ADOX Lupex and staining developer for negatives

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iakustov

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have been testing ADOX Lupex paper ecently and I am puzzled with the results..
My current goal is to contact print Fomapan 100 sheet film (FP4 is another goal).
I am trying to find the right development time in Moersch Tanol developer.

I exposed four sheets of Foma 100 using EI 64 with the same time / f stop under equal lighting conditions (strobe, not natural light). As my main concern are the highlights, I left the testing of working ISO for the shadows for another day.

Developed in Tanol 1+1+100 each sheet differently - roughly equivalent of 11,12,13,14 mins @ 20 C - with the same agitation method in tray (5x rocking the tray every 30 seconds, quite aggressively).

Then I tested contact prints of three those sheets on ADOX Lupex paper (the fourth sheet with 11 min development time showed lack of important shadows details in II-III zones). I used tungsten bulb and my main exposure was 30 seconds.
Then I exposed with +1/2 stops increment and made three test prints for each sheet:

Sheet with 12 min dev time - -1/2, 0, +1/2 stops exposure
18064-2_3.jpg 18064-2_1.jpg 18064-2_2.jpg
Sheet with 13 min dev time - 0, +1/2, +1 stops exposure
18065-1_1.jpg 18065-1_2.jpg 18065-1_3.jpg
Sheet with 14 min dev time - 0, +1/2, +1 stops exposure
18064-1_1.jpg 18064-1_2.jpg 18064-1_3.jpg

My main paper developer is Ilford Bromophen 1+3.

However, looking at the prints, there is no “ideal” combination of film dev time and paper exposure time as all the prints look too contrasty: either blown highlights in VII-VIII zones with good shadows or good highlights with no shadow details.

Can you suggest what my mistakes are? Is staining developer not the right thing for the graded paper and I'd rather use other film developer (e.g. XTOL) with graded paper or use multigrade paper with that staining developer? Or my testing method is completely wrong (i'd rather use natural lighting conditions, etc.)
 
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Alan9940

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I regularly use Fomapan 100 sheet film, developed in either Pyrocat-HD or 510-Pyro, and contact print on Adox Lupex; oh, and I expose at EI64 or EI80, depending on which developer I plan to use. However, I develop the paper with Amidol. A couple of thoughts... 1) Don't know how much experience you have with Fomapan film, but it's infamous for building contrast quickly in development. In my testing, I have found that Fomapan films require shorter development times vs other similar speed films such as FP-4+, and 2) Lupex paper, IMO, reveals quite a bit of contrast. Many times, I have to use a develop/water bath technique to tame the contrast for some subjects.

Overall, nothing wrong at all with a staining developer for graded papers. I've read that the yellow/green stain of pyrogallol-based developers vs the brownish stain of catechol-based developers can affect printing outcome even on graded papers. I've never been interested enough to test this theory because I'm happy with my results. Nothing wrong with using VC papers, either. Again, the stain color reportedly has a much larger impact with VC papers.

It really all comes down to playing around with your materials until you find a combo that works for you.
 
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iakustov

iakustov

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OK, I will try to decrease the contrast of the negative further. But according to my test, decreasing the development time does not produce the acceptable contrast. Maybe I have to play with the agitation technique.
As far as I understand from what Wolfgang Moersch describes in this document, there is a limit in maximum printable contrast when printing on graded papers. I am afraid I may be hitting the limit with this combination (Foma100/Tanol/Lupex/Bromophen), but I will try to play more. I will also try to compare the same negatives printed on Ilford Galerie 3 and Fomabrom N to see if Lupex is more contrasty compared to other grade 3 papers as you mentioned.
Thanks for your feedback.
 

Alan9940

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Don't know if you have or have access to a densitometer, but my high value density typically reads out at about 0.80 over fb+f. That's quite a bit lower than my typical non-stained negative which would read at about 1.25 - 1.35 for Zone VIII density for printing on grade 2 paper. FWIW, Michael A. Smith told me awhile ago that his opinion is that Lupex contrast was about the same as his Lodima grade 4. Therefore, it is definitely a higher contrast paper and, generally, when printing on higher contrast papers you need to reduce development. For fact, many 35mm photographers 30-40 years ago developed for shorter than normal times to allow printing on grade 3 paper. The general thinking at the time was that this methodology produced more "crispness" in the print. Beyond generalizations, I don't think I'll be much help because I've never used Tanol or Bromophen.
 
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I spologize if none of the below is helpful, but I have a similar workflow and thought I’d share nonetheless.

Lupex G3 has virtually identical contrast and color to Lodima G4, at least in amidol formulae I’ve tried. It may be about 1/8 to 1/4 stop faster.

For N development, I process 8x10 FP4 (at ei80) in WD2D+, a pyrogallol/metal developer for 6.5 minutes with constant agitation. For me, this is the right contrast for Lodima 4 or Lupex 3 in my Amidol developer. Highlight information on the negative goes on and on.

As far as tonal range and Dmax, Lupex and Lodina look better in Amidol; Galerie looks better in Ansco 130.

