I've just finished my 3rd print from my first roll of FP4+. The negatives came out denser than usual, but I thought they looked pretty good. I'm using a cold light and have read that slightly denser negatives can be good... and with hp5+ and tri-x my development adjustments from recommended times have all been toward a little denser negs. I thought I was getting things dialed in because printing has become easier and easier.
After only three prints, my initial impression is that these are easier to print. I seem to be able to get the midtones where I want them more easily. The way the tones change in the middle ranges seems to look really nice, and my test strips seem to be easy to judge. There is a bit more grain than I expected, but I like the way it looks. I'm printing with the enlarger lens opened up a stop, with similar times ( still F5.6 or 8 for an 8x10 print... so still not wide open at all.)
So... I wonder how much of this is due to the film and how much is due to development and denser negatives? I shot the roll at EI 100, and developed for the recommended time in HC-110. Anyway, I'm very pleased and my last print surprised me: I'm saving the "best" ones for later and picked this one because I thought it might not be as interesting ( most of the image is in the middle ranges of tones, with just a little sky and not much deep shadow ).. but the middle tones separated out and I really like the way it looks. It was a negative I might have skipped altogether!
That was my only roll of FP4+, but now I'm sure I'll be getting some more.
Last edited by NedL; 02-01-2013 at 01:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
For me easiest to print are ISO 100 (and 125) films. I don't know - maybe because I print on fixed grade 2 paper?
I'll take a shot. I assume your using -135 film. You don't mention what your contrast filtration is but if it is higher than #3.5 you will enhance the existing film grain.
Your EI is fine. I shoot this film at 80 with D-76 1:1, 20c with a development time of 10m. My small format enlarger is a Leitz 1c which prints between a condenser and diffuser. HC 110 I read separates mid tones but will not shoulder off the higher zones as D-76 1:1 would.
D-76 would be a better film developer unless you are experienced. A standard technique is to view newsprint through the negative. If enlarging with a diffused light source you should have difficulty reading typed text through the dense portion of the negative. If highlights are blocked you likely over developed.
Enlarging -135 FP-4 with a dichro head to 8x10 I don't experience grain in the sense you can notice it. I develop -135 in D-76 or XTOL 1:1.
Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 02-02-2013 at 05:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
It is very difficult to give advice about something I/we can’t see and as I have no experience with the developer you mention and no idea about the original lighting range, I may be wrong. However, the fact that you mention there is a bit more grain than expected, I would guess you have over developed the negs slightly. The good news is you are using a (cold light) imagine this to be a diffuser which should help. I would suggest the ideal is to expose and develop for the enlarger system you are using.
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
fp4+is a beautiful film. i like it @EI80-100, developed in D761+1 for about 10 min.good luck; god save ilford.
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Thanks everyone. Without explaining everything I'm doing, I know there are too many variables. I said there was more grain than I expected, but honestly I didn't know what to expect. It is substantially less and with a smoother look to it than HP5+. I think it looks great.
I'm not sure I was completely clear... I'm really happy with the results and am just curious why they seem to be easier to print. Whatever the explanation is, I like it very much! Until now I have not had this amount of control in the mid-tones during a print... it felt like I could dial in exactly the way I wanted the tones to look. The highlights are not blown out... it's all good!