The ACUROL-N Thread
Old 03-02-2014   #1
JPSuisse
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The ACUROL-N Thread

Hi All

So, as my two my favorite films Neopan 1600 and PX 125 developed in DD-X have now been "canceled." I had to start looking for a new developer and film combination. My goal is to keep life simple and select a slower and a faster film but only use one chemistry. I want to use thread to write about my observations with ACUROL-N, anybody else that wants to post is welcome to!

My first observations will follow shortly.

John
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ACUROL-N and Tri-X
Old 03-02-2014   #2
JPSuisse
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ACUROL-N and Tri-X

I developed this film last week. Woefully outdated Tri-X by at least 4 years... I was shocked by how contrasty the negatives were.

In the first attached image, you can look at the histogram on the right of the image, this is "undeveloped" in Lightroom 4.4.1 and I'm using Process 2003 so that no "adaptive" compensation is applied during the import. It is a straight linear inverted tone curve that is applied during import.

Conditions:
EI 400
15 Minutes development time
20 Degrees C
1+50
30 Seconds First Minute, 1 Agitation Each Following 2 Minutes.
No banging the developer tank as my limited experience shows that this really increases contrast generally...

Commentary:
Such negatives are very easy to develop digitally to get the look I like, see the second image. But if I ever get a darkroom back, I have no clue if these could actually be printed. I did set the RGB scanner exposure using VueScan on my Nikon 5000 at a whopping 3.9.

Conclusions:
Finally, my conclusion is that this combination is ideal for low contrast lighting. (The pictures were taken in an ice rink without so much contrast.) Don't know, if one could use this combination outside in the snow... Maybe I need to develop a little less?

Comments? Other experiences with this combination?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tri-XandACUROL-N.jpg (28.3 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Tri-XandACUROL-Ndeveloped.jpg (33.4 KB, 87 views)

Last edited by JPSuisse : 11-06-2015 at 12:40. Reason: Reformatting of text slightly so all posts follow the same format when reviewing a new film+developer combination.
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RETRO80 S and ACUROL-N
Old 11-03-2015   #3
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RETRO80 S and ACUROL-N

So, here is the next specimen. RETRO80 S and ACUROL-N.

Conditions:
EI 25
10 Minutes development time
20 Degrees C
1+70
2 Agitations First Minute, 1 Agitation Each Following 2 Minutes.

Commentary:
We have the same situation here as with Tri-X. The negatives are quite contrasty, and here the scene did not help as the cow depicted was black and white in full light. You can see from the historgram of the undeveloped negative that it already has a full range of tones. Not much is needed to complete the development in Lightroom. The negative scans beautifully. There is a lot of detail in the negatives too, although this picture does not give an opportunity to show the detail. I attached a cut-out at very high magnification.

Conclusions:
So far, ACUROL-N looks like a contrasty developer at least at the conditions given in Spur's development datasheet. I am thinking that I am overdeveloping at 10 minutes.

Note:
For digital people following this thread, "developed" in LR simply means adjusted for viewing. I import the image as an unadjusted DNG via Viewscan, so that People can observe the tone range (Tonumfang) that the particular development procedure achieves. The real development here that we are talking about is the chemical development.

Comments are welcome.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RETRO80S_and_ACUROL-N_Undeveloped.jpg (21.6 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg RETRO80S_and_ACUROL-N_Developed.jpg (24.6 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Detail_of_Ear.jpg (31.2 KB, 32 views)

Last edited by JPSuisse : 11-06-2015 at 11:47. Reason: Clarified conclusions, added note about development in LR and added detail shot of ear
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Old 11-03-2015   #4
mfogiel
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Just cut the development time. I've been using Acurol N mainly with slower films ( FP4, RPX100, Acros) at a dilution of 1:90. The developer builds contrast quite slowly at this dilution, so you can really fine tune density with development time.
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Old 11-03-2015   #5
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Sorry, can't help. Don't know what is an undeveloped negative, never used Process 2003 or Lightroom 4.4.1. To evaluate a negative, I hold it against an overcast sky or a white wall, then try to print it on #2 paper.
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Old 11-04-2015   #6
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Thanks for the comment Marek. Would you agree that the negatives as is is over developed? To me, the histogram shows a very large range, and I think this negative will be difficult to print.

