Expected grain HP5+ in Ifosol 3

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by chris_schlumpf, May 13, 2016.

  1. Hi, just started shooting film again and have started to attempt to develop my own black and white. I understand the HP5+ in Ifosol 3 is not the best combo, however I seem to be getting excessive grain from what I've seen elsewhere. Can anyone tell me if this excessive or not?
  2. Ahh, the Whitehurst Freeway! A road I don't miss.
    Yeah, that looks like pretty reasonable grain for HP5+ (or classic Tri-X).
    Scanners can exaggerate grain, a phenomenon known as "grain aliasing."
  3. Hi, in my opinion that kind of grain is looking like too much sharpening during the scanning-workflow.
    I've shot a lot of HP5plus (but used Ilfosol only once or twice) and it's typical grain will look more "clumpy".
    The example seems to be underexposed a bit, this will effect grain too.
  4. I've never tried Ilfosol 3 but I've found HP5+ does well in ID-11 (or D76) or in HC 110.
  5. Thanks all, I've got some FP4 I'm shooting right now and I've read that does better in Ifosol.
    Just figuring out film and it seems people are getting a lot more detail and less grain out of HP5+ than I am so just trying to figure out where in the process I'm going wrong; either within camera, developing or scanning. Attached is another scan I did with the same roll with no sharpening or grain reduction in Vuescan and a zoom in on grain structure.
  6. I suggest you play around with exposure and development time/temperature. While I've only used a few rolls of HP5+ and do not use it regularly I'll state some observations from photos on the web. The ones shot at EI 200 had very little noticeable grain. http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php?Film=HP5&Developer=Ilfosol+3&mdc=Search&TempUnits=C has some time/temperature starting points for various EI's.
    Its hard to tell from scans where the error is. A picture of the negatives on a light box or hanging 6 inches in front of a brightly lit white wall with the camera about a foot from the negatives should help. The scans suggest the film is over developed or was processed a a high temperature.
  7. Here you go:
    I shot it at 400, developed for 6 and half minutes at exactly 68 degrees in 1+9 dilution. The first roll I ever developed I was a bit lazy with and I figured the noise was due to being off a bit with temp etc however I followed everything to a T on this roll and same results.
  8. Hi, was this "fresh" film or an expired roll? Anyway, I would shoot a static subject with varying exposures on your next roll and see if a rather thin or maybe a more dense negative will scan better.
  9. Yes, bought it just a few weeks ago. I'll try that for my new roll and see what happens.
  10. I think you need to cut development by up to 10%. 6 1/2 minutes=390 seconds*.1=39 seconds. I think somewhere between 6 minutes and 6 1/4 minutes will be correct.

    Check your thermometer, it may be off more than 1°F which will result in over development if it reads low.
    Change only one variable per roll. Go with Georg's suggestion in 1/3 stop increments up to 2 stops over and maybe 1 stop under. If the camera will not allow third stop adjustments of the aperture then use half stop steps.
    Printing on photographic paper a properly exposed and developed negative prints well at paper black. Paper black is the exposure beyond which no increase in density is detectable. A negative that prints well at paper black will scan well at default scanner settings and have a lot of adjustment latitude in post processing.
  11. Hello everyone. This pic is with HP-5 (@ 320 asa ) & 510-Pyro, but comparative results are also achieved with HP-5 and Obsidian Aqua. Ercona II 6x9 camera & 25A filter. Bill
  12. Gremlins ! Here is the entire scan. Bill
  13. I'm definitely doing something wrong, is there a chance something is wrong with the developer itself? Just shot through and developed my roll of FP4+ and scanned in a few and I'm getting the same results. The only attribute I can think of is the development. I had a local shop process a roll of color for me and the results were great, clear sharp images and the scans I got from my own scanner were great. That to me rules out camera and scanner and the number of rolls I've done now rule out film, at least from my perspective. I might pick up some D76 and give it another shot, might as well try what others are having success with.
