The Online Darkroom Store

Tuesday, June 17

Acurol-N sells out as a new project gets underway

A new project for me - a 17th C stable block and groom's quarters. Read on for more.
Contax 137 MA, 28mm f2.8 Distagon, Silvermax developed in Spur's HRX.

I shipped my last bottle of Acurol-N yesterday so there's just the excellent HRX left in The Online Darkroom Store if you fancy giving Spur film developers a try. I find it hard making up my mind which of the two I prefer. I suppose you may have to run this through your BS filter since I'm now a retailer but they are both superb!

I liked Acurol-N as soon as I started using it. HRX was more of a slow burn thing but, on balance, I think it has the edge. They're different developers, of course, with Acurol-N producing edge effects for increased apparent sharpness and HRX producing very fine grain along with wonderful tonality.

Adox CHS 100 II is just beautiful developed in HRX. I'm working on a new project at the moment which I'll write about later in the week (early pic above). So far I've shot a couple of rolls of 35mm Silvermax but I want to use the Rollei SL66E as the subject has some great textures and medium format would capture that a little better but I can't find CHS 100 II in 120 size anywhere.

I've emailed Mirko Boeddecker of Adox to see if he can suggest a supplier. The project I have on the go is a 17th century stable block where there are dark interiors and daylight shining in through broken windows. I really can't think of a better film combination than CHS 100 II and HRX for this which is why I'm happy to wait until I can get some roll film.

I'll be getting more Acurol-N for sale in due course and will let you know when it's here but in the meantime you might want to consider HRX as an alternative. I think I said in an earlier post that I'm going to concentrate on Tri X in Acurol-N for my "dull day" photography and CHS 100 II and HRX for everything else and the more I use these combinations, the happier I am with my choices.

Whilst I'm on the subject of Spur products, I have to say that the print developers - Cool Black and Acurol-P - and warm tone additive Acurol-W have not exactly set the heather on fire. Perhaps photographers are happy to try new film developers to see what effect they have on their negatives but think all print developers are pretty much the same. Or maybe it's just a reflection on the size of the darkroom market. It certainly looks to me as if the vast majority of film photographers are only scanning their negatives. (Click here if you'd like a quick run-down on the qualities of the Spur products I sell.)

In terms of keeping the film market going, it's obviously great that people are still using 35mm, medium format and large format. However, unless you're also printing in the darkroom, you really aren't getting the most from the medium.

Old hands know this but if only younger photographers who grew up during the digital age could realise how much they're missing by not working in the darkroom then perhaps we'd see a real renaissance in the film market.


Doug H said...

I used the Acurol-N on a roll of Tri-X 120 that I shot in a rather dark Carpenter Gothic Church. Printed on Ilford Warmtone. The prints jump out at you as if you can walk into the isle leading to the chancel. The detail is outstanding.
We're having a photo group meeting this Sunday at a North Florida coffee shop, and I'm looking forward to getting feedback on these prints.

Bruce Robbins said...

Thanks for the feedback, Doug. It would be good if you could let me know what your friends think of your prints. And please feel free to send me a scan if the mood takes you. If enough Acurol-N users send me a scan or two I might start an Acurol Gallery page. :)

Marcel Schepers said...

Looking forward to Mirko's response to your question. As far as I know CHS 100 II isn't yet available in 120. Perhaps he discloses a specific release date.

Bruce Robbins said...

I wonder what it says about the medium format market when Adox released the film in 5x4 before 120.

Marcel Schepers said...

Perhaps it doesn't say anything. A technical issue or an issue with one of the suppliers, who knows?

Stefan Eisele said...

Well, I guess the've only commented on CHS 100 II in German. So I will try to give a short summary, what they've written in German on their web-page:

They are planning to create the film also for roll-film. They are half way there, but they need some work / some changes in production, as some pre fabricated products are no longer available on the market and they need to create them them-self. The progress of these modifications to their production are dependent on the general flow of business.
They point out that selling roll-film at standard market prices provide very little if any margin and therefore they have to focus on areas where they can earn money to subsidise these types of projects. So they don't have a date yet.

Actually it's funny, as, without seen your post, I've sent them a message today asking if they could do a Kickstarter or similar to collect the money they need to make CHS 100 II for medium format possible. I'm curious if they will answer.

Bruce Robbins said...

Many thanks for that, Stefan. Shame about the roll film. I think I'd contribute to a Kickstarter project along the lines you suggested. It's tempting to shoot this project using CHS in 5x4 but I'd need to get a wide angle for my speed graphic first.