Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/11/07

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Stand developing and TFX-2
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 10:03:13 -0500

on 7/11/00 7:53 am, Mike Johnston at wrote:

> Most of these techniques (stand developing, water bath developing, Willi
> Beutler's developer) worked with the old thick-emulsioned films, comma if
> they worked at all. There really are no true thick-emulsion films left,
> although some at a lot thicker than others.

Well, I've done my share of experimenting with the above processes and I
both agree and disagree with Mike here. Certainly they only work with
thick-er emulsion films. But water bath developing and variants of 2-bath
developing which I have posted about here before (including a 2-bath Xtol
process which I *think* I invented!) still work well with an emulsion like
Tri-X. I would imagine they would work okay with APX films too.

Almost all of these processes are aimed at low-contrast, fine-grain results
and were developed to get the max out of 35mm films when they first appeared
(at that time people still worried about grain in 4x5 so you can tell how
far emulsions have come).

It IS indeed important to do controls as you can get low-contrast,
fine-grain results with MOST films just by overexposing and underdeveloping
(like Mike's classic Tri-X at 200 in D76 1:1 and pull one stop setup).

Moreover, Xtol, particularly dilute, is such a wonderful developer that it
has made some of these contortions unnecessary.

However, I still think the 2-bath and water-bath processes have some uses.
Done right they result in lovely long-scale fine grained negs with no or
minimal speed loss. There is a definite 'look' to them, and they are
particularly useful for those 'zone butt ugly' days when you have about 8
stops of contrast between shadows and highlights, and big specular
highlights like sun off a sheet metal roof. They are also good for flash

I will see if I can dig out some of my test rolls of these various processes
and post them somewhere.
- -- 
Johnny Deadman