There are a couple of highly specialised and mysterious developers out there, both made by the same company. While most people are drawn towards Diafine (which I plan on reviewing next year), Acufine is the cousin of that magic bullet developer. Like Diafine, Acufine’s chemistry is a trade secret; even the datasheets are redacted in that sense. But Acufine is a rare bird; it has the capability to increase the speed of most film stocks. But without all the drawbacks of push processing, increased grain, over the top contrast. While I have worked with Acufine before the stuff was way out of date, and IRead More →

You’re probably thinking if I reviewed Kodak HC-110, why am I reviewing Ilford Ilfotec HC? Aren’t they the same thing? Well, the answer is yes and no. While Ilfotec HC is the Ilford version of Kodak HC-110, there are some subtle differences between the two. Here in Canada, the Ilford liquid chemistry is a pricey purchase and can be hard to come by. However, I chanced across a short-dated bottle of Ilfotec HC on a trip to Burlington Camera and decided to take a chance. Now, if you know me and my processing habits, you’ll know that I make a bottle of HC-110 last, soRead More →

When it comes to fine-grain developing, the developer that most people reach for today is Kodak Xtol. But Xtol is one of the newest developers to come out of Kodak, before Xtol if you wanted to tame that grain, you reached for Microdol-X. While I’m unsure as to when Microdol-X was first released by Kodak, I’ve found images online of the powder coming in cans rather than pouches. The logo style is that of 1935, so I’m guessing it was released at some point in the mid-1930s at the earliest. I stumbled across Microdol-X while visiting Pittsburg back in 2015, while my main goal wasRead More →

Over the previous year, I worked hard to expand my knowledge of black & white film developers and find myself down a deep rabbit hole. Some good, some meh. Some I didn’t care for or I found them to be too specialised for average use. And while I have several up for review later this year and you can check those out later, here are seven that have stood out in my head as worthy of using again and of getting you out of the rut of using the more vanilla developers like D-76/ID-11, HC-110/Ilfotec HC, and Rodinal. 1 – Adox FX-39 II Based onRead More →

If you’re of a certain age, your entire childhood was captured by a class of cameras that first showed up on the market in the late 1970s, the compact point-and-shoot. While the idea of automatic compact 35mm camera is nothing new, and the idea of the family snapshot as old as Eastman Kodak. But in the 1970s something new showed up on the market, autofocus. No longer did the photographer have to fiddle to get things in focus, autoexposure allowed for no thought to metering. The point, then press the shutter. Harkening back to the original Kodak, you press the button, we do the rest.Read More →

Back in the Summer of 2013 when APUG was the place to get your online fix of the analogue photography community, I noticed a post in the Toronto local board that there weren’t enough meetups for the film photography community. Which was at the time partly true, sure there had been a couple of FPP/APUG meetups in the area in the past, I had even helped coordinate one in 2011. But there had not been anything since. So I took it upon myself to plan these events, at least four, in a year. The first one dropped in July 2013, had a decent turnout andRead More →

If I had to choose between Microphen and Perceptol, Perceptol would win every time. And it all has to do with how the developer works. If you know me, I’m a fan of the old school, not only do I shoot and develop my own film, I like older film stocks, older developers, and that classic look. And while it’s easy for me to whip up a batch of D-23, there’s just something that Perceptol does that makes it the perfect mix between new and old. If Microphen is your fast-moving friend, Perceptol is one that takes a little more time. While I wouldn’t useRead More →

Earlier this year I completed the second major historical photographic project on the Confederation of Canada and the events and places that lead up to the joining of four British Provinces in British North America into the Dominion of Canada in 1867. Over the course of that project, I came across many events and locations that inspired me to try and tell the deeper story. Of course, I couldn’t tell every story so instead, I selected two that I felt I couldn’t tell the whole story due to the timeline for the project ending in 1867. One of these is the railroad through Ontario theRead More →

When I first started with film development, my world consisted of Kodak products, D-76 and HC-110. The only other developer I used outside of Kodak was Rodinal and Ilfosol 3 (at least at first). Then in 2015, I started reviewing cameras and decided at the same time to explore Ilford more both in film stocks and developers. I stumbled upon two developers that soon became favourites, one of them is Perceptol (which I will review next month) the second is Microphen. While not a developer I use often, it offers fine grain, neutral contrast, and works for both push and pull processing. Technical Details Manufacturer:Read More →

If there is one developer that is the closest thing to a magic bullet in my chemistry set, that developer is Pyrocat-HD. While Rodinal is the oldest commercial developer, Pyro based developers pre-date Rodinal into the early days of photography, being used back in the days when plate-based photographic media were the norm. And while the developers changed overtime, Pyrocat-HD is among the newest in the category being developed by Sandy King as an improvement over PMK Pyro. Sandy promotes the developer as giving 1/3rd of a stop in film speed with about 10-15% less developing time. Along with consistent staining action and lower toxicity.Read More →