I Love Ansco 47
If you want a very basic metol/hydroquinone developer for processing film destined for platinum printing, Ansco 47 is great.
I have used it for years for my 8x10 stuff. Every now and then I get sidetracked by some packaged or fancier developer but when I go back to Ansco 47 I always love it. It gives you nice snappy negs that have sparkling highlights that need no restrainer or very little. It is great on skin and on white backgrounds. You mix it up easily and cheaply and a tray of it lasts a long time.
Metol 2.25 grams
Sodium Sulfite 67.5 grams
Sodium Bisulfite 1.5 grams
hydroquinone 4.5 grams
Sodium Carbonate 9 grams
Potassium Bromide 1.2 grams
water to 1.5 liters
The last few days I have been processing Arista EDU 100 (Foma) at 70º for 7 minutes and the negs are clean and unmottled and perfect for platinum printing.
Just thought I would pass that along. Probably not for silver printing unless it is flat lighting..
1.2 gms of Bromide is a significant restrainer :D
Another case where Agfa Ansco 47 is different to the Agfa/Orwo formula which is an Amidol developer :D
Devs like this went out of fashion when people switched to finer grain developers for miniature films 120 & 35mm, then LF users climbed on the same bandwagon.
Maybe Ansco 47 is grainy. I never noticed it but I tend to use finer grain films. The restrainer I refer to of course is Platinum printing restrainer.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Makes sense, if you're contact printing grain is irrelevant anyway.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
Nothing wrong with a bit o' grain. Forgive me for asking but, what would this stuff be similar to? It sounds neat.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I always wonder about this. There are so many formulae involving Metol, HQ and Sodium Carbonate...but, all seem to disappear from the books around the mid to late 1940's or so.
I realize that this coincides with the advent of miniature formats and the relentless need / desire for fine grain but, I always wonder if there are good formulae that have been unfairly abandoned considering that one is shooting LF and isn't particularily concerned about fine grain.
you can see in the formula that it is pretty basic stuff. But it has a sparkle that I don't get with other developers. I have been shooting a series of still life photos for a few weeks and was using Rodinal and though I love Rodinal I couldn't get the kind of "snap" I wanted.. contrast I guess. I don't plot curves but I would guess this one has a pretty steep shoulder. The exposures I have been doing are complicated with bellows extension and multiple flash, so I can't comment on film speed.
Kodak, Ilford, Agfa etc had similar formulae, D61a comes to mind. It was a case of photographers switching from contact printing and enlarging.
The professional LF users said hang on we can improve our quality too by using Fine grain developers too, and so everyone switched. many Pro's dropped down from 10x8 and larger to 5x4 cameras as a result. Only one of my professional friends continued to use 10x8 (& larger) but he worked for a large International catalogue company who shot everything on transparency to actual size for repro.
My personal take is why shouldn't my 5x4 & 10x8 negs have the same sharpness, fine grain, tonality etc as my 35mm negs. However Platinum &n Alternative processes need very different negatives.
I guess the question that always bothers me has to do with the compromise...are the fine grain developers really "better"? If I develop my 4x5 negs in d-76...am I missing out on something that I might have gotten in a MQ-carbonate developer of old? Speed comes to mind...but, what else?
In other words, If I am projection printing a 4x5 negative (not alt process) and am willing to accept some grain, what can I get in return (by using an old formula)?
As films & processing changed so did the papers.
So using older formulae for enlarging won't really be beneficial. The reverse of the problem is it's very hard to achieve the same qualities from 20's, 30's, 40's negs with modern papers.