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  1. #11

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    i don't get it. better than what?


    i don't think he was asserting silver bullet style statements - not the impression i got anyway.

    being a user of both metol only and catechol developers i find his book accurate. at the end of the developer section he states that he uses both types according to what he prefers. his section on drag bleaching was very interesting. he's also quite clear as to the benefits of tanning/staining, inhibition of silver migration through tanning - the hardening of the gelatin etc. just my thoughts...

  2. #12
    pierods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el wacho View Post
    i don't get it. better than what?


    i don't think he was asserting silver bullet style statements - not the impression i got anyway.

    being a user of both metol only and catechol developers ...
    Interesting - I meant to say, better than each other.

    What are your thoughts on metol only versus pyro/stain/catechol? I am very interested.

    thanks

    piero

  3. #13
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I bought "Edge of Darkness" to help me through what were to me unsatisfyingly "unsharp" photographs. As others have said, it included a number of things that photographers could do to ensure sharp images. Each chapter took on a different subject and covered it in detail. I changed many of my techniques, including switching to DiXactol, and my photographs satisfy my eye much more now. Yes, several of the latter chapters of the book tout DiXactol, which is a developer that he...er, developed, so why shouldn't he have spent the ink describing it? It is our job as photographers to try different things to achieve our vision, keep those that work for us, and discard those that do not. In that regard Thornton's book helped me as much as any book I have ever read.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pierods View Post
    Interesting - I meant to say, better than each other.

    What are your thoughts on metol only versus pyro/stain/catechol? I am very interested.

    thanks

    piero
    I find (casual observation only, no scientific tests, just what looks good) that with a metol-only dev, you can soup any film in it and get rather predictable results. I find that with staining devs, that they seem to like some films over others. I find that the Agfa films really shine with a staining dev, however, I get only fair results with Pan-F in Pyrocat HD, but, I get super negs with Pan-F and D-23 1+3 or Microdol-X, 1+3

    Agfa films show a good, solid stain where the Pan-F does not. IMO, the amount of stain is what sets the pyro's apart. I get controlled highlights and great midtones with Agfa films in staining devs, but ordinary negs with Pan-F. I have read that the amount of stain does not matter, but I have yet to see that. Again, just casual observations.

  5. #15
    Stoo Batchelor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post

    BTW there is a DiXactol Ultra "type" formulae published.

    Ian
    Would you mind pointing me in the direction of this published formulae please Ian.

    Thank You

    Stoo
    _____________________________________________

  6. #16

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    hi Piero,

    i think they are very good.

    from my point of view, technique is governed/informed by one's aesthetics. i would shoot crawley's fx1 all day long if clouds and skies were not involved - the micro contrast is amazing ( as well as beutler as a two bath - bath A metol 6.5g/L + sodium sulfite 35g/L bath B sodium carbonate 35g/L 4min+4min this would be a kind of perceptol 1:2 A bath with a carbonate B bath) .

    the best quality about mr King's pyrocat HD ( i use the metol version; the dilution i use is 1.5:0.4:200 ) is the acutance and it's tonality - clouds and skies are rendered beautifully.

    if you haven't tried any of the aforementioned developers then you must. seeing is believing
    in regards to meaningful comparisons, i was looking at some of my earlier negs which were processed in xtol 1:3 - diluted metol or diluted pyrocat hd using the same agitation ( partial stand dev. 3inv per 3-4 min ) appear as sharper ( using zeiss/nikkor optics, tripod etc )

    ps. i reread the chapters on developing agents and his logic for recommending metol is clear. his criteria were enhanced sharpness and fine grain. i think his reference to perceptol ( and microdol x ) was a way of not excluding anyone that was not prepared to mix their own. hope this helps.

  7. #17
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo Batchelor View Post
    Would you mind pointing me in the direction of this published formulae please Ian.
    Thank You
    Stoo
    I've posted it in the formulae section.

    This is a formulae I was given a year or so ago, and is supposed to give very similar results to DiXactol Ultra.

    Ian

  8. #18
    bill spears's Avatar
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    Some years back when I was having a struggle with my photography and desparately trying to achieve the 'Fine Print' I came across Elements. It seemed to breathe new life into my work. The explanation of the zone system is particularly thorough (although personally I'm not a zone system worker!). I did though, follow his enthusiasm for dilute perceptol and still do for 90% of my work. 120 Pan F in pcptl 1:2 gives beautiful sharpness AND fine grain. FP4 and HP5 work great too. I've not had much experience with any of the Pyro formulations and I think this may be my next venture but to be honest I've never been left wanting from these combinations and thats a pretty rare occurrence for me ! Perhaps the only downside is the low EI rating especially with Pan F at ISO 12.

    However !! having said all this and after reading 'Edge of Darkness' and viewing the images I came to the conclusion that all this scientific precision and never ending knowledge of film structure, developing agents, sharpness, grain, acutance etc etc etc, doesn"t necessarily make for a stimulating picture.
    All the lovely Holga pictures posted on this site add proof to this.

    Bill

  9. #19
    Stoo Batchelor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    I've posted it in the formulae section.

    This is a formulae I was given a year or so ago, and is supposed to give very similar results to DiXactol Ultra.

    Ian
    Thanks

    Stoo
    _____________________________________________

  10. #20
    Leon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo Batchelor View Post
    Thanks

    Stoo
    good luck finding the Glycin Stoo

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