The Online Darkroom Store

Wednesday, June 25

Analogue Archives: Kevin MacDonnell

Kevin tackles a few subjects in this column including an Italian developer, Nucleol FB200, which sounds very interesting but has completely escaped my attention in the past. Anyone know anything about it?

The third page also contains an amusing item about a new lens cleaning brush. Take a look at the caption for the product. I'm saying nothing.

35mm Photography Magazine,
February, 1984


Herman Sheephouse said...

£35 for a bag in 1984! Blimey - that was an expensive bag - my 1980 Nikon canvas job cost £10 and lasted 4 solid years of daily use before it developed a hole or three.

Bruce Robbins said...

I paid that for my Fotima around the same time. It took a bit of persuasion from Blair Russell of Edinburgh cameras but it was a good decision as I'm still using it.

Diego Ranieri said...

Hi Bruce, Nucleol BF200 was a developer produced in Italy by Ornano. Ornano produced some very good chemicals for BW and color but with the crisis of analogue photography now it seems closed though their web site is online but no one answers the phone; forums rumors claim that they do few batch of products in the year especially for color minilab. Today only few Ornano products are available but Nucleol seems out of production
On their web site ( you can find a very useful compendium on black and white process and infomations on their products on pdf file (only in italian): about Nucleol BF-200 it say (please forgive my poor translation)" Nucleol BF 200, concentrate film developer, 110+110 ml package.
Complex developer in 2 liquid concentrates.
Diluition from 1+14 to 1+25, use one shoot, ultra-fine grain, high acutance, high energy;
universal developer, suitable for high magnification.
For daylight and artificial light; using the ASA exposure index, with 110+100 ml of concentrate you can process from 10 to 15 135-36 exp films or equivalent surface"

You can download a pdf with suggested process time of Ornano developer at this address:
Nucleol BF 200 is at pag 30-31 (it is in italian but processing times don't need translation :) )

Reading the MSDS some people speculated about the formula of Nucleol BF200 and the following formula was posted on italian forum:

Part A
pyrocatechin (catechol) 50g
phenidone 2g
sodium sulfite anydrous 100g
water to 1 liter

Part B
potassium carbonate 15g
sodium sulfite anydrous 15g
Calgon 5g
Water to 1 liter

Surely Nucleol BF 200 is a catechol-phenidone based developer (they are in the MSDS sheet) but I can not guarantee that the formula above is correct or that it is the real Nucleol BF 200 formula.

I have never used this developer but I purchased a pack some years ago and it is still new and closed and and I would be happy to give it to you if you want to experiment with this developer hoping that it is still good after this time

Diego Ranieri aka chromemax

Bruce Robbins said...

Thanks very much for taking the time to provide that information, Diego. It sounds an interesting developer. Thanks, too, for the offer of a pack of Nucleol. I'd like to take you up on that one if you can let me know how much the postage would be. One can never have too many developers to try. :)

Gaetano Kiodo Chiodini said...

Hi all,
are you still interested in Nucleol BF200? Bellini foto, a tiny italian company, has it in production, even if it's not on their site yet. Nucleol BF 200 can be purchased contacting mr. Abati at bellini foto:
By the way, back in the '80s my killer film combo was ilford FP4 at 1000ISO (one thousand!) developed in Nucleol BF200. lovely results!
Gaetano Kiodo Chiodini