Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Mistaken identity Agfa APX developed in ID11

Agfa APX negatives developed in Ilford ID11
This is not the post I was expecting to write. I recently made up five litres of ID11 so I could develop a roll of out date HP5+. An extravagance you may think but really it was the catalyst for me to bring back an old friend into regular use. 

The other day I processed a roll of 35mm monochrome film but there was something wrong with the results. For starters the negatives looked wrong they didn't have the round look you get with a fisheye lens.  I could not get my head round how the fisheye two from lomography could change the look and shape of the negatives so completely. I'm going mad! a senior moment! brain in neutral! I need help! Up to this point I had been completely convinced that it was the roll of HP5. Then I noticed a black film canister on my desk, opened it and found a reel of HP5!! What the ...! what was developed then?? It turned out to be a roll of Agfa APX 100, that I had forgotten all about and mistakenly processed as HP5. Now this is a first for me, get it wrong and land on your feet! this has got to be one of the jammiest balls up ever!

Now I'm over the shock, I do not know why I should be surprised that they are a good set of negatives. Film emulsion has a large latitude of forgiveness before it looses its temper.  I checked what the timing should have been for Agfa APX and believe it or not my notes say that APX in ID11 at ISO 100 should be developed for thirteen and a half minutes at 20C. I had decided to process the out of date HP5 to fourteen mins.
Agfa APX  Film ISO 100
Developed in ID11 for 14 mins
Printed on silverproof matt
Developed in Moersch 6 blue tone.

So this has turned into a post about Agfa APX 100 developed in Ilfords ID11 results!

The method used:

         I did not use a pre-soak. 

         Develop for 14 minutes instead of 13.5. It would not have made much difference to the quality of the negatives.

         Invert for the first thirty seconds and then for ten seconds every minute (which is about four inversions)

         stop, fix and wash as usual.

The main test of a good negative is when it is printed. Showing you how much detail there is to be coaxed out of the high lights and shadows by dodging (holding back) and burning in (extra exposure) to arrive at that stunning final picture. 

For a film I had mistaken for another make, the results are excellent, I have no complaints!... except one; check what's written on the film canister first!

Monday, 15 October 2012

An insight into making up ID11

Ilfords ID11
Ilfords ID 11 is the starting point for many a photographer wishing to develop there own monochrome negatives. It is one of the most popular pre-packaged powdered developers on the market along with Kodak's D76. The attributes of these developers are almost identical. Some photographers are put off initially from using these developers because it is in powdered form, but you needn’t be, they are straight forward to make up.

I have used both these developers before and for a long time almost exclusively when it came to processing my film. I recently exposed an out of date roll of 35mm HP5 film. I decided to make up a new batch of ID 11. I know how good or bad these negatives will be without having to do a test.

The kit: (to make up five litres)

    The mixing kit.
  • Measuring jug, that will take at least Four litres of fluid.
  • Thermometer.
  • Mixing stick
  • Five litre storage container
  • Bucket if you do not have large enough measuring jug for mixing.
  • Disposable gloves, Face masks if you think it is necessary.
  • Ilfords ID 11, in this case.

If you are new to making up ID 11 take your time.

Remove the two packets from the box and then tear or cut the box open. On the inside are the instructions for making the powder into a fluid. What follows is how I made up the developer from those instructions.

Adding packet A of the waterr
The box of powder I have purchased will make up five litres of stock solution enough to process fifty roll 35mm or 120 film (medium format). Once I have all the equipment in place, I warm the measuring jug and bucket with boiling water to stop the water loosing heat to the containers by conduction. Then bring the water to a temperature of 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees F) making up 3.75 litres. Which I transfer to the bucket ( do not forget to remove the boiling water first) for mixing, checking to make sure that there has been no heat loss with the thermometer. I use this method because my measuring jug will only make up 2 litres at a time. Once the water is ready open packet marked A and pour in the powder slowly, while you stir, making sure that the powder does not clump together. Keep string until it is all dissolved (Always pour the powder into the water and not the other way round and add the powders in the right order) it will not take very long to add the contents of packet A. Now open the packet marked B and again add to the solution slowly stirring all the time this will take longer to add as it is a far larger amount of powder (make sure you do your mixing in a well ventilated room). Keep stirring after all the powder has been added to make sure it has all dissolved. Now stir in another 1.25 litres of water at room temperature making it up to the full 5 litres. With the help of a funnel I pour the developer into its storage container and allow it to cool.

Adding packet B of the developer

I usually make up my ID11 the day before. It will take an hour to cool ten degrees depending on what material your storage container is made of.

Pouring developer into storage container after the
Final  2Litres of water have been added.
I use this developer at 1+1 in most cases and as a single shot (use once and throw away) but it can be reused as long as you adjust the time to allow for it:

  • Two film add ten percent.
  • Three film add twenty percent.
  • Four film add Thirty percent.
  • Five film add forty percent.
  • Ten film add Ninety percent do not re-use above this amount.

Developer in storage container
coolling down before cap is
ID11 can be used with the following film from the Ilford range and many other makes besides: HP5+,Fp4+, Pan F+, Delta 100 Pro Delta 400 Pro, Delta 3200 Pro, SFX 200. It can also be used at three different dilutions: stock, 1+1 and 1+3. So the times for HP5+ exposed at 400 ISO, developed at twenty degrees C would be 7.30 minutes at stock, 13 minutes at 1+1 and 20 minutes at 1+3.

For more film makes, developer combination and times visit digital truthsmassive Dev chart.

How did the roll of HP5+ turn out? You will have to wait and see.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Paper fixing faults.

This post will be short, a sort of quick guide to paper fixing faults. They are listed in no particular order.
This picture shows the fix is ehausted

         Brownish areas: fix exhausted.
         Print becomes yellow after a while: Was not fixed for long enough and    or  washed for to short a time.
         Burnt out highlights: acid fix not diluted to the right strength. Left in the fix for to long. Not timed properly.
         Brownish spots, Lilac round the edges: Stop bath exhausted, incomplete fixing, forgotten to wash or use stop after the developer.
The blue stain shows that the stop is exhausted.
         Yellowish fog over the entire paper surface: Exhausted fix, developer contaminated fix, little or no agitation while fixing.


It is not unusual to be caught out by some of these faults. Even when you have years of experience.