Time to update this thread. Last month I continued with my reversal experiments, and after around 20 new tests, I've got some news...
I played with D11, D19 and D72, mostly to maximize the chemicals that I have. The emulsions were Fomapan R100, Ilford FP4+ and ILFORD HP5+.
In the beginning, all of them were shot at their nominal speed, and I started with Foma because it's a dedicated slide film.
About the developers:
D11: Usable in pure form or diluted 1:1 (best option). More diluted than that loses all its power. I found it comparable with D19, and the results were very similar when diluted 1:1. I found it a bit more neutral than D19 also.
D19: Excellent diluted 1:1, and a bit contrasty for my taste in pure form, but it gave the best results when not diluted with Ilford Hp5+, processing at 20║C during 12 minutes.
D72: Diluted 1:2, is an excellent second developer (I think it gives a little more neutral tones than D19, but I'm not sure). As a first developer is great with Foma R100, but the other solutions have an edge over it.
About the films:
FOMAPAN R100: This is by far the most grateful emulsion and (for my taste) the most beautiful B&W. The majority of the tests were OK with it, some better, some worse, but usable results anyway. Best result: D11 1:1 @24║C for 10 minutes.
D19 1:1 @24║C during 10' is a VERY close finalist. A little bit more grainy and less neutral, but almost as beautiful.
In both cases, you get very good contrast with lots of middle grays. Magic to the eyes, really.
ILFORD FP4+: The most difficult film. No usable results at 125 ASA, no matter what I try. Using the Osbahr process it gives correct exposure, but I dislike the lack of contrast.
ILFORD HP5+: Less difficult, but not easy. The Osbahr process gave a washed out image, so the best results came from D19.
Diluted 1:1 @24║C during 10' we obtain a contrasted beautiful image, as well as using D19 pure @20║C during 12 minutes. Differences are minimal, just aesthetic preferences.
In the end, considering that my usual choice for reversal is Fomapan R100 (both in 35mm and super-8) I decided to use D11 1:1 @24║C and 10 minutes as my standard process. Then I bracketed the Ilford films to obtain the ideal ASA when processed this way: FP4+ is great at 50 ASA, and HP5+ at 200 ASA.
The rest of the process is like this:
BLEACH / 5 minutes:
The DR5 formula
Potassium Dichromate 6g
Sulfuric acid 12ml
CLEARING / 2 minutes:
The DR5 formula
Sodium sulfite 30g
Sodium Metabisulfite 10g
Boric acid 1g
Citric acid 3g
RE-EXPOSURE / 4 minutes:
100W lamp at half a meter. 2 minutes per side.
SECOND DEVELOPER / 4 min:
FIXER / 3min:
After washing, a hypo cleaning bath, more washing and a bath in Tetenal Mirasol. Done!
Sorry for not posting any images, but I have no access to a scanner. In any case, results can only be compared in projection or through a light table...
I use D-76 plus thio, and have very good results with plus-x. I found using an exposure index of asa 500 works best. Don't forget, overexposing gives thin slides, its backwards.
Sometimes, depending on the processing method, the nominal speed gets reduced when reversing. That's why the Ilford emulsions have a different speed here. At their nominal ASA they are underexposed.
Thanks for the detailed results. Regarding Fomapan R100 it indeed gives beautiful tones, but I have had a roll processed by DR5 and two myself and all showed a problem, in 35mm, with tiny black dots over the frame so don't use it. But I have had great results with Adox Silvermax which gives tones similar to the Scala I have had processed commercially and only wish that Adox would cut 120 rolls of it. I just use Champion Suprol as the developer straight either 1+4 or 1+9 and seems to work fine for most films I have tried.
Champion Suprol 1+4 for reversal...looks interesting! Did you exposed Silvermax at 100ASA?
I have serious suspicion of it being Agfa Scala. In fact, even the pre-bath turns into the same blue tint.
Regarding Foma, there has been problems with some batches in the past. White dots in Super-8 film used to be very usual some years ago, but now it seems that is always OK.
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Yes, for Silvermax I expose at 100ASA and get best results at that speed. Have tried at 200 and 400 with longer development times and 200 would probably work under certain lighting conditions but at 400 a little too dark but. Might test some more. For Silvermax I use Suprol at 1+4 for 12'. My bleach and clear, happily, are prettty close to what you say are DR5 formulas except for the boric and citric acid in the Clear, I have those so will try.
The one thing I have found with reversal processing is maintaining consistency, there are so many processes and variables, but I seem to get more even tonal range than my negative processing recently. Would like to get a film I could use at 400ASA in 120 size.
I'll test your Suprol formula in the future, as perhaps with it I will be able to get the nominal speed out of the Ilford Films. (I assume you're working at 20║C?)
But at the same time, I'll keep working with home-made developers, because it's the only way to ensure that they will always be for sale
Thanks a lot for your info, richyd!
I use dektol diluted 1:1 and it works great. try that formula
Thanks, Destroya, but as you can see in my previous post, I've used D-72 in the experiments. Both D11 and D19 were better
When dealing with reversal remember that it works backwards. What looks like underexposure (in a negative) is actually overexposure in a slide.
Originally Posted by avortex
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~Antoine de Saint-Exupery