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  1. #1

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    Impression of Ilfosol 3

    I bought some Ilfosol 3 to try out with Delta 100. Any tips or feelings on this? I usually buy HC 110 but it is hard to find right now in Ottawa, Ontario. Planning on developing with it either Tuesday or Wednesday. Thanks, Don

  2. #2

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    Ilford's description of Ilfosol is not entirely clear, but we can put together a rough story based on Ilford's literature.

    First, I assume the working characteristics of Ilfosol 3 to be very close to Ilfosol S. I believe the reformulation was primarily to improve shelf life.

    See page 3 in this link for a rough guideline to Ilford's developers: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/200629163442455.pdf

    Here's what we know from Ilford:

    1. Recommended primarily for fine grained films (slow and medium speed)
    2. Not recommended for push processing
    3. Its working pH is quite high (~9.7)
    4. Recommended as a possible equivalent/substitute for Rodinal

    Based on the above, it appears to geared more toward sharpness and one-shot use than to fine grain and film speed. It is a highly active formula as evidenced by the short developing times.

  3. #3

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    Ilfosol is an extraordinary developer. Sharp, sharp, sharp negatives.

    To me, the description makes it sound like it's similar to Rodinal and I agree it is.

  4. #4

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    I don't have anything to compare it to but I've been using it since I jumped back in to photography last November with good results. Film speeds of 50, 100, 200, and 400 ISO have been great. Lots of my photos on flickr.com/ki7el were done with Ilfosol 3.

    I'm no expert though.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    To me, the description makes it sound like it's similar to Rodinal and I agree it is.
    While some may consider the resultant negatives to be similar the two developers are vastly different in composition.

    The one downside that I have heard about Ilfosol 3 is that the concentrate does not keep well particularly once it has been opened.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    While some may consider the resultant negatives to be similar the two developers are vastly different in composition.

    The one downside that I have heard about Ilfosol 3 is that the concentrate does not keep well particularly once it has been opened.
    That was Ilfosol-S. Yes its keeping properties were dreadful. Similar to xtol.
    Ilfosol-3 keeps for a much longer period and it's not the same formula.

  7. #7
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    With Tri-X, I haven't seen Ilfosol 3 to behave at all like Rodinal.

  8. #8

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    I'm not saying that it is Rodinal or anything like that. But by reading the 4 points in post #2, one could easily mistake it for Rodinal (best with slow films, no push) and my results showed very sharp results. With HP5, for example, the grain is pronounced and sharp, the kind of thing one would expect from Rodinal.

    I like Ilfosol-3 quite a bit. I'm very happy at how my FP4 and Pan-F negatives look. Is it the equivalent of Rodinal? I don't know. And it's not the same as Ilfosol-S that's for sure.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Ilfosol-3 keeps for a much longer period and it's not the same formula.
    It still goes bad pretty fast. I've been using it for a few years with good results, but I put glass marbles in the bottle to keep oxygen out. Add more marbles with every use. That said, I still rarely finish a bottle before it gets too yellow to trust.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by whowantstoast View Post
    It still goes bad pretty fast. I've been using it for a few years with good results, but I put glass marbles in the bottle to keep oxygen out. Add more marbles with every use. That said, I still rarely finish a bottle before it gets too yellow to trust.
    Too yellow to trust might not be a good indication but developer is too cheap to take a risk. HC110 goes yellow really fast and Rodinal goes black as soon as a few days and they last forever.
    But good old Ilfosol-S used to go bad in a few days. If you didn't have 20 rolls to develop in the same day, ditching the opened bottle was a good idea.

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