  14. B&W processing can tolerate a ±3°F temperature difference between chemical and wash water temperatures will little ill effect. If you are developing at 68°F then the the other steps should be 65°F to 71°F. The closer the temperatures the better the results. You may be seeing reticulation as grain from using a higher wash temperature.
    Again test your thermometer. I have two Taylor 9840 digital thermometers. I bought one at Target and one off ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-TAYLOR-9840-PROFESSIONAL-DIGITAL-MEAT-POCKET-LCD-THERMOMETER-WITH-BATTERY-/110444036092?hash=item19b6fa3ffc:g:BrAAAOSwPhdVO59~
    They read about .7°F from one another but within .5°F of a known solution temperature. I have some dial type photo thermometers that read 1°F to 2°F high resulting in under developed film. My reference is a vintage Kodak glass thermometer that is within .5°F of perfect. If I remember correctly take a 8 ounce glass, fill it half full of crushed ice then fill with cold water and let sit for 1 minute, the water should read 32°F.
  15. Just tested the thermometer and was bang on 32 degrees. Its a precision glass one that I got from B&H.
    The first roll I did I just ran it under cold sink water for the rinse and thought that might be the issue. The last couple rolls I've gotten out a large container and filled it with 68 degree water. I mixed my chemicals and did the rinse all from that water and made sure it stayed at 68 through the process.
  16. It is possible you have a bad bottle of developer. A fine grain developer should not produce results like that.
    I really like Xtol 1:1 but I do so little processing these days that I switched to HC110. Both produce results similar to D76 1:1.
    I fill a 5 liter bucket with water thru a Pur water filter and do the full processing session with it including a Ilford Archival Wash. It barely does a tank of 4x5 sheet film using manual rotary processing but a 2 reel 35mm or 1- 120 reel in a Stainless Steel tank is a breeze.
  17. HP5+ and Ilfosol 3 seems to be a bad combination.[​IMG]
    I have since then moved on to try D-76/ID11, Xtol, HC-110 and never experienced anything like it. Ilfosol 3 is also known to die a sudden death.
  18. Jonas, I think it was the old "Ilfosol S" which had a reputation to die the sudden death, not the new "Ilfosol 3".
    Over at flickr are some really nice examples of HP5plus in Ilfosol 3. but it's easy to find bad examples for almost every film/developer-combination too.
    HP5plus and FP4plus should deliver good to great results in most developers. For HP5plus I've used most of the time developers similar to HC-110.
    To get "pucker grain" a large jump in the processing-chain is needed in my opinion. Small temperature-differences won't effect the grain much in my experience. And the grain you've got, Chris, doesn't look like "pucker grain".
    If I was in your shoes I would get a long-lasting liquid-concentrate developer like HC-110 and would use it at as one-shot developer. Rodinal would be an alternative to HC-110, but I've read it's fairly expensive and hard to get in the US and it wouldn't be my first choice for HP5plus and city-scapes.
    I mix the working developer-solution with tap-water (very good quality here), but stock-solutions with distilled water (for powder-type developer like XTOL). To rule out the effect of the local water-quality it's a good idea to mix the final developer with distilled water too.
    As written before I would shoot the same subject with varying exposures (not in 1/3 stop-steps, maybe in 1/2 or full steps) and see which negatives will scan best to suit your needs.
  19. Hello again. Once again I will throw out my cheap and rock-solid version of the temperature control water bath. Igloo or other brand hard shell cooler. Repurposed drink bottles for enough water/chemicals for (1) 120 or (2) 135-36 films. Rodinal is not that hard to find here in the states. Reasonable pricing for the amount of film per bottle. If you go with D-76, try it as a 1:1 dilution. One shot only. Bill
  20. I think there’s significantly more grain in that image than you should expect from HP5 and Ilfosol. I like HP5 and have developed it in Ilfosol 3 with rather less grain, although I prefer ID-11 or DD-X - HP5 and Ilfosol is NOT a "bad" combination at all. I must upload some of my HP5 and FP4 scans.
