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  1. #1

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    Amaloco AM74 T-Max400 and grain

    Dear all,

    I am going more and more into analog photography and it really makes a lot of fun. I am currently working hybrid, developing my negatives and scanning them using a DSLR. As developer I use Amaloco AM47. Having developed some rolls FP4+ and APX100 in Amaloco I was satisfied with the results. Now Ive done one roll of TMAX400 with the parameters suggested by the Amaloco datasheet.

    All films where done with 1+19 dilution and therefore doubling the development times, as the datasheet suggests. Now the T-MAX negatives came out really grainy. Way more grainy than the FP4+ or APX100. Ok the films have other ISO ratings, but I did not expect this strong grain.

    Temperature was always 20°, same process. Agitation constantly during the first 30 sec. Then two agitations every 30 seconds. No stop bath , just water.

    What are your experiences with Amaloco AM74 and T-MAX400?

    I've heard, that dilution 1+7 with standard time produces lesser grain, is this true?

    Cheers and thanks a lot

    Alex

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I have never used the TMax 400 with Amaloco (the developer is not available in the US), but normally TMax 400 has grain that is comparable to FP4+, in fact it may even be a little finer. It is that way in my darkroom prints. My scanner (Epson V700) does not have anywhere near the resolution to actually resolve the grain of any film, which means it shows only an approximation of the grain, and that is likely true for your DSLR too.

    Was the TMax film developed to the same contrast as the FP4+ and APX100? Are they equally dense? If not, that will likely account for what you're seeing.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3

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    So the evidence of graininess is based solely on the scanner? Are you absolutely sure that the same scanner at the same settings is showing less grain with FP4+?

    I cannot imagine any good reason why a developer produces a level of grain with one film FP4+ whose true grain is probably close to TMax 400 but produces much more grain with TMax 400

    I suspect we are back to the devil being in the use of a scanner to compare graininess.

    Try getting a 5x7 print from both films and then compare graininess. I'd be surprised if the print from TMax 400 looks any grainier than the one from FP4. I'd go for two 8x10 prints for a better comparison but that will be more expensive.

    pentaxuser

  4. #4

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    Dear Alex,

    You might be experiencing something called "grain aliasing". Throw that in a search and you will find plenty of information.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    If it were grain aliasing, or scanning artifacts, to me that implies that it's not an apples to apples comparison.
    Even if the scanner is incapable of resolving the grain of all films used here, a comparison could still be made. But that ASSUMES all other things being equal. I have scanned TMax 400 many times, and some frames come out very smooth, and others do not, and it always has to do with negative density and contrast. Very dense negatives frankly scan very poorly, and those are the ones that come out looking grainy.

    Rule number one when comparing two films, regardless of what the output is: the negatives should be photographed in identical or highly similar lighting conditions, AND developed to the same contrast.
    If care is NOT taken to accomplish highly similar negs, then it is NOT a meaningful comparison. Period.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
    Brac's Avatar
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    I confess to never having heard of Amaloco developers. They certainly don't seem to be on sale in the UK. Can find a few references on the web but can't find anything indicating who makes them.

  7. #7

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    Amaloco was a Dutch manufacturer for several decades but it went broke about five years ago. The trading name and some products were taken over by another manufacturer, Phototec. The materials were/are popular in the Netherlands and parts of Belgium and Germany.

  8. #8

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    Just a small correction: They stopped producing in 2008 in Ommen, the Netherlands after 77 years. They never went into bankruptcy. Phototec took the recepts but the company itself was sold to Nordfoto a few years later. It is all OEM now, made by Tetenal in Norderstedt, Germany.

    A very small product range of Amaloco is still available.
    My favorite store: http://www.fotohuisrovo.nl

  9. #9
    Brac's Avatar
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    Interesting information, thanks.

  10. #10

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    The diluted time means extending development which means more grain. Happens to everyone.

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