It is difficult to generalize regarding the "sharpness" of diluted solvent developers, particularly extra fine grain formulas like Microdol(-X) or Perceptol at 1+3. In any case it is hard to measure things like acutance objectively. It would also appear to depend on the film. 1+3 is generally sharper than 1+0, but by how much?
An example concerning Panatomic-X in particular would be the Altman-Henn (Kodak) paper we discussed recently on here. The study included a series of fine grain developers based on D-25 and a series of "sharpness" developers based on Beutler. The results for speed, "acutance" and granularity were compared with D-76 as a reference point. Panatomic-X was one of the three films tested with the series of developers and the results were compared with D-76 1+1. The other films were Plus-X and Tri-X. One thing that jumps out from the data is how different the results could be depending on the film. For Panatomic-X, the best balance of speed, sharpness and granularity seemed to come from D-25. Perhaps surprisingly, sharpness with D-25 scored the same as D-76 1+1, while granularity was significantly lower, and the speed penalty was quite small. The results appear to support unconfirmed claims/reports that Panatomic-X was optimized for D-25, a developer that one would typically expect to produce relatively poor sharpness and low speed. By the way the results for Tri-X were totally different. D-76 could not be bested by any of the test developers. One potential "problem" with the study was the use of continuous agitation, which would tend to limit the formation of edge effects particularly with the sharpness formulas tested.
Of course D-25 is not Microdol. I'm just using the example to illustrate how it is more difficult to generalize regarding the behaviour of a developer than we might think.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 01-30-2013 at 10:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.