FP4+ and Acutol were my favourite, ideas suggestions?
I have been 'doing other things' recently and haven't done my own developing and printing for a while.
A nephew of mine recently asked my advice about buying a camera. He wanted one of those Nikon digital SLRs that everyoine is raving about.
I started a half hour rant about why I HATED digital SLRs and everything about digital photography, after which he went out and bought one. I think it was a case of, "well if Uncle Steve really hates them, they must be cool" :rolleyes:
Anyway, to get to the point. My wife pointed out that whilst defending traditional film photography with gusto, I wasn't actually doing any...
Well, not much anyway. Suitably atired in my hair-shirt, sack cloth and camera bag I am currently carrying three film cameras with me everywhere. That is the beauty of digital, if you dislike it enough it can be really motivating!
Over the years I have tried many, many film and developer combinations - experimenting when I should have been photographing
I spent a while looking at my black and white photo albums. There is one 'look' that stood out. They were sharp, contrasy images with quite noticeable mackie lines. I prefer medium format so grain is a bit less of a consideration. I looked up the processing details in my notes and in every case it was FP4+ in dilute Acutol.
I've tried Rodinol and other developers, but always found that they didn't shift FP4+ much, acutance-wise. Easy to gain grain, but I think that because it is already a high acutance film it doesn't move much more in that direction, maybe? Take a soft fine grain 'modern technology' film and the effect is usually more noticeable, I reckon. Just my own personal experience. For me, dilute Acutol seemed to be the one combination that really did shove FP4+ a bit further in this direction. I remember I got nice easy to print negatives, too.
So, the question is, now that Acutol is no longer with us, can anyone point me in the right direction for a high acutance / prominent mackie line type film / developer combination? I know I am libel to get imersed in the 'lets test 50 different film developer combinations' trap if I'm not careful :o
I see from searching the site for ideas that FX-15 is said to be Acutol-S, but mixing my own developers is also something I have a lot of experience of doing... instead of taking pictures! I'd really like to stick to off the shelf at least at the moment, lest I get stuck in that trap, too. Maybe after I've got a good few dozen new films under my belt.
Dilute Perceptol always works good for me.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Well, I was going to suggest Beutler's but I see that you have tentatively ruled out home brew. Is Tetenal Neofin Blue available over there?
FP4+ looks good in just about any developer. Microdol-X/Perceptol 1:3 or D-76/ID11 1:1 or X-tol 1:1 will will give you a look similar to Acutol. Microphen 1:1 will also work well and if it is available where you are, Edwal FG-7 1:15 with plain water (no added ss). I liked the look of FP4+ in AMALOCO AM74 1:15 the last time I used it.
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My suggestion is Pyrocat HD it's a remarkably good developer and gives excellent acutance and very fine grain with great tonality, but at the moment in the UK you can't buy it of the shelf.
You could try Paterson FX-39 Crawley's newer developer it's suppoed to give sharp, high definition negatives .
Try Prescysol EF, you can get it from Paul Hogan monochromephotography site. I use it for high acutance and great tonality. Some say it is remarkably similar to Pyrocat HD. For more of a traditional high acutance look FX39 is also great.
I would echo Ian try FX39 also Neofin Blue should go on your list:
here is a link to a supplier who supports APUG:
Pyrocat-HD works well with Jobo development as well.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
Concerning your story and high acutance:
Beutler, Neofin Blau/Blue (Tetenal).
Both will give very high acutance but I am not sure both are available in the UK.
About self mixing: Beutler has only three components and when using Beutler A+B (the divided form) it's so simple you can not go wrong.
AM74 (Amaloco) is a Phenidone - Hydroquinone developer. It's a semi-compensating developer but fits good with FP4+. It's sharp but it's not a high definition high acutance developer like Beutler or Neofin Blau/Blue.