I will make another attempt with RETRO 80S. I was thinking to reduce development time to 9 minutes. Another idea is to reduce the concentration to something like what you say like 1:90.
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Old 11-04-2015   #7
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I prefer to develop to a slightly lower contrast, because I scan, and this way I can avoid clipping and the scanning itself goes faster. A secondary bonus is smaller grain. However your bull negative shows a correct histogram, without curve overflow on the right, so at this point you need to decide if it is OK for your wet printing, and reduce contrast only if this leads to better prints.
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Old 11-04-2015   #8
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It is difficult to get a normal contrast negative with most developers together with this Aviphot 80 E1 Agfa Gevaert / Rollei Retro 80(S) film. So far best results I had with A-49 1+2 or Film Low Gamma (U. Raffay) 1+4 also sold under Rollei Low Contrast. With R09/Rodinal you will get an extreme S-curved logD so not nice in the shadows and certainly not in the high lights (burned out!).
Acurol-N is a high acutance type developer, a kind of super Rodinal. But SPUR is making (too) many developers. Even for me it is difficult to follow all new SPUR developers, modifications and improvements in a short time.
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Pan F Plus and ACUROL-N
Old 11-06-2015   #9
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Pan F Plus and ACUROL-N

And, here we have yet another attempt. I would like to discuss results for Pan F Plus and ACUROL-N.

Conditions:
EI 50
27 Minutes development time
24 Degrees C
1+100
30 Seconds First Minute, 1 Agitation Each Following 3 Minutes

Commentary:
The current datasheet from Spur shows this development should have been used for EI 32 and not EI 50. The unadjusted scan looks for all practical purposes almost good enough. Only very little additional adjustments in Lightroom were needed. This negative was not easy to print in the darkroom. However, it scanned well and there is enormous detail even in the areas that look completely white. See the attached detail picture of the zipper in an all white area! In all fairness, from a dynamic point of view, the scene is as about as difficult as it can get (a ski slope in the shining sun with a dark wooded background!)

Conclusion:
Once again, to me, the negative looks overdeveloped using, what is at least pretty close to Spur's recommendations. The result is contrasty but easy to use in a digital workflow with an enormous dynamic range and very high resolution. But, not so easy to use in the darkroom for a purely analog process. I did try to wet print this and it was not so easy. As I am looking for the ability to finish either digitally or analogue, I have to somehow systematically start reducing the contrast using this developer.

Again, comments are welcome!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PanF_EI50_unadjusted.jpg (28.5 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg PanF_EI50_adjusted.jpg (30.4 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg PanF_Detail.jpg (26.3 KB, 15 views)
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Old 11-07-2015   #10
Roger Hicks
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On my internet monitor (which is of abysmal quality), the images appear simultaneously muddy and contrasty. This shouldn't happen, but sometimes it does. I had a similar problem with Acros when it first came out: it took me half way to forever to get acceptable negs from fiddling around with EIs, times and (this is getting desperate) dilutions.

My suspicion is that you'd do a lot better to change films or developers or both, rather than continuing to bang your head against this particular brick wall.

I have to confess that I am totally empirical about film development, and that I develop only for wet printing: as I almost never scan B+W 35mm negs, I just don't worry about optimising for both. This means that my negs are both contrasty and grainy for scanning -- but as I don't scan, I don't care.

The best negs I have ever found for both scanning and wet printing are XP2 Super and I would quite seriously suggest that you consider this. You can process C41 at home, which would also give you the advantage of being able to wash it properly: I have some old XP-1 negs, in particular, that have gone very funny colours indeed after commercial processing.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 11-07-2015   #11
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I would advise to apply the following rules:
1- expose at 2/3rds of box speed
2- use films that give full range of tones - examples would be : Tri X, HP5+,TMY, Delta 400, FP4+, RPX 100, Adox CHS II, Adox Silvermax, Delta 100, TMX.
3- develop at 75% recommended time for normal exposure as a starting point
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Old 11-07-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
I would advise to apply the following rules:
1- expose at 2/3rds of box speed
2- use films that give full range of tones - examples would be : Tri X, HP5+,TMY, Delta 400, FP4+, RPX 100, Adox CHS II, Adox Silvermax, Delta 100, TMX.
3- develop at 75% recommended time for normal exposure as a starting point
I'd sort of agree but would add:

1 Depending on how you meter

3 No, I'd start with the manufacturer's recommendations for wet printing, and not drop to less than about 85% as a starting point even for scanning.

