What is Ilfosol-S?
I have just learned that hard way that it is NOT a good subsititute for dry vermouth....
This is the stuff provided by the UofA for free in the developing room. I have nothing against it, except that it is rarely mentioned much when it comes to developing times. I ended up with some Arista.edu and was unable to come up with a decent developing time for it in the "literature" out there. Which was fine, I have a big jug of D-76 that I used, but hey, if the free stuff can work, I'll save the D-76 for my ortho work.
So, what "IS" Ilfosol? And by that I mean, what common developer can I just compare it to and still get away with something printable when in doubt?
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Ilfosol-S contains both hydroquinone and sodium ascorbate in organic solvents, with the emphasis on the ascorbate. It is much like a combination of HC-110 and ascorbate with which I have played. It should be a good developer, and might be expected to give grain as fine as XTOL. It would be worth a try.
Ilford S is not a commonly used developer (compared to Hc-110, Rodinal, D-76) that is why there is not a lot of lit. on it. I switched to Ilfrord's HC which (IMO) is a better developer for me. But like you said, free is free!
This site is one of the best (if not THE best) for developer times
I use Ilfosol S when developing FP4 and HP5 pushed up to 1600 and have found it good to use. My class used ID-11 as standard which is supposed to give quite fine grain and IMO the Ilfosol is noticebly finer. It probably doesn't get used much because it's liquid rather than powder and therefore can't be re-used like ID-11 can at 1 to 1.
Ilfosol S is Ilford Ascorabte developer.
A very good all-around developer, with nice gradation and grain. It goes bad pretty quickly for the amateur though.
I have also read that is not good for fast films, even though I have developed D3200 in it.
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Ilfosol S is a good convienient and easy developer. It is cheap and hard to screw things up with. I love it with delta 100. If delta 100 came in 5x7 I would probably still be using it. 35mm delta 100 and ilfosol-s made almost grainless 11x14 enlargements.
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The following Ilford and Kodak documents should give you the information you need to translate from D76 to Ilfosol-S for different films. BTW, Ilford ID11 is very similar to Kodak D76.
Originally Posted by Robert Kennedy
As Pat Gainer said in the initial reply to your question: "Ilfosol-S contains both hydroquinone and sodium ascorbate in organic solvents, with the emphasis on the ascorbate."
As a concentrated developer dissolved in organic solvents, I would expect Ilfosol-S to have a very long shelf life as a concentrate and a very short life when diluted with water to make the working solution.
I would also expect the results to be similar to Kodak's Xtol.
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I noticed that on Digital Truth's site (home of the massive development chart) that if you select Arista for film, it says Arista films are identical to Ilford films and gives a little chart. If this is true, then Ilfosol-S will be a good choice for you!
I use that & Rodinal exclusively... but I mostly shoot Ilford films, too. It gives me fine grain, and like a previous poster said, you almost have to work hard to 'screw it up'.
UofA is giving it out free??? back when i was a graduate student there teaching beginning classes the students had to buy everything. lucky duck.
we always used ilfosol-s because it was cheap, easy to find at the local stores, and was conveniently packaged as a liquid that was very simple to dilute (isn't it 1:9 =10; even i can do that math). certainly not always the ideal developer. but for the beginner - when the focus is on getting some printable negatives to take into the darkroom - it makes life a whole lot easier on everyone. ilford was always good at promoting their products to schools and the packaging and prices made it really easy for all involved. for example, the ilfosol-s has (if i remember right) an orange lid and the rapid fixer a green lid? anyway. its things like that, that can make it much easier to explain to 30 newbies what is what.
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Like Tom Hoskinson, I too thought it would be like XTOL, only more convenient ($!&@*$ 5L packets!) It isn't. It's a cheap, convenient, short-lived (once you open it you should use it quickly) developer that doesn't work terribly well with high speed films (unlike XTOL), works very well with medium speed films (especially Delta 100), and is just lovely with Pan F+. A very nice choice for slower films if you go through it quickly -- even better if it's free.