Testing Super-xx Help

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jd callow, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have an opportunity to get a couple 100 sheets of, 9 year old Super-xx. The film has been cold stored (I am reasonable sure of this) but suspect that there will be some base fog.

    I will be processing this film on a table top roller and would like help with initial exposure times, developer and developer times. I'm hopeful that someone else has done this before and could give me a leg-up.

    The Tech sheet states DK50 and HC110, I have neither but do have D-76, X-tol and Microdol-x. If need be I'll purchase a different developer. Your help is appreciated.
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    half the box speed to shoot the tests. At 68f Microdol -x straight will get you in the ball park


    lee\c
     
  3. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I am jealous. I've wanted to play with the venerable Super-XX ever since I realized so many famous pictures were taken on it.
     
  4. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    If it were me, I would contact Michael Smith at http://michaelandpaula.com. He is still using old XX and uses ABC pyro. He would be able to give you a heads up as to what his rating on this film is.
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee are out of the country with no access to the internet for at least one month. They develop their Super XX by inspection in ABC pyro. The formula is on their website. They begin inspecting at 8 minutes. I believe I recall Paula mentioning that she rates it at 80, but I could be off a little on that. I'm certain, however, that 80 is the speed she recommended to me as a starting place for Bergger BPF 200, the closest thing to a modern "equivalent" that we have.

    If you're not going to buy every single sheet your source is making available, please inform us who the source is so that we can obtain the rest. I'll certainly make it worth his while financially.
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I shoot Bergger BPF 200 and develop by inspection in ABC pyro. I rate the film at 64. I find that my development times for enlarging (4X5 format) run 8 1/4 minutes for N, 10 3/4 minutes for N+ 1, and 13 minutes for N+2.

    In the 8X10 size which I contact print on Azo and amidol my development times run around 12 minutes for N, 15 minutes for N+1, and 18 minutes for N+2.

    All at 70 degree temp.
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm excited about using this film. I have a great concern about wasting a lot of sheets just getting the ei, dev formula and times down. I am not an old hand at B&W.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2007
  8. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The ei and times recommended by Aggie, dnmilkin seem to corrispond well with each other and look to be a good starting point. Can I assume that Bergger BPF 200 is sufficiently close to SXX that the EI and development is or near interchangeable?.
     
  9. lee

    lee Member

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    sorry, I just re-read my post and I omitted time in Microdol-x at 68f. It should be 10 minutes. I had to check my notes from some old Super XX I had several years ago. It is a nice film.

    lee\c
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you have a 4x5" camera or a 4x5" back? You could cut the sheets down for your speed and development tests. Even if you don't have a 4x5" camera, you could cut up one or two sheets into smaller pieces and tape them to the center of the film holder for testing purposes.

    I wouldn't take BPF 200 results as a starting point for Super-XX. Manufacturer's claims aside (which really only apply to the look of the film, not the development times in different developers), I don't think you can treat them as the same emulsion, roller processing introduces another variable, and the age of the film might mean that all bets are off anyway.

    If you have access to a densitometer, I'd do the traditional tests that Adams describes in _The Negative_, and that should get you there with the least waste.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a 4x5, access to a densitometer, and will reread the <u>The Negative</u>.
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ok, I bought the film $40.00 a box. I think I'm set for developer or at least I know what I'm getting (Pyro) and where (http://www.photoformulary.com/). My final question is what fixer (fixer w/hardner or w/o and a name would be helpful). Thanks a boutload!!!

    I plan on using it for portraiture using a sinar, commercial ektar 300 f/6,7, an old photogenic flashmaster strobe setup, and traditional B/W filtration based upon skin, eye and (to a lesser degree)hair colour.

    I have a small studio and access to fairly broad and interesting pool of models.
     
  13. lee

    lee Member

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    You can use a number of fixer combos. Some will advocate sodium thiosulfate and some will advocate rapid fix and some will advocate any non- acid type fixers like TF-4 claiming the stain is better. I stand squarely into the rapid fix camp. I have used all three and I frankly cannot see the difference. I happen to have Rapid Fix (used w/o hardner) and I also I don't re-soak the film in spent developer as this just adds to the general overall stain. It makes the exposure times longer when printing. This is for PMK Pyro which is what I took you to mean. If it is not, then disregard all the above. If this is ABC pyro contact
    www.michaelandpaula.com Look around on their site and you will find Michael's formula for ABC pyro and how to mix it and use it. They (Michael and Paula) are the leading experts in ABC pyro with Super XX. Great info there. BTW, he recomends rapid fix no harder for ABC pyro.

    lee\c
     
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  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Lee, I think that if you will recheck that you find that Michael Smith is squarely in the camp of not using rapid fix. He uses 32 oz sodium thiosulfate and 4 oz of sodium sulfite per gallon of fixer. I agree with his reasoning on not using rapid fix since I have had the unfortunate experience of having rapid fix bleach the silver.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like TF-4 with both ABC and PMK, though there are certainly others getting good results with plain hypo and other fixers.
     
