Bert Hardy's "Super soup" & Edwal 12

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

Moderator: Keith Tapscott.

Post Reply
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:49 am
Location: NE rural Georgia

Bert Hardy's "Super soup" & Edwal 12

Post by dfbldwn »

I've always been curious about Bert Hardy's "Super Soup" developer since reading ... -1913-1995
SUPER SOUP: ; metol; soda sulfite; p-paraphenylenediamine[a.k.a. 1,4-Diaminobenzene]; glycin;
but it gave no amounts.

Browsing Photographers' Formulary I looked at Edwal 12 last week, only to discover:
EDWAL 12, 1L: Metol(6gm); Sodium Sulfite(90gm); p-phenylenediamine(10g); Glycin(5g)
Same incredients in the same (all-important) order, and shows amounts!

Then I learned from that Lowe intended the glycin amount to be adjusted anywhere from 2g to 10g as needed to reduce or increase contrast.

But I'm posting because of Hardy's account of an assignment for PICTURE POST (in the Photo-Histories link above):
Hopkinson asked Bert to do a shoot on the street shelters. Bert photographed a Newcastle brick-lined tunnel during the Blitz
handholding his Leica at 1/4 of a second. Hardy put the film in his super-soup. Knowing the images were underexposed, he doubled his usual processing time from sixteen to thirty minutes. Another half hour in the super-soup produced the faintest of highlights [viewing with green light].
Hardy goes off to his Mum's to make some tea, falls asleep. By the time he got back to the darkroom the films had been stewing for four hours,dense and very grainy negatives.
Hardy even felt the lighting in the images emanated a Rembrandt-like quality.

STAND development with EDWAL 12!? Who could have known?

Posts: 879
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Bert Hardy's "Super soup" & Edwal 12

Post by Ornello »

There is actually very little that developers can do. Some give more speed, some give finer grain. The differences between the best and worst are not huge. Noticeable to the critical user, to be sure, but not huge. The amount of exposure and development is what matters most.

Post Reply