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  1. #1

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    developer for micro-contrast

    What is the best developer to enhance micro-contrast without altering (too much) the macro contrast ? (I use "classical" films, HP5+ or FP4+)

    High-acutance developers are known to degrade micro-contrast, but what else ?

  2. #2
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Rodinal is a high-acutance developer and I find it great for enhancing micro-contrast, especially with FP4.

  3. #3
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Me too. Rodinal. But with HP5+ it is not so nice in my opinion. Great with FP4+. A couple that might give you some sense of it with Rodinal:

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    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold33 View Post
    High-acutance developers are known to degrade micro-contrast, but what else ?
    Harold - it is the opposite. Acutance developers tend to enhance micro contrast through specific edge effects. Assuming the same macro contrast, an acutance developer will tend to give higher micro contrast than a fine grain developer. But remember that for any film or developer micro and macro contrast move in the same direction. Typically reduced agitation frequency will help maximize micro contrast. If you want high micro contrast, the balance is to find the right combination of development time and agitation routine to maximize edge effects without flattening macro contrast too much.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold33 View Post
    What is the best developer to enhance micro-contrast without altering (too much) the macro contrast ? (I use "classical" films, HP5+ or FP4+)

    High-acutance developers are known to degrade micro-contrast, but what else ?
    You are right, a high acutance developer will increase the micro-contrast, using the edge effect. This will give a higher perceived sharpness. However, it will degrade the image quality. In 35 mm you really need the increase in micro-contrast, using the edge effect. But in 4x5" , you are better off without the edge effects. At least, many people don't like them. And you don 't need them. With 4x5" , I use a High Definition developer. With 35 mm I would use a High acutance developer. With medium format: it depends. A couple of years ago I published Higd Definition ( catechol and pyrogallol) developers on the APUG site.

    Jed

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Harold - it is the opposite. Acutance developers tend to enhance micro contrast through specific edge effects. Assuming the same macro contrast, an acutance developer will tend to give higher micro contrast than a fine grain developer. But remember that for any film or developer micro and macro contrast move in the same direction. Typically reduced agitation frequency will help maximize micro contrast. If you want high micro contrast, the balance is to find the right combination of development time and agitation routine to maximize edge effects without flattening macro contrast too much.

    Luckily Rodinal isn't a high acutance developer, these tend to give very strong edge effects and slightly coarser grain at the expense of fine detail (micro contrast).

    I used Rodinal for many years but now prefer Pyrocat HD which is very like Rodinal with better blance of sharpness, definition and tonal scale.

    Ian

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post

    I used Rodinal for many years but now prefer Pyrocat HD which is very like Rodinal with better blance of sharpness, definition and tonal scale.

    Ian
    Ian, what films and times are you using with Pyrocat-HD? Just been fiddling some with it myself but decent times for many films not always easily found.
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  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    Ian, what films and times are you using with Pyrocat-HD? Just been fiddling some with it myself but decent times for many films not always easily found.
    With Adox/EFKE 25, HP5, Delta 100 & 400, Tmax 100 & 400, Acros, my times are around 15 - 16 minutes at 1+1 + waterto make 100 @ 20°C in an inversion tank agitation every 30 secs first 2 mins, once a minute after that. I get very consistent results.

    Fomapan 100 & 200 I cut the time to 10 - 11 minutes.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Luckily Rodinal isn't a high acutance developer,
    Ian
    Hey, how come you get away with this correct statement but every time I say it the Rodinal Defence Force comes after me Not fair!

  10. #10
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    With Adox/EFKE 25, HP5, Delta 100 & 400, Tmax 100 & 400, Acros, my times are around 15 - 16 minutes at 1+1 + waterto make 100 @ 20°C in an inversion tank agitation every 30 secs first 2 mins, once a minute after that. I get very consistent results.

    Fomapan 100 & 200 I cut the time to 10 - 11 minutes.

    Ian
    Cool. Thanks much Ian. I love Rodinal but it's not always best for everything plus I love experimenting.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

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