What's the diff between Ilfosol-S and FX-2?
What's the diff between Ilfosol-S and FX-2?
I agree with the idea of standardization. I shot Tri-X developed in HC-110 for many years and eventually felt like I had learned something about what I was doing. Then, due to family and work uh, issues, I stopped photographing for about 15-years. When I came back, everything had changed.
I, at least occasionally, shoot 35mm, 127, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4, 4x5 and 8x10 - and luckily Efke 100 speed comes in all of those sizes. I develop them all in Pyrocat HD - again simplicity.
Ilfosol-S is a prepackaged Ilford developer, sold as liquid concentrate to be diluted 1+9 or 1+14. It offers fine grain, good acutance (not "high"), and exellent tonality with FP4+. It also has very poor shelf life, and tends to die on me between films.Quote:
Originally Posted by Ka
FX-2, on the other hand, is an old(ish) published recipe for a high acutance developer with extremely good shelf life. A concentrate lasts a very long time (I had a ready-to-use batch sitting on my desk for a week in an open beaker with no loss of activity), and it is also exellent for stand development for those pesky situations when you forget what film's in your camera and you end up exposing "sufficiently". It happens to me once in a while - I excuse myself with having 6 old folders... It also gives a slight increase in sensitivity over most other developers. The tonality isn't quite as smooth as with Ilfosol-S, but you have to compare negatives directly to see any difference.
So for someone like me who tends to mix up the developer one day, then go off to work for a fortnight, FX-2 is the perfect developer.
I think to start out you need to pick a film that is going to have good latitude in a variety of lighting and shooting situations. I don't think anything exceeds triX or HP5 for versatility. Then there are the classic developers, D76, HC110 and Rodinol or there equivalents. All three have loads of data and experience behind them, and all three can be used at a variety of dilutions, stand processed, rotary processed and all three provide their own unique look.
Currently I use XTOL for 35mm and HC110 or Pyrocat-HD for LF. And I have a special relationship with PanF and Rodinol. My film of choice most of the time in roll film is Delta 100 or TriX. In LF my choices are FP4 and HP5.
If I was told I could only use one film for all my photography it would probably be TriX.
I've solved the storage problem using some of Pat Gainer's ideas:
Tested: Vit C / phenidone dev using propylene glycol - 5 months old, partially filled bottle, as strong as new.
To be tested - PQ paper dev in alcohol.
Jorge: PQ (Phenidone/Hydroquinone) in alcholol will work, but why not use propylene glycol or ethylene glycol as the preservative instead? I did (following Patrick Gainer' sugggestions) and it has lasted very well!
I just used some this morning that I mixed months ago - - it is the same color and activity now as when I first mixed it.
When Hydroquinone begins to oxidize, it turns brown, my stock PQ solution is still the slightly pinkish color it was when I mixed it.
To make the stock solution, I used just enough methanol to dissolve the PQ, then added ethylene glycol to make up the desired total solution volume.
Are you keeping the alkali as a separate stock solution?
It may be advantagious to standardize, but can also be risky. I had standardized on Agfa APX100 for all sizes but they stopped producing it in sheet film. Now, I'm leaning to Efke 100 & HP5, though trying some J&C 400 in 120 roll. My standard developer is Diafine, with some occasional experimentation. It works well with all the films I've tried, except maybe Tmax.
Just because PQ in alcohol is very easy to mix and doesn't needs heathing.
I'v mixed 100cc of PQ (Patrick's staining formula) about 45 days ago, and it's clear in a half filled plastic bottle. And, the bottle does not collapses, indicating there is no oxygen absorption.
I add the alkali and sulfire when I mix the working solution (for film, borax of a stock solution, sulfite using spoon).
For paper, I intend to use spoon both for alkali and sulfite.
Yes the PQ mixes quite readily in alcohol (I have found it is a little quicker mixing it in methanol rather than Isopropyl).
I have found that the alcohol/PQ mixture mixes very readily with ethylene glycol at room temperature (I haven't tried it yet with propylene glycol).
The ethylene glycol version should have a somewhat longer storage life than the alcohol only version. Time will answer that question.
As Patrick Gainer has indicated, with the developing agents protected by alcohol or anti-freeze, addition of sulfite (or bisulfite) is optional and not really needed.
I still use sulfite with PA since I had already done all the tests with a classical Xtol clone when Patrick presented the Pglicol idea.
Someone else did a compare, and there was a very small difference, with sulfite/borax being slightly finer grained than no sulfite/more alkali. I understand Patrick does not agree with that conclusion.
Since the difference was so small, I've decided not to run all the tests again.
Regarding PQ for paper, PQ without sulfite is a staining dev, not a good idea for paper, so here it is not related to keeping properties.
I do not think sulfite is a make or break choice for films - just pick the one you like the most, but from the above it's a must for PQ paper (and fixer also).