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  1. #21
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I agree with Ron. These results are technical and can usually be measured. Unless it's measured it's subjective and fairly useless for anybody else.
    I do feel that people put too much energy and thought into film developers. Pick one and work with it. By varying your technique, evaluating your results, and above all - printing your negatives often, you learn a lot.
    The other week I shot two rolls of Kodak TMY (the old kind) using a 35mm camera. I processed one roll in Rodinal and the other in Xtol. According to what everybody claims they observe with these two developers, the difference in grain should be huge. In reality, in the resulting 11x14 prints, the difference (to my eyes) is really negligible. Sharpness was very similar too. I used a Rodenstock Rodagon enlarging lens, which is an OK lens, so no sub-par equipment either.

    What I'm getting at is that if you're truly interested in resolution, sharpness, grain, acutance and all that, at least make an evaluation based on how it makes a difference for you in practical terms before you take it too far. I found, by comparing prints of the normal size I make them, that I don't really care whether I get the look of the Rodinal or the look of Xtol. As an artist the difference between them is not even close to feeling important, that's how subtle the difference is. It may be different for you, but it's worthwhile comparing prints before you get overly concerned with which film developer you use.

    - Thomas
    "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

  2. #22
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    But is not the lens the limit of resolution in Alan's test, not the developer? I have done tests by contact printing high resolution chrome on glass targets and with Tmax-100 I was able to get somewhere around 160-180 lines per mm with pyro staining developers.

    Sandy
    Sandy;

    A true test would be a contact print on a negative and positive definition chart such as found in the Edmond Scientific catalog. They are depositied metal images and are as sharp as you can get.

    This eliminates all optics.

    But, in the comparison tets Alan did, the lens would cancel out all other things being equal. And, since you can see differences in spsite of my comments, then the differences are not the lens.

    PE
    Last edited by Photo Engineer; 06-15-2009 at 03:07 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling

  3. #23

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    The lens is partly controlling the resolution according to Mr Puts:
    http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/Film/Film/page35.html
    Still, both Xtol (solvent) and FX-1 (acutance) get about 100 lppm in my test with T-max 100.By printing with an enlarger resolutions this high can be mostly transferred to paper,not so with consumer scanners IMO.

  4. #24
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Alan;

    It may be limiting, but if it cancels out completely, then it has no influence. So all else being equal, there is no problem other than the size, density and contrast. And, these are minor when compared to other "tests" where someone merely says the results looked good when I eyeballed it! (single test, no comparison, etc. etc.)

    PE

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
    The lens is partly controlling the resolution according to Mr Puts:
    http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/Film/Film/page35.html
    Still, both Xtol (solvent) and FX-1 (acutance) get about 100 lppm in my test with T-max 100.By printing with an enlarger resolutions this high can be mostly transferred to paper,not so with consumer scanners IMO.
    Alan,

    It is hard for me to see much difference in the results. The FX-1 negative appears to have better resolution but more grain. Is that what you are also seeing?

    My own experience in shooting targets with cameras is that film flatness can be enough to explain any differences when resolution is already so high. It takes really good technique to shoot a target as you did and get 100 lppm.

    Sandy

  6. #26

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    Sandy,
    I guess it must be hard to see much difference as I thought the Xtol gave slightly higher resolution!
    I wonder if any comparisons have been done for Pyro type developers.

  7. #27
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Alan;

    Try resizing the images so that they are identical in magnificaiton on-screen.

    PE

  8. #28
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Developers can be maximized for any two of the following: Grain, sharpness and speed. Normally, you cannot maximize all 3 but you can strike a happy medium.

    Alan's experiment above is one of the best comparisons I have seen on APUG in spite of my comments. More like it should be done to "prove" a theory or observation.

    PE
    In the case of Xtol, I would say that it's a very happy medium indeed, with excellent grain, sharpness and speed.
    Charles Hohenstein

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
    Sandy,
    I guess it must be hard to see much difference as I thought the Xtol gave slightly higher resolution!
    I wonder if any comparisons have been done for Pyro type developers.

    Alan,

    Yes, two or three summers ago I started a very extensive project to compare pyro staining and non-staining developers. Part of that project involved contact printing the high resolution chrome on glass target that Ron mentioned. It took a lot of effort to set this up and get the right exposure and development that maximized resolution but I finally got it under control. I compared several films with two or three staining developers and two or three non-staining formulas. I used for sure PMK 1:2:100 and Pyrocat-HD 1:1:100 for the staining developers, and Xtol 1:2 and D75 1:1.

    What I found was that PMK and Pyrocat both gave about 10% increase in resolution over Xtol and D76. However, I was never completely confident in the methodology since I could not get as much resolution out of the films as they are supposed to have. For example, Tmax-100 is supposed to resolve 200 lines per mm but in my tests I never got more than about 160-180 lines per mm. So I just threw in the towel on the project since in the end the greater resolution of the pyro staining developers, even if real, would not amount to much in practical terms since as your tests show, more than 100 lppm in the camera is a very high bar.


    Sandy
    Last edited by sanking; 06-15-2009 at 04:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30

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    Here are T-max 100 in Xtol 1+0 and in FX-1 resized.
    Originally this was a test to see if the acutance developer produced what Pat Gainer called ,IIRC, the picket fence effect,where the lines from the acutance developer merged. TMX seems resistant to edge effects and I could not see any picket fence effect with this particular film.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Xtol tmax-1-1.jpg   FX-1 tmax.jpg  

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