    That you report similar results with FP4, which is a rather finer grained film, suggests there’s something wrong with your exposure or development technique, or possibly the developer itself.
    It’s possible you’ve got a bad bottle of Ilfosol. In my experience, the quality of Ilford chemicals is pretty consistent, but of course they cannot control how distributors handle the stuff. Buy another bottle from a different supplier if possible.
    How are you storing the Ilfosol? Once the bottle is opened, keep it at 25 Celsius maximum. If you refrigerate it, don’t keep it too cold or crystals will form. About 10-12 Celsius is fine. I use a worktop mini-fridge to store film and developer I know I won’t use for some time, and it is set to 10 Celsius. Once diluted, Ilfosol is strictly one-shot and has a shelf life measured in hours rather than days. Consider a different developer – ID-11 is a powder and so easier to ship, also one litre of stock solution will develop ten films and once made up will keep for about six months in a sealed bottle.
    Temperature is important for developer, less so for stop bath, fixer and wash, but ideally keep everything the same temperature. Don’t deviate too far from 20 Celsius if you can. GENTLE with the agitation. Aim for four inversions in ten seconds, not faster. You aren’t mixing a can of spray paint.
    What camera are you using? Have you checked its metering against a known good camera or a light meter? Are the shutter times reasonably accurate?
    My initial attempts at developing my own film were pretty dire – the camera and lens were fine, my technique was not, the results looked like something from the mid-Victorian period. It takes a little practice, and inevitably that costs money in chemicals and film. The most important thing is consistency, not fussing about using deionised water, facing north with your fingers crossed when you develop, and so on.
  21. I'm now 99% sure my issues are with having bad developer. I did a roll of PanF+ in D76 today and they came out really nicely. Not perfection by any means, but I'd chalk it up to my learning curve, it seems everything went right.
    Now before I get to the next part please realize that I've never shot B+W film before nor developed it. What I realized the second my film today came out of the reel was that the Ifosol I have is not actually developing the film. Excuse my lack of understanding, but my roll today has "missing" parts of the emulsion which my films before did not have. Since I never developed black and white before I didn't realize this was an issue. I'm sure anyone here would have realized right away, but take a look below. It's hard to get a good picture but take a look between right (D76) and left (Ifosol). Unless theres a different way these developers work, it seems the Ifosol has some issue and is simply not developing correctly.
  22. To use your computer monitor as a light table: Open Photoshop, select File>New. Set the size to 8x10 with a White contents, click OK then view to 100%. Hang your slide or negative in front of your monitor to view/photograph it.
    The Isofol negatives look as if the entire frame was exposed to a bright even or near even light source. If the developer had died the film would be clear or have very faint images.
    Is it possible you mixed the developer 9:1 instead of 1:9? The number before the colon is the units of the first ingredient, the number after the colon is the number of units of the second ingredient. To find the volume of a unit divide the total volume desired by the sum of the units.
    You have a 500ml tank you want a 1:9 dilution of Ifosol to process your film. The sum of the units is 10 and 500/10 is 50. You mix 50ml of Isofol 3, the first ingredient, with 450ml water, the second ingredient, to get your desired 1:9 working solution.
    Your negatives look as if you used 450ml of Isofol to 50ml water or a similar dilution.
  23. Nope, concentrations were correct. Anything else that could cause it? I figured any accidental light exposure would have ruined the entire film.
  24. You could try refixing the Isofol negatives for 10 minutes in fresh fixer.
  25. No change unfortunately. The only difference between the bad rolls of HP5+ and FP4+ and Delta 3200 etc and the one good roll of PanF+ was the developer. I used the same fixer I've been using since the beginning exactly as I had in the past.
  26. You might try contacting Ilford http://www.ilfordphoto.com/contact.asp to see if they have any suggestions.
    Include the batch number off the bottle of Ifosol 3 and attach a picture of the negatives if possible.
    The exact amount of concentrate and the exact amount of water used to mix the working solution may be more beneficial than stating the ratio.
    Other wise try a different bottle of Isofol 3 or move on to a different developer.

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