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Old 23rd February 2018, 11:45 AM
John King John King is offline
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Default Microphen

I was going to replace my B&W developer with ID11 after the FX39 I had been using died a sudden death. However I have been offered 2 x 1 ltr packs of Ilford Microphen for free. I have never used it before, so opinions please if you will.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 01:07 PM
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Miha Miha is offline
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A speed-increasing developer, good for pushing HP5 to EI3200. It was once my most used developer, nice tonality, too.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 03:08 PM
John King John King is offline
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No speed increase really needed. It will be used on Ilford Delta 100 and the camera on a tripod. But if the increase comes with it then so be it. I'm not inclined to turn down free chemicals.

I have looked the website 'Digital Truth' and the film developing times are included for a standard film speed as well as speed increased ones as well. The Ilford standard developing chart on line compares exactly with the Digital Truth one. I only asked the question to get others opinion about it.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 04:07 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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John, I have yet to use my Microphen so cannot comment as a user but Argentum, I think, did a number of tests on film speed and found that only Microphen gave D3200 full "box " speed which strongly suggests that it is a speed increasing developer as I think Ilford either says or strongly hints at, although maybe not as much as Argentum found.

I mention this only to lead to this statement: Namely that the price of speed increasing developers is usually more grain. So an increase in grain may be expected but by how much and at what point it is seen in prints, I have no idea

Mike
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Old 23rd February 2018, 05:21 PM
Richard Gould Richard Gould is online now
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It is many years since I used Microphen,I would buy Tmax (The old one) 100, and expose it at 400, and the negatives were fine, but a bit grainier than I was used to (Even then I liked Grain) using it for films such as HP5( not the +), the grain was a lot bigger than I found acceptable, if anything the grain was more than Rodinal, even with no speed increase, so if you like fine grain it is not the best developer,compared to ID11 or D76, worth a try, but it is designed purely as a speed increasing developeer
Richard
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Old 23rd February 2018, 07:27 PM
John King John King is offline
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Default Microphen

As I got it for nothing I will give it a try. Reading the Ilford Blurb available on line, it seems it must have some sort of restrainer incorporated in the formula. They claim up to a 50% increase in speed with no increase in grain size. I don't actually subscribe to the theory of something for nothing so I will remain sceptical.

They also give developing times for Delta 100 rated at 100 so there may actually be a slight reduction.

Who knows? I will try it tomorrow and see what it does. (Tomorrow appears to be the last day 'oop north' where we will see some sun for a few days)
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Old 24th February 2018, 12:29 AM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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Hi, John. I have been using Microphen stock as a regular developer, rather than for a speed increase. I find that it works well, without obvious grain. Although it gives a ‘speed increase’ in some situations, I think it is actually quite a fine grain developer. It can also be used in dilute form, although I haven’t tried that yet. I would certainly recommend using it. The Massive Dev times will be taken directly from the Ilford data sheet. I’ve used it with Delta 100 with good results.
Alex


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Old 24th February 2018, 08:41 PM
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Rob Archer Rob Archer is offline
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I use it a lot for HP5+ which I uprate to 800 and it's indistinguishable from a film exposed at 400(in 6x7 anyway). I've used it for standard (not pushed) films (FP4+ and Acros) when I haven't had anything else available and it's good for that too. It gives a very similar result to ID11/D76. Obviously it's designed to get the most out of faster films but it will work with anything, including Delta 100.
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Old 1st March 2018, 09:05 PM
Simon E Simon E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Archer View Post
It gives a very similar result to ID11/D76.
Would agree. As long as you don't push the film too high (and then soup it accordingly) Microphen can provide a modest speed increase and small increase in apparent grain size cf. ID-11 and seems very similar aesthetically (contrast curve etc).

Like ID-11, it can be diluted 1+1 or 1+3 but that's a 1-shot mix. Used at stock concentration it can be reused several times, with appropriate increase in dev times to compensate.

Did you download the datasheet at https://www.ilfordphoto.com/microphen-product?

DD-X is effectively a liquid version of Microphen.
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