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Thread: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

  1. #1

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    Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    I'm interested about experimenting with the Ilford FP4+ (4x5 and 16x7).

    I've found very different views on it, some say it is significantly grainier than tmax and ilford delta, some say it isn't. They obviously follow different developing techniques.

    Could anyone recommend me a procedure for getting fine grain and the most sharpness out of it (possibly with ddx or rodinal developer)?

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Pyrocat
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    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  3. #3

    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    I recently processed some FP4+ in rolls and in 8x10 sheets with DDX and it produced excellent sharp negatives to my satisfaction. The 120 rolls I developed in a tank and I used the 1:4 and used regular inversion agitation method followed the guidelines from Ilford which were quite on the money. I tray developed some FP4+ 8x10 negatives in a tray i:4 as well and again it produced excellent negatives. I am assuming you are developing sheets so either tanks of trays would work well.

    Not disagreeing with the pyrocat suggestion as I mix it 3.5 liters at a time and use it extensively. However experimentation should be quick and easy and there is nothing that meets these guidelines as efficiently as a concentrate developer 1:4 using the manufacturers recommended product line and DDX fits that billing.
    Last edited by Michael Kadillak; 21-May-2019 at 13:44. Reason: Typo

  4. #4

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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Pyrocat
    Agreed.

    Also, FP4+ is significantly larger in grain than TMX or Delta100, but in sheet film, it'll be hard to see the grain anyway unless you enlarge to a rather phenomenal size. So who cares, I'd say.

  5. #5

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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    (possibly with ddx or rodinal developer)?
    In LF you won't notice much sharpness effect from developer...


    From Kodak, see Xtol balance of sharpness-grain
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is Xtol vs Rodinal for P3200, that exagerates the effect, but...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSvQh17SxkE


    Also Xtol has very low toxicity and it is environmentally friendly.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 21-May-2019 at 00:35.

  6. #6

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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Pyrocat and keep all temps within 1 degree F, including wash.

  7. #7

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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Can have one or the other, mixed if both is expected.

    Likely going to get !!!! for this, but if one moves up to 5x7 or 8x10 or larger film size, the issue of grain on print is greatly diminished for an enlarged print of not more than 4x. IMO, 4x5 is too small a film format for anything larger than 11x14 due to film grain -vs- developer -vs- print visual quality tradeoff. Going for a high acutance developer which over develops the edges of the film grains tends to produce an edge effect when printed causing the perception of greater definition. Never liked "fine grain" developers as they tend to mush out these edges resulting in a lack of edge definition.

    Rodinal, HC-110 are traditional developers that are not fine grain but can produce results like this.
    Or mix developers per Photo Lab Index or from this book Developing by C.J. Jacobson:
    https://archive.org/details/Developi...hnique/page/n4

    One of the prime advantages of sheet film for B&W is greatly reduced concern with visible grain in the finished print, this is why sheet film can work so
    well for silver gelatin B&W prints. Again, IMO, 4x5 is too small a film format to fully exploit the advantages of what can be accomplished in B&W prints.

    What works for B&W roll film might not transfer well to sheet film as they are different with different advantages, disadvantages and trade offs.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    I'm interested about experimenting with the Ilford FP4+ (4x5 and 16x7).

    I've found very different views on it, some say it is significantly grainier than tmax and ilford delta, some say it isn't. They obviously follow different developing techniques.

    Could anyone recommend me a procedure for getting fine grain and the most sharpness out of it (possibly with ddx or rodinal developer)?

    Thank you,

  8. #8
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Pyrocat-HD. Agitation 5 sec every minute. Bob's yur uncle.

  9. #9
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    Quote Originally Posted by rpagliari View Post
    Could anyone recommend me a procedure for getting fine grain and the most sharpness out of it (possibly with ddx or rodinal developer)?
    There are acutance developers (sharpness) and solvent developers (small grain). Trying to optimize both sharpness and fine grain at the same time is... difficult. Perhaps the "easy" way if there is one is to use a solvent developer like XTOL and dilute it at least 1:1. This worked for me when I was developing Tri-X in XTOL 1:3, but I've not used XTOL with FP4+.

    But one of the joys of LF is that graininess isn't ever really an issue, unless you are making some seriously big prints. And for that matter, acutance isn't really much of an issue either. Focus is however, especially when the location of the plane of sharp focus is a variable.

    Bruce Watson

  10. #10

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    Re: Develop for sharpness and fine grain with FP4+

    FP4+ is pretty much my standard film, developed in Pyrocat HD, both for roll film & sheet film. Rodinal is not a fine grain developer. FP4 is a traditional emulsion film, as compared with the T grain films like Delta & TMax. Apart from grain size/shape difference, FP4+ has great tonal characteristics which many appreciate in the final prints.
    Bernice, you do know how to get attention. "Again, IMO, 4x5 is too small a film format to fully exploit the advantages of what can be accomplished in B&W prints." There are an awful lot of lovely prints made from 4x5...let alone medium format & 35mm film....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Greg Y; 21-May-2019 at 12:49.

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