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12,800 ISO Ilford HP5
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Jan 6, 2019 19:24:03   #
Tomfl101
 
I'd like to know the brand of developer and the dilution. 1.5 hours at 70 degrees would normally render ridiculously high contrast negative.

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Jan 6, 2019 20:00:30   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
This is interesting and if it is actually practicable, it does go against a theory I have adhered to for many years when using film. My practice for fine gran and maximized acutance was to cut down on wet time, avoid emulsion shock due to temperature differentials and process with "clinical" care as to agitation, hypo clearing and drying. Although I did employ the zone system, this particular methodology was not part of the original method. I learned it form photographer Mike Tatum, back in the early 70s. He was offering workshops in fine gran darkroom procedures, sponsored by the Honeywell folks when they were importing Pentax cameras and produced a line of stainless steel processing tanks.

Mike was routinely applying the zone system to 35mm photography and producing large prints with the quality of medium format and even close to 4x5 quality. The theory of mixing chemistry with distilled water, minimizing wet time, monitoring the pH of stop baths, not using over concentrated fixers or avoiding over-immersion in stop and clearing baths were to negate a minor degree of reticulation (emulsion shifting) that occurs by not observing theses important precautions. It proved to make the difference in tight grain structure, and significantly more sharpness.

As far as film speed- I seldom pushed beyond 1200 with film like Tri-x and went to 100 with Panatomic-X. I use a number of different developers- Acufine, Ethol UFG, and a few home brews and an altered D-76 formula. Pyro- for portraiture! I had mixed up a few "dynamite" formulas and use compensating developers with auto-stop characteristics.

NOW, for black cat in a coalmine at midnight" situations, I did push more. I could get away up to 3200 (on Tri-X) with in low scene contrasts. Once I got to 3200+, especially in contrasty lighting, shadow detail began to suffer and grain became more problematic. If I ever had to go to 12,800, nowadays, I think I would stick to digital and live with whatever noise resulted.

You mention care in mixing. Does that refer to sequence of chemicals and mixing technique- care as to not causing too much aeration or over-saturation etc. or danger due to chemicals of a hazardous, toxic or highly corrosive nature?

A 1.5 hour developing time might entail a hardener such as Potassium Alum that I used in the past in high temperature circumstances- theses were tropical developer formulas.

I suppose there is still a niche market for traditional darkroom chemistry of a new and different kind. Somewhere in my "achieves" I may still have my Photo-Lab Index with all kinds of exotic formulas and there was a "Cookbook" produced by Ilford .There is an outfit called the Photographers Formulary, they stock some off- beat stuff, antiquated formulas for special toners etc. Nowadays they still sell a nice line of darkroom chemicals. Check them out- you may get some ideas for packaging and marketing etc. I don't remember anythg for pushing to 12,800- coud be unique. Manufacturing, packaging and promotion may require quite an investment- good to do the marketing research first!

Good luck!

| Reply
Jan 6, 2019 21:52:51   #
TriX (a regular here)
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
This is interesting and if it is actually practicable, it does go against a theory I have adhered to for many years when using film. My practice for fine gran and maximized acutance was to cut down on wet time, avoid emulsion shock due to temperature differentials and process with "clinical" care as to agitation, hypo clearing and drying. Although I did employ the zone system, this particular methodology was not part of the original method. I learned it form photographer Mike Tatum, back in the early 70s. He was offering workshops in fine gran darkroom procedures, sponsored by the Honeywell folks when they were importing Pentax cameras and produced a line of stainless steel processing tanks.

Mike was routinely applying the zone system to 35mm photography and producing large prints with the quality of medium format and even close to 4x5 quality. The theory of mixing chemistry with distilled water, minimizing wet time, monitoring the pH of stop baths, not using over concentrated fixers or avoiding over-immersion in stop and clearing baths were to negate a minor degree of reticulation (emulsion shifting) that occurs by not observing theses important precautions. It proved to make the difference in tight grain structure, and significantly more sharpness.

