Neopan 400 - recommendations pls

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jrong, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. jrong

    jrong Member

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    Apologies if this question has been asked before... I have some rolls of Fuji Neopan 400 in 35mm format shot in a variety of conditions. Souped it in HC-110 dil B for 5 mins as recommended on the Digitaltruth website, but have got rather yucky results.... the contrast is all over the place, and the tonality for a lot of the photos stink.

    I have Rodinal, HC-110 and Paterson FX-39 in my little darkroom chest. Could I do better?

    Jin
     
  2. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I use Rodinal 1:50 12min (20 degrees C) Agitate first 60secs and the 10sec every three min. I try to keep my times to at least 10 min, I don't feel comfortable with shorter times.
    Neopan 400 tend to be a little contrasty compared to other 400 films so it's a matter of taste. You can control the contrast by overeksposing/underdeveloping a bit if you want less contrast or "undereksposing"/overerdeveloping if you want more contrast. beware though when it comes to undereksposing since you may loose detail in shadows
    I find that the mentioned combination suits my taste and because I don't have to worry about shelf live of Rodinal it's the perfect developer for me
    Cheers Søren
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    To be honest I think you have LOTS of options. Tonality is subjective and what I like you might not. I have shot a reasonable amount of Neopan 400 and found it very agreable in DDX 1+7. I have not got times etc as they are on a dektop in another country, but contrast was well controlled and very consistent. Rated at 400 I had loads of shadow detail as DDX gives at least box speed under avge light.

    Although I have not tried it I would expect FX39 to be good for this film as I think it is quite fluffy compared to HP5 or TriX, lacking the acutance. I have FX39 in my cupboard and with DDX 'in the bag' woul go to FX39 as my next trial. FX39 being designed for modern tech films also controls contrast so whoudl ensure things dont go too wild assuming you take reasonable precautions. It is also the sharpest dev I have used outside of pyro devs so results should be very crisp.
     
  4. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Not all good developers are well matched for all good films ( although NO film has ever been released that didn't perform well with D76. ) HC-110 can be troublesome with many films.

    FX-39 is extremely good for Neopan, although it introduces a shoulder .... probably high enough it won't trouble you. Aculux 2 is just brilliant, however.

    Rodinal is very nice as well, but different. DDX and Xtol are functionally interchangeable. But overall, for speed, fine grain, useful curve in both flat and contrasty light, Buy British... Aculux 2 is your best choice.
     
  5. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Give HC-110 another chance. Dilute 1:50 and develop for 1.5X the time for dilution B. The lower concentration produces better compensation and sharpness and allows for more control. At 5 minutes you are right at the shortest recommended time for consistant results. Perhaps that is causing your problems.
     
  6. pauldc

    pauldc Member

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    Yes I agree, Neopan 400 in Aculux2 is perfect. Rate the film at EI 250 and develop for 7.5 minutes at 20 degrees C with 10 seconds agitation per minute. Very low grain, good sharpness and wonderful tonality. It is my standard combination when I want reliable results.
     
  7. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Google onto "HC-110. The Unofficial Resource Page".

    You cut dilution B in half and double the time. Nice results.

    Mike
     
  8. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    My standard is Rodinal 1:25 for 6.5min, with standard agitation. Never had a problem, and the grain is extremely fine.
     
  9. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I also endorse Paterson Aculux 2 for this film, though I kept to the manufacturer's rating of ISO 400. This gave punchy negatives which I prefer and found easy to print.
     
  10. mario Ag+

    mario Ag+ Member

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    I would have to agree with Soeren about the Rodinal (1+50) combo. It really keeps this contrasty film under control. I also rate it at ISO 200 in contrasty sitiuations and develop for 10:30 mins. This does gives better shadow detail as one would expect.
     
  11. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    Calbe A49 works wonderfully with Neopan 400. The tonality and grain are wonderful.

    Now marketed in the UK as Adox ATM49, I believe.

    I like Neopan 400 a lot, I've had good results with Moersch EFG (allegedly a Perceptol clone) Rodinal and A49. It's probably the film that I've had the most consistently reliable results from.
     
  12. jrong

    jrong Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
    One question about Aculux, I have FX-39 and its got terrible storage properties... barely a month and its gone. I've had to pipette all my remaining FX-39 into small bottles to minimise oxygenation. What are the keeping properties of Aculux?

    Jin
     
  13. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    ACULUX IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CREATURE.

    Don't know how long it lasts, but 6 months in a partially full bottle is fine.
     
