LONG development times with Crawley's FX-2. Help!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by arraga, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Hi, I recently purchased an FX-2 kit from the photographer's formulary.
    After unsucessfully googling for times with Tri-x and/or HP5+, I
    decided to shoot some test rolls.

    I did a first test with Tri-X (tx400 - 135), giving it 15' at 20C. My
    EI came out at 100, and my contrast index at 38. Zone VIII at 0.85 over

    A second test was taken, giving it 24' at 20C. Now, the EI came out at
    180, and the contrast index at 44. Zone VIII at 1.07 over fb-f.

    I'm not really keen on agitating a small tank for one hour plus. That,
    and the fact the the instructions that came with the kit said that time
    for plus-x was 18', makes me wonder if something's wrong.

    I did prepare the kit as per the formulary instructions, except that I
    added 50ml of isopropyl alcohol to ensure dissolving the glycin. That
    was recommended in one or two pages I read about FX-2.

    I am using a small, two reel tank, doing five inversiones in five secs
    every other minute. 30 secs initial agitation. 20C temperature.

    Any help/pointers/comments would be appreciated.
    arraga, Jul 30, 2005
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  2. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Some forgotten data:

    The working solution is made with 25ml of Sol A, 25 of Sol B, 175 of
    Pkryptol 1:2000, and water to complete 500cc of solution.
    arraga, Jul 30, 2005
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  3. arraga

    arraga Guest

    1,75ml of pkryptol, sorry.
    arraga, Jul 30, 2005
  4. arraga

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    RE: wrote:
    I'd not have added any thing to the kit. Those
    instructions may have been written twenty years ago.
    I've gotten the impression that P. For. should update.
    Those emulsions may be much harder now. Harder emulsions
    retard solution penetration and diffusion.
    I suggest no Pk., 22C, and four inversions each minute.
    Are you sure you've the correct amount of chemistry in
    your working solution? Let us know. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jul 30, 2005
  5. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Hi, and thanks for your response. Stock solutions are prepared as per
    PF instructions, giving 1liter of solA and 1liter of solB, in distilled
    water. The dilution to working solution is also straight out of the PF

    Thanks for your suggestions, I'll try some of them tonight (increasing
    agitation and working temperature). I was also thinking of doubling
    the amount of chemistry in the working solution, to 50ml both of sol A
    and B in 500ml.

    Thanks again, Santiago
    arraga, Jul 30, 2005
  6. arraga

    John Guest

    The whole point of using FX2 was extended dilute development using
    minimal agitation fot enhanced adjacency effects.

    From my site :

    "For stand development try 15ml A,15 ml B and 1ml C per liter which will
    develop TMX-100 in about 2.0 hours."
    John, Jul 30, 2005
  7. arraga

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Steve Anchell, in a Camera & Darkroom article "Formulas
    Using Glycin" suggests 50ml of each to make 1ltr. His
    formula may not be the same as P. Formulary's.
    A, Metol, sulfite, glycin, 5 - 70 - 15 grams; to make 1ltr.
    He does mention using 50ml of isopropyl.
    B, K2CO3, 123 grams. To use Na2CO3 subtract 10% of that 123;
    to make 1ltr.
    C, Pinacryptol yellow at 1:2000; 100ml.

    To make one liter working strength, 50ml of A and B. Add
    3.5ml of the PCY.
    Some Crawley formulas are note-worthy for adding the most
    minute amounts of retardant; iodide and maybe that PCY.
    BTW, try that with some print paper. Play with the
    dilution. I've found that Crawley's FX-1 makes a
    very good print developer; very similar to
    Ansco 120 which in itself works well
    as a film developer. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jul 31, 2005
  8. arraga

    arraga Guest

    I repeated my last test, the one that gave me 0.44 CI, increasing
    agitation as suggested here to 4 inversions every minute. All other
    parameters kept constant.

    The CI surged to 0.56, from 0.44.
    There's a small speed increase, to 200. Zone I 0,10 over fbf, Zone V at
    0.60 over fbf, Zone VII at 1.23 over fbf.