As far as film speed- I seldom pushed beyond 1200 with film like Tri-x and went to 100 with Panatomic-X. I use a number of different developers- Acufine, Ethol UFG, and a few home brews and an altered D-76 formula. Pyro- for portraiture! I had mixed up a few "dynamite" formulas and use compensating developers with auto-stop characteristics.

NOW, for black cat in a coalmine at midnight" situations, I did push more. I could get away up to 3200 (on Tri-X) with in low scene contrasts. Once I got to 3200+, especially in contrasty lighting, shadow detail began to suffer and grain became more problematic. If I ever had to go to 12,800, nowadays, I think I would stick to digital and live with whatever noise resulted.

You mention care in mixing. Does that refer to sequence of chemicals and mixing technique- care as to not causing too much aeration or over-saturation etc. or danger due to chemicals of a hazardous, toxic or highly corrosive nature?

A 1.5 hour developing time might entail a hardener such as Potassium Alum that I used in the past in high temperature circumstances- theses were tropical developer formulas.

I suppose there is still a niche market for traditional darkroom chemistry of a new and different kind. Somewhere in my "achieves" I may still have my Photo-Lab Index with all kinds of exotic formulas and there was a "Cookbook" produced by Ilford .There is an outfit called the Photographers Formulary, they stock some off- beat stuff, antiquated formulas for special toners etc. Nowadays they still sell a nice line of darkroom chemicals. Check them out- you may get some ideas for packaging and marketing etc. I don't remember anythg for pushing to 12,800- coud be unique. Manufacturing, packaging and promotion may require quite an investment- good to do the marketing research first!

Good luck!
This is interesting and if it is actually practica... (show quote)


Your last sentence is the premier advice for anyone contemplating a business - the best idea in the world won’t make you a dime if no one knows about it and buys the product or service.

When you have a minute, either in this or a seperate thread, I’d like to hear more on the subject of minimizing grain in the darkroom that you touched on, such as monitoring PH in stop baths, etc.

Cheers

| Reply
Jan 6, 2019 21:55:15   #
Crombie
 
Crombie wrote:
Hi,

35mm HP5 exposed at ISO 12,800. The scale and density of the negs suggest another .5 stop is reasonable.


There's some interest to package this developer for online sale and so I can tell you the processing time is 1.5 hrs at 70F. Most important is some of the chemistry during mixing must be handled with great caution!!!


Yeah, agitate 10-15 seconds each time my coffee needs a refill, about 20-30 minutes.

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Jan 7, 2019 06:43:09   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Years ago, I mistakenly developed a roll of film with the wrong developer. It looked like the roll of Tri-X was way overexposed. I tested the process afterwards so I could control it. I have no idea what ISO I was shooting but it was quite a bit higher than the 6400 setting on my Nikon Photomic meter. That came in quite handy with some of the investigative photography I was doing at the time. I just knew what f/stop and shutter speed worked best for different situations and didn't use the meter.
--Bob
Crombie wrote:
I'm not an alchemist, but after years of experimenting I've hit on something I consider rather special. If I was to tell you I have honest to god 35 negs shot at ISO 12,800 with sharp grain no more prominent if shot at ISO 400 and with full tonal scale. I'll wager most would consider me mostly blind and or delusional or my exposure meter has gone South. I'm a zone system advocate and have a selection of meters and I've been not been sloppy. I'd like to open a conversation before I posting images.
I'm not an alchemist, but after years of experimen... (show quote)

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Jan 7, 2019 07:15:36   #
Crombie
 
I agree, sometimes there's magical outcome from making a mistake.


Crombie

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Jan 7, 2019 07:20:44   #
selmslie (a regular here)
 
Crombie wrote:
Hi,

35mm HP5 exposed at ISO 12,800. The scale and density of the negs suggest another .5 stop is reasonable.


There's some interest to package this developer for online sale and so I can tell you the processing time is 1.5 hrs at 70F. Most important is some of the chemistry during mixing must be handled with great caution!!!

Sounds like stand development. Getting 5 extra stops must take some special mix.

The theory is that to let the developer exhaust itself on the highlights and continue to develop the shadows so you end up with a relatively normal tonal range. I seldom had the patience to let it go for more than an hour but I have heard of people who have let it stand overnight.

