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Richard Gould 16th October 2010 08:32 PM

fotospeed fd10 filmdeveloper
I have been trying the Fotospeed FD 10 film developerwith HP5+ and no matter what I do I seem to be getting underdeveloped negatives,I have the fastertried the fotospeed dev times, way to litttle,even the longer time for incdreased contrast, Today I developed a film, hp5 120 for 16 minutes at the 1/9, still underdevoleped,the edge marking pale grey and the negatives, while a bit better, and printable, would all but 1 need grade 4 to 5 on MGWT, so something is going wrong somewhere. Has anyone else here used the same film/developer combination and had similer problems, looking for help to get it right,as I think if I can sort out the problem it could be a good developer,Richard

Mike O'Pray 16th October 2010 11:03 PM

Richard I think Larry is the big Fotospeed fan in all areas including its FD10 dev. Hopefully he will have some words of wisdom.


Keith Tapscott. 18th October 2010 03:31 PM

May be the developer has gone off.

Richard Gould 18th October 2010 04:16 PM

It was only opened about a month ago, and I have been having this problem from fresh, and the last film I processed in the developer was from a freshly opened litre of the stuff,just in case, that was when I put the post up,if the developer has gone off then it had to be off from the suppliers, I think that the fotospeed published data must be overly optomistic, Richard

Mike O'Pray 18th October 2010 05:10 PM

I hadn't realised you had developed for over twice the time the Massive dev chart lists. It should be 7 mins according to the MDC.

It sounds like Keith's tentative conclusion may be correct. I am at a loss to work out how a developer can be working properly if it takes over twice as long as it should and still gives faint negs.


Richard Gould 18th October 2010 06:48 PM

I exposed and developed 3 films today, one in the promicrol that I have been using for a while, at the given time as usual, and the negatives are perfect, the second I developed in FD10 that had been open a short while 1/9 for 17 minutes and one in the freshly opened bottle same dilution and time and the negatives are perfect, so either for some reason the freshly packed developer, both with use before date of 2012, is stale or the fotospeed published time, as on the back of the bottle,of 7 minutes for normal contrast, is way to to short, but at the times given you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the promicrol control film and the two test films in FD10, and at the times used the fd10 appears a very good developer. Any one have any further ideas? Richard

Mike O'Pray 18th October 2010 06:50 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Gould (Post 38260)
It was only opened about a month ago, and I have been having this problem from fresh, and the last film I processed in the developer was from a freshly opened litre of the stuff,just in case, that was when I put the post up,if the developer has gone off then it had to be off from the suppliers, I think that the fotospeed published data must be overly optomistic, Richard

Richard some manufacturers times can be off but 2x+ extra dev and still off? I doubt this. I'd contact Fotospeed about this. You may not be alone. Others might be doing so as we speak. Ilford had a problem of I think it was ID11 bags being blown up inside due to faulty chems but it took a thread on another site to alert it. It seemed its QC or probably its contracted maker's QC hadn't picked it up.


Richard Gould 18th October 2010 07:01 PM

Mike I have Emailed Fotospeed on Friday giving the problems and also giving the batch number of the bottles but to date have not recieved a reply, but it is certainly strange to me,I have sometimes had to increase timing by 2 or at the most 3 minutes with other developers,and this is the first time I have had a problem with Fotospeed products, They are normally very reliable, so I am as puzzled as anyone, but I am certainly having second thoughts about FD10, Richard

Mike O'Pray 18th October 2010 10:00 PM

Hopefully you have a bad batch. By now if 7 mins was woefully short( but was the result of a simple miscalculation and not duff liquid)then so many users would have complained that Fotospeed would have addressed the issue.

I know nothing about dev chems production but it has to be in massive quantities and I suspect that any deviation from the correct manf process, even if it is discovered quite quickly afterwards probably means that many 1L or 5L containers have been filled and it may be impossible to determine from which container the suspect liquid starts.

Presumably they make a guess but it may allow many containers or at least dozens to "escape" and get out to customers. You may be one of them.


Richard Gould 19th October 2010 07:47 AM

It certainly seems odd, but I sent them another Email last night asking is they have any idea as to what is going, they should reply after 2 Emails, and I will keep you informed as to what happens, but I feel sure something must be wrong with the developer, if one film develops perfectly in promicrol and 2 take 17 minutes in very fresh fd10 and opened fd10, all of the same subject and same exposure,Richard

Mike O'Pray 19th October 2010 02:01 PM

When I re-read my reply I realise it sounds perverse to say "hopefully you have a bad batch" but of course I meant that such an admittance by Fotospeed solves the issue and presumably ensures you get a fresh batch.

All of this assume that Fotospeed values its customer relations and this looks to be in doubt as things stand.

I must admit if I were contemplating buying its products right now, I might be re-considering.

It's not rocket scence to work out that when customers have problems you need to respond fairly quickly.

Here's hoping it does


Richard Gould 19th October 2010 02:56 PM

Mike, I am wondering myself about Fotospeed,I phoned then this morning and was told that there was no one avaivable at that time to help but they took my number and would phone back within an hour, 2 hours later nothing so I phoned again and there was no one available but I was promised a reply to my emails today,so far nothing,I will certainly think twice about Fotospeed products in future, they don't seem to care about customer relations at all,Richard

Miha 19th October 2010 04:17 PM

I sympathise with you Richard as I'm experiencing the same attitude from Fotoimpex. I have sent an email to them regarding problems with their Adox Vario Classic paper in May. They have responded in September, asking for a .jpg pix of the problem. Pix sent the same day. No answer so far despite two additional emails sent to them.:confused:

Richard Gould 19th October 2010 04:46 PM

I finally got hold of someone who can help late this afternoon,I spoke to John Herlinger, the boss himself,who admits that there must be a problem with the developerand has promised to look into it and Email me back tomorrow, with apoligies for not getting in touch sooner, I await developments will keep you informed as towhat happens, but next time I will try a different developer,Aculux perhaps,Patterson have always replied to inquiries promptly, I would also like to say a public thanks to Mat at AG,where I got the 2 bottles, and who I phoned this afternoon to see if he maybe had any idea as to what was happening,and who was happy to both chat about the problem and offered to phone Fotospeed on my behalf, A refreshing attitude after waiting on Fotospeed,Richard

Richard Gould 19th October 2010 05:01 PM

Keith, if they had said to me on the phone that the tecchnician was on leave or away I would have said OK, but they said that John, who could help,was there and would call back within the hour, but after 2 hours nothing, I was then told that an email would be sent bythe end of the day, by 4.40pm still nothing, I had to phone them a third time to finaly speak to John, who turned out to be the John Herlinger, and I am now promised an anwser tomorrow, I now wait and see,But simple courtesy would have said an email to say we are investigating would have been nice,He did say he had both of my Emails Richard

Mike O'Pray 19th October 2010 06:10 PM

I have had e-mail correspondence with John Herlinger in the past and the response was good. Now I know what position he occupies I am surprised looking back on our e-mail correspondence that for someone in his position he seems to have had to answer almost everything that isn't very basic "counter staff" inquiries.

Sounds as if they could do with training a couple of others to have the skills required. I imagine Fotospeed operates on a shoestring but maybe it's just a little too lean to support its customer base properly.

When a company gets too lean then its customer base has a nasty habit of shrinking to match the size of the customer support. The good news becomes that remaining customers then get better service but the bad news is that by then its base has shrunk considerably.


Richard Gould 19th October 2010 06:19 PM

It's a great shame as in general fotospeed stuff is very good, I have used a lot of their chemistry and paper over the years,toners, paper developers etc, and I believe their warm tone paper developer is one of the best I have ever used, certainly better than the Harman,but if their customer service is not up to standard it lets everything else down, John was very apoligetic and did say He had'nt quite realized the seriouness of the situation, and had been preparing for a lecture he had to give tonight, but A simple sorry we are looking into the situation would have been enough, Lets see what tomorrow brings,Richard

Larry 19th October 2010 10:35 PM

Hi Richard

Sorry, I'm somewhat late in replying to you initial post for some assistance. I've been very busy actively job hunting recent job-loss! (Feel free to PM me if you like)!

Anyway, Yes I a really big fan of FD10 and I am somewhat surprised you've had a bad experience with it.

I always buy the 5-litre bottles and then decant to many 100ml brown glass bottles (medicine class + screw lids - don't use child protect lids not air tight) and this keeps for about 18months! in perfect condition - it's never let me down

Every bottle of Fotospeed chemistry should be a date sticker best before on the back of each plastic bottle. In the past some supplies do remove the sicker if they've got old stock. You may have been unlucky here.

HP5 rated at iso 400 needs at least 10mins at 68/70F at 1+9 with 30 secs initial constant agitation then 2 inversions every full minute including the 10th min before pouring out the developer before stop bath.

The 7min time quoted to far to short, maybe OK for scanning negs but not for optical printing.

I always use the timing for higher contract setting and seems to suit both condenser and diffusion colour heads to the same degree.

It's really an exceptional film developer and it never stops amazing me of it's quality. I buy mine from Matt at AG Photographic and the date sticker is always present.

On many occassions I've spoken to John Herlinger who once told me the product is still useable many months past expiry date. It's just a arbitary figure for internal warehousing rotation purposes.

I would certainly try developing again. Willing to process a role for you if your interested?

As regard to Fotospeeds customer service I have noticed over the past 6 months or so, apart from John no one else provides tech support for traditional chemisrty or papers. I think Kevin the other tech guy is digital aware only and always passes my enquires onto John. Alas John also the managing director he's not available 24/7 for replies and is often out of the office. Maybe it's this your experiencing right now. The lack of urgent feedback.

I believe there are very short staffed for analog support but on the whole I've never encounted any poor or bad product from them. Personally I think they need better internal product support for darkroom users.

Your more than welcome to ask me for any help using the fine developer. I think it's brilliant and it's transformed the way I develop my films - every confidence in it.

Just before I sign off this evening, it's works best for me at 1+9 with a constant temp between 20.6-21.8 degrees for any film I've ever used.

Happy to assist you if I can.

Cheers for now with regards


Richard Gould 20th October 2010 08:19 AM

fd10 developer
Larry, thanks for your reply,and from what I have seen it has the potential to be a very good developer indeed, I got mine from Matt at AG so I don't think it is anything to do with the dealer, and the date sticker is on the bottle, My developing is much the same as yours, temp 20 to 21, constant agitation for first 30 seconds and then 4 inversions every minute, at 10 minutes I get an very thin negative,all detail there but pale edge marking, tried 12 with slight improvement, so tried 15 minutes which gave a negative that needed paper grade 4 to 5 to print, so then tried the controlled test which resulted in 17 minutes which gave a good negative,dark edge marking etc, the promicrol film gave good negative at standard time, did that to make sure I was'nt doing anything wrong,and got the same result with a fresly opened bottle as with a bottle opened a month ago, and 10 minutes longer seems a lot to me.

As to Fotospeeds customer service, a simple reply to my original Email would have been good, I finally got hold of John late yesterday afternoon, and he was helpfull, and has promised me he will investigate and Email me today, I like the Developer but need to be sure it is going to work ok, if the problems can be ironed out I would by the 5 litre container and decant it, .Richard

Richard Gould 20th October 2010 03:36 PM

fd10 developer
Thanks to some help and advice from Larry the fd10 seems to be working fine, changed a couple of things and got great negatives at 13 minutes earlier today, don't quite understand why it should work but I agitated the tank continuasly for the the first 30 seconds, then twice every minute,including just before I poured the developer out, and ignore the 7 minutes, it just does not work, use the time of 10 minutes, as for the high contrast, and for me I nearly always need to increase the time by 2 or three minutes, and it works, as I said, the only difference is in the agitation, 2 instead of 4 or 5 per minute, and it works well Thanks Larry,and thanks everyone else who replied :):D:D,as for Fotospeed, I was promised either a phone call or an email about the problem today, this was from John, to whom I spoke late yesterday, still waiting,:mob: Richard

Neil Smith 20th October 2010 03:53 PM

I don't know this developer but something sounds very odd, if you had thin negs at 10,12 and 15mins with 4 inversions every minute, I can't see how decreasing dev time to 13mins and only inverting twice every minute gave you good negs, in theory they should be thinner with less agitation?

But if its working now, its a good result for you.


Richard Gould 20th October 2010 04:16 PM

Neil,I don,t get it either, but it worked, negatives should print 3 to 3.5 on fbwt, which I always find needs a grade higher than standard MG,in fact these negatives are very good indeed, if it works this apears to be a very good developer, good shadow detail,very sharp, can't say about grain untill I print some, but at long last they look good,so fingers crossed, if it carries on it could well become my standard developer,Richard

Mike O'Pray 20th October 2010 07:05 PM

So in summary the dev looks to be OK but Fotospeed's times and agitation routine are wrong. In the case of the dev time, hopelessly wrong.

While you have got to good negs with help from this forum, it would seem that many users might have to get there by wasting a lot of film or have simply abandoned the dev.

Were I to have used this dev and not had the help of users such as Larry on a forum such as this, I would have abandoned this dev and frankly I'd be amazed if most don't abandon if your experience is typical.

It also begs two questions: How did Fotospeed arrive at this woefully inadequate time of 7 mins?

How many other film types have wrong times?

Unless Fotospeed can address these questions with good answers it would not persuade me to get any of this dev.


Richard Gould 20th October 2010 08:55 PM

If it had not been for the help recieved here I would have probably have and it poured the lot away and gone back to either rodinal or promicrol, The dev is very good indeed when you sort though the problems and I will almost certainly stick with it, but as you say, how Fotospeed arrived at 7 minutes is beyond me, if they had given the 10 that is for high contrast as a starting then that would have been more sensible, and as for tecnical help or backup from them, it doesn't seem to exist if my experiance is anything to go by, when the MD, to whom I spoke late yesterday afternoon, promises that I will recieve either a phone call or Email today and I am still waiting it realy makes me wonder, on the whole their products work very well, the fd10 now works well but apart from misleading suggested times there is no other instructions at all. however, alls well that ends well, I have processed another film, this time some delta 400, that I took this afternoon,it was a cold day here but great light and I did'nt want to waste it, and again using Larrys tips, great negatives,Thanks everyone,Richard

Larry 20th October 2010 09:06 PM

Hi Richard

Happy to have been of assistance to you. Glad you got it sorted and are pleased with the end result.

In relation to Mike's concern about the suggested times, from my own experience I always develop using the higher contrast times and are always rewarded with beautufully crisp and grainless negs,

So far HP5+ appears to be the only film that way off base for the manufacturers suggested time.

I've used FP4+, APX100/Rollei Retro 100, Delta 100 & 400, Acros 100 & Neopan 400 and their LegacyPro versions at the stated published times for 1+9 high contrast for a colour head enlarger and they've ALL been spot on. PERFECT!

So maybe HP5+ is just a one-off incorrect time suggestion.

With regard to fotospeeds customer service it still dissapointing no response yet, but at least between us I've helped restore your faith this gem of a great developer.

Best wishes to you all.


Dave miller 21st October 2010 07:15 AM

May I suggest that you revert to your original time and method for one film, just to confirm that the recommended time/method is indeed defective and that some other factor hasnít crept in?
Iím also sorry to read of your problems regarding poor customer service from this company, it unfortunately matches my own; which is why I now have little knowledge of their products.

Richard Gould 21st October 2010 07:39 AM

Larry,thanks again,Dave,I'l try what you suggest,however the delta400 I developed last night, and added extra time to pro rata, looks slightly over developed when I got the chance to get a good look this morning, so perhaps, as Larry says, it is HP5+that has a problem with their time, I don't mind that so much, mistakes happen, but my gripe is there seeming lack of interest, it would appear that they are not interested in analogue photography any more and that is a great pity as they proclaim that they are still in analogue photography, and it was analogue photography that founded their business and built their reputation, and they do have some very good products, but if they don't care about us should we care about them, Politeness costs nothing,Richard

Dave miller 28th October 2010 06:57 PM

Have you had any further contact or interest from Fotospeed with regard to this item Richard?

Richard Gould 28th October 2010 08:51 PM

Never heard a thing from fotospeed, so I have given up on getting any help from them, if I need help with fotospeed products in future I will ask here,shame though as their products are very good, now I have licked the FD10 it is one of the best developers and now my dev of choice, and their wt20 paper is again one of the best wt developers I have used, and I have tried all over the years, good job we have got Larry, our resident fotospeed expert,Richard

Mike O'Pray 28th October 2010 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Gould (Post 38951)
as their products are very good, now I have licked the FD10 it is one of the best developers and now my dev of choice, and their wt20 paper is again one of the best wt developers I have used, and I have tried all over the years, good job we have got Larry, our resident fotospeed expert,Richard

Here, here as they say in the Commons but may I also add Matt of Agphotographic who stocks a full Fotospeed range at a very competitive price.


Dave miller 29th October 2010 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by Richard Gould (Post 38951)
Never heard a thing from fotospeed, so I have given up on getting any help from them, if I need help with fotospeed products in future I will ask here,shame though as their products are very good, now I have licked the FD10 it is one of the best developers and now my dev of choice, and their wt20 paper is again one of the best wt developers I have used, and I have tried all over the years, good job we have got Larry, our resident fotospeed expert,Richard

Thanks Richard, at least others here now know that they may have a problem in receiving any customer support should they run into any difficulties with their products; which is a great shame. :(

Tom Kershaw 29th October 2010 10:39 AM

I've received poor customer service on a few occasions from Fotospeed but put it down to a fluke. It is interesting to read that others have also experienced problems. I wonder if darkroom products are no longer a particular focus for the company.

Dave miller 29th October 2010 10:45 AM


Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw (Post 38970)
I've received poor customer service on a few occasions from Fotospeed but put it down to a fluke. It is interesting to read that others have also experienced problems. I wonder if darkroom products are no longer a particular focus for the company.

I think that you are probably correct regarding their shift in focus, something common to many companies, but it doesn't excuse poor support.

RobRowe 6th June 2021 01:43 PM

Help, please- Fotospeed FD-10 and Fomapan 200
Dear all, I have read this post from beginning to end. I am just about to start processing my b&w films for the first time in years. So, I thought, let's be a little adventurous and try something different - having read this thread, I am now regretting my decision not to stay mainstream (at least to begin with) but the film and chemicals are ordered :slap:. Anyway, to cut a long story short, can anyone give me a clue as to a starting point (developing times wise) for the above combination. I also have some HP5 on the way and note the comments in respect of that but also roll of Bergger Pancro 400 and suspect I will have the same problem there. Very grateful in advance.

Bob 7th June 2021 03:55 PM

Can't really help directly but bear in mind this thread is 11 years old so things have probably changed. Saying that, a quick search only shows one entry in the Massive Dev Chart for this combination (for 6mins at 22 degrees C for some reason): .

You can either do a clip test of the first few frames from the roll (you will of course end up chopping one frame in half and using up a tank of developer - the diluted developer would probably not be reusable as processing the clip would probably have oxidised it too much) and adjust for the rest of the roll accordingly, or take a punt on the whole roll using the MDC time/temp - or accept defeat and use a more common developer with more data available for your films (sorry)...

Terry S 8th June 2021 12:15 PM

I'm constantly amazed when REALLY old threads pop up again, but I have been known to resurrect a few myself. :rolleyes:

As Bob says, times and developers etc. can all change some what, in time, as in this case, 11 years.

Good luck with your developing Rob, which ever film and developer combination you decided to try. As you say, I too think I would have started with a standard combination for my first go in ages. Maybe the second or third film I might have strayed from the path though... ;)

Do let us know how it all goes:)

Terry S

RobRowe 10th June 2021 02:02 PM

Thank you both
Thank you Bob, Terry. I really appreciate the input. And thank you for the reference to the MDC. For some reason I completely missed the combination when I searched last time. If one uses the calculator on the site 6 mins at 22 = 7 mins 19 sec at 20. When I look at the suggested times on the Fotospeed manufacturers leaflet for the films that are listed, 7 mins and a bit looks at least consistent(ish) with other similar speed films. I think I'll regard my first film as a work in progress and try 8 mins at 20 for a bit more contrast. Thanks for giving me the confidence to have a go and see what happens. I must be getting less risk averse as I age :) I'll let you know how it goes.

RobRowe 10th September 2021 12:08 PM

Not bad...and thank you
Thanks again for the help and encouragement, really appreciated. I developed my first film, Fomapan 200 (£4 a roll) in FD10, taken on an Olympus Trip. I went for 7' 03" at 20C, exactly as per Big Dev iPad app. I did a contact sheet, images looked a bit flat for my liking (I'll add some contrast when printing) but perfectly acceptable. I developed my second film yesterday, exactly the same process as above except taken on an F3 this time; same successful outcome, very pleased. The film is a bit grainy (imho) especially when the contrast is upped so it doesn't suit all subjects, but it happens to be a look that I like (contrasty/gritty). Next time I am going to develop for longer (not sure how much yet) for more contrast at the developing stage as mentioned on the film's datasheet.

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