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  1. #1
    BradS's Avatar
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    Willi Beutler's Fine Grain / High Resolution - What's the down side?

    I've been reading up on Willie Beutler's formula. It is posted here in the recipies area and gets mentioned quite often in conjunction with the "new Adox thin films" (ca. early 1970's).

    Looks like a simple formula that is inexpensive and easy to use, has good keeping properties, and produces consistently good results. So, what's the down side? Does it work OK with continuous agitation (i.e. in a JOBO) ?



    Willi Beutler's

    Part A:
    1000 ml water
    10 g metol
    50 g sodium sulphite

    Part B:
    1000 ml water
    50 g sodium carbonate (dry)

    to use, mix 1 part A + 1 part B + 10 parts water.

  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    This Buetler formula, with its high dilution, wouldn't be what I'd consider "fine grain" in the traditional sense; there's only going to be about 4 grams of sulfite in a liter of final working solution, less than a gram of metol. In fact, if anything, this reminds me more of a low-contrast developer you'd use to get pictorial results out of a microfilm, without any attempt to optimize film speed. I'd guess times will run long, too.

    I'd expect to see considerable speed loss in continuous agitation compared to long-interval intermittent agitation with a much longer process.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #3
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have tried it with APX 25 and Pan F+ and it's not bad, but a little low on the contrast side. I have found that the D23 formula gives similar results and is even easier to mix with only sulphite and metol. Gives soft grain and a slightly compensating effect.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony lockerbie
    I have tried it with APX 25 and Pan F+ and it's not bad, but a little low on the contrast side. I have found that the D23 formula gives similar results and is even easier to mix with only sulphite and metol. Gives soft grain and a slightly compensating effect.
    Comparing the Beutler formula with D-23 is like trying to compare apples and oranges. D-23 is a solvent developer (lots of sulfite) while the Beutler formula is an acutance developer which works on the principle of having only a minimum of sulfite in the working solution. Even if you should dilute the D-23 1+3 the two developers will still work differently.

  5. #5

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    Developers like the Beutler formula can cause a compression of the middle tones which may not be desirable in some circumstances. However, I have used it was a general purpose developer for many years with excellent results.

  6. #6

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    [QUOTE=BradS]
    I've been reading up on Willie Beutler's formula.
    ..."new Adox thin films"
    Does it work OK with continuous agitation .... ?[QUOTE]

    Thin emulsion films and Beutler's or FX-1 go together.
    Not fine grain developers unless the film IS fine grained.
    Both are designed to make the MOST of slow very
    high resolution films.

    My formula is 1, 5, 6, grams metol, sulfite, carbonate mono.
    An easy fit in a 1/8 liter bottle. Fill four 1/32 liter bottles and
    use one-shot. For the films mentioned, good for four rolls of
    120; FX-1, 2 rolls. Also, the two are good print developers
    of the Ansco 120/Beer's A type. In fact you may like to
    use Ansco 120 or Beer's A as a Beutler/FX-1 type film
    developer. Allow at least 1 gram of sulfite per roll.
    For continuous, keep solution volumes up. Dan

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancqu
    Thin emulsion films and Beutler's or FX-1 go together.
    Not fine grain developers unless the film IS fine grained.
    Both are designed to make the MOST of slow very
    high resolution films.

    My formula is 1, 5, 6, grams metol, sulfite, carbonate mono.

    ...

    For continuous, keep solution volumes up. Dan
    Dan, Thanks. This is interesting. I imagine that your formula is roughly (exactly?) equivalent to the one above - yours just explicitly recognizes the use of monohydrate form of the carbonate instead of the (idealized?) anhydrous. Is that correct?

    Yes, I can't imagine that Beutler's can rightly be grouped in the "fine grain" category. Seems like there would be very little solvent action - if any. Perhaps, it is more appropraite to call it an acutance or, high resolution dev?
    Last edited by BradS; 05-04-2006 at 06:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    Actually, your dates are a bit off. The Beutler developer goes back at least to the early 50s. It was, indeed, popular with the early Adox "thin emulsion" films of the mid 50s. It was never intended to be a fine grain developer, but the Adox films, particularly KB14 and KB17, had fine enough grain for that not to be a problem (then). The developer is a fine example of a compensating developer. The dilution helps to control the contrast, which was quite high with these films. It also gives a strong Mackie line for sharpness effects.

  9. #9
    Alicouscous's Avatar
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    Beutler is a non-solvent developper, and with a so small amount from sulfite it can not be a fine grain developper . If you use it with continuous agitation, you'll lost the adjacency effect that gives "high definition" results .

    with this developper, results are :

    -high definition (sharpness, adjacency effect )
    -more grainy than with a solvent fine grain dev like D76 1+1
    - good compensating effect

    with slow films (200 and under ) you have a speed increase from 1/2 to 1 stop with this dev (you have to test your film before to control this ).

    edit: high resolution and high definition are different
    resolution is for grain, definition is for sharpness
    Beutler is not high resolution but high definition ^^
    "have a nice hat, not a pot of flowers" - Alicouscous 2002

  10. #10

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    [QUOTES=BradS]
    "Dan ... equivalent to the one above - yours just explicitly
    recognizes the use of monohydrate form of the carbonate ..."

    Formulas most often call for the monohydrate. It may be
    the most stable form.

    "Yes, I can't imagine that Beutler's can rightly be grouped
    in the "fine grain" category. ... very little solvent action -
    if any. Perhaps, it is more appropriate to call it an
    Acutance or, High resolution dev?"

    I relate more so to the term resolution. Both films and
    lenses have resolutions. Can any of the other three
    terms mentioned be quantified? Measured? Dan

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