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  1. #1

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    High-accutance developers?

    As we head toward winter here in New England, the sun will soon be too low in the sky to do film testing, as it will not clear the neighboring trees until Spring. So I have decided to test some of my favorite developers while there is still time.

    My personal theory is that a trade-off exists with most things in life, including photography. B&W is without color but is much sharper than color film. Large format is slower and more awkward than 35mm, but yields much more detail.

    Therefore, when selecting a suitable developer for B&W large format, I believe one should favor high accutance formulas which will make the most of the main advantage the format has to offer. Mushy “fine grain” developers like Microdol-X are not among my favorites, as they seem (for me) to defeat my purpose in choosing B&W LF.

    To this end, I have been attempting to assemble as many ultra-high accutance formulas as I can remember. So far, they include: Rodinal, Calbe R09, Neofin Blau, Ethol T.E.C., Paterson FX-39 and the Photographer’s Formulary family of FX-1 products.

    Can anyone think of something I have omitted?

    Much obliged for your wisdom.

  2. #2

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    I would definitely include Pyrocat-HD. Check out Francesco's Gallery for examples.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3
    Ole
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    FX-2? Beutler's original?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  4. #4
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    Perceptol and Microdol-X at 1:3 are both high accutance. At stock dilution, they are not high accutance.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  5. #5
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    ... High definition developers usually sacrifice film speed, ...
    Not in my experience - it's fine-grain developers that do that! Most films will gain a full stop in a developer like Beutler's or FX-2. In some cases that's the main reason I use high acutance developers (besides which I like the gradation I get from them with FP-4).
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  6. #6

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    High Accutance

    Personally, I'm a big fan of Formulary's TFX-2 irregardless of what format I'm shooting. I use it with a minimal agitation pattern and get astoundingly sharp negs with a half to full stop gain in speed.

    It's a super soup.

  7. #7

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    Geoffrey Crawley published two variations of the Original Beutler acutance formulation (http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=27). These are Crawley's FX-1 and FX-13. The formulations were published in the November 1971 edition of Dignan's Photographic Newsletter. I will post them in the APUG Chemistry Recipes.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #8

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    Thank-you all for your responses.

    Tom, I shall be interested to see the difference between FX-1 and FX-13.

    Last year I ran some tests with FX-1 and Delta 100 4x5. Big mistake. Absolutely lovely, neat-and-sweet results, but none of the engraving-like ultra-sharp special effects which Photographer's Formulary suggests in their description.

    The general concencious was that Delta did not have enough silver to react properly to this sort of formula. Kind of like a fancy hair stylist working on a bald customer. We'll see how it does with some of the other soups mentioned above. I am also playing around with Efke 25, Acros 100, HP5 Plus and revisiting Tri-X after a twenty year hiatus.

    Lots of darkroom work ahead. You know what they say, "A tan photographer is a poor photographer".

  9. #9
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    John:

    I have been getting extraordinary results with Delta 400 and FX-39 1:14 for 10 minutes at 72 degrees for roll film. Extremely sharp, fine, etching type grain. I expose at EI250 and am intentionally slightly underdeveloping the film. FP-4 exposed at EI64 and developed in FX-39 for 6-1/2 minutes at the same dilution is giving me 35mm enlargements at 16x20 that look like medium format. The only knock on the stuff is that it goes bad in about a month and half after opening the bottle.

  10. #10

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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned XTOL. It's sharp and relatively fine grained as well, and that's not a combination of properties often found together.

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