Perceptol solvent properties

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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foolscape
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Perceptol solvent properties

Postby foolscape » Sun May 31, 2009 12:42 am

I'm experimenting with Ilford Perceptol as of late. I picked up a couple packages at, believe it or not, a thrift shop for a couple bucks. Having read the section on fine-grain developers in "The Darkroom Cookbook," I decided to develop the first few rolls at 1:3. The Cookbook claimed that developing at stock or 1:1 with Microdol-X would cause some of the latent image to be lost due to the solvent action of the developer, and that film speed was lost. Perceptol was reported to be very similar to Microdol-X. Is this true? Should I use it 1:3 and brave the long development times, or can I mix it stronger? If I mix it stronger, will I lose film speed, or even part of the image?

Thanks!
--Gary

PS. The boxes I purchsed were made in 1982.


Jim Appleyard
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Postby Jim Appleyard » Sun May 31, 2009 7:44 am

Gary,

The first thing to look for is the quality of these old chems. When mixing, make sure the powder is white. If the powder has turned brown, it has been oxidized and is most likely dead. Those old packets were made of paper and all it took was a small hole to let oxygen in.

I've never used Perceptol, but everyone says it's the same as MX. I have used a fair share of MX and while you don't go as far as "losing image", you do trim the grain at 1+0.

I use MX at 1+3 and yes the times are long, but up the temp to 75F (24C?) and it cuts the time down a bit. You can find times in the MDC.

I use MX with Pan-F, APX 100 (what's left of it), and Plus-X with very nice results.

Jim Appleyard
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:33 pm

Postby Jim Appleyard » Sun May 31, 2009 7:46 am

BTW, you can maintain normal speed at 1+3 dilution.

foolscape
Posts: 181
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Postby foolscape » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:53 am

The first batch I mixed was good. The negatives were fully developed and almost jaw-droppingly sharp. I'll try warmer solutions. I have a Jobo, so I can bump up the temp.

--Gary

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Perceptol solvent properties

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:06 pm

foolscape wrote:I'm experimenting with Ilford Perceptol as of late. Perceptol was reported to be very similar to Microdol-X. Is this true? Should I use it 1:3 and brave the long development times, or can I mix it stronger? If I mix it stronger, will I lose film speed, or even part of the image?

Thanks!
--Gary

PS. The boxes I purchased were made in 1982.
Perceptol is Ilford`s equivalent of Microdol-X and gives good sharpness when it is used well diluted, although it is at the expense of the extra-finegrain that it is designed for. It is worth while sharpening up the grain a bit with modern B&W films, as they are already very fine-grained as they are when processed in standard developers. It works fine when diluted 1+1 which can be useful for female portraits, as this dilution gives a good compromise between fine-grain with smooth skin tones while retaining good sharpness. There is about half to two-thirds of a stop speed loss compared to the D-76/ID-11 standard though.
The diluted developer should be used once only and then discarded.

foolscape
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:01 am
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: Perceptol solvent properties

Postby foolscape » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:14 am

Thnaks for the info!

--Gary


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