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  1. #1

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    Developer giving highest true speed?

    What developer gives the highest true speed with TMY-2 or TX, regardless of grain? (True speed is defined as density of 0.1 above B+F).

    I'm just getting back into developing my own film, so I've been researching developers by reading The Film Developing Cookbook, The Darkroom Cookbook, and Mason.
    Well, XTOL adds about 1/3 stop to the speed. Diafine speeds up TX by a bit over 1 stop. Anyone tried FX-37 or FX-55?

    Also, I don't mind some fog because my scanner easily scans through it, and I can mix my own developer, so I'm thinking of trying Crawley's speed-boosting FX-37 but with less restrainer in it.

    Comments and experiences will be gratefully read...

    Mark Overton

  2. #2

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    Mark,
    I have used FX-37 with TMY-2, and did my own tests. Since they are personal tests, I can't really say anything about absolute speed. But, my impression was that FX-37 didn't do any speed magic on TMY-2. I wound up using an EI of 320. On the other hand, FX-37 did seem to boost the speed of Delta 100, with a noticeable bump in the toe region of the curve, and my EI for that film/developer combination was 125, a third stop greater than the box speed. I generally liked FX-37. With respect to grain structure and sharpness, it seemed to fall somewhere between Rodinal and a more fine-grained developer (I was using Ilford DD-X at the time).

    For the last year or so, I have been using Pyrocat HD, and I like it, too. We're not really supposed to talk about this here, but, like you, I use an enlarger with a computer between the lens and the paper. As others have reported, the stain from the Pyrocat seems to minimize the appearance of grain in the scans. Or, I would say that it minimizes the enhancement of grain that often occurs with scanning. The speed with TMY-2 is about the same as with FX-37. But, my EI with Delta 100 and Pyrocat is only 80. Speed is not really my major concern, usually, so I am quite happy with both Delta 100 and TMY-2 in Pyrocat.

    I hope that helps a bit.
    David

  3. #3
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    Pyrocat HD is indeed a fast developer for TMY2. I mostly use TMY2 and have tried d76, xtol, xtol 1+1, xtol 1+2, PMK, and pyrocat HD. I don't have the means to measure "true speed", but Pyrocat HD seems to be as fast as Xtol, and is faster than other pyro developers. I can shoot TMY2 with a yellow filter with my reflective meter set for ISO 400 and I get good negatives. I shoot at 320 to develop with PMK. I like Pyrocat HD as a developer with more detailed shadows and stronger contrast than PMK. PMK is what I usually use and consider a slightly lower contrast negative to be more useful in bright sun with what that developer does for the highlights. TMY2 is very versatile and can have different magic with different developers or techniques.

    Get a $15 or so kit to try it out.

  4. #4
    AgX
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    What is True Speed?

  5. #5

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    True speed is shadow density gained over film base + fog.

    You really can`t establish a true speed unless you can measure using ISO standards. For thing thing, the shutter must be known accuracy.

    You can establish an EI, or exposure index for your conditions. Look for an increase in negative density in the darkest shadow areas of the scene. Ignore density in the highlights which you can get by developing longer.

    Try Microphen or Diafine or Acufine. None will increase shadow density substantially, perhaps up to 2/3 stop. All can gain highlight density by longer development.

  6. #6

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    This question has been discussed before ad nauseam. Therefore I must say, "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more." Mason on pp 144-45 makes the point that the fastest speed for films in general is obtained with a low pH, high sulfite, phenidone based developer. The pH should be 8.9 to 9.6 and the sufite content in the range of 70 to 100 g/l. Examples are Ilford ID-68, Microphen and Kodak Xtol. But the speed increase is rather modest and less than one stop.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #7

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    Interestingly the opposite - ie: low sulfite, relatively high pH formulas - can also give higher effective speed. Since the developing agent is relatively poorly preserved (resulting in highlight compensation), the toe has had a chance to build more density by the time a normal contrast gradient is reached. FX1 and FX2 are good examples.

  8. #8
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    You won't do much better than T-max developer for T-max film. Kodak used to promote this quite a bit, but now they don't promote much at all with respect to film.
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...electing.jhtml

  9. #9

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    Gerald, What edition of Mason do you have? Mine is "Third Impression 1979" and pp 144-145 in mine lack that text. Which chapter/section mentions this? Maybe it's on another page in my edition.
    Anyway, sorry if this question is a FAQ, as I'm new to apug.org.

    From what I've been reading, pyro family is sounding more and more appealing. Maybe I'll give PMK or Pyrocat-HD a try...

    Mark Overton

  10. #10

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    My copy is 1966 and the chapter is "The Photographic Developer: Practical Considerations and Formulae.: The information is under Fine Grain Developers.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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