Film Developer combinations the good,thebad and the ugly.

Alan9940

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Pyrocat-HD will definitely increase negative contrast at 2:2:100. I use it fairly regularly to produce negatives for pt/pd printing.
 

Alan Clark

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Pyrocat HD at 2+2+100 also increases grain, to the level you get with Rodinal. Not a problem with large format, but it could be with 35mm, depending what you want your prints to look like.

Alan
 

Ian Grant

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Pyrocat-HD will definitely increase negative contrast at 2:2:100. I use it fairly regularly to produce negatives for pt/pd printing.
But you are also developing to a higher density as well so a longer development time than would be needed for a normal negative at 2 + 2 to 100. I do or rather have used this dilution when tray processing 10x8 negatives to cut development times while working in the dark.

Pyrocat HD at 2+2+100 also increases grain, to the level you get with Rodinal. Not a problem with large format, but it could be with 35mm, depending what you want your prints to look like.

Alan
Rodinal is capable of producing incredibly good fine grain with films like the old Agfa AP/APX 100 & AP/APX 25 as well as Tmax and Delta films. This comes back to the OP's question of what are good and bad combinations and sometimes we need like for like comparisons.

David M & I has seen the late Peter Goldfield's large prints made on 35mm AP100 and possibly APX100 processed in Rodinal, superb fine grain, sharpness, and tonality. I used the combination myself for nearly 20 years 35mm, 120 asnwell as LF, you have to remember that Rodinal was Agfa's recommended developer for AP25 and AP100, and later APX25 and APX100, Peter found it was equally as good with Tmax which hadn't been around long.

Rodinal may not be as good with FP4 and wasn't recommended for HP5 and similar fast films, but I haven't tried either, however both are superb in Pyrocat HD as are Delta & Tmax films.

In mentioning like for like I was meaning perhaps comparing ID-11/D76 at 1+ 2 with Xtol at 1 + 2 because both of these developers will behave slightly differently compared to use full strength and replenished due to the different dilutions.

Ian
 

James T

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As a general-purpose developer I like Ilfotec HC. Lower grain than Rodinal but quite crisp. The only major problem is that there aren't times listed for a lot of films, in those cases I usually go with HC110 times + 10%.
 

mpirie

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I made up a litre of D-23 yesterday from raw chemicals, used it at 1+1.

FP4+ @ 80 was 8 min. Very impressed at how simple it was and how good the negs look.

Mike
 

David M

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Some of Peter's negs may have been XP1.
He was was an early enthusiast for digital printing and would show you something not much better than a supermarket receipt, with great pride. Events have proved him right of course.
 

Ian Grant

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Some of Peter's negs may have been XP1.
He was was an early enthusiast for digital printing and would show you something not much better than a supermarket receipt, with great pride. Events have proved him right of course.
You must have gone there some time (years) later than my visits, he was fully analog last time I visited Duckspool I'd guess 1988 maybe 89.

Ian
 

Cospinol

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For negatives containing lots of different greay scale values I like to use Caffenol CL, and semi-stand develop about 60 min.
When using T-Max 100, for normal contrast negatives, I usually take Kodak's RS-Developer, dill. 1:9 and develop at 24°C for 12 min. With high contrast negatives I prefer to use XTOL 1:3.
All of those give me a nice result with crisp lines/contours and no (visible) grain.
 

Alan9940

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Alan how do you stand develop sheet film, I would be worried about uneven development?
I have only ever used stand development with Caffenol CL and Fomapan 100 and have never noticed any uneven development or other artifacts. I use a Nikkor style tank, 40 mins @75F with 10 initial inversions, then tank sits until end of development. I have no idea if this would work with all the different Caffenol blends out there; I use Sumatra beans purchased from an advertiser on PHOTRIO (old APUG.)
 

Cospinol

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As described above, I use the semi-stand method and I didn't encounter any uneven development so far. I put four 5x4 negs in a Patterson Orbital tank, then slightly agitate the first 30 seconds and while developing for 60 minutes I give them a slight agitation for 5 seconds about every 15 minutes. That has been working well so far and the tonal range is just great.
I used this method for the Foma 100 and the 200 too. Didn't try FP4 so far, but will give it a try in the future (or maybe someone already tried it and wants to share the information?)

In case you get some tiny pin holes in your emulsion it's not the Caffenol's fault, it's because your stop bath is to acidic then.
 

David M

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If stop bath is giving you problems, try a plain water rinse instead. Agitate it. A few seconds more can have no adverse effect on a 60min development time and you'll be spared the nostril-rotting stink of stop.
 

Alan9940

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I used this method for the Foma 100 and the 200 too. Didn't try FP4 so far, but will give it a try in the future (or maybe someone already tried it and wants to share the information?)
If you're not familiar with Steve Sherman, then look up his EMA (extreme minimal agitation) techniques. I believe he uses mostly FP4+ in his photography.
 

Cospinol

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Thanks Alan, I'll check that. I used to ude FP4 'back in the old days' while photographing on medium format and FP4 (as well as HP5) never disappointed. But today on 5x4, with the difference in price compared to a pack of Foma 100, I never bought FP4 again. But I definitely want to try it again in the future just to compare the quality.
 
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