As someone at Ilford once said to me, "Why do people think we'd recommend the wrong developing times? Spite? Or because we don't want people to get the best results from our films?"

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-07-2015   #13
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Gentlemen, thanks a lot for this input! I have Delta 3200 in the camera right now, but my next test was going to be with RPX100. Then, I will try something like what is mentioned.

Roger, the pictures were made from screen shots. The only valuable information is the impression of contrast and the histogram. I can imagine that they look both muddy and contrasty but on my monitor in Lightroom they look quite detailed and not muddy.

Neither Ilford nor Kodak give any guidelines for the use of ACUROL-N. So, I have to figure it out myself. It appears to me that Spur understates the "contrastiness" of this developer.

As a remark, I am very much a beginner. This whole experiment started when Fuji and Kodak canceled my favorite films (Neopan 1600 and 125PX) which worked well with DDX as recommended by Ilford/Kodak/Fuji.
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Old 11-08-2015   #14
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It seems to me that trying to change films and developer at the same time is putting you on a hiding to nothing. Perhaps keep using DDX, as it has been successful for you, and try films that may work with it. Perhaps Delta3200 for the fast option and FP4+ or Delta100 for the slow one ? Trying to change all the parameters at once will just frustrate and disappoint.
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Old 11-08-2015   #15
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If I understand correctly, SPUR chemicals are purely geared towards full analogue system - i.e., enlarger print. But if you want to scan your images and don't want to wet print, or don't want to fine tune them on the computer, you'll have to reduce the development time or increase the dilution (assuming your light meter is working fine).

Somewhat related to Retro 80s: It is a really sharp film, but quite hard to control contrast. If you want to shoot at box speed (or higher ISO) then Acurol-N won't do. You could try one of these
(1) Rodinal 1:200 full stand 1 hour, instruction and examples -- my favourite, so far.
(2) Diafine @ 200. See instructions & e.g.s posted here by inetjoker as they're slightly different. The flickr thread has some other interesting examples as well.
(3) CG 512 sold by Moersch, (aka Rollei RLS).
(4) You can make R110 (by Jay DeFehr), a more general purpose developer for Retro 80S (@ ISO 80) as follows:

Quote:
R110
Sodium sulfite 85
Hydroquinone 1
KBr 1
Borax 1
Phenidone 0.1


R110R (replenisher for R110)
Sodium sulfite 85
Hydroquinone 1.6
Borax 2
Phenidone 0.2

Develop most films 5:00 - 6:00, 70F
Jay recommended me to try R110/R110R, whilst I was seeking some help for Adox CMS 20 II (another lovely but PITA film). I haven't tried it, but in all likelihood it should be quite good as it is a very low contrast developer.

Do let us know if you try R110+ Retro 80s combo.

Bests,

Ashfaque
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Last edited by ashfaque : 11-09-2015 at 01:18. Reason: Link added
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Old 11-09-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
........As someone at Ilford once said to me, "Why do people think we'd recommend the wrong developing times? Spite? Or because we don't want people to get the best results from our films?"

Cheers,

R.
We reach our optimum exposure indices and development regimes over the years. (At least, it took me years, in the days before the information and opinions now available on the internet, for good or ill sometimes)

One reason that manufacturers might suggest more development that many of us prefer is that in the competitive race for higher film speeds a bit more development can force the apparent speed up a bit. Maybe some manufacturers are worse than others in this regard, and tastes in prints vary as do metering techniques. There is no way these days I would set the ISO on a camera with matrix or centre weighted meter at the manufacturer's "box speed", and "point and shoot" and then develop in their recommended developer for their recommended time unless I wanted to do something akin to push processing because that is what it is in my opinion.

