View Full Version : 8x10 Contact Acutance Follow-up

Walter Glover
24-Sep-2003, 02:30
I have moved this forward because my previous post is buried back on page 2 of the lists.

I did my test of actutance for 8x10 contact printing as planned.

I shot a number of subjects during a 1,000 kilometre drive and made two identical negs of each. The negs were then processed in Xtol 1+1 using my normal technique with Jobo & Expert drums and also tray developed in Paterson Acutol (FX-14) with gentle agitation.

I have discussed the results with several chums and all are amazed at the difference in the prints.

For me, that is case closed!

Peter Galea
24-Sep-2003, 05:47
And? I think you're going to say.......

Ken Burns
24-Sep-2003, 13:57
I guess your chums know the results of the tests, but we sure don't!

Jorge Gasteazoro
24-Sep-2003, 14:16
LOL...yeah I would like to know which was better and why?

Walter Glover
24-Sep-2003, 17:56
Ah sweet mystery of life!

Somwhere between writing and posting a paragraph disappeared. More to the point I failed to notice at the confirmation stage. Sorry folks, must be a side effect of the grey hair.

By comparison the FX-14 processed neg was quite a lower in density than the Xtol neg. In printing there was a difference in exposure time of two-stops. On each of the negs, however, the contrast filtration was constant between the two. But in the prints the increased acutance of the FX-14 was little short of staggering. One subject was the remaining wall of a semi-detached house where the other half had been demolished. On a remaining rendered wall was a painted mural of a gondola on a Venetian canal (which had drawn me to the subject in the first place). In front of the wall were piles of builders soil, re-inforcing steel, tools and stuff. It was a wall that faced the South and of course in the Southern Hemisphere that means the wall is in permanent shade so there is no textural assistance from a bit of direct sunlight. Where the increased acutance was most noticeable was in the texture of broken bricks protruding from the wall and the piles of rubble - not only the freshly dumped and more highly textured piles, but also in the mounds of the stuff that had been arranged as formers for under the floor and smoothed over. The finer details of the mural were also more visible with the FX-14 processed neg.

Previously I had tersted some 4x5 Delta in FX-39 (which is similar to FX-14 but tweaked for tabular grain films) and was likewise impressed.

Peter Galea
24-Sep-2003, 18:25
Sorry if I'm dense. I have grey hair too. Was it the X-14, the tray development, or both?

Walter Glover
24-Sep-2003, 20:03

Best to look on this as a work in progress. My initial query in the previous thread was whether or not there was a worthwhile difference between chemistry and technique as discerned in an 8x10 contact print. Stage one was to see if there was a sufficiently appreciable difference to warant further testing. To my mind there is and so I shall proceed with a series of tests to single out and identify just exactly which elements are responsible for the improvements.

From previous experience with Rodinal I find there is little point in using a highly dilute actutance developer in the Jobo due to the minimal quantities of solution and the constant agitation. So next up will probably be an Xtol tray/Acutol tray comparison. This will level the playing field somewhat but surely the investigation must start with my normal methods and materials as a benchmark which is why Ibegan the comparison the way I did.

If you feel that investigations such as this should not be published until the entire series of tests is concluded just say the word and I'll gladly comply.

Peter Galea
24-Sep-2003, 20:26
Thanks Walter, I for one like the work in progress, keep posting. I'll live vicariously till I can't stand it anymore, and have to do it myself (which, thanks to you, won't be very long).

Jorge Gasteazoro
24-Sep-2003, 21:35
At the risk of exhibiting my ignorance, what is FX 14 and FX 39, who makes it, or where can I get the formula?

J. Marten
24-Sep-2003, 22:04
Sorry, no formulas, but I did find a reference to them in the Film Developing Cookbook.

Paterson FX 39 and Acutol (FX 14) are mentioned on pg 55 and 56.

Jorge Gasteazoro
24-Sep-2003, 22:23
Thanks Jason, I will look it up....

Walter Glover
25-Sep-2003, 07:14

Perhaps I could recommend you be a bit more scientific in your literary comprehension. I am sure I said that this was an initial 'suck-it-and-see' to be followed by a series or more stringently controlled and isolated tests. How much more scientific does it need to be? After all it is photography not rocket science.

It was my intention to determine if such subtle variations were discernable in a contact print. They are. So now I feel justified to follow on.

Simple as that.