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  1. #21

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    I was just starting some experiments to see how developers affected Tri-X sharpness when this thread first appeared. I had not intended to include Agfa 12 or Agfa 14, but what the heck. These results are very preliminary, but they give some qualitative feel for the issue.

    For this first try, I photographed a step tablet on a light table using Tri-X, Then I developed the sample rolls to about the same contrast in four different developers:

    D-76(1+1) for 9.75 minutes (Massive Development Chart recommendation)
    D-23 for 7.5 minutes (Massive Development Chart recommendation - pretty well matches the above)
    Agfa 12 for 7 minutes (to match the above)
    Agfa 14 for 8.5 minutes (to match the above).

    I printed the best matched negatives at fairly high contrast and scanned them to get the results shown here.

    The best overall quality and the best sharpness was shown by D-76 diluted 1+1. D-23 and Agfa 14 were very close, with Agfa 14 showing very slightly less graininess and very slightly more sharpness. Agfa 12 had the least graininess of the bunch, but sharpness was quite degraded. Agfa 12 and Agfa 14 seemed to give less film speed than D-76 or D-23. This surprised me, based on their compositions, and I will have to check it further. The development times found by experiment were a quite a bit less than what was recommended for the old Agfa films, so perhaps they give greater speed with more development and greater contrast.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Agfa-14.jpg   D-23.jpg   D-76.jpg   Agfa-12.jpg  

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    I was just starting some experiments (...) The best overall quality and the best sharpness was shown by D-76 diluted 1+1. D-23 and Agfa 14 were very close, with Agfa 14 showing very slightly less graininess and very slightly more sharpness.
    Interesting, but I think that your experiment shows the benefits of dilution, not the properties of these developers. You have to compare diluted D-76 with diluted Agfa-14 or undiluted D-76 with undiluted Agfa-14.
    Agfa-14 (with 85gr. of Sulfite and some carbonate) is expected to show coarser grain and better sharpness than D-76 undiluted.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold33 View Post
    Interesting, but I think that your experiment shows the benefits of dilution, not the properties of these developers. You have to compare diluted D-76 with diluted Agfa-14 or undiluted D-76 with undiluted Agfa-14.
    Agfa-14 (with 85gr. of Sulfite and some carbonate) is expected to show coarser grain and better sharpness than D-76 undiluted.
    True. A diluted developer is often quite different from it's undiluted version. I suspect D-23 (1+1) may be quite similar to D-76 (1+1), but I haven't tried it yet. Agfa 12 (1+1 or 1+2) may also be interesting. D-76 (1+1) was used as a standard, something that I was well acquainted with. Agfa 14 was a pleasant surprise.

  4. #24

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    [QUOTE=nworth;1543573]True. A diluted developer is often quite different from it's undiluted version. I suspect D-23 (1+1) may be quite similar to D-76 (1+1), but I haven't tried it yet. /QUOTE]

    In my experience, D-23 diluted 1+1 is a really low contrast developer. To achieve the same contrast than with D-76 1+1, you have to agitate much. In my opinion, D-23 is very nice for medium and large format, but its low sharpness is not suitable for 35mm film.

    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    Agfa 14 was a pleasant surprise.
    I agree: very nice.
    With traditionnal films, carbonate MQ developers often give better mid-tones (and more grain) than MQ developer reliying on borates.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    In my experience, D-23 diluted 1+1 is a really low contrast developer. To achieve the same contrast than with D-76 1+1, you have to agitate much. In my opinion, D-23 is very nice for medium and large format, but its low sharpness is not suitable for 35mm film.
    Comparing apples and oranges here. D-23 and D-76 are really different. The presence of hydroquinone in D-76 changes things as does the borax.
    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. #26
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    The comparisons aren't valid because the scans aren't all sharp. That's not due to the film/developer combination.

    Ian

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    The comparisons aren't valid because the scans aren't all sharp. That's not due to the film/developer combination.

    Ian
    I took some care here, and the scans are quite comparable to the prints. The entire process is subject to criticism, but I was careful enough with both equipment and technique to get what I feel are valid qualitative results.

  8. #28
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    I took some care here, and the scans are quite comparable to the prints. The entire process is subject to criticism, but I was careful enough with both equipment and technique to get what I feel are valid qualitative results.
    I stand by my comments because the scan for Agfa 12 is clearly unsharp ar what stage only you can tell us.

    Ian

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