My taste in prints? Not shadowy eye sockets in portraits.
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Old 11-09-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_s View Post
We reach our optimum exposure indices and development regimes over the years. (At least, it took me years, in the days before the information and opinions now available on the internet, for good or ill sometimes)

One reason that manufacturers might suggest more development that many of us prefer is that in the competitive race for higher film speeds a bit more development can force the apparent speed up a bit. Maybe some manufacturers are worse than others in this regard, and tastes in prints vary as do metering techniques. There is no way these days I would set the ISO on a camera with matrix or centre weighted meter at the manufacturer's "box speed", and "point and shoot" and then develop in their recommended developer for their recommended time unless I wanted to do something akin to push processing because that is what it is in my opinion.

My taste in prints? Not shadowy eye sockets in portraits.
Highlight: Sorry, but that's complete nonsense. Do you understand how ISO speeds are calculated? Read http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%20speeds.html and you might have a slightly better idea.

This is not to say that ISO speeds are perfect. The Japanese have long argued for a lower standard gamma. Some manufacturers use speed-increasing developers, but still with ISO criteria for shadow detail contrast. Even so, to pretend that some manufacturers "push" their films via extra contrast simply betrays an utter ignorance of what ISO speeds are.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-09-2015   #18
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FWIW, I've just developed a roll of HP5+ @EI 500. 5ml of developer/450cc tank ( 1:90), 20deg C, 30 secs continuous agitation, thereafter 4 inversions (no banging) every 5 mins for a total of 45 mins. The density is OK, the grain is visible but tight, there is slight fog but not much - you could probably make it 5 mins shorter.
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Old 11-09-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Highlight: Sorry, but that's complete nonsense. Do you understand how ISO speeds are calculated? Read http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%20speeds.html and you might have a slightly better idea.

This is not to say that ISO speeds are perfect. The Japanese have long argued for a lower standard gamma. Some manufacturers use speed-increasing developers, but still with ISO criteria for shadow detail contrast. Even so, to pretend that some manufacturers "push" their films via extra contrast simply betrays an utter ignorance of what ISO speeds are.

Cheers,

R.
I could have expressed this in a better way. I do know that there is a standard for determining ISO. I think that lower gamma suits me better, and I'm perhaps in a minority but still a sizeable minority in setting my meters on a lower than ISO number and developing a bit less than manufacturers recommend. I'm talking about black and white negatives here. So we might at least share some common ground in not beliveing that "ISO speeds are perfect."

I remember reading that in the past, the standardised film speeds had some leeway for underexposure, but that now there isn't that leeway. Although I may seem to be "utterly ignorant" I do know what I like, and that is negs that are relatively easy to print and that suit modern VC papers (which I think perform better with a slightly softer negative).
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Old 11-10-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_s View Post
I could have expressed this in a better way. I do know that there is a standard for determining ISO. I think that lower gamma suits me better, and I'm perhaps in a minority but still a sizeable minority in setting my meters on a lower than ISO number and developing a bit less than manufacturers recommend. I'm talking about black and white negatives here. So we might at least share some common ground in not beliveing that "ISO speeds are perfect."

I remember reading that in the past, the standardised film speeds had some leeway for underexposure, but that now there isn't that leeway. Although I may seem to be "utterly ignorant" I do know what I like, and that is negs that are relatively easy to print and that suit modern VC papers (which I think perform better with a slightly softer negative).
Dear John,

Yes, you could have phrased it better, but I must apologize for my somewhat snappish response. Its origin lies in arguing with those "Zonies" who maintain that films aren't "really" as fast as their ISO speeds. I also have a problem with a blanket recommendation of reduced development.

Many people (me included) prefer the tonality they get from slight overexposure, and cheerfully take the hit on bigger grain and reduced sharpness.

On the other hand, I've been developing and printing for several decades and my enlargers (Meopta and MPP) both do best with films developed for the recommended time. It is therefore dangerous for you to generalize from your personal experience about what's "easy to print" (which is, after all what we all want). You could argue that equally, I'm generalizing from my experience, but as my experience matches the manufacturers' recommendations...

