Promicrol v. Microphen

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Raymond Copley
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am

Promicrol v. Microphen

Post by Raymond Copley » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:20 pm

My experience with the original Promicrol was that it was unsurpassed in all uses for which it was designed --- maximum emulsion speed utilisation, very long development times when necessary, and extremely fine grain relative to the manufacturer's film speed recommendations. With Ilford HP3 and my M3 Leica set at f2 1/10th hand-held I could obtain a printable negative of virtually anything I could see! On an overcast London day, 10 x 8 inch prints from HP3 were almost grainless. The trick was to avoid excessive delopment - keeping the film in the developer just long enough to get a satisfactory print. Judging the correct time came from absolutely consistent agitation (mine has always been constant agitation) and temperature/time control. I found I could get almost as good results from Ilford Microphen which I still use to my complete satisfaction. Once again, development is taken only to the point where a good printable negative is obtained. Frankly, with any developer the essential requirement for good prints is strict and consistent technique based on careful study of results. Intelligent adjustments can then be made to perfect one's methods.


Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Promicrol v. Microphen

Post by Keith Tapscott. » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:14 pm

Raymond Copley wrote:My experience with the original Promicrol was that it was unsurpassed in all uses for which it was designed --- maximum emulsion speed utilisation, very long development times when necessary, and extremely fine grain relative to the manufacturer's film speed recommendations. With Ilford HP3 and my M3 Leica set at f2 1/10th hand-held I could obtain a printable negative of virtually anything I could see! On an overcast London day, 10 x 8 inch prints from HP3 were almost grainless. The trick was to avoid excessive delopment - keeping the film in the developer just long enough to get a satisfactory print. Judging the correct time came from absolutely consistent agitation (mine has always been constant agitation) and temperature/time control. I found I could get almost as good results from Ilford Microphen which I still use to my complete satisfaction. Once again, development is taken only to the point where a good printable negative is obtained. Frankly, with any developer the essential requirement for good prints is strict and consistent technique based on careful study of results. Intelligent adjustments can then be made to perfect one's methods.
Hello Raymond,
With any film and developer combination, do a practical test first to find the optimum `minimum` exposure required for good detail in the dark tones and no more. Under exposure makes the negatives more difficult to enlarge and does not yield the best tonality, over exposure increases grain and lowers sharpness and resolution.
Where as careful exposure is used for obtaining the optimum enlarging negative quality, the development time controls the contrast, more development than neccessary increases grain as well as contrast where as under development leads to dull, flat, abhorrent cigar-ash like tonality.
Care should be taken to find an optimum exposure index for your camera/lightmeter setting and processing method. The majority of your negatives should print well in the region of grades 2-3, although the latter is perfectly suitable for 35mm films as these are usually enlarged more than medium format and sheet film sizes.

There is no point in lamenting the passing of May & Baker Promicrol, look for a more modern developer that suits the films of today.
A properly exposed and developed film will always yield the best possible print quality and will be the easiest to print too.
Cheers,
Keith.

pentaxpete
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Location: BRENTWOOD,Essex,(UK)

Post by pentaxpete » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:32 am

I have mentioned on this Forum before that I have tried the 'Modern Promicrol' which is a liquid concentrate from Champion Photochemistry (the Photo Division of May & Baker Ltd.) whose offices were down the road in my home town of Brentwood, Essex. I say 'WERE' because I have now found the offices are derilect and 're-located' but to WHERE ? I cannot find them on the internet; all the telephone numbers do not work.
Anyone out there who can find them please let me know or can anyone here answer this query: I have some Mydochrome 6 Fixer & Replenisher concentrate: can I use it diltuted for C41 negative process or is the Ph different and would upset the dyes? Thanks. Peter.
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

Keith Tapscott.
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Post by Keith Tapscott. » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:07 pm

pentaxpete wrote:I have mentioned on this Forum before that I have tried the 'Modern Promicrol' which is a liquid concentrate from Champion Photochemistry (the Photo Division of May & Baker Ltd.) whose offices were down the road in my home town of Brentwood, Essex. I say 'WERE' because I have now found the offices are derilect and 're-located' but to WHERE ? I cannot find them on the internet; all the telephone numbers do not work.
Anyone out there who can find them please let me know or can anyone here answer this query: I have some Mydochrome 6 Fixer & Replenisher concentrate: can I use it diltuted for C41 negative process or is the Ph different and would upset the dyes? Thanks. Peter.
The last I heard of Champion, is that they now own the former Kodak chemical plant in France. It is probably here, that the Paterson chemicals are being manufactured. Perhaps Jon could find their link for you.

Digitaltruth
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Post by Digitaltruth » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:55 am

Champion's web site is here:

http://www.championphotochemistry.com

From what I've heard, the European production facility is now in France, although initially it was thought to be moving to Spain.

If you visit the Champion web site and click on the Directory link, you will find current UK contact informaton.
Digitaltruth Photo
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pentaxpete
Posts: 89
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Location: BRENTWOOD,Essex,(UK)

Post by pentaxpete » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:34 am

Jon: found the Champion site at last! That's very helpful ! Peter.
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

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