Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    126

    Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    Hi,

    I use both 100/125 and 400 ISO films. I take the pictures at their box speed and develop at their same respective speeds.

    No push, no pull. I try to be as precise as possible with the developing. I use Ilford ID-11.

    The results are ok. However, a question always comes to mind:

    Would I be much better off if I use perceptol at box speed?

    Would I also be much better off by using microphen when using 400 ISO films?

    *I currently use Ilford HP5, but tempted to use Foma and Arista.
    Are you an Arista EDU 400 ISO, or Foma 400 ISO user?
    You may find this other thread also interesting:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...58#post1624358

    Thank you in advance for your comments!

    Thank you, kind regards!

    Ig.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    972

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    As always, you'd have to define "better", but overall the answer is no.

    When formulating a developer to work with either a specific film or in general, there are essentially three characteristics to optimize for:

    1. Emulsion speed
    2. Granularity/graininess
    3. Sharpness

    You cannot optimize more than two of the above, and whichever characteristic(s) you optimize for will entail compromises in the other(s).

    ID-11 (D-76) is the benchmark with the majority of films (ie balancing sharpness, graininess and full emulsion speed). This balance was only bested by XTOL, and even then only very slightly.

    Relative to ID-11, you can expect the following from the other developers you mentioned:

    Perceptol: Finer grain at the expense of reduced sharpness and reduced film speed
    Microphen: Slightly higher emulsion speed at the expense of increased graininess

    Generally speaking since this is presumably for large format film, differences in graininess and sharpness won't be readily noticeable unless you are making big enlargements.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
    Posts
    2,492

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    After the demise of 2475 Recording film (while I was doing theatrical photography), didn't like the Tmax 1600, so went looking for a "push" developer...

    I found the formula for making Microphen from scratch and tried it with Tri-X and was pleasantly surprised!!! I rated it at EI 800 under stage lighting and it held bright highlights well, and seemed to be a "true" push as shadow areas had plenty of information to print, the grain was slightly present but sharp, and tended to follow the contours of the subject, and tonality reminded me of having shot scene with a SG 4X5... Great combination, but never tried the packaged version... And would last a long time...

    If looking for a "push" developer, it's a good place to start... :-)

    Steve K

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    126

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    Hi,

    Thank you for your messages : )!!!

    Very interesting to read the trade-offs you mention when using different developers.

    I didn't know that!

    At first, I don't intend to print directly. Actually, I don't print directly, but have it
    scanned. Eventually, I should have a scanner and hopefully a enlarger. I may
    push a 400 ISO film from time to time. And then, if I have microphen, I'll use it
    to develop it. And, when using slower speeds like 100/125 ISO, and shooting at box speed,
    I may use some perceptol, if I have some, just in cases in which I want to keep a
    negative for a very large enlargement. However, with your comment, it seems to me
    that I'll be covered for most situations using ID-11.

    I took once a photo course, that I was not entirely happy with. The thing I found
    exciting the most of that course was to be able to learn how to make a B&W developer
    from scratch. Unfortunately, I lost the instructions. I will do an internet search for
    microphen. It would be interesting to do my own developer again. And yes, that time
    it lasted a long time, and not only that, as I was amazed to see that with one quart, one was
    able to develop about thirty rolls during a five to six months period.

    Thank you again, kind regards!

    Ig
    Last edited by Ig Nacio; 1-Dec-2021 at 18:49.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Wassenaar, NL
    Posts
    275

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    My experience with Perceptol and TriX is a very nice tonal scale and subtle, beautiful grain at ISO 200

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    16,095

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    Perceptol is an interesting chameleon which behaves much differently at 1:3 than 1:1. With ordinary 1:1 or 1:2 applications, it is apt to lower speed somewhat compared to D76 or ID11, and will obviously be more expensive to use. I now ONLY use Perceptol for TMax 100 (full box speed) at 1:3 ratio because it enhances the edge definition and grain structure of film, and improves the otherwise disappointing edge acutance of this particular film. With most other films, especially HP5, you'll just get obnoxious graininess doing that. But at normal 1:1 dilution, it will do the opposite, and deliver results quite similar visually to D76 / ID-11.

    But as an aside, I gave up on conventional film developers long ago, and have used PMK pyro mainly ever since, for nearly all my films of all formats, with the single exception of TMX100 I just noted.

