Developers for better shadow detail

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Flotsam

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I'm doing some tests with some new (to me) 35mm films (Efke 100 and JandC Classic 200). I'm using D-76 1:1 in a JOBO processor. Using the long JOBO recommended pre-soak and cutting the suggested dev, times by about 25% in order to bring my high densities down to where they print properly on a#2 paper. My problem is that my shadows are coming up thin and lacking detail. I hate to drop my film speed on these films in order to bring my shadows up.

I'm wondering if the folks here can suggest a developer that. in their experience, is more active in the low densities that might allow me to stick with the normal film speeds. Also, although it would drop my developing times to below what I would like, I am curious if using the D-76 at full-strength would tend to enhance the lower densities.

Just as an aside, I process Tri-x in FG7 under the same conditions and get good shadow detail at the rated 400. I hope to try Classic 200 in this developer tonight and see if my speed comes up. I'll post the results.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I would just drop my EI, but try a developer like Acufine or Diafine to get a real increase in film speed and more shadow detail.
 

sanking

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Flotsam said:
I'm wondering if the folks here can suggest a developer that. in their experience, is more active in the low densities that might allow me to stick with the normal film speeds. Also, although it would drop my developing times to below what I would like, I am curious if using the D-76 at full-strength would tend to enhance the lower densities.

Many developers that contain phenidone give an increase in effective film speed. Pyrocat-HD contains phenidone, as do some of the Crawley FX formulations, including FX-37. I suspect that either Pyrocat-HD or FX-37 would give you a speed increase of at least 1/4 to 1/2 stop over D-76. You could also probably get an increase in effective film speed over D76 with Xtol.

Sandy King
 

Ole

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FX-2 works great with EFKE 100, giving a slight speed increase (about 1/2 to 3/4 stop). It is also great for stand developing, I have used 90 minutes at 20°C with impressive results.
 

MikeK

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Neal, I have been using a fair bit of Classic 200 and have souped it in D76, D76H, PMK and Rodinal and with these developers and my technique I need to rate the film at an EI of 100 for my best results. This is true for both 120 roll film and sheet.

You could use a developer which gives you a speed gain like Microphen or just try pushing the film by extending the development time. But I just do not like the grain structure with these developers. Classic Pan 200 Developed in PMK 10+20+1000 for 14 minutes is a magic combination.

- Mike
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Extending development time usually only increases contrast by increasing the highlight density without improving shadow detail.

A developer like Microphen or Acufine really does boost shadow detail, which is a real film speed increase. There are also methods like exposing the film to acid vapor or hydrogen peroxide vapor described in Anchell's _Darkroom Cookbook_, but I've never tried them.
 
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There is also the almost forgotten water bath method.

Lynn Jones, professor at the Austin Community College, has a paper on it.
But it's a real PIA.

Jorge O
 
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Flotsam

Flotsam

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Last night I did a test with Classic 200 in FG-7, (which gives me the rated speed of 400 with Tri-X), and although somewhat over developed, (I had to try to extrapolate the time), the shadows were still thin. Along with the knowlegable responses that I've gotten to this thread, I think that the best solution is to drop the EI when I use these films. I'm bit reluctant to use "Fine Grain" developers with these medium speed films for general use. It makes you wonder what these film companies used to establish these speeds in the first place. :confused:

While the JOBO works well in the humble, slapdash, running-water-in-the-adjacent-bathroom, darkroom set-up that I am currently using, I've always been dubious about rotary processing B&W. I would bet that intermitant agitation would allow the shadows to build up a bit more while holding down the highlights.

Thanks to all for the responses.
 

Ole

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Any "real" acutance developer will give a speed increase. FX-2 I've already mentioned, FX-1 is a little too harsh for 35mm. Neofin Blue was made for the ADOX films which the EFKE films are based on.

If you inist on using D-76, increase the dilution to reduce the solvency which is damaging your shadows.

You don't know what these films are capable of until you've tried them with an acutance developer!
 

sanking

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David A. Goldfarb said:
Extending development time usually only increases contrast by increasing the highlight density without improving shadow detail.


With one exception. The use of very dilute developers in conjunction with minimal agitation procedures can result in a significant increase in shadow detail without increasing contrast in the highlights. On Michael and Paula's AZO forum there has been some recent discussion of the use of Pyrocat-HD with stand, semi-stand and minimal agitation procedures. I was intrigued by the reports and carried out some tests myself this week using what I call extreme minimal agitation. What I found was that this type of development results in a rather dramatic increase in effective film speed. For example, with rotary processing my normal EI for FP4+ when the negative is developed to a CI of 0.85 (for palladium printing) is about 125. With extreme minimal agitation procedures the EI increases to about 225, at the same CI.

Water bath development may provide an equivalent increase in EI, but I do not find that it gives any advantage over the use of a dilute developer and minimal agitation procedures.

Another interesting result from the use of extreme agitation procedures with dilute developers is that you get exaggerated adjacency effects and this can greatly enhance apparent sharpness.

Sandy


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Paddy

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Aside from utilizing some of the aforementioned "stand developing" techniques/developers, shadow detail is obtained primarily through the exposure, not development. So for determining my effective E.I. with a given film, I always want to know if I've acheived a threshold density in Zone I of at least .10 above FB+F. If I have then I'll also know what the E.I. is for that film. Truth be told, my "normal" E.I. for FP4+ is 25, ditto for J&C Classic 200, and 100-160 for HP5+. I've simply accepted the fact that when the Winter Olympics come to town in 2010, I won't be doing anything even remotely motor driven. ;-)
 
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Flotsam

Flotsam

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I'm on the third roll testing this stuff (JandC 200). Like you, I think that I'm going to wind up around EI 125 or 160. My developing, though I've cut it quite a bit, is still over the top, pushing the highlights way too high. It's also pretty grainy but I hope that nailing down my exposure and development will improve that.
 
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Flotsam

Flotsam

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B.T.W. I love "Nicole". A wonderful portrait of a lovely model. A bit bored, a bit defiant, but an open expression, full of life and personality.
Weren't we all at that age?
 

Ed Sukach

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jdef said:
Thanks Neal. She's a friend of my daughter's, and a very unique girl. She's enlisted in the marines, and a little apprehensive about her future, I think.

Hah! Small world!

My grand daughter-in-law just enlisted in the Marines.

I think she is in for an instant "reality check".
 

Poco

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I just developed my first negs with D76 with .4 gr/liter potassium bromide as additive. The idea is that the p b gives lower base fog and a corresponding increase in shadow contrast. I haven't printed yet, but there's no question the B/F is lower than negs developed yesterday without the additive, so I expect it will make at least a subtle difference.
 
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