Oh: and yes, there used to be a (roughly) one stop "safety factor" but it was dropped in about 1960. You will not be surprised to learn that until then, film manufacturers were often accused of not being honest with their film speeds.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-10-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
It seems to me that trying to change films and developer at the same time is putting you on a hiding to nothing.
John, thanks for posting, but I only kind of agree here.

For sure, I am starting over, but I would be starting over with DD-X too, as the films I tried, I did not like with DD-X. I particulary did not enjoy Tri-x and FP4 Plus in DD-X. Just my taste I guess. Along the way I got to use Rodinal and D-76 too!

I am getting getting great scans with ACUROL-N. I just want to bring the contrast down and to find my next combination for the next few years. This thread is about ACUROL-N, and my idea was to collect to knowledge for all about ACUROL-N.
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Old 11-10-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
FWIW, I've just developed a roll of HP5+ @EI 500. 5ml of developer/450cc tank ( 1:90), 20deg C, 30 secs continuous agitation, thereafter 4 inversions (no banging) every 5 mins for a total of 45 mins. The density is OK, the grain is visible but tight, there is slight fog but not much - you could probably make it 5 mins shorter.
Marek, please post an example! Next weekend I'll post Delta 3200 @ EI 500 in ACUROL!
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Old 11-11-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSuisse View Post
John, thanks for posting, but I only kind of agree here.

For sure, I am starting over, but I would be starting over with DD-X too, as the films I tried, I did not like with DD-X. I particulary did not enjoy Tri-x and FP4 Plus in DD-X. Just my taste I guess. Along the way I got to use Rodinal and D-76 too!

I am getting getting great scans with ACUROL-N. I just want to bring the contrast down and to find my next combination for the next few years. This thread is about ACUROL-N, and my idea was to collect to knowledge for all about ACUROL-N.
Good luck with your quest. I could never get Rodinal to play nice for scanning and settled on HC-110 as my standard developer. I am sure you will get the results you desire with some patient experimentation. Contrast control, for me, was all about higher dilution and once the correct exposure for shadow detail has been achieved, the rest is down to time and agitation regime. The old saying "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights" still rings true. All photography is a compromise but aim to produce the negatives that are best for you and you alone.
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Delta 3200 and ACUROL-N
Old 11-22-2015   #24
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Delta 3200 and ACUROL-N

So, today's experiment is Delta 3200 and ACUROL-N.

Conditions:
EI 500
13 Minutes development time
20 Degrees C
1+24
30 Seconds First Minute, 2 Agitations Each Following Minute

Commentary:
For starters, Spur recommends EI 500 and 15 minutes. I backed down on the development time given the high contrast for all the other film types I have developed based on Spur's recommended times so far.

The attached shot is not very pretty, but it happens to be the only subject I took by bracketing (Belichtungsreihe). What I found out was that the most underexposed of the bracketing had the best looking negative with regard to what I would consider printable, i.e. a wide variety of tones in the grey area and not bunched up on either end of the histogram. So, that is the picture I attached. It looks not so contrasty, (but maybe overexposed?). The details look quite sharp.

Conclusion:
The grain is definitely big for me. (But then what do you expect? The only fast film that had that nice tight grain was Neopan 1600). I am thinking increasing the EI to 640 - 800 range without changing the development time would put the tones right in the middle of the histogram and make a nice negative. This could be a viable replacement for Neopan 1600 which I always shot in that range. Probably, I will have to experiment some more though.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Delta_3200_ACUROL-N_unadjusted.jpg (20.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Delta_3200_ACUROL-N_adjusted.jpg (24.2 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Delta_3200_ACUROL-N_detail.jpg (72.9 KB, 11 views)
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Old 11-22-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
......, to pretend that some manufacturers "push" their films via extra contrast simply betrays an utter ignorance of what ISO speeds are.