I have used it with HC110 1+119 and Rodinal 1+99 using little or no agitation other than a little to get it started. I had better luck with HC110 because I ended up with "bromide drag" using Rodinal where the developer seemed to bleed down the face of the film. All I ever got to with HP5+ was about ISO 1250.

I haven't used it with Tri-X to get more film speed but I had to resort to it with CMS 20 to tame the excessive contrast.

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Jan 7, 2019 07:56:16   #
Crombie
 
A friend of mine uses HC110 and his images are just outstanding! I've tried the over night thing and what happens is the developer at some point becomes exhausted meaning there's no additional image. However, my experience with very extended processing times a chemical fog becomes a factor and for me this masking can be a real bonus. This imparts a vintage look not dissimilar to the images made in the 1850's.


The fun continues!

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Jan 7, 2019 08:13:52   #
Pablo8
 
I still have some HP5 and Tri-X film, in cold storage. I used a 3/4 time of normal development, pour out the developer, fill with water, do not agitate, let it stand for an hour, then fix...wash etc..as normal. Works so well with Cathedral interiors with 20 to 40 minute exposures at f.16. on 5x4 Tri-X . The negatives were exposed for the shadows, with incident light reading. Interested in your development process at such a high ISO rating.

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Jan 7, 2019 08:34:03   #
Crombie
 
Your technique sounds excellent. Incident meter readings are for me the most reliable despite having a spot meter and working experience with the zone system. My processing is with a modified formula containing some pesky hazardous ingredients. I do process semi-stand for 1.5-2hours. This chemistry for some reason does work with 'T' grain emulsions???

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Jan 7, 2019 08:45:34   #
Nalu
 
I would love to see the original on this in order to get a better evaluation on the image quality.

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Jan 7, 2019 09:17:19   #
selmslie (a regular here)
 
Crombie wrote:
A friend of mine uses HC110 and his images are just outstanding! I've tried the over night thing and what happens is the developer at some point becomes exhausted meaning there's no additional image. However, my experience with very extended processing times a chemical fog becomes a factor and for me this masking can be a real bonus. This imparts a vintage look not dissimilar to the images made in the 1850's.


The fun continues!

It depends on how you measure film speed. Those of us who measure it from where the characteristic curve emerges from film base+fog (group A) are likely to find more modest increases in film speed. But if you base it on finding useful mid-tone and highlight contrast (group B) you are probably going to end up with higher usable ISO settings.

According to the Massive Development Chart, Caffenol C stock can achieve ISO 12800 with HP5. It seems that people who post development times and film speeds for the Massive Development Chart are in group B.

Over-development of normal films like HP5 is helped by the fact that, no matter how the development is accomplished, you can never go past the maximum film density in the highlights. However, abnormal films like CMS20 or Technical Pan, behave like high contrast lithographic film. Taming the contrast to get a normal film curve often requires using very low ISO settings in the 6-25 range.

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Jan 7, 2019 09:39:58   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
TriX wrote:
Your last sentence is the premier advice for anyone contemplating a business - the best idea in the world won’t make you a dime if no one knows about it and buys the product or service.

When you have a minute, either in this or a seperate thread, I’d like to hear more on the subject of minimizing grain in the darkroom that you touched on, such as monitoring PH in stop baths, etc.

Cheers


Thanks for your comment. Here's the drill on my processing method. There is nothing exotic or expensive involved. I adopted the system in that it immediately proved to yield better results with finer, tighter and more uniform grain and better acutance. The theory is based on avoidance or reticulation, emulsion swelling and shock caused by temperature differentials from one chemical bath to the next, excessive wet time, too vigorous agitation, excessive acidity in the stop bath, violent reactions between acid to alkaline solutions, over-immersion in hypo clearing agent and unnecessary prolonged washing. Also- some quality is lost due to impurities in the water used to mix and dilute the chemicals.

I mix all my chemical with distilled or decriminalized water- this eliminates certain minerals that can react with chemicals in the developer and cause various issues including stains, deposits, pin-holes and retardation of development action. This also extends the life of developers and replenishers in that it retards oxidation to a certain extent.

