Mark Overton recommended a B&W developer recipe which I tried on Kodak Tri-X 400. Since his recipe hit me by surprise while I already had a finished roll of TriX 400 (exposed at ISO 1600) sitting on my desk I used this roll to test his recipe. A few things in my setup deviated from Mark Overton's recipe:

  • I mixed the metaborate from lye and borax, using stoicheometry to determine the correct composition.
  • Since I misjudged the degree of hydration of the metaborate in Mark Overton's recipe I effectively had only 3/4 of the suggested metaborate content in my mix
  • Since my film roll was exposed at ISO 1600, I developed for 12 minutes instead of Mark's recommendation of 8 minutes

The two attached images show tiny crops of two images. Image 1 is from TriX 400 exposed at ISO400 and developed in Kodak HC110. Image 2 is TriX 400 exposed at ISO 16000 and developed with Mark's soup.

Here is how I created these images:
  • Put negative in enlarger
  • Set enlarger to maximum enlargement, yielding a whole image area of 37.5x57cm, this is a factor of about 16
  • Careful focusing with grain loupe
  • Expose a 10x15cm sheet of photographic paper, develop/stop/fix/wash/yaddayadda
  • Scan photo at 1200 dpi (one pixel is about 21Ám on paper which is 1.3Ám on film)
  • crop image to satisfy APUG limits (650x650), no resizing!

Since these are completely different motives there is no point in discussing tonality or characteristic curve (I will come to that some time later). The difference in grain, however, is quite visible.

Happy discussion!