FX developers and Arista/Fomapan films

Geoffrey Crawley, was a leading innovator in b/w chemistry for film, and the editor of the British Journal of Photography for much of his career. His FX developers are considered some of the finest ever formulated and have been the basis for many successful commercial formulas, though many were simply experimental. The FX formulas are often misprinted, and misunderstood. Forum moderator, Bill Troop, is the world's leading authority on Crawley's formulas. If you have questions or comments specific to FX developers, post them here.

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FX developers and Arista/Fomapan films

Post by perfesserkev »

A few years ago when there was a lot of flux in the film industry — well, there still is — I went on an experimentation bender to find good box-speed developers for the Fomapan 100 and 400 films (aka Arista from Freestyle). These films are described by many as 2/3- to 1-stop slower than box speed in common developers. Like some of you, thinking about film speed with a certain developer isn't what I want to do in the field. ISO variation is a factor I'd like to eliminate when out there. One discovery I posted here a few years back was Harald Leban's Beutler Pyro, which gives box speed and great gradation on the Fomapan 100 film, among others.

But I also experimented with FX-11 and FX-15 based on Steve's descriptions in the good books. FX-15 is a marvelous mildly solvent developer for general purpose, and has very good compensation characteristics. Mix some and try it with Fomapan 100. It brings those shadows to box speed with about a 2/3-stop speed increase, shows pleasant grain, and prints beautifully at grade 2 1/2 (Ilford Multigrade with no filter).

For Fomapan 400 I highly recommend FX-11. Its 1-stop speed increase is just what this doctor ordered for that very classic-looking, gritty, high-speed film. I didn't experiment with pushing with it, as I'd rather use the tabular films or HP5 for that. But in FX-11 the Fomapan 400 shows a pleasant and classic grain structure and tonality, decent shadow detail, and a sharp contrast. Considering the affordable price of the Arista-branded stuff and the economy of the developer, it makes a nice combination for experimenting.
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Re: FX developers and Arista/Fomapan films

Post by sanchell »

Thank you for sharing this valuable information, perfesser.
Do it in the Dark,

Steve Anchell
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