Staining Developers + APX 100
I have just become the owner of 30 rolls of APX100 for my recently acquired SQA (6x6cm). Not having used this film before, I have decided to also give a new developer a go. Not just any old developer mind you, I have decided to give staining developers a try, not having used them before either... Yes, I know, too many changes at once but hey, I've got lots of spare time for the next few weeks due to a disagreement with my (now ex) manager (I suggested he was an emotionally & intellectually challenged, back-stabbing, two-faced, lying little weasel. He took a somewhat different viewpoint. The outcome was pretty inevitable really - now I come to look back at it... ).
PMK is probably the most common of the staining formulas and is the easiest for me to buy ready made in the UK, but I'm open to a mix-it-yourself from bare chemicals approach... I don't really want to go down the proprietary developer route which rules out a couple of options - I'd much prefer a well established published recipe, even if I actually buy it ready mixed.
My intention is to use my Paterson plastic reels and tanks, unless that is likely to cause a problem, with intermittent or stand development. Also, an option is my CPE-2 but I understand most pyro developers oxidise too quickly for rotary development (although I read there are a couple recommended for rotary use).
I mainly shoot outdoors - i.e. lots of contrast when the sun is shining but, this being England, lots of times it's overcast giving low contrast... So looking for a forgiving developer as I can't adjust development time for each shot on roll film (I only have one film back). Good acutance would be nice (small grain too as I've sort of gotten used to it over he last couple of years with 4x5" - but I realise the two are generally mutually exclusive) and I'm not worried about loosing some film speed. I mainly print on to Ilford MG VC paper (FB and RC).
Any suggestions as to a favoured staining developer - either in general or with this particular film in mind?
I have used APX100 (120 and 4x5) successfully in Barry Thornton's DiXactol using the 2 min partial stand method and also Exactol Lux using normal agitation. I understand that these devs are soon going to be back on the market. Also used it in PMK, but not so extensively. I rated it at ISO 80 and used recommended times and temps in all cases.
Lovely film, which reminds me, I need to get some more!
I have about 200 sheets of APX100 in 9x12cm left, and those are the last
It stains very nicely, I have used Pyrocat-HD and Windisch' Compensating Pyrocatechin developers. The Windisch/APX100 combination allowed me to photograph a solar eclise, showing both details in the foreground AND sunspots on the solar (half) disk. I have no idea how many zones that would be in the zone system - and I exposed by guesswork too...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
While it might be hard to get in the UK, W2D2+ and APX100 @ E.I. 80 is an amazing combination.
And Ole, I have 400 sheets of 4x5 APX100 left. While it's the last, it's also a number of years worth at the rate I shoot. I also use Efke25 and Classic200 dependent upon light conditions.
I would be careful which staing developer you use if you are going to stick with variable grade paper. Somw stains don't translate well onto VG paper I am told. I have been using Forte single grade papers and like the result very much.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
Just got out of the darkroom to find it is past 3 a.m. Whooops....
Thanks for the info Baxter - I read about Dixactol as it seems to have the compensating action I am looking for but the fact that it was nearly lost when we lost Barry Thornton suddenly is one of the reasons I decided against using a proprietary formulae.
Ole: I didn't come across Windisch when I was searching - now I've done a google on it, it looks very interesting - a very simple formulae compared to Pyrocat-HD. I'll have a closer look, taking what Tim has to say regarding VC paper onboard. If my reading is correct, it looks like the brown staining developers are OK for VC paper and these tend to be the Catechol based ones?
Oh. Ilford recommend Pyro developers for all their plates - well, they did in my early (1908 I think) copy of The Ilford Manual of Photography... Truely a different world where there are only a handful of telephones in what is now the London borough of Barking (was probably the suburbs back then).
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