Several days ago I tested Fortepan 400 and J&C Classic 400. The tests were done as usual. For each film five step wedges were given identical exposures, timed with a Metrolux light integrator, and each sheet of film was then developed for a different amount of time in a 2:2:100 dilution of Pyrocat-HD, in BTZS type tubes using constant agitation in a water-bath. I subsequently read the negative densities through the Visual, Blue and UV channels of my densitometer, and finished by plotting the curves with WinPlotter. The data provided is based on the UV reading since my primary interest is alterntive printing, not silver.

Many have speculated that these two films are the same since they are both made at the same plant in Hungary. I found them to be similar in many ways but different in that the Fortepan film needed less time of development than J&C Classic to reach the same CI. However, both are ultimately capable of reaching a CI of about 0.9, which is slightly higher than I have been able to get with Ilford HP5+.

In any event here are the specifics of the tests.

Development time CI
7 minutes .65
10 minutes .80
15 minutees .85
20 minutes .90

J&C Classic 400
Development time CI
7 minutes .57
10 minutes .68
15 minutes .82
20 minutes .86

For printing with palladium where a negative density range of 1.65 is needed with scenes of normal contrast (SBR of 7) I would recommend 14 minutes of development time for J&C Classic 400 and 10 minutes for Fortepan. This would be with the Pyrocat-HD 2:2:100 dilution, with rotary processing, at 72 degrees F. Negatives developed this way should also print well with AZO.

Sandy King