The best formula for Ilford Multigrade warmtone FB : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I'm looking for the best warmtome/brown-tone developer formula for Ilford Multigrade warmtone FB. There are a lot of formulas around, esp. that formula in the Darkroom Cookbook called "Defender 55-D Portrait Developer" sounds very interresting to me, as my work is maily portraiture. Can anybody recommend a formula that may suit such paper the best? And, have anyody tried this "portrait" formula?

Regards Xosni

Email preferred

-- Xosni (, August 24, 2001


You will get better results with almost all photographic materials after you stop looking for "the best" of anything. There is no "best' formula or combination, there is only what you find works for you. That may well be different than what I find works for me and what I prefer. You might try some of the glycin based developers with the Ilford paper. Then you might try the Bergger papers with a glycin based developer. In my darkroom the Bergger papers come out looking better for warm tones and with much less effort than the Ilford products.

-- Dan Smith (, August 24, 2001.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by using Ethol LPD @ 1:5 dilution. It's cheap, readily available, has great shelf and tray life, and it produces beautiful tones. It brings out the best in warmtone papers.

I do agree that the glycin based developers are nice--better than most--but since I discovered how nice LPD is, I have never gone back to BW-65 (Photographer's Formulary) or the various blends of #130.

Another suggestion you might be interested in is Forte Warmtone Plus FB paper. IMHO, it has far more beautiful tonality than Ilford's WT, and it tones superbly in selenium, taking on a deep, rich, lusterous chocolate-brown tone. Side by side, Ilford's WT looks dull, while Forte WT Plus sparkles--much better highlight separation. Forte Plus is also heavier by about 50%, and the surface is smoother. Just be sure you get the Forte PLUS paper, not Forte ART.

-- Ted Kaufman (, August 24, 2001.

Add my vote to the Forte Polywarmtone Plus and LPD camp. An excellent combination. I agree with all comments made about this combination.

-- Robert Orofino (, August 24, 2001.

An Ethol LPD question for anyone returning to this thread: I see that the developer is available as both a liquid (about 30 bucks for a gallon) and a powder (about 8 bucks to mix a gallon). Do the powder mixed into the stock solution and the liquid dilute down the same or is the liquid more concentrated? What are your particular preferences (powder of liquid) and your favorite dilutions?

-- Paul Swenson (, August 25, 2001.

Ughh. missed that typo - should have read "powder or liquid".

-- Paul Swenson Photography (, August 25, 2001.

I use the powdered form. I don't have the liquid version at hand to read the label, but my guess is it is the same concentration as the powered form when mixed as directed. I should add that I mix the powder in distilled water.

-- Ted Kaufman (, August 27, 2001.

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