FX2 developer

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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arpodthegreat
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Location: Echo Park, CA

FX2 developer

Postby arpodthegreat » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:37 pm

I have been looking for a comparison between FX1 and FX2. if anybody has tried both and would like to sure results that would be great. i shoot mainly 35mm. i have seen this said about FX2:
"FX-2 used as a stand developer for one hour, produces the most interesting internal contrast effects of the FX developers."

that sounds really interesting but unfortunately i have no idea what that means or what it would look like. what on earth is "internal contrast" sometimes i wish people would use english.
thanks for the help


foolscape
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Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:33 am

It's called Jargon. What it has to do with English is another matter.

A stand developer is any developer, except for a solvent developer such as D76 (if memory serves me correctly), where the negative can be allowed to "stand" in the developer without agitation after constant agitation for the first minute. Internal contrast simply refers to the contrast range of the detail within the image.

I have some FX2 at home which I haven't mixed yet. I intend to try it soon. My first instinct tells me that 35mm films would not be candidates for stand development. It requires that the film lie flat, usually in a tray. 35mm film is developed on end in spools. I suggest a technique that Ansel Adams used toward the end of his career known as Minimal Agitation. I've used it with roll film. Agitate for the first minute, and then for 10 seconds every two to three minutes. I prefer every three miniuts. Increase development times by 50%.

--Gary

pentaxpete
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Location: BRENTWOOD,Essex,(UK)

Postby pentaxpete » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:08 am

I have been wanting to try FX2 but I do not have the 'special' Potassium Carbonate ( the crystalline version Crawley says) only the powder type - could I use THAT do you think? I DID use FX1 years ago with Kodak Panatomic X when I had free access to distilled water and I could make up the very dilute Potassium Iodide in the formula-I did get very sharp negs OK but couldn't see any change on Ilford Pan F or FP3 to 4 compared with his Acutol.
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

Ornello
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Re: FX2 developer

Postby Ornello » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:16 pm

arpodthegreat wrote:I have been looking for a comparison between FX1 and FX2. if anybody has tried both and would like to sure results that would be great. i shoot mainly 35mm. i have seen this said about FX2:
"FX-2 used as a stand developer for one hour, produces the most interesting internal contrast effects of the FX developers."

that sounds really interesting but unfortunately i have no idea what that means or what it would look like. what on earth is "internal contrast" sometimes i wish people would use english.
thanks for the help
With todays vastly superior films of moderate speed, such as T-Max 100, Delta 100, and Acros 100, all of which produce superb results with D-76 1:1 or with similar developers, I see very little need for FX-2, which works best with very slow, limited-latitude films in the ISO 20-50 range. Since most of these films are gone except for Pan-F Plus (and since the films I mentioned above all produce results essentially indistinguishable from Pan-F) I don't see the point.

foolscape
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Re: FX2 developer

Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:43 am

Ornello wrote:With todays vastly superior films of moderate speed, such as T-Max 100, Delta 100, and Acros 100, all of which produce superb results with D-76 1:1 or with similar developers, I see very little need for FX-2, which works best with very slow, limited-latitude films in the ISO 20-50 range. Since most of these films are gone except for Pan-F Plus (and since the films I mentioned above all produce results essentially indistinguishable from Pan-F) I don't see the point.
The point?

Why does someone climb a mountain? Because it's there.

--Gary

Jim Appleyard
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Postby Jim Appleyard » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:07 pm

Save your effort, he won't understand.

Ornello
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Re: FX2 developer

Postby Ornello » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:26 pm

foolscape wrote:
Ornello wrote:With todays vastly superior films of moderate speed, such as T-Max 100, Delta 100, and Acros 100, all of which produce superb results with D-76 1:1 or with similar developers, I see very little need for FX-2, which works best with very slow, limited-latitude films in the ISO 20-50 range. Since most of these films are gone except for Pan-F Plus (and since the films I mentioned above all produce results essentially indistinguishable from Pan-F) I don't see the point.
The point?

Why does someone climb a mountain? Because it's there.

--Gary
To repeat:

FX-2 was designed for ultra-slow films, almost none of which any longer exist. There are hardly any films to use with the developer now. That's the point. The moderate speed films I mentioned produce superb results with basic developers. I know all about FX-2 and have used it.

The "internal contrast effects" referred to are basically compensating effects from exhaustion. It's amazing that this formula, dating from the early 1960s, is just now coming to people's notice, long after the films for which it was designed are gone. There are much better, faster films today, and better, easier-to-use developers that do not rely on exotic ingredients.

I suggest you try some Fuji Acros 100 in Microdol-X 1:3 and see what you think of that. Rate it at EI 40-64 to start with.

