What is FX-39 anyway

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lenny, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. lenny

    lenny Member

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    Been using Efke 25 and some 100 lately, with PMK in a Jobo. The 25 works pretty well, but on occasion, unexpected things happen. I want to take the staining out of the equation at least temporarily and so I was lookng for another developer. Been considering FX1, FX2, TFX2 (Formulary) and FX39.

    I have been able to look at the formulas of all but FX-39, and have a good idea of what the different chemicals will (or should) do.

    Anyone know generally what is in the FX-39? Is it an extra hit of Phenidone, Glycin, or what?

    Thanks in advance.

    Lenny
     
  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Well, it seems to be metol and something. Not glycin, not phenidone. Looks, acts, and smells like metol. It's very gentle, and pleasantly sharp. No idea what pixie dust Crawley added. A fine developer. FX2, in Crawley's original version and Troops variation ( Formulary ) are exquisite, too.

    The sole drawback to FX39 is that once the bottle opened it goes bad quickly.

    FX2 / TFX2 lasts a long time ( separate solutions ). That might decide the case for a Jobo.

    FX1 is a remarkably good developer, but tends to build density in the highlights. I rely on reduced agitation to balance this: in a Jobo, I'd bet you'd have a problem with this.

    FX2 will drive PMK out of your memory.

    .
     
  3. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Paterson are very sparse with their MSDS, I am sure it wouldn`t hurt them to divulge the developing agents that go into their developers.
     
  4. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    ConsultedTroop, and looked up FX37: a Phen/HQ/buffered carbonate developer.

    I used this before working with FX39. It very well could be the same, or similar, stuff... which shatters my anti-Phenidone bias on grounds of acutance !

    FX37
    Sulfite, anhy 60
    HQ 5
    S Carb, anhy 5
    Phen .5
    Borax 2.5
    Pot Bro .5
    Benzo 1% 5ml
     
  5. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Quite the opposite, I should say. Well, at least for Pyrocat-HD and Tri-X. Stand development with Pyrocat-HD simply blew FX2 out of the water for high accutance with Tri-X in 135 and 120. And Pyrocat-HD is far better at coping with high SBR scenes than FX2 in my experience. I even found that the incidence of ruined negatives due to streaking with stand development is lower with Pyrocat-HD than FX2.

    Gelatin tanning simply gives staining developers an unfair advantage in the sharpness category.
     
  6. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I have heard speculation that FX-39 also contains sodium ascorbate similar to other 'vitamin C' developers like Xtol, which might explain its relatively short shelf life. The good news is that it comes in small bottles, and it forces you to get out there and shoot some film!
     
  7. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    G.W.Crawley, who invented both,was reported in in Amateur Photographer magazine 27Aug05 as saying that the closest published formula to FX-39 is FX-37.

    He suggested (AP 15Oct05) replacing the benzotriazole and potassium bromide in the original formula posted above by only potassium bromide 1 gram,a move to help the amateur as it is easier to dissolve.
     
  8. lenny

    lenny Member

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    No Metol

    Gee, I don't know if I could use a developer wihtout Metol - I've never tried ;-)

    Thanks for all your replies. Tha's an interesting comment about FX-2. I will say that the Jobo is very convenient. If I wanted to go to trays or to a stand Pyro I could see going that way, but if there is something close, and if FX2 or TFX2 is really that good, I am interested.

    I am concerned that the TFX2 sheet that Formulary puts out suggests that it can only develop two rolls of film per liter of working solution. I have a 10 sheet 4x5 drum for the Jobo, which would represent 2.5 sheets. Further, I have a 5 sheet 8x10 and it would seem that one could only do 2 sheets at a time.

    Anyone want to comment on FX2 vs FX-39? Or, on FX-39 ability to process more at a time?

    Thanks, this is a real help.

    Lenny
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    At this point, you probably ought to flip a coin and give one a try... or try 'em both !

    The Formulary is pretty conservative, but a Jobo needs a little testing to get the dilution right for a particular film, and curve shape. Depending on the film, FX39 could give you more of a shoulder than FX2... good or bad.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    It's possible this claim is based on confusion with FX-50, which is a phenidone/vitamin C ("PC") developer with no metol or hydroquinone.
     
  11. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Can anyone use an IR spectrometer, maybe MS. It won't give the recipe, but it will tell the ingrediants.