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  15. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    Aculux 2 question: I'm tempted to try this developer. How solvent is it, say, compared to XTOL at a given dilution? Does it give a crisp grain rendition with medium speed films? Hard to answer question I suppose...
     
  16. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    In my darkroom, Aculux lives between the Xtol and Rodinal.

    Tonally, it has the long straight line of Rodinal instead of the Xtol shoulder.

    A tad less (Zone II ) speed than Xtol, more than Rodinal.

    More acute than Xtol, finer grain than Rodinal.

    The splendid local contrast and superb midtones of both Rodinal and Xtol.

    Does not build acutance effects like Rodinal, FX2, or FX 39.
    But it has doesn't look in any way soft. It is very well balanced, but has no shortcomings. It is a bit like D76 1+1, but ..... well, shoot, I just like it a ton better.
    And I like D76 1+1 a lot.

    Works exceedingly well with higher dilutions, and minimal agitation.

    Geoffrey Crawley is a great man.

    .
     
  17. Oldtimer Jay

    Oldtimer Jay Member

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    I have tried a number of developers with this film including Xtol, Rodinal, Microdol, FX2, FX 39 and Minicol. By a slight but noticeable margin , I have found Cawley's FX 15 to be the best for balancing tonality, grain' and acutance. It does not keep well however, and it is strictly a mix your own item so I will definitely be shooting a roll and processing it in Aculux 2 in the next few days. As is obvious. I am not yet a recovering magic bullet chaser.

    Jay L.
     
  18. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I've used a fair bit of Neopan 400 (approx 50 rolls) & like the results from Xtol 1:2
    12.5 mins at 20 degrees
    Agitate first 30 secs then 10 secs every minute.

    I'm intrigued by the positive responses to Aculux 2 & curious to try this out.

    pauldc says
    "Rate the film at EI 250 and develop for 7.5 minutes at 20 degrees C with 10 seconds agitation per minute."

    Any other specific techniques for exposure & development from regular users of this combination?
     
  19. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    I get 400 ei with Paterson's suggested time of 12', with agitatin once per minute.

    Paterson's data has been pretty good for me... or lucky !
     
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    I get 400 ei with Paterson's suggested time of 12', with agitation once per minute.

    Paterson's data has been pretty good for me... or lucky !
     
  21. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Thanks for that.
    By 'agitation once per minute', do you meant just one inversion cycle per minute?
    How much agitation to get things started?
     
  22. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    While we're talking about Aculux and FX-15. I've wanted to try these both and have always wondered if Aculux and Aculux 2 are descendants of FX-15 or entirely new developers. Aculux certainly seemed to fill the FX-15 sized gap in the Patterson line. Similar at least?
     
  23. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    I should have said that I agitate about 15 seconds at the beginning, ending with a shake and a rap on the counter. I agitate for 5 seconds ( 3 inversions ) every minute.

    ( I use a kinderman tank, with hewes reels, and it is very efficient.
    With paterson tanks, maybe 10 seconds would be better, as it seemes to take longer to make the 3 inversions ... no real reason, it works. )
     
  24. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Yeah, I'm using Paterson tanks & no way could I invert 3 times in 5 seconds.
    Thanks for the extra info, now I have a good starting point to test some film.
    Strangely enough, it sounds like the method & time will be very close to my current Xtol 1:2 regimen.
     
  25. pauldc

    pauldc Member

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    In my experience Aculux2 has better tonality (beautiful creamy tonality) than Xtol and is sharper. It has long life storage (up to 6 months) as long as you decant it in to small full glass bottles - if you leave it in the original red bottle it will go yellow within 3 months and be useless.

    In terms of grain, with Neopan and Delta 400 when properly exposed there is very little grain. The downside of Aculux2 (always has to be a trade off) is that in my experience it is a poor push developer and likes to have films rated 2/3's of their ISO speed.

    I agree with df in placing Aculux2 between Rodinal and Xtol.
     
  26. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Ill second Aculux 2 for being a great all rounder and the comments are dead on. Tonality is the best I have ever seen, speed acceptable and no worse than D76 1+1, acutance pretty good for a smoothie and dead simple to use as well as being cheap and lasting OK. I went for FX39 as an option as you already have some.

    Personally, for when pyrocat HD aint about (not now as I am moving about every 5 mins) I use Aculux 2 and FX 39 and am VERY happy. I use other things only when I cannot get these. Truly superb and so undervalued for reasons I don't understand.