Adox FX-39

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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Keith Tapscott.
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Adox FX-39

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:56 am

Adox have announced that they will continue to make FX-39 after Paterson Ltd discontinued their photo-chemical products.

http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1599676


Ornello
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Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:29 am

This is wonderful news!

I would like to see Acutol and Acuspecial as well. The rest I don't care about.

Crawley designed wonderful developers but Paterson was a poor choice to market them.

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:50 am

Perhaps Adox will market this product better than Paterson.
You may also find the Spur range of developers of interest as well. These like the Paterson developers appear to be somewhat more specialized than the regular general use fine-grain developers like D-76/ID-11.

Have a look at Bruce Robbins site where he often uses D-76 1+1 to compare results.

http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com/2013/0 ... rol-n.html

Ornello
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Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:21 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:Perhaps Adox will market this product better than Paterson.
You may also find the Spur range of developers of interest as well. These like the Paterson developers appear to be somewhat more specialized than the regular general use fine-grain developers like D-76/ID-11.

Have a look at Bruce Robbins site where he often uses D-76 1+1 to compare results.

http://www.theonlinedarkroom.com/2013/0 ... rol-n.html
Is Acurol-N a clone of Rodinal or a variant of that type of formula? At those dilutions I am curious: The results seem to be somewhat like Rodinal. It is not clear whether the speed was determined. D-76 1:1 is a compromise between solvent fine-grain developers and acutance types. It is very forgiving too, and probably is ideal for Tri-X Pan for general-purpose use, especially in uncontrolled light (such as in "street" photography, where exposures are seldom "on the button"; putting the camera on a tripod and shooting slow films will not tell you much about developers that are best-suited for such applications).

Using slower films such as Ilford Pan-F Plus, Delta 100, Kodak T-Max 100 or Fuji Acros 100, D-76 1:1 may be still produce a little too much solvent effect. In such cases, D-76 1:2 might prove worth trying. Developers need to be evaluated based on the type of photography one does above all, which is why I advocate D76 1:1 for most people: you will find it produces a negative that has a nice balance of properties (speed, graininess, sharpness, compensation), and is not that critical in use. The advantages of a developer such as FX-39 or Acutol can be seen, but only if your technique and your lenses (including your enlarger lenses) are first-rate. I have a Leitz 50mm f/4.5 Focotar-2, which is the finest enlarging lens ever made in that focal length. The contrast and sharpness are superb.

For slow films I found the old Tetenal Neofin Red and Neofin Blue developers preferable to Rodinal, which I regard as a vastly over-rated and quite inferior product. I used to shoot some Adox KB-14, but quickly grew tired of the slow speed and limited latitude. I ended up standardizing on Tri-X and FP4, which could be developed together in Ethol UFG developer (3.5 minutes). When I needed something a bit more refined, I used FP4 in Acutol. I gave up using the slow or exotic films and developers since they were of limited usefulness. I could make 11x14 prints from Tri-X developed in UFG with very little grain, and from FP4 in UFG it was all but invisible unless you stuck your nose on the print. Adox KB-14 (ASA 20) was simply impractical, and KB17 (ASA 40) was not any better than FP4 in the grain department.

Overall, FP4 in Acutol was exceptionally good when I didn't need the speed of Tri-X. I abandoned Adox KB14 and Neofin developers and ended up with just two films (Tri-X and FP4) and two developers (UFG and Acutol). So, Neofin, KB14, Rodinal, FRX22 and all that sort of thing...just proved a waste of time. There were numerous high-acutance developers on the market for a while (Ethol TEC, FR-X22, Neofin Blue) but all of them were inferior to Acutol.

FP4 Plus is a better film than FP4, and much better than FP3. Tri-X was much better than HP4, which was discontinued around 1975 I think, and replaced by HP5, which was replaced by HP5 Plus around 1989. Tri-X and HP5 Plus are quite comparable and interchangeable.

Yep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilford_HP

Since I worked in a camera shop I could order and try out all kinds of exotic products. Most were either too much trouble or inferior to products that were easier to obtain, except FP4 and Acutol. I used just about every kind of paper and film out there in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Remember Agfachrome?