Cheers,

R.
The film that came to mind is/was Agfapan400. Although it competed with a number of well known 400 speed films, it was a bit deficient in speed: my source here is Geoffrey Crawley in his roundup of 400 speed films in BJP 18 October 2000. In this article, films were ranked by shadow detail, which happens to be my criterion for film speed too. He stated that films' speeds could not be evaluated until they were each developed to the same contrast. Since Agfa used a high contrast (0.65) for their standard advice, it could be argued that they were struggling to justify the 400 label. Notwithstanding that, I'm not saying that it wasn't "ISO 400." One can assume that it was. It's just that it wasn't as fast as some other films labeled as 400.
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Old 11-23-2015   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_s View Post
The film that came to mind is/was Agfapan400. Although it competed with a number of well known 400 speed films, it was a bit deficient in speed: my source here is Geoffrey Crawley in his roundup of 400 speed films in BJP 18 October 2000. In this article, films were ranked by shadow detail, which happens to be my criterion for film speed too. He stated that films' speeds could not be evaluated until they were each developed to the same contrast. Since Agfa used a high contrast (0.65) for their standard advice, it could be argued that they were struggling to justify the 400 label. Notwithstanding that, I'm not saying that it wasn't "ISO 400." One can assume that it was. It's just that it wasn't as fast as some other films labeled as 400.
You must have mis-read, or misunderstood, what Geoffrey wrote. Shadow detail and contrast "happen to be" the ISO speed criteria too: see http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...%20speeds.html You can't just decide to use a different gamma because you feel like it and call the result an ISO speed (first and second highlight). There are however certain qualifications.

First, ISO standards allow for films to be rated to the nearest third stop (usually upwards) so a film that is ISO 320 can be sold as ISO 400.

Second, ISO speeds do vary from batch to batch. Thus Ilford FP4 is typically at least ISO 125 but may be 140 or even 150, all in the same developer.This also explains the first qualification above.

Third, ISO standards require testing of both "green" (fresh off the line) film and matured (a minimum of a year, as far as I recall). Some film speeds continue to change after more than a year.

Fourth, you need to define "shadow detail". ISO standards do: 0,10 above fb+f. The shape of the curve (the length of the toe) will affect the density of shadow detail at other exposures.

Fifth, ISO standards no longer specify an ISO standard developer (and didn't then, as far as I recall). The manufacturer can use any developer, though they must specify which one they used. The most notorious example of this is Fomapan 200, a superb film which is almost identical in speed in any given developer to Ilford FP4. Only in speed increasing developers does it creep up to, or just over, ISO 160 -- thereby allowing (qualification 1) to be sold as ISO 200. Ilford HP4 could be sold as ISo 200 too. Fuji Acros is about 80 in most developers too, or was when I tested it (and when I say "tested", I mean with a densitometer, not just eyeballing it).

Sixth, ISO speeds are not necessarily the optima for exposure: they are merely a highly standardized way of comparing speeds. They are not perfect, but they are a lot better than relying on the marketing department. All manufacturers tell you to adjust your film speed and development regime to suit your own requirements and preferences. I commonly develop Ilford HP5 in Ilford DD-X, true ISO 500+, but expose it as if it were ISO 400 because I prefer the tonality.

Seventh, the optimum speed for your meter will depend on how you are metering. If I use a true one-degree spot meter and meter the darkest area in which I want texture, I rate HP5 in DD-X at 500. If I'm using an in-camera meter on a cloudy day, I'll use 320-400. If it's a sunny day, I'll use 250-320. Of course I don't actually change the ISO: I just make different allowances when setting the shutter speed and aperture.

To sum up, the true ISO speeds of some films are indeed slightly different from the speeds on the box (third highlight) -- but this is absolutely nothing to do with using different shadow detail criteria or different contrasts, and as I said before, to maintain that it does betrays an ignorance of how ISO speeds are determined.