    This suggests to me that there's an issue with local exhaustion of the
    developer, and that this developer is much more sensitive to agitation
    than my older ones.

    That's much better; yet I still fail to see the one stop filme speed
    claimed with this developer. The negatives are SHARP. I'll try to print
    some tonight.
    arraga, Jul 31, 2005
  9. arraga

    arraga Guest

    I'm primarily interested in the sharpness/speed aspect of the

    I fear that the enhanced or 'interesting' (instructions dixit)
    adjacency effects, while appropiate for static subjects (rocks, trees,
    the works) , could get in the way/distract from other, more dynamic
    ones (street).

    I'm fully aware of the effect of mackie lines and acutance to our
    perception of sharpness, but sometimes too much of a good thing
    detracts from the whole.

    I was also looking at the 'pushability' of the developer[1], in order
    to cope with situations where any image is better than nothing, and I
    don't know if I can go this route with stand development.

    I'll probably shoot a roll and let it soaking in the tank for two hours

    Greets, Santiago

    [1] pushing in the sense of moving a zone i (i=I,II,III,IV) to V.
    arraga, Jul 31, 2005
  10. arraga

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    That 0.60 I think a little low and the 1.23 at Z VII
    a little high.
    I've not seen pointed out the early loss of strength
    of dry glycin. I've not used the stuff but have read
    many comments of that nature.
    Some of P. Formulary's kits have the composition and
    use spelled out, all via the WWW. Have you checked against
    the S. Anchell formula I posted this thread? Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jul 31, 2005
  11. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Hi Dan,

    I've checked the PF formula, and it's exactly the same as the
    Anchell one you cite, giving one liter of stock solA and one liter of
    stock solB. I take 50 ml from each sol to make 1liter of working
    solution, as directed by the kit instructions.

    To test the film I mount my F3 on a tripod, pointing to a featureless
    white wall, and let autoexposure select shutter speed - it's continuous
    and accurate enough to find datapoints spaced 1/3 stops apart. I vary
    the ISO of the film from 12500 to 12, obtaining the following densities
    in each negative:

    Density ISO Comments
    0,00 fb-f fb-f density = 0.24
    0,01 12500
    0,01 6400+2/3
    0,02 6400+1/3
    0,03 6400
    0,05 3200+2/3
    0,07 3200+1/3
    0,10 3200 Zone I -> film speed is 200
    0,11 1600+2/3
    0,14 1600+1/3
    0,19 1600 Zone II
    0,24 800+2/3
    0,28 800+1/3
    0,34 800 Zone III
    0,38 400+2/3
    0,42 400+1/3
    0,49 400 Zone IV
    0,53 200+2/3
    0,56 200+1/3
    0,60 200 Zone V
    0,68 100+2/3
    0,76 100+1/3
    0,82 100 Zone VI
    0,89 50+1/3
    0,96 50+2/3
    1,01 50 Zone VII
    1,09 25+1/3
    1,16 25+2/3
    1,23 25 Zone VIII
    1,30 12+2/3
    1,37 12+1/3
    1,45 12 Zone IX

    Yes, zone V seems low, should be about 0.7. If I lower film speed to
    160, zone v goes to 0.68, VIII to 1.30 and I to 0.11; maybe that's the
    real speed of the film with these parameters.

    I was not aware that glycin can lose its thunder with storage. I'll try
    to duplicate the kit buying the chemicals separately from a local
    supply house and report on the results. That'll take some time.