  17. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well the water gets muddier. I was going to use Roller Pyro (due to the roller developemnt I'll be using). I assume this is a different animal still than ABC.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think Rollo Pyro is a version of PMK with something to retard or compensate for the oxidation problem with roller processing. There is also ABC+ which I think is spiked with Amidol that may also find favor among the rollerfiles. Go to unblinkingeye.com for Ed's page on various pyro formulae.

    One issue with pyro is that is that it makes densitometer readings more complicated. Use a color densitometer on the blue channel to read the stain density along with the silver density.
     
  19. lee

    lee Member

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    ok, I will look. I am doing this from memory so as I get older and older stuff starts to fail. As they say, "Short term memory is the first of two things to go on the march toward senility. I don't remember the second one."


    lee\c
     
  20. lee

    lee Member

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    I just checked on the fixer issue with michaelandpaula.com and under the FORMULAS AND PROCEEDURES Michael says to use Rapid fix BUT be careful not to over fix as it could bleach the silver in the negative. I personally have never seen the effect in the neg but have seen it happen on a print that I left in the fixer overnight. Maybe there is a contridition on Michael's part?

    lee\c
     
  21. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you notice my dual cubes? That’s right I'm no longer a newbie, I'm a junior!


    ABC Pyro Plus Film Developer is the developer I found on http://www.photoformulary.com. It is intended for Roller development or so they say.

    Photoformulary a tough site to navigate or am I just a digital elitist?

    My concern about fixer was based upon statements I've read that seemed to indicate that older films required a hardener. I guess SXX is not that old. The point about not over fixing is good for me to hear. I always thought that fixing was a completion process; meaning that once fixed you couldn't over fix. When developing Tmax I would often fix far longer then recommended to get rid of the purple cast.

    So Rapid fixer is ok if used with caution,

    By the by, I really do appreciate everyone’s help -- so far. I can't wait till I start printing and you kind folks can walk me through paper selections, contrast techniques, toning -- I can see multi cubes in my future.
     
  22. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I came across the film speed and development test data that Ansel Adams did on Super XX. Unfortunately I don't know how to post the graph showing the density and development graph on this site.

    For the sake of brevity it shows that he rated the film at 100 and that the normal development in HC110 at 1-7 dilution (his favorite developer) was five and one half minutes. The same dilution at a time of eight and one half minutes would take it to a N+1 contrast.

    The contrast graph shows that with normal development this film will show detail separation all the way through zone XII at a density of 2.10 and that total development would take this film through a density of 3.15. This film shows very little toe and no shoulder at normal development. With total development the introduction of a slight shoulder comes in at zone VIII Wow!!! is that something or what??? No wonder everyone loved this stuff.

    Now by way of comparison, for what it is worth, I found through testing that when I developed TriX with HC110 my normal development time was 6 1/4 minutes (Prof. 320 rated at 160). When I switched to ABC pyro with the same film my normal development time went to 6 1/2 minutes. So I would think that a similar correlation would possibly apply here with SuperXX.

    So for all of you that can talk him out of a couple of hundred sheets, you have your development times and rating. Good luck.

    Regards,
    Donald Miller
     
  23. lee

    lee Member

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    Rollo and ABC+ are the same thing, I belive. They are for Jobo processing. PMK is a manual process developer. Regular ABC is something Michael Smith is an advocate of. He says it is the only developer for contact printing. ABC+ may or maynot have Amidol in it. I just don't remember.


    lee\c
     
  24. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Yes Lee, I too believe that ABC+ and Rollo are the same thing. At least that is what my information indicates. The two names come from Photographers Formulary and Bostick and Sullivan. I am quite confident that it does not contain Amidol since Amidol is the most active photographic developing agent known. At the price that it goes for, it should be...
     
  25. lee

    lee Member

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    Yes, Thanks Donald for the conformation. I had a Jobo once and I could never get PMK to act like I wanted it to act. It developed the negs but after a few trys I was still less than pleased and when someone offered about 3 times what I paid for it, well the money order was cashed and I shipped it north.

    lee/c
     
  26. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    Yes,

    Rollo and ABC+ are for Jobos. And yes, ABC+ has Amidol in it. What I would love to know is if ABC+ is really a modified PMK for rolling, or if it is a modified ABC. Even though the name is obviously the same. ABC and PMK have remarkably different stains and effects on negatives.

    dgh