Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/05/07

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Black and white -- point me in the right direction
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 10:20:32 -0400

on 5/7/01 9:24 AM, henry at wrote:

>> So, what's worth looking at?  Is there anything that matches Delta 100 plus
>> XTOL 1:3?  This was always impractical in the Jobo due to the amount of XTOL
>> required per roll.  How is the DD-X people have been talking about this
>> week?


> I'm re-evaluating films and developers right now. D100 and DDX is a great
> combination, although if you are pleased with Xtol why change? For D400
> I've not been so pleased with DDX but I have more variations to try.
> Additional dilution is one of them. I like the fine grain of D400 but
> have had problems with the highlights blowing out when. In normal range
> scenes it is quite good, but that 's not all I want for a general purpose
> 400 speed film.

I second Henry's concerns about Delta 400. It looks like it has a great big
LUMP in the shoulder which pumps up the high midtones and highlights. Ilford
don't show this in their curves but it is there. If you If you try to print
them down you lose luminosity and shadow separation. It is a bugger,
especially in any kind of sunlight. Like Henry I just can't get it looking
right. In fact I have given up. Whenever I go back to my old standard APX
400 I just sigh with pleasure and relief and the beautiful greys and gentle
highlights. I like it best in Xtol 1:3 but it is very good and a bit less
grain in Xtol 1:2. I can't understand why more people don't use this film!
And it is CHEAP!!!!

I imagine HP5 looks similar. Wheras the latest Tri-X goes all smushy in
Xtol. Not good! 

I just dunked some 4x5 APX 100 in Xtol 1:3 and it is also beautiful.

What you lose in grain on these films when compared with T-grain emulsions,
you gain enormously in tonality. Those grays and blacks!!! And no
whacked-out highlights. The grain is nowhere near enough to bother me, and I
am not a grain nut at all.

Have had a very frustrating time recently with chromogenic films, Delta 400
etc. Even when I was getting everything technically right, I just wasn't
getting anything back from them. What a relief to see the APX still works.

- -- 
Johnny Deadman