Move along folks, nothing to see here.
Last edited by Ornello on Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

foolscape
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Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:24 am

Surprisingly enough, I agree with much of what Ornello said in the above post. Where I part company with him is in the need to use only modern emulsions and develpers. If a photographer wants to find a signature look to his / her work, some truely remarkable films have come onto the market, or have become available, in recent years that respond to developers like pyro or FX-2. So what if there isn't much difference between Fuji Acros or Rollei 25 in Microdol-X or in FX-2. Photographers' Formulary needs to stay in business too. I find a certain amount of charm in working with older-style films and developers for my own work. For my portraits for paying customers I use Ilford and Kodak films and standard developers because I don't have the luxury of experimentation.

Try Efke R25 or Adox CHS 25 with the FX-2, and you'll get some extremely fine grain and perhaps a look that you won't find with modern emulsions. You can then decide if you would rather have the convenience of conventional films and developers.

--Gary

Keith Tapscott.
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Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:30 pm

foolscape wrote:I find a certain amount of charm in working with older-style films and developers for my own work. For my portraits for paying customers I use Ilford and Kodak films and standard developers because I don't have the luxury of experimentation.

Try Efke R25 or Adox CHS 25 with the FX-2, and you'll get some extremely fine grain and perhaps a look that you won't find with modern emulsions. You can then decide if you would rather have the convenience of conventional films and developers.
--Gary
Those are the type of films that should work well in Beutler`s, FX-1 and FX-2 developers as those developers help to control the old technology films inherently higher contrast.

Modern films which use micro thin multi emulsion layers are able to capture detail over a much longer tonal range and don`t require developers which provide as much compensation as the Beutler`s type.
The modern films work best with a developer which has been carefully formulated to exploit their unique speed to grain characteristics. Tetenal Ultrafin Plus is an example of a modern depth developer which works well with T-Max, Delta and Acros films.
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Ultrafin-Plus

I agree that film choice is a matter of personal preference as some photographers prefer the `look` of one type of film over the other.

Ornello
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Postby Ornello » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:02 pm

foolscape wrote:Surprisingly enough, I agree with much of what Ornello said in the above post. Where I part company with him is in the need to use only modern emulsions and develpers. If a photographer wants to find a signature look to his / her work, some truely remarkable films have come onto the market, or have become available, in recent years that respond to developers like pyro or FX-2. So what if there isn't much difference between Fuji Acros or Rollei 25 in Microdol-X or in FX-2. Photographers' Formulary needs to stay in business too. I find a certain amount of charm in working with older-style films and developers for my own work. For my portraits for paying customers I use Ilford and Kodak films and standard developers because I don't have the luxury of experimentation.

Try Efke R25 or Adox CHS 25 with the FX-2, and you'll get some extremely fine grain and perhaps a look that you won't find with modern emulsions. You can then decide if you would rather have the convenience of conventional films and developers.

--Gary
Although EFKE 25 is still available, it is actually inferior to the more modern films that have been introduced in the last few years. In particular the color sensitization of the Fuji films is outstanding. EFKE 25 is not very red sensitive, and is ortho-panchromatic rather than truly panchromatic. Fuji's films seem to have a very nice response to green, and grass comes out noticeably lighter than with Ilford pan films.

So, although no-one is forcing you to use the newer, better materials, it seems somewhat counter-productive to use older, inferior materials just for the sake of nostalgia.

So there's much more to this than developers and grain. I see no reason at all to use films such as EFKE 25 now, though I used its predecessor (Adox KB14) 35 years ago. As I said, the newer films and basic developers are hard to beat or even equal. The most important difference between the ultra-slow films and the more moderate speed films is not in grain size, but in latitude and color sensitization. So, no matter how you develop these more primitive films, there are still some limitations beyond their low speed.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Postby Ornello » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:53 am

You may note the thread on the new formula from Crawley, and the author's strong recommendation of Fuji Neopan Acros 100.

viewtopic.php?t=534

This is the first I have heard of the FX-55 formula, and I may try it.

Saganich
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:33 am

Postby Saganich » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:50 am

Just as a matter of information I've been running TriX and dated APX-25 using FX-2 in the original formula with the difficult to get and expensive Sodium Carb 1.5 H20 and the pinacryptol yellow. Some examples:

<http://www.imagebrooklyn.com/street_pag ... /bs077.htm>
<http://www.imagebrooklyn.com/Family%20A ... %20151.htm>

At ASA 400 I was not getting good shadow detail so I dropped to 200. My time and temp is coming in at 25 minutes @ 70F. The curve for this combo is pretty flat and I've yet to get a Zone VIII density above 1.2 even know the Zone 1 and V are spot on. I have to say this combo is a different animal, very mid tone with the nicest highlights I've seen. It is weak in the shadows but that is mostly an exposure issue.


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