FP4+ Help! Agitation method

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I just developed a roll of FP4+ in xtol using the agitation method on the xtol sheet (1:2 dilution@70F 5 inversions in 5 sec. at 30 sec. intervals). The grain on an 8x10 was quite a bit larger than I expected. The Ilford FP4 sheet recommended 4 inversions over 10 sec. at 1 min. intervals.

Does anyone have any info they could share on the results with their agitation methods.

Thanks in advance. Michael Haas.

-- Michael Haas (incept@the-wire.com), June 11, 1999


My experience relates to HP5+ and D400, but I also noticed, when I tried 1:2 dilution over 1:1 dilution, that the grain was more apparent. Supposedly, this has to do with a smaller amount of sodium sulfite at the higher dilutions. The negative looks sharper but the grain is more pronounced. To "combat" this, I started to use less agitation. I agitate continuously for first 30 seconds, and then only do 2 inversions every minute. It seems to help. If you still don't like the grain, go to 1:1 dilution.

Hope this helps.

-- Jiri Dvorak (jiri_dvorak@idx.com), June 11, 1999.

I haven't used Xtol at all, but it would make sense that you might get more obvious grain at higher dilutions--sodium sulfite is a solvent that essentially eats away at the edges of the grain, giving a "fine-grain" look.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edbuffaloe@earthlink.net), June 11, 1999.

After the first 30 seconds continuous agitation I give two inversion every 30 seconds, but they're _complete_ inversions as the film is completely lifted out of the developer and plunged back in. At any rate, it shouldn't make any difference how agitation is done as long as it's sufficient for the specified time. Or iow, it's easy to underagitate but impossible to overagitate. Not that that has anything to do with your grain question. It doesn't. A more-dilute developer usually gives higher acutance at the expense of more apparent grain.

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (jbh@magicnet.net), June 12, 1999.

Michael: I also just completed the processing of a roll of FP4Plus (120) exposed at 125ISO. I used Xtol at 68 degrees diluted 1:2 for 10 1/2 minutes. Base + fog was .11 which is about where it should be for roll film. The negatives will easily print on grade 2 or 2 1/2. Agitation was constant for the first 30 minute and then for 5 inversions and rolls at each 30 seconds.

I don't have a reference for 70 degrees but your time of 5 1/2 minutes seems to be very short. My reference the Ilford Product Data Guide and Ilford's website.

I don't normally shoot FP4 plus. In fact this is the first roll that I have used in quite some time. I use Delta 100/400/3200 exclusively with Xtol. I have run extensive tests on the Delta films to determine proper time/temp/dilution. I would suggest that you do the same for your processing and shooting style with FP4.


-- Robert Bedwell (rbedw51767@aol.com), June 16, 1999.

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