Then I simply pretend I am processing color transparency film where the temperature tolerances must be maintained + or - 1 degree in ALL the chemical baths. I try to stick with 68 degrees (F). A water jacket in the darkroom sink can easily keep the temperatures constant. If for some reason the temperature is slightly higher, that's OK as long as all the baths are ALL the same.

I don't pour the solution in and out of the tank. I have a separate tank for each bath.

I process up to five roll at a time in a cylindrical tanks. I used to use the tall Patterson ones but I decided to make my own tanks out of 4" PVC drain pipe.

DEVELOPMENT- I lower the reels into the tank and gently agitate for 1 minute at the onset of the first developer and the agitate for 5 seconds every 30 seconds with a very gently up and down and twisting rotation motion at the same times VERY GENTLY- NO "martini-shaker" agitation!

STOP BATH- I mix it exactly according to the manufacturers recommendation. If you do that the don't need a hydrometer to monitor the pH. Some folk ten to under-dilute the acetic acid. Gentle agitation for 45 seconds in enough and go right into the fixer. DO NOT USE THE STOP BATH FOR A "HOLDING BATH" Same agitation technique but do it continuously. With thin emulsion films- plain distilled water can be used withou acid.
PS- if your zone system adjustment requires a pre-soak- use distilled or decriminalized water at the same temperature.

FIXER- Rapid fixer is OK- use the same agitation method but do it continuously and fix for exactly twice the time it takes fr the film to clear. Again- mix it exactly as instructed. If it fails to clear in the prescribed time, within in a tolerance of 2 minutes longer that usual, discard it and mix a new batch.

NEXT- is clear water for 1 minute before it goes into the clearing agent. This avoids shock due the reaction of the acid in the fixer reacting with the base in the clearing bath.

Negatives produced with is system will print well with tighter, finer grain withou "clumps" even in a condenser enlarger. The will scan exceptionally well.

Nostalgia- My favorite film was Verichrome-Pan in medium format. Made basically for amateur use, it had incredible latitude and was very compatible wit the zone system. The grain structure was beautiful and it had incredible tonal gradations. Being an "amateur" emulsion, it had no retouching surface which reduced the appearance of "tooth" or grain even more- no sweat- I use retouching dyes not pencils! 30x40 prints from this stuff were unbelievably sharp and virtually grain- less! Acufine @ ISO 200 .
It's the only material I truly miss!

CLEARING BATH- VERY CRITICAL. The function of the clearing bath is to neutralize the acid form the fixer and soften the emulsion sufficiently to enable more efficient and rapid removal if latent chemical from the emulsion in the wash water. Over-immersion will cause swelling of the emulsion and minor reticulation. Use the clearing bath exactly as instructed as to time and maintain temperature and constant gentle agitation.
NEVER use this a a holding bathe- go right to the wash.

WASH- This is a bit difficult. If you don't have a temperature control valve on you sink you will need on of those thermometer wells to monitor the temperature. It takes a bit of doing but if the film is properly "hypo" cleared you will only require a 5 minute wash in rapidly changing water. DO NOT, HOWEVER, allow the water to to spray directly on the film. A hose from the bottom of the talk moving the water upward is best. If you can use an in-line filter- all the better. A 5 minute wash should be sufficient.

WETTING AGENT (Photo-Flo) Maintain temperature and no longer that 45 seconds to 1 minute to avoid softening. A very sleight agitation at the onset and no further agitation.

SQUEEGEE- Never use a rubber squeegee. I keep 2 clean viscose sponges in a Tupperware container with distilled water and Photo-Flo. I wring them out and very gently squeegee the film.

NO HEAT DRYING. Clean air drying or gently filtered forced air in a cabinet.

I have successfully used this system with many different film and developer combinations. It works well on 35mm, medium format in reels and sheet films in hangers.

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Jan 7, 2019 09:44:17   #
obeone
 
I'd like to see the photos and get more info on chemistry

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Jan 7, 2019 10:30:32   #
larryepage
 
I'm curious also, but if the OP is looking at marketing this, I think it is reasonable for us to expect that he is not going to be able to share everything that we might want to know with us.

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