View Full Version : ID-11 vs Perceptol with 100 Delta Professional?

John Cook
9-Oct-2003, 17:49
I have been trying to determine which Ilford powder developer, ID-11 or Perceptol, will give me best sharpness, resolution, detail (or what have you) with 100 Delta Professional for an upcoming project.

After pouring over the Ilford literature, I find that the film poop sheet says that ID-11 @ 1:3 delivers “maximum” and “excellent” sharpness. Perceptol shows only “good” sharpness but “finest grain”.

Their Perceptol literature, on the other hand, states that, “It has been specially formulated...to exploit the superb grain structure of 100 Delta...therefore ideal when texture and definition are critical - negatives...are capable of producing sharper and better quality enlargements than those using a standard fine grain developer.”

It is beginning to sound as though each is definitely better than the other?

The only difference I can find is that ID-11 may yield more film speed and works with virtually all films. Perceptol may produce a decrease in film speed and is not recommended for their Ortho film.

I further suspect that the grain and inherent sharpness of 100 Delta is such that almost any soup will produce excellent results. And that I am really going to have to go out of my way to screw things up with this film.

Advice from my learned colleagues who have experienced these developers would save these old knees many hours at the lab sink.

Ken Lee
9-Oct-2003, 18:50
You might find this recent posting from Photo.net (http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0067xw" target ="_blank) interesting.
It's called "D76 & ID11 - The same, similar or different ?"

Ken Lee
9-Oct-2003, 18:55
Is it true that Perceptol is a compensating developer ?

I have been told that D-76 (which closely resembles ID-11) is not. I was also told that that widspread rejection of TMax film due to its chalky highlight rendition prompted the subsequent release of TMax developer, a compensating formula. Is that true ?

9-Oct-2003, 19:58
The problem is of course that you are reading the manufacturer's bumf - inevitably each sheet will say that particular product is the best at everything. The fact that each blindly contradicts the other is something no marketing department is going to lose sleep over...

My understanding (I have not used Perceptol) us that Perceptol is designed for finer grain results whereas ID-11 is your bog-standard, do everything reasonably well developer. There is (almost) always an inverse relationship between acutance/sharpness and fine grain, so if you want fine grain, look at Perceptol, but do not expect exceptional edge sharpness.

At the risk of stating the irritatingly obvious: Test... Take two shots back-to-back of some scenes of interest and develop one in each developer - as with all things photographic, only you can tell which you prefer.


Peter Witkop
9-Oct-2003, 23:38
I've used both perceptol and D-76 (functionally, nearly identical to ID-11) with Delta (100 and 400). My experience has been that perceptol straight gives the finest grain, but not very high acutance, I like that combo for people. Perceptol 1:1 in my option gives sharpness I like for most images, with very good grain, though slightly bigger than perceptol straight. I like the tonalities in percptol too, highlights are smooth. D-76 gives not bad grain, descent sharpness, reasonable tonality, does everything pretty well, but isn't exceptional at any one thing. A 1 litre package of either one is pretty inexpensive, my advice would be to give them both a try, see which apeals to you more.

George Hart
10-Oct-2003, 00:41
FWIW I prefer the tonality of the Delta films when I develop them in ID-11 1+1 compared with Perceptol, though the grain is not quite as fine. For me (and I suspect many others), Perceptol works best for older-style films like FP4+ and Pan F.

John Cook
10-Oct-2003, 16:53
Thank-you, gentlemen, for your information. Sounds like a little testing is in order. But now I have a better idea what to expect.