I hope this clarifies matters.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-23-2015   #27
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[quote="Roger Hicks;2554582"] they are merely a highly standardized way of comparing speeds. They are not perfect, but they are a lot better than relying on the marketing department. [quote]

Best film speed summary ever!
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Old 11-23-2015   #28
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Yes, a very interesting topic. I am glad I have a densitometer to recalculate all iso speeds with a particular developer. In general the best data is the manufacturer data and then do the rest of the job yourself. Digital Truth is full of errors .....
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Old 11-23-2015   #29
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For RPX 100 I expose at EI 64 and develop in 10cc of Acurol N in a 900cc tank. 8 minc at 20C with 30sec continuous agitation and 5 sec quick inversions every 30 secs thereafter. If you wet print, you can develop 1 minute longer. I believe I made a test roll of RPX 100 exposing between EI16 and EI 2000. I've developed at the same dilution for 20 minutes at 24C with 30sec+5sec every 5 mins. All shots could be scanned without huge problems, although the range EI 32-500 worked best. This is a VERY easy film-developer combo.
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Old 11-23-2015   #30
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For your favorite PX 125 I can suggest: Try Kodak 5222 Double-X. iso 100 in an ultra fine grain developer and possible to expose on iso 800 in a speed enhancing type developer like Microphen. Average iso 250 in daylight and really flexible like Tri-X 400 but much cheaper.

For Rollei RPX I can suggest try the Rollei RPX-D developer, also made by SPUR for Rollei. It is a perfect match!

Because it seems to be you are developing in a Jobo system on 24C RPX-D is then very easy to use.

Acurol-N seems to be giving ultra high sharpness with speed loss. A kind of FX-1 but not suitable for all films.
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RPX 25 with Acurol-N or HRX
Old 03-26-2016   #31
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RPX 25 with Acurol-N or HRX

Hi John,

I don't have my negatives (, and other things) near me now. But I can offer my non-scientific and qualitative impression of RPX 25 now:
(1) Contrast of RPX 25 is not as tough to control as Retro 80S's is, regardless of which developer I used (HRX, Acurol-N, R09).
(2) Grain is very similar to Retro 80s - s.t. SPUR HRX. If you want some resolution numbers check this post from Henning.
(4) Concerning Acurol-N + RPX 25 combination : I exposed them at ISO 25, instead of 20. Under a Kaiser Slimlite LED Light Box (Model # 2448), I liked the results. They are a bit on the high contrast side, but ok for me.
(3) You can expose this film at ISO 50 as well. See R. Puhle's post here, where he liked the outcome @ ISO 50 with HRX. However, please read Heribert's response there as well.

BTW, I translated RPX 25's tech. datasheet in English with the help of Uwe Pilz. Hope you find it useful.

Bests,
Ashfaque
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Old 03-27-2016   #32
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Hi Ashfaque, thanks so much for these comments before I try using this combination! Looking at all my obligations, looks like I'll be posting some samples late May or early June!

By the way, my German is pretty good and your translation looks quite good to me. So, congrats on that!

Regards, John
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Old 03-16-2017   #33
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So, finally back on this project. Just developed some RETRO 80S at EI 20. Will post on Saturday...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
For RPX 100 I expose at EI 64 and develop in 10cc of Acurol N in a 900cc tank. 8 minc at 20C with 30sec continuous agitation and 5 sec quick inversions every 30 secs thereafter. If you wet print, you can develop 1 minute longer. I believe I made a test roll of RPX 100 exposing between EI16 and EI 2000. I've developed at the same dilution for 20 minutes at 24C with 30sec+5sec every 5 mins. All shots could be scanned without huge problems, although the range EI 32-500 worked best. This is a VERY easy film-developer combo.
Mfogiel, when you say 10cc of ACUROL-N, do you mean 1+24?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
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Apologies for reviving an old thread.

I would be interested in testing Spur Acurol N to develop my Fomapan 100 and 200 medium format negatives.

I use with satisfaction Fomadon R09 (Foma's Rodinal recipe) and enjoy the results in my hybrid workflow (I develop but can't print, so I scan and process in the digital realm).

I'm quite happy with Rodinal but I heard that Acurol-N can be considered as having all the good traits of Rodinal and none of the bad ones, hence my curiosity.

I cannot find a Fomapan 200+Acurol-N recipe on digitaltruth so I'd have to experiment, unless someone has experience with the combo.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #35
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For the FP100 (E.I. 80) I would stay on R09/Rodinal. For the FP200 (E.I. 160) Xtol or Foma's Fomadon Excel W27 (a Xtol clone) is a very good choice. When printing in a classical way I would also recommend Pyrocat-HDC (Sandy King) however less suitable for scanning.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #36
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My frustration with Spur Acurol N is that you have to pull the film to get the best out of it.