UFG is vastly under-rated:

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/6533 ... loper.html

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:36 am

I'm not sure to be honest. In post #3 in this thread, the author reckons that sharpness is better than Rodinal with tighter grain. I would have thought better resolution too.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1188 ... -negs.html

It would be good to see how it compares with FX-39.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:56 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:I'm not sure to be honest. In post #3 in this thread, the author reckons that sharpness is better than Rodinal with tighter grain. I would have thought better resolution too.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1188 ... -negs.html

It would be good to see how it compares with FX-39.
"Sharpness" is hard to measure, but there are differences between "sharpness" and "acutance".

Since this developer is used at extremely high dilutions (around 1:75 or 1:100) it has to be similar to Rodinal. Only Rodinal-type developers using p-aminophenol are used at such high dilutions. Rodinal showed worse sharpness in tests conducted by Leica Fotografie magazine in the late 1960s.

Speed and resolution were less than average with most films, graininess higher (most notably with faster materials). I made pdfs of the article and can send them to anyone here.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:49 am

Ornello wrote:
Keith Tapscott. wrote:I'm not sure to be honest. In post #3 in this thread, the author reckons that sharpness is better than Rodinal with tighter grain. I would have thought better resolution too.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1188 ... -negs.html

It would be good to see how it compares with FX-39.
"Sharpness" is hard to measure, but there are differences between "sharpness" and "acutance".

Since this developer is used at extremely high dilutions (around 1:75 or 1:100) it has to be similar to Rodinal.

Only Rodinal-type developers using p-aminophenol are used at such high dilutions. Rodinal showed worse sharpness in tests conducted by Leica Fotografie magazine in the late 1960s.

Speed and resolution were less than average with most films, graininess higher (most notably with faster materials). I made pdfs of the article and can send them to anyone here.
Without seeing the safety data for this developer, it's difficult to guess what the key component is.
Could it be a very high level of Phenidone or a derivative?

Richard J Henry did tests of some Kodak films in a variety of developers in his book CONTROLS IN BLACK & WHITE (Second Edition) which mentions similar reports of Rodinal.

The PDF's would be interesting to read. Rodinal may be used for aesthetic/pictorial reasons though, rather than technical quality.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:16 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:
Keith Tapscott. wrote:I'm not sure to be honest. In post #3 in this thread, the author reckons that sharpness is better than Rodinal with tighter grain. I would have thought better resolution too.

http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1188 ... -negs.html

It would be good to see how it compares with FX-39.
"Sharpness" is hard to measure, but there are differences between "sharpness" and "acutance".

Since this developer is used at extremely high dilutions (around 1:75 or 1:100) it has to be similar to Rodinal.

Only Rodinal-type developers using p-aminophenol are used at such high dilutions. Rodinal showed worse sharpness in tests conducted by Leica Fotografie magazine in the late 1960s.

Speed and resolution were less than average with most films, graininess higher (most notably with faster materials). I made pdfs of the article and can send them to anyone here.
Without seeing the safety data for this developer, it's difficult to guess what the key component is.
Could it be a very high level of Phenidone or a derivative?

Richard J Henry did tests of some Kodak films in a variety of developers in his book CONTROLS IN BLACK & WHITE (Second Edition) which mentions similar reports of Rodinal.

The PDF's would be interesting to read. Rodinal may be used for aesthetic/pictorial reasons though, rather than technical quality.
On purely image-quality criteria, Rodinal is below the quality of all current popular developers. Lower speed, poorer definition, harsher tonality. The only "benefit" that I can see to Rodinal is its keeping properties.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:47 pm

When is the product to be available? I don't see it on the Adox web site.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:18 pm


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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:19 am

Ornello wrote:When is the product to be available? I don't see it on the Adox web site.
The Spur Acurol-N developer is available from this site.
http://www.macodirect.de/spur-acurol-25 ... 24c72cd642

I still don't know if it is a Rodinal type or not, as I have yet to see the MSDS for it.

Thanks for the Adox FX-39 link.

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

Re: Adox FX-39

Postby Ornello » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:11 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:When is the product to be available? I don't see it on the Adox web site.
The Spur Acurol-N developer is available from this site.
http://www.macodirect.de/spur-acurol-25 ... 24c72cd642

I still don't know if it is a Rodinal type or not, as I have yet to see the MSDS for it.

Thanks for the Adox FX-39 link.
Based on the description, it has to be similar. High dilution, good keeping quality, etc.


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