether that has to do with grain masking or not. I do know that this is my personal preference, and I'm definitely not saying you're wrong.
    - Thomas

     
  8. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I'll try some of them at some point. I've got a bunch of the efke ir820 in 4x5, but haven't shot much of it as I haven't bitten the bullet and bought an expensive 89B filter yet.