Jarin
 

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hi iakustov

im going to be even less help than jarin and i am going to apologize in advance.
i have never used lupex or lodima but i regularly use azo grade 3 paper.
and i've never used LF foma film or your developers, sorry. whenever i use azo paper
i have used either tmx or tmy, or hp5+. i always process in a tray and i use either dektol
or ansco 130 1:6 for about 8.5minutes. i don't rock the tray but i shuffle them and i have a short stack
of between 6 and 10 sheets ( tray rocking builds too much contrast when i do it ).
yes, i know those developers are print developers not staining developers
and i know ansco 130 probably is not ez to find where you are...
i use the same developer ( dektol or ansco 130 ) to develop my prints, 1:2 always... the negatives are denser than
regular negatives and i use a 300W bulb to make my contact prints and they always look perfect...
IDK i'm not advocating you change developers but maybe shuffling your sheets instead of rocking them in a tray. also you want to build a bit of
density on your film, silver chloride negatives like to have a bit more meat on the bones. and if lupex is anything like azo you probably want to get
an extremely bright light to print them with in whatever you are using for your print developer.
i've also use caffenol c with a shake of one of those print developers and developed my film for IDK 10 - 12 minutes and gotten perfect azo film too...

good luck with your prints !
john
 

Alan9940

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For N development, I process 8x10 FP4 (at ei80) in WD2D+, a pyrogallol/metal developer for 6.5 minutes with constant agitation. For me, this is the right contrast for Lodima 4 or Lupex 3 in my Amidol developer.

Hi Jarin,

Do you develop via the shuffle method or single sheet at a time? I just happen to have some WD2D+ on hand and would like to give this combo a try.

Thanks!
 
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Hi Jarin,

Do you develop via the shuffle method or single sheet at a time? I just happen to have some WD2D+ on hand and would like to give this combo a try.

Thanks!

I do one at a time; I am still battling scratches for half my negatives and dare not try the shuffle method. I process at 72 deg F and use an alkaline fixer, so that may be partially to blame.

J
 

mshchem

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I have not yet tried Lupex. I keep things simple. I shoot Ilford or Kodak sheet film, use an incident meter to determine exposure. Develop in XTOL stock, no dilution for recommended time temperature using Jobo. I get beautiful prints on Fomalux and Azo. I have a dedicated contact printer, uses argon lamps, very potent uv rich source.

I have found that more often now I use ordinary Ilford Multigrade paper , use my enlarger as light source to control contrast.

Still chloride contact paper like the Lupex gives the best results, Bromophen 1+3 3 min 70F , followed by Kodak rapid selenium toner.
 

C Henry

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I would agree with Alan above. Fomapan 100 is high in contrast, and needs less development than other films of a similar speed to keep detail in the highlights (otherwise it's not a bad film). I've also found Adox Lupex to be quite a contrasty paper. In my hands there are two ways for me to get an acceptable print with Lupex, either Amidol (and waterbath) development, or to use a soft working developer, but then my negatives are not made to be printed on that paper.
 

Alan9940

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In my hands there are two ways for me to get an acceptable print with Lupex, either Amidol (and waterbath) development, or to use a soft working developer, but then my negatives are not made to be printed on that paper.

Yeah, I tried Ansco 120 and that did reduce the contrast a bit, but I didn't care for the print color (tended toward cool.) I returned to Amidol and water bath, when needed, because I like the warmer tones of the Lupex/Amidol combo.
 
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iakustov

iakustov

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Thanks for all your feedback.
Today I tried printing the same negatives but using two baths - Ansco 120 developer with 1+2 dilution 1m:30 sec followed by Bromophen 1+3 30 sec, continuous agitation. I was able to reduce the print contrast by 1 grade or so. I also tried more dilution with Ansco 120 - 1+4, but without noticeable change in contrast. To get a good result I need to reduce the contrast of the negative further (develop for less time and fewer agitation cycles).
I have plans to try Amidol & Ansco 130 with Lupex, but since it is impossible to get amidol or glycin locally, this could take some time.. Getting these developers from Photographers Formulary is very expensive.
Anyway, I have doubts that Amidol or Ansco 130 will produce prints with less contrast with my current rather contrasty negatives, so I need to change my negs development first.
 

Alan9940

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I did not find any decrease in contrast in my testing of Lupex in Ansco 130. What I did have some success with was Ansel Adam's version of Ansco 130. That formula seem to drop the contrast, at least, 1/2 grade.
 
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iakustov

iakustov

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Yesterday I continued my tests with negatives developed in Tanol. I developed a series of the same exposures on Fomapan 100 and FP4+ for different time and agitation. I was also lucky to get some amidol locally (only 30 g though..). I tried printing on Lupex paper in three developers - Bromophen 1+3, Ansco 120 1+2, Amidol (MAS formula).
With Foma 100, the only positive result I could obtain was with paper developed in Ansco 120 developer.
With FP4+, I could obtain good results with all three, but the print developed in Amidol was the best in terms of tonality and colour. As this was the first time I tried Amidol, I am intrigued to see how the real prints look like, not from the test negatives.
I am also puzzled why I get cold tones with Bromophen as Lupex supposed to be a warm paper (slow, chloride)?
 

Lachlan Young

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I am also puzzled why I get cold tones with Bromophen as Lupex supposed to be a warm paper (slow, chloride)?

Most regular paper developers give pretty cold tones with chloride papers - only certain specific formulae seem to give warmer tones. And Bromophen is a traditional cold/ neutral developer - apart from with Ilford MGWT, which uses a non-traditional approach to making a warmer toned emulsion (as I understand it, it's made using a controlled crystal growth method on the same emulsion plant as the Delta films).
 

koraks

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Don't know how much experience you have with Fomapan film, but it's infamous for building contrast quickly in development.
To make matters more complicated: Foma100 (as Foma400) seems to have a quite long toe to its curve. Hence, separation in the shadows is always a bit of an issue. Increasing exposure helps to shift the image towards the linear part of the curve. Try an EI of 50 or even 32, and adjust development to suit the material. I quite like foma100 for printing processes with long tonal scales like salt printing; it tends to be a bit harsh on higher-contrast materials. I'm not surprised FP4+ seems to be easier to get to work with this particular paper.
 
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