Processing Ilford FP4 with ID-11

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by marco_vera|1, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. I have been processing Ilford FP4 film with ID-11 for several months
    now and I am getting rather thin negatives (compared to the density's
    I get using the same camera with HP5 and Pan F).

    For all films I have been religiously following Ilford's recommended
    times.

    What is the best way of correcting this problem:

    Shoot the film setting the meter at 64 ASA (instead of 125)or
    Increase development time to +1 ?

    What do you recommend?

    Has anyone else had this problem with this film / developer
    combination?

    Thanks
    Marco
     
  2. Everybody has to sort this out for themselves. If you have good shadow detail in the negatives, don't change the EI. If the shadows are thin, try shooting at EI64 or so. When you print, what paper grade works well? If you constantly need grade (or filter) #1, try decreasing the film development about 20%. If you're always reaching for the #4, increase the development about 20%. Your enlarger will have some effect, not to mention the type of subjects you shoot, your water, your agitation technique, etc.
     
  3. FP4 Plus is my primary B&W film for studio use these days. I've gotten consistently excellent results (for my purposes) with ID-11 at 1+1 dillution for 11 full minutes at 68 deg. F. I rate the film at ASA 100 using a Minolta flash meter. But that's just me. If you want denser negatives to work with, by all means experiment with longer development times, higher temperatures, or lower ASA ratings.
     
  4. “Thin” is a very ambiguous term when talking about negatives. Some people use it to describe “underexposed,” and others use it to describe “too little contrast.” Being able to distinguish density problems from contrast problems is one the things that is crucial for getting good negatives, but difficult for many photographers to figure out (especially when there is more than one problem).

    As mentioned above, if the negative lacks shadow density then more exposure is needed. If the negative lacks highlight density, you need more development. Or maybe a combination of both.
     
  5. Oh, poo...I'm not sure where I put those really good FP4+ negs I last did...lemme see...ah, found 'em...

    FP4+ at EI 64, developed in ID-11 1:1 for 9 minutes at 70F. There's no specific printed data for this, I just extrapolated from other existing data. It probably amounts to something close to -1 in Zonespeak, tho' I don't think in Zone terms when shooting 35mm. Beautiful tonality. Printed effortlessly on my Durst M605 dichro head at neutral (Grade 2) or, at most with certain images and papers, Grade 3.

    BTW, that entire roll was taken outdoors under generally hazy bright afternoon light in February, ranging from heavy shade to dappled shade to no shade. Conditions were pretty similar to other rolls of FP4+ I'd exposed at the nominal speed.

    Prior to rerating FP4+ I'd shot maybe eight rolls at nominal speed and processed in various developers/dilutions and just couldn't get the "look" I was after. I wanted the look of an old style emulsion (please don't ask me to define that, other than as "Not like TMX" which, BTW, I do happen to love). But at EI 125 I was getting technically adequate shadow detail, no blocked up highlights, but a sort of jumpy tonal range rather than smooth, gradual transitions in the midtones. It just wasn't doing the trick for me.

    So, try it as I've described - see what you think and please share your experiences.

    My only complaint - and it's a very minor, nitpicking one - is that I'd like a bit more sharpness. So I plan to shoot my next roll of FP4+ again at EI 64 but will develop in Rodinal for greater acutance.
     
  6. Yeah, I agree, EI 64 is a good speed for FP4 and I also use 9 mins at 20c. I think it was Barry Thornton who wrote that most films are well over rated in ASA terms. For example he ran HP5+ through at 160 ASA. Also he states that to knock off 20 percent from the stated dev. time (that is the one on the box) would put you in the ball park ready for fine tuning. E.g It states 11 minutes at 1:1 for ID11, so take off 20% and you get about 9 mins - this is after running the film at 64ASA. I've tried his techniques and can't fault them. Try it yourself, I think you'll be pleasantly suprised :) Read Barry's books, they are a real education.
     
  7. Well,....

    I have found most of the answer to my "thin" negative..

    Outdated Technical Sheet from Ilford! (8min recomended @68F for 1to1 of ID11 vs 11min on the one I just downloaded!)

    That explains most of my problems.

    But thanks anyway, the answers here are always technically helpful and everyone provides more insight into the "art".

    Thanks
     
  8. are you shooting the FP4 in 35 or 120? I have been using it in 120, rated at 64 and developed in Rodinal and it has been beautiful. I haven't yet developed 35mm in Rodinal because I think the grain will be too big to enlarge to 11x14. in 120 it isn't an issue.
     
  9. Ron, so far only in 35mm. Grain is no problem up to 11x14, but I'd like to see just a wee bit more sharpness, hence my intention to try Rodinal next.

    Took almost a year of experimenting for me to like FP4+ but I've finally caught onto it.
     
  10. I'd be interested to hear about your results with the FP4 in rodinal printed up to 11x14. plse drop me a line and let me know how it turns out.
     
  11. I have been using FP4+ with Rodinal 1:25 in 35mm. Grain is simply too big for enlargements further than normal small pictures in my taste. Recently tried D76 1:1 and got much better results.
     
  12. You should try a higher dilution. I use rodinal at 1:75 and the results (in 120) are fantastic. I plan on trying the same in 135 and seeing how high I can enlarge.
     

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