Developers

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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

Developers

Postby Ornello » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:13 pm

For medium- and large-format films, developers are not critical. DK-50, DK-60a and similar commercial developers based on a combination of metol and hydroquinone as developing agents were deservedly popular for decades. For miniature film, superior results were obtained from D-76, and later, Microphen, UFG, Acufine, and similar products that used Phenidone compared to the commercial type developers. Paterson developers (formulated by Geoffrey Crawley) were even better. Acutol, Acutol-S (FX-15), Acuspecial (for slow films), and more recently FX-39 are probably the best developers ever formulated. I use FX-15 and have every confidence that it is among the best formulas for fast films, which I use almost exclusively.


Keith Tapscott.
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Developers

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:55 am

Ornello wrote:For medium- and large-format films, developers are not critical. DK-50, DK-60a and similar commercial developers based on a combination of metol and hydroquinone as developing agents were deservedly popular for decades.

For miniature film, superior results were obtained from D-76, and later, Microphen, UFG, Acufine, and similar products that used Phenidone compared to the commercial type developers.

Paterson developers (formulated by Geoffrey Crawley) were even better. Acutol, Acutol-S (FX-15), Acuspecial (for slow films), and more recently FX-39 are probably the best developers ever formulated.

I use FX-15 and have every confidence that it is among the best formulas for fast films, which I use almost exclusively.
Unfortunately, Paterson have recently ceased selling developers and other processing solutions.
A developer I have played around with is sort of a sharpened up "one-shot" Microphen type similar to FX-37, but with slower development which I prefer. I will post it here if there is anyone interested. It take PQ-Borax to the next logical stage as a one-shot developer instead of the usual high sulphite formulas designed to be reused and replenished.

IanG
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:56 am

Re: Developers

Postby IanG » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:58 am

I had a discussion with a senior Ilford research manager over lunch on a visit to Mobberley back in the early 1980s and we touched on Paterson chemistry, what he had to say was quite an eye-opener. He'd been involved in the manufacture of Paterson chemistry as it was originally manufactered by Ilford for the company.

Unlike you I don't particularly rate any Paterson chemistry and I tried and tested many of their developers and also some Crawley's published formulae. There wasn't a product that was exceptional and any better than products already on the market.

Ian

Keith Tapscott.
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Developers

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:53 am

IanG wrote:I had a discussion with a senior Ilford research manager over lunch on a visit to Mobberley back in the early 1980s and we touched on Paterson chemistry, what he had to say was quite an eye-opener. He'd been involved in the manufacture of Paterson chemistry as it was originally manufactered by Ilford for the company.

Unlike you I don't particularly rate any Paterson chemistry and I tried and tested many of their developers and also some Crawley's published formulae. There wasn't a product that was exceptional and any better than products already on the market.

Ian
Ian, I also heard from an Ilford employee that they once made Paterson chemistry for them under license. He mentioned something about a certain component in a developer which was so diluted already, that they all wondered what it was supposed to do.

The formula I mentioned in my previous post that I played around with for a while is as follows;

750 ml of water at around 50 degrees Celsius

Dissolve the following constituents in the order listed below;

Sodium hexametaphosphate 2 grams
Sodium sulphite, anhydrous 65 grams
Sodium metabisulphite 2 grams
Hydroquinone 5 grams
Borax 4 grams
Potassium bromide 1 gram
Phenidone 0.5 gram
Add more water to make 1 litre of stock solution.

The working strength developer is made up just before use by diluting 1 part of the stock solution with 3 parts of water (1+3) and is used once only. For guide times, I started with those given for Ilford Microphen when Microphen is diluted 1+1.
It actually works quite well believe it or not. I am currently doing myself a project of photographing the ancient stone crosses on Dartmoor.

Ornello
Posts: 832
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Developers

Postby Ornello » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:03 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:For medium- and large-format films, developers are not critical. DK-50, DK-60a and similar commercial developers based on a combination of metol and hydroquinone as developing agents were deservedly popular for decades.

For miniature film, superior results were obtained from D-76, and later, Microphen, UFG, Acufine, and similar products that used Phenidone compared to the commercial type developers.

Paterson developers (formulated by Geoffrey Crawley) were even better. Acutol, Acutol-S (FX-15), Acuspecial (for slow films), and more recently FX-39 are probably the best developers ever formulated.

I use FX-15 and have every confidence that it is among the best formulas for fast films, which I use almost exclusively.
Unfortunately, Paterson have recently ceased selling developers and other processing solutions.
A developer I have played around with is sort of a sharpened up "one-shot" Microphen type similar to FX-37, but with slower development which I prefer. I will post it here if there is anyone interested. It take PQ-Borax to the next logical stage as a one-shot developer instead of the usual high sulphite formulas designed to be reused and replenished.
I tested many films and developers in the late 1960s and 1970s. Nothing, at that time, beat FP4 in Acutol for overall quality (even though slower films were finer-grained, they had restricted tonality). This was before the improved FP4 came out. Tri-X was better than HP4, and both FP4 and Tri-X developed for the same times (3.5 minutes, I believe) in UFG, which I used a lot too. I used Tri-X about 70% of the time, and FP4 the rest of the time. When I wanted to do critical work I used FP4 in Acutol, and occasionally tried super-slow films (such as KB-14) in Acuspecial (which was overwhelmingly superior to Rodinal). FP4 was sharper and finer-grained than Plus-X, and Tri-X was superior to HP4. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Ilford improved all of their films (with the "Plus" designation). Thereafter, HP5 was in no way inferior to Tri-X. But my point is that the Paterson developers were clearly the best, and by a considerable margin.

Has Paterson ceased making chemistry?

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Developers

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:52 am

Ornello wrote:
Has Paterson ceased making chemistry?
Yes, but they will continue to make darkroom products such as developing tanks, reels and trays etc as far as I know.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1227 ... icals.html

Ornello
Posts: 832
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Developers

Postby Ornello » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:33 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:
Has Paterson ceased making chemistry?
Yes, but they will continue to make darkroom products such as developing tanks, reels and trays etc as far as I know.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1227 ... icals.html
I hope that they might be persuaded to license the formulas to another firm. Acuspecial was particularly interesting. Far better than Rodinal.

http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Pater ... Range.html

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Developers

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 am

Ornello wrote:Acuspecial was particularly interesting. Far better than Rodinal.

http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Pater ... Range.html
I have never used Acuspecial, but remember reading somewhere that this particular developer was an attempt by Crawley to make it behave similarly to Johnson's Definol.

Definol was Barry Thornton's favourite high definition developer. I think it is unlikely that the formulas of the ACU series of developers along with Definol and Unitol will ever be published.

Fotohuis
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Re: Developers

Postby Fotohuis » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:01 am

it is a pity that Paterson ceased their production of photochemicals incl. the FX series because FX-39 was never published by G. Crawley due to commercial reasons.
But FX-37 is indeed very, very close to it which was a published formulae. FX-1 and FX-2, also very interesting. That Pina-Cryptol (Yellow) I once put it away which was a stupid action. :roll:
"De enige beperking in je fotografie ben je zelf"

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http://gallery.fotohuisrovo.nl/


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