    Thanks for your comments, Santiago
    arraga, Jul 31, 2005
  12. arraga

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Loss of thunder MAY BE ALL that is wrong with your Kit.
    You may buy glycin else-where but I think the source is
    P. Formulary. I've read that via the net and S. Anchell in
    his now ten years ago article believed P. Formulary to be
    "The only remaining manufacturer ..."
    And more yet! To ensure delivery of the freshest glycin
    order ahead with P. F.. I would'nt be surprised to find out
    that they use a back order build up to judge the amount
    to be made.
    As for your current stock, on a liter basis, try 100ml
    of each and/or up the temperature. You do want shorter
    processing times for those SHARP results?
    Well, a nice improvement with that last roll. A 160 EI
    is still slow but some what better contrast at Zs 1 & 2.
    I think P. F. has an 800 number. I order only from
    them as they are the ONLY source for a number of chemicals,
    and they do sell in SMALL quantities. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Aug 1, 2005
  13. arraga

    John Guest

    I think that any glycin that was compromised would be immediately apparant
    at it turns pure black when oxidized.Perhaps second only to Amidol in this
    John, Aug 1, 2005
  14. Didn't catch the thread till now but here's my take.

    I have been using FX2 for about five years.I never have ordered the kit but
    prefer to mix my own. (Old habits die hard)

    Have tested it on Tmax100, FP4 and just finished running the tiring process
    on Tmax 400(TMY). I've never seen the speed increase that is mentioned in
    Anchell's book but that wasn't what I was after from the beginning. My E.I.
    on all three films is one stop less(or close to) then the manufacturers
    rating. But what's in a rating?(hee,hee)

    Here's my results for Tmax400(TMY).
    E.I. : 200 for "N" development
    Zone V: .78 density over fb/f
    Zone VIII: 1.30 density over fb/f
    Development time @ 20c : 10min, 15 Seconds

    Two notes:
    1)the film being tested is sheet film, not roll. I do believe there are some
    differences as in film base,etc.
    2)not sure of PF's mix but by Anchell's formula it requires 100ml sol. A, &
    100ml sol. B to make "1" liter

    This doesn't answer your questions but I thought maybe you would be
    interested in others results.

    Greg Gallagher
    Greg Gallagher, Aug 1, 2005
  15. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Hi, it's good to hear another ones's experience.

    So, by Anchell's formula I needed 100mL each of sol A&B to make 1
    liter; that's double the strength of the PF kit's instructions , and
    would account for the longer development times. The reduction of about
    one stop speed is also consistent with my experiences, both in HP5+ and

    Did it work well for you with Tmax100? I have some rolls laying around
    of this stuff, but as I had noticed that's there's a variation of this
    developer for tabular grain films (TFX-2), I assumed that results would
    not be optimal. Anybody has some idea/inkling of the differences
    between FX-2 and TFX-2 (chemical composition)?

    Greets, and thanks for the comments, Santiago
    arraga, Aug 1, 2005
  16. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Hi Dan, I found that a local drug supply house has glycin listed. It's
    listed as made by Sigma-Aldrich (fluka).

    I'll give it a try; it'll be fastaer than the shipping + customs time
    to Uruguay.

    Greets, Santiago
    arraga, Aug 2, 2005
  17. arraga

    arraga Guest

    Mmhh.. all ingredients in the kit were white powders, so that'll rule
    out glycin oxidation.

    That leaves

    a) Operator error. Who knows, bad hair day.

    b) Half strength dilutions, as suggested by a comment from Greg

    c) Real EI is halved, and Crawley was smoking funny stuff when he
    claimed that EI is raised.

    Greets, Santiago
    arraga, Aug 2, 2005
  18. I ran the tests on Tmax100 a number of years ago. Will have to do some
    digging to find my notes but for one reason or another I didn't stick with
    this combination.

    I forgot to mention that I also tested HP5(sheet film) on "N" development
    only, results as follows:
    EI: 200
    Zone V: .78 density over fb/f
    Zone VIII: 1.35 density over fb/f
    Development @ 20c : 11min 0 seconds

    More notes: all development was done with constant agitation in a "Jobo"

    Greg Gallagher, Aug 2, 2005
  19. arraga

    John Guest

    Make sure it's the correct glycin. Several chemcicals use the same or
    similar name.
    John, Aug 2, 2005
  20. arraga

    BertS Guest

    Chances are that the stuff at the drugstore it not glycin. Similar names
    (glycine?) but it is not photographically active.
    BertS, Aug 2, 2005
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