The other problem is it does not last remotely as well as Rodinal and two films of mine were horribly under-developed in 9 months old (open with a third used - it was dark like Rodinal) Acurol N. As it rarely gets use from me, most ended up being wasted and I hate developing errors.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Hi both, thanks for your reply.

Fotohuis - yes I really like Fomadon Excel, use it all the time, especially with Foma 400. I find powder developers somewhat inconvenient, though, and tend to prefer concentrated ones at the moment.

Back to Spur Acurol-N: I decided to go ahead and test the Acurol-N, mostly out of curiosity. I purchased a small bottle of the product, which came with a data sheet with processing & handling recommendations, including film-specific ones.

Interestingly, the data sheet has data for Fomapan 200, too. I tend to use Fomadon R09 exclusively at 1+50, and the corresponding Acurol-N recipe for Fomapan 200, according to the data sheet, is as follows:

-Temperature: 20 C degrees
-Inversion plan: 30 sec permanently, then two inversions (for 120 film) x minute
-Film speed: 125 ISO
-Time: 11 minutes

I was a bit surprised about the indication to expose at 125 ISO. I routinely expose Foma 200 in R09 at 160 or box speed, without problems. I decided to stick to the above, anyway, and exposed at 125EI.

@CharlesDAMorgan - as I understand it this is what you found when you mentioned you dislike the fact that the film must be pulled to work with this developer?

Anyway, I have just finished processing the test film and immediately after hanging the film to dry I noticed something odd - the extreme contrast of the negatives. Highlights appear very dense, and shadows almost transparent, though both extremes seem to somewhat retain some detail.

I have not significantly altered any other variables in my shooting (same camera I used before, same metering, incident via a Sekonic meter). I wonder if it's a problem of overdevelopment, overagitation, poor metering on my side, or a combination of the above. Thing is, I've never seen such contrast on my negatives before, using foma film and Fomadon R09/LQN/Excel developers.

I attach a sample film strip to hopefully clarify:



Of the three test shots shown, the one I'm more confident about is n.8 (N.5 and n.6/7 were shot in rather contrasty conditions, and I can't exclude a large metering error on my side). I have scanned and inverted n.8 using my standard workflow and this is what I can come up with



The white building (top-right) does retain some detail, however it's very grainy - I wonder if this is due to my scanner being unable to fully 'penetrate' the sooty black mass in the negative and returning a 'noisy' scan?

Anyhow, I'm sure I can improve on the development side - should I try reducing development to 10 minutes? Any other recommendations welcome.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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Yes to your question Albireo, it's the shooting at lower than box speed that cuts its use for me - which leads to the developer ageing faster than I'd like.

I would experiment with 30 secs less to start with. The bulk of the photo is really nicely developed, but the highlights are too dense on the negative.
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Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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Thanks for this Charles. I will try as you suggest and report back.

Interesting that you found this doesn't last nearly as long as advertised. Shelf life seems to be one of the selling points of the product - the data sheet suggests this should remain stable for 3/4 years 'sealed in its original bottle', though I'm not sure whether here sealed means unopened or not.

In any case - I will experiment some more and report back. Would love to hear other users' opinion on this, too.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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I think sealed it would last 3/4 years, but unsealed as mine was with about a quarter used, it really was exhausted.

By coincidence I found the Acurol N development time chart and it gives likely contrast too - at 11 minutes for 200 shot at 125 it is listed as high contrast. Add in a very high contrast scene and I suspect your highlights have been totally overdeveloped. Doing a google, someone who uses Acurol for Foma 100 shot at 50 suggested much shorter times than Acurol give.

Anyway, in the light of that, I'd try it at 1 minute less on a high contrast scene, and see how you get on!
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Film amateur with a few rangefinders - Leica III, M2/M3, Werra 3 and Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16 medium format.

Apart from that have a Rolleiflex 3.5F, the odd Minolta XD7, Hasselblad 500cm, a Topcon Super D and an Intrepid 5x4 large format (not the half of it but I am clearing them out, honest).

I do all my own black and white developing at home.
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