    Going way back, I did start out using Perceptol 1:1 and the earlier versions of FP4, HP5, and TMax 400. Some of those early negs were really difficult to print on graded papers of the day; so I've now dug them back up and reprinted them much more easily using today's excellent VC papers. Before, I had to resort to supplementary unsharp masking and, as a long-term solution, pyro development instead of Perceptol or D76 etc to give me ideal highlight control in the print. So in summary, I'd conclude that Perceptol, D76, and ID-11 are pretty much equal in terms of visual results at 1:1. D76 is squirrelly in terms of one needing to standardize on it either freshly mixed, or once it has once reached pH equilibrium about a week later. Peceptol does not have that problem.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    972

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    If you want to mix Microphen from scratch, search Ilford ID-68, which is the closest thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you for your messages : )!!!

    Very interesting to read the trade-offs you mention when using different developers.

    I didn't know that!

    At first, I don't intend to print directly. Actually, I don't print directly, but have it
    scanned. Eventually, I should have a scanner and hopefully a enlarger. I may
    push a 400 ISO film from time to time. and then, if I have it, I'll use some microphen
    to develop it. And, when using slower speeds like 100/125 ISO, and shooting at box speed,
    I may use some perceptol, if I have some, just in cases in which I want to keep a
    negative for a very large enlargement. However, with your comment, it seems to me
    that I'll covered for most situations using ID-11.

    I took once a photo course, that I was not entirely happy with. The thing I found
    exciting the most of that course was to be able to learn how to make a B&W developer
    from scratch. Unfortunately, I lost the instructions. I will do an internet search for
    microphen. It will be interesting to do my own developer again. And yes, it lasted
    a long time, and not only that, as I was amazed to see that with one quart, one was
    able to develop about thirty rolls during a five to six months period.

    Thank you again, kind regards!

    Ig

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Purcellville, VA
    Posts
    1,126

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    When I was working professionally, photojournalism and ballet were two subjects often demanding pushing. I settled on Microphen, which I used with Delta 3200 @ E.I. 1600, which, with careful development, yielded supple negatives with remarkably fine grain. I also print with a diffusion head and have often made use of W. Eugene Smith's trick of black window screen under the enlarger lens for part of the exposure, which, depending on degree of enlargement and negative grain, can make the grain appear to be finer than it would otherwise, albeit with the effect of any diffusing device (under the enlarger lens, it "spreads" the black rather than the white).

    I am by no means versed in the digital processing realm. I do know that scanning will tend to accentuate the grain, especially when certain sharpening techniques are used. Others here will be able to share or point you to a 1,001 ways to scan and sharpen while evading this characteristic.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    16,095

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    Well, is the point of scanning just to review progress in a preliminary sense, and down the line make actual darkroom prints, or not? The OP is ambiguous about that, and it makes a huge difference. I've had friends who thought they were on the right track after learning how to develop film to look good on a monitor after this or that kind of scan and post-editing, and then later end up pretty disappointed with how the actual prints came out. Reminds me of my earlier years being able to give great color slide shows; but once I wanted to make or have made quality prints from those, I encountered a brick wall. It was another decade before I had the first darkroom space of my own, and could learn to do it right. By in that learning curve, I soon realized that one has to shoot for the print to begin with, and recognize how the paper itself sees film.

  10. #10
    wclark5179's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Minnetonka, Minnesota
    Posts
    67

    Re: Your experience with Perceptol and Microphen, compared to ID-11 - Some questions

    I find that ID-11/D-76 is a very good developer.

    Microphen gives me more contrast negatives.

    Perceptol is a fine grain developer.

    I use mostly ID-11/D-76 developers. But it depends on film used, speed.

Similar Threads

  1. Arista edu 400 and TXP 320 push to 800 dev in Microphen
    By shazam in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 3-Aug-2014, 21:37
  2. Reusing Microphen in tray developing of sheet film
    By Thebes in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2012, 04:02
  3. Ilford ID-11 and Microphen: recall of selected batches
    By Oren Grad in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 3-Aug-2010, 11:00
  4. high speed 4X5 film: HP5 in Microphen vs. TXP in Diafine?
    By Henry Carter in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 6-Sep-2004, 07:09
  5. pushing HP5 to 1600, microphen or DD-X?
    By Mark Nowaczynski in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 7-Mar-2004, 06:42

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •