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  #1  
Old 27th August 2010, 12:51 PM
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Smile Ilford DDX vs Perceptol

Are there any users out there with experience of Ilford's DDX. I've been using Perceptol, successfully on Delta 100 in 35mm and MF (@1:1). I would like to try and improve the acutance without the grain going up (to much). I know that ID11 is good for acutance but like I said I want to keep the grain under reasonable control.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve.
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Old 27th August 2010, 01:09 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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DDX is still my regular dev but I do use Perceptol as well( mainly for the finer grain it gets me with HP5+ at a slight loss of speed).

I started with ID11 on a nightschool course then contined to use it when I built my one darkroom. I started to look round for another dev when I developed both P3200 and D3200 and found that the grain was intrusive even on 5x7 prints with ID11. Eventually I settled on DDX after trying Ilfosol.

By and large DDX solved all my previous problems with ID11. In fact up to 10x8 which is the biggest I do DDX gives me as good a print as a Perceptol neg except when I crop greatly so in effect the projection is much bigger than 10x8. Having said that I still find that HP5+ even at 10x8 is marginally grainier in DDX than in Perceptol and this becomes worse if its a crop.

I use Fuji Neopan 400 mostly now and find that even with a bit of cropping on a DDX neg but still doing a 10x8 print, Neopan 400 is still acceptably grainless.

I am not sure that I'd recognise accutance if it crossed the road and punched me : but if Rodinal is the epitomy of accutance then I can say that my romance with it was short lived. The accutance may have been great but maybe I couldn't see if for the grain!

Mike
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Old 27th August 2010, 01:30 PM
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Mike,
thanks for the reply. Like I said I have used Perceptol successfully - for 12 years or so. Maybe I just can't 'squeeze' anymore out of it for 35mm.
Perhaps I should accept that and stick with Perceptol. I know what it does and am pleased with the results - just want that little bit more, you know.

Steve.

Last edited by Steve_F; 27th August 2010 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 27th August 2010, 02:52 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Steve,
Have you tried Perceptol at 1+3 with Delta 100? I've recently started using this combination in 35mm, and have been gobsmacked by the quality of the resultant prints. Very sharp, and no grain on an 11" wide print. And it realy tames contrast - useful for me as I prefer to take pictures when the sun is shining.
As for DDX, I used it briefly and found it fairly grainy. This was with 35mm HP5+. Grain was almost as much as with Rodinal; far more than I get with ID11. Perhaps I was doing something wrong, though I did put quite a few films through it.

Mike, I like your comment about Rodinal! I think that Rodinal's reputation as the sharpest kid on the block is a bit of an urban myth. When I took the trouble to test it against other developers, by exposing several rolls of 35mm FP4+ on the same subject, then cutting the film up and developing bits of it in different developers, I found that ID11 1+3, Perceptol 1+3, Pyrocat HD and Presycol were just as sharp but all had far less grain. I did 12 x18 inch prints to evaluate the results. Sad, I know. I'm afflicted with a curious mind!

All this applies to 35mm. In 120, which Steve also mentions using Delta 100, I would have thought grain and sharpness to be non issues. Even 120 HP5+ and TRI X in Rodinal look grain free up to a reasonable size, and very sharp in all the above developers.

Alan
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Old 27th August 2010, 03:12 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Yes it's the old story. Unless you do very large prints indeed then 120 film solves most of the grain problems without necessarily resorting to very fine grain developers and some loss of speed.

Only the "magic bullet" gives you something for nothing and I am still looking for it :

Mike
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Old 27th August 2010, 03:49 PM
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The "Majic bullet" for me is Pyrocat or Prescysol & HC 110 @ 1/50 is pretty good if you don't want stain.
JON.
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Old 27th August 2010, 03:54 PM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Butler View Post
The "Majic bullet" for me is Pyrocat or Prescysol & HC 110 @ 1/50 is pretty good if you don't want stain.
JON.
I must agree with Jon, I find that Prescysol does make the grain disappear.
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Old 27th August 2010, 04:16 PM
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I guess everyone has his own magic bullet. Mine is TriX in Tetenal Ultrafin Plus. Full speed, fine grain: http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or....php?photo=388
Full frame 12x16 print. Some grain on the lamp post, no grain on the statue!

Miha
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Old 27th August 2010, 04:34 PM
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You might want to try dabbling with XTOL.

Not for me, I found the grain too mushy and low on acutance – but that is what Perceptol looks like to me too.

Just a suggestion

Martin
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Old 27th August 2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Clark View Post
Steve,
All this applies to 35mm. In 120, which Steve also mentions using Delta 100, I would have thought grain and sharpness to be non issues.

Alan
I should have made this clearer. I'm talking 35mm here. Whoops. The 120 reference was just to say I use Delta 100 in that format too.


The 120 is great (perhaps a little 'sharper'), then again there's always 5x4, it's never ending isn't it?

Steve.
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