Why was Plus-X so fast?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MattKrull, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. MattKrull

    MattKrull Subscriber

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    I have a few hundred feet of Plus-X 125 left. When that's done, I'll need to find a new 100/125 speed film. Thing is, I'm cheap and lazy, so I like developing in D-76 at 1:1. And Plus-X is fast (7 minutes at 1:1, 4.5 minutes at stock).

    When I look at my options, they take a lot longer to develop.

    Across 100, 10.5 minutes
    Delta 100, 11 minutes
    Fomapan 100, 10 minutes
    FP4 125, 9.5 minutes
    Kentmere 100, 11.5 minutes
    Rollei RPX100, 8 minutes
    Tmax 100, 9.5 miuntes

    Only the Rollei is in the same league as the Plus-X - and it is not cheap (almost twice the cost of HP5+)
    Okay, I'm not going to moan too much about adding 4 minutes to a process that, all told, takes me almost an hour (from loading the reels to hanging the negatives).

    But it raises the question, why do all the still-produced films take longer to develop than Plus-X? Was Plus-X simply a higher silver content? (I recall someone saying the reason Kentmere takes so long to develop was due to the lower silver content)
     
  2. Bill Harrison

    Bill Harrison Subscriber

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    How long does Super XX cine film take?
     
  3. MattKrull

    MattKrull Subscriber

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    According to the Massive Dev Chart, Eastman Double X (the closest name I can find to "Super XX cine") takes 10 minutes at 1:1 for ISO250.

    I can't say I've ever seen that for sale at B&H.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Eastman 5222 (Double-X) can be purchased directly from Kodak in 400 and 1000 ft lengths. There is also the possibility of buying "short ends" which would be a cheaper alternative. There are several sites that sell short ends.

    BTw, Kodak cine films are marketed under the name Eastman rather than Kodak. The films are numbered either 5nnn (36 mm) or 7nnn (16 mm).
     
  5. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Member

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    Look at ORWO UN54. Not too pricey,and mighty Plus-X in look too. Not sure about times in D-76 off the top of my head.
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Why are you in such a hurry to develop the film. What is a few minutes devoted to getting good negatives?
     
  7. erikg

    erikg Member

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    +1

    Seems like a strange priority.
     
  8. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Move to a different developer. I believe that Rodinal will work quicker. :smile:
     
  9. MattKrull

    MattKrull Subscriber

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    Definitely learning stuff today.

    The Orwo looks very interesting. Dev time is same as Plus-X. Price is right ($47/100'). Unfortunately the website says they are sold out of it and the ISO 400 equivalent. Their tumblr and twitter accounts have been quiet for 3 months. I hope their still going.

    Jim, it isn't that I'm in a hurry (well, maybe I am). Like I said, I'm not moaning about adding less than 10% time to my total time. Although, I'll admit, I find 7 minutes to be a good amount of time standing in the basement waiting to agitate. By 12 minutes I find it's tedious. Because I tend to develop in cold water (I adjust times rather than work to get my water temp exact), my times tend to be a bit longer.

    The reason for this post was the question I put at the end - what is it about Plus-X that makes it develop so much faster than newer films?

    Pioneer - I'm still learning, so I'm keeping my 'playing with developers' to a minimum. D-76 is definitely easy for me to use, and I like the way it develops all my films so far. That said, I've got some Rodinal on order. I like what I've seen with how it does edges. Semi-stand, while taking longer, fits well with my personality (I can do other things while it devs). I'm really looking forward to playing with Rodinal and some Retro 80S in the future.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2013
  10. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Back to the original question. There are several possibilities for the faster development time, among them: the emulsion formulation, a thinner emulsion, or a more permeable emulsion. I don't know the answer.
     
  11. ~andi

    ~andi Member

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    You could standardize on a slightly higher temperature. Constant agitation (as in rotation) shortens the time too.
     
  12. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Try 12.5 minutes at 68F/20C.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    in coffee it will be even longer .. it takes me 30+ minutes to process film
    and all of it nomatter the brand or asa takes the same amount of time ...

    and in ansco130 1:6 or 1:10 @ 72º take about 8.5 mins no matter the film &c ...
    dektol ( d-72 ) 1:7 7 mins @ 68º

    you can always use a different developer :smile:
     
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  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Just goes to show...I develop in a Jobo so I just read a book until the timer goes off, and I standardized on 75F because my Jobo will heat but not cool and my ambient temperatures are near 75 in the summer anyway (occasionally more like 76.) So this would never have occurred to me.

    When I saw the title of the thread I was wondering if it might be about pushability. One of the things I liked about Plus-X was how well it responded to Diafine. I liked Plus-X at 400 in Diafine better in some respects than Tri-X at box speed in normal developers.
     
  16. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    My recipe:
    Eastman 5222
    EI 250
    HC-110 1:50
    9 min. @ 68 degrees
    30 seconds initial agitation followed by 2 inversions every 30 seconds.
    Prints out at G 1.5 - 2.0 on a condenser enlarger.
    I buy 400 foot cores from Kodak, 1-800-621-3456.

    I like the look. Your likes are your own.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    MattKrull,

    I understand your feeling. Part of my affinity for Panatomic-X is the recommended Fix time of 2-4 minutes, compared to 5-10 minutes for other film.

    Completely trivial but adds to the pleasure of working in the darkroom.

    Now that I am more results-oriented (develop to contrast index, fix twice the time to clear), the difference is even less meaningful.

    And of course, now that I am hooked completely, a few minutes extra processing time has no bearing on anything.
     
  18. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Member

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    Orwo is around, not to worry. They sell out every shipment quickly.
     
  19. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    My thoughts too. I think about the speed and quality of the film, and whatever it takes to develop, so be it.
     
  20. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I just processed a roll of expired 220 Plus-X shot at 100 asa with Rodinal 1:50. 13 minutes based on the Massive Development Chart. For Acros 100 shot at box speed with Rodinal 1:50, the time is 13.5 minutes. I think it's more to do with the developer being used than with Plus-X.
     
  21. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Just go hc110 dilution A! I done it many times with extra marvelous results. You'll be around the 3,4,5 minutes mark with any film.
     
  22. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Ditto for Ilfotec DDX, and a host of other developers. Or D76 straight?

    I can understand wanting to stick with a developer you're familiar with...no fault there. But a few minutes in an hour long process is...well, kind of trifling, to be frank.
     
  23. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    My favorite second developer (my first will always be D-76) is Dektol.

    Develop for as many minutes as you added parts of water. (Rule of thumb taught to me by PE).

    So if you want to develop for 4 minutes, dilute 1 part Dektol stock to 4 parts water.
     
  24. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Is that good for any film?
    How acurate can it possibly be?

     
  25. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    It's a rule of thumb, take it with a grain of salt.

    I need to hire a teenager to help me with my paperwork...

    Let's see... 7/27/2013 ... Giant's game, half-frame

    Dektol 1:9 on fresh Tri-X 400 TX 135-36 12/2014 batch 1781

    5 minutes 68-degrees F

    Aim CI 0.4 - 0.5
    Actual CI possibly 0.4 - 0.5 but didn't do sensitometry.

    (I deliberately under-developed to aim to a Grade 3 paper instead of Grade 2, long story but I was going for maximum grain).

    [​IMG]

    p.s. The photo is a flat-bed scan of a print. I mention that because so many grain examples are negative scans. Negative scanning can cause exaggeration or misrepresentation of actual grain. This is the grain on a print.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2013
  26. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Send them an e-mail, In the past they have offered to spool 100 ft rolls down from their stock of larger rolls, and they can also let you know when the next shipment is due from Wolfen.