4x5 FP4+ Processing
I'm using 4x5 fp4+ and processing in D76 1:1 and also Ilfosil S 1:9 and am getting consistantly thin negatives with both processes. I used the Massave Dev Chart from digitaltruth.com to get my processing times for both. When I process 35mm with both I get great results. I shot the same scenes (metered handheld on both) with the 35 and the 4x5 to test they all get consistantly the same thin results on the 4x5 only. I assume this means I need to increase development times and the advice I've been given were to increase 15% and increase 10% from 2 different people.
Just wanted to get more opinions or see if anyone has had any direct experience with these 2 combinations.
Are you getting reasonable shadow detail? Therefore are you getting the same speed...are you metering the same in both formats?..... TTL with 35mm and spot meter with 5x4?
Dev times also do differ quite a bit with sheet film and also sometimes between roll and 35mm.
You need to determine if you have thin shadows (underexposure), highlights (under developing) or both (prob both underexposure and under developed or or a huge error on either one.
1. In case of poor shadow detail, reduce film speed, give more exposure and test again using same dev time as you have been using.
2. once you are close on the shadow detail you want then adjust dev time for good highlights of appropriate density. As this might slightly change the shadow detail as you adjust for highlight densiy, then tweak the speed rating you are giving if required.
I personally find FP4 makes little more than 64 in normal speed devs (such as ID11, Pyrocat HD) but up to full box speed in DDX with other devs anywhere in between.
No experience with those developers, but an opinion on another...
I've had some trouble with the times from that chart and no longer refer to it. For FP4, I use HC-110 developer and have settled on winter and summer procedures since my temp control is pretty limited.
In the winter, I use dilution B @68 degF for 6 minutes (still tweaking this time). In the warmer months, I use dilution H (half of B) for 6:15 @ 75 degF (my preferred method). In both cases, I use constant agitiation via drum development in a Unicolor print drum.
I really like using HC-110 as a one-shot developer because it's so easy to mix and seems to last forever.
I am using a handheld lightmeter for both the 4x5 and 35mm exposures. It's across 2 35mm cameras and 3 LF lens/shutters and I get consistant results so I assume it isn't an exposure issue. Yes I do get good shadow detail and I can get prints (I have them printed) from the 4x5 negs ok, but they are just pretty thin. The 35mm look dense, scan and print great.
Also for more info, I'm using the HP combiplan tank for 4x5. I develop between 4 and 6 at a time.I use an old paterson tank for 35mm. My agitation is the same for both. 4 flips every 1 minute.
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Try increasing your development times in one minute increments until you achieve the desired level of contrast required for your own working methods and preferences, if you go too far, a half minute change in the opposite direction should put you close to the optimum development time and you should be able to fine-tune it to the nearest half or even quarter of a minute. It seems that the sheet film sizes require more development than usual for the 35mm films your using.
I've developed quite a bit of FP4+ in both 4x5 and 35mm formats using the same times for each in D-76 1+1. Like you, I'm using an HP CombiPlan tank for the 4x5 and a "no name" plastic tank, similar to the old Paterson model, for roll film development.
My first thought was that you were not using enough stock solution for the 4x5. When I re-read your post, I realized that with D-76 at 1+1, you are comfortably well past the required minimums. So we can rule out early developer exhaustion as a cause. I'm assuming that you have adequate temperature contol for both systems. There is no reason to believe otherwise since you can partially submerge either tank in a tempering bath. That leaves us with only one other possibility, namely insufficient agitation.
My agitation scheme is a bit different from yours. I use the twirling stick with my plastic tank and go through 6 complete back and forth twists in 5 seconds every 30 seconds. Granted, that's a fairly vigorous agitation scheme and a lot of people are not comfortable with that. I don't agree. Vigorous agitation never hurt anything. The rest time between cycles is the variable that controls the rate at which development proceeds. It doesn't seem to matter if the rollfilm tank is overly full with this technique either; development proceeds evenly. Agitation with the CombiPlan tank follows the same timing cycle, though with five or six alternating rapid inversions in 5 seconds each thirty seconds. The tank is flipped once to the front and back, then to the side and back. Each flip and back is counted as one inversion. It is important to not fill the CombiPlan tank to the brim. You need some head space above the developer to insure a complete exchange of old developer for fresh when using an inversion agitation technique in any type of tank.
My suggestion to you is to give your CombiPlan tank more vigorous agitation and stay with the same times you've been using. See if that doesn't clear up the problem. If not, simply extend your development time in small increments until you get to your desired contrast. Change only one variable at a time or else you won't be able to account for any changes, desireable or otherwise.
Is there any chance the shutter speed on the 4X5 could be off?
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I'm using 3 seperate shutters. So if they are, they are consistantly off, which isn't likely. Plus some of them are timed bulb exposures. I have compensated for reciprocity failure. Again, in the instances I used bulb, I did so also on the 35mm, same scene and it was thick and contrasty enough. Pretty thorough testing to rule out exposure as the issue. I thought it was exposure at first.
Originally Posted by johnnywalker
I'll try more vigerous agitation. I only fill the compiplan to exactly 36oz, exaclty as directed per the instructions so I have plenty of room for the liquid to move about. I'll do some test shots and try both more vigirous agitation and also extending by 1 minute, to see what happens. I actually thought it could be too little developer, so I tried D76 stock solution once, and it was no different. I'll have to experiment more.