FX-2 High Acutance Film Developer

FX-2 produces negatives with a high degree of sharpness and normal grain with the capability of interesting internal effects. Due to the greater definition obtainable with FX-2, grain is less apparent than D-76. Compared with FX-1, FX-2 produces negatives with finer grain but less acutance but both have distinctly different pleasing effects. FX-2 used as a stand developer for one hour, produces the most interesting internal contrast effects of the FX developers. FX 2K, a variation, provides more flexibility with enhanced midtones.

FOR YOUR CHEMICAL SAFETY
All chemicals are dangerous and must be treated with respect. Some individuals become sensitized (develop allergic symptoms or rashes) when using Metol.

MIXING THE STOCK SOLUTIONS
To mix the stock solution you will need 2000 ml of distilled water or water that has been boiled for at least 3 minutes then cooled to 90°F/32°C. The boiling degasses the water and minimizes the initial oxidation of the metol and glycin.

STOCK SOLUTION A
Chemical Amount Units
Distilled Water (90°F/32°C) 750 ml
Metol 2.5 g
Sodium Sulfite (anhy) 35 g
Glycin 7.5 g
Water to make 1000 ml

Place the water in a brown storage container, or in a mixing container. Add a pinch of sodium sulfite, if too much is used the metol will not dissolve. Add the metol and stir gently until metol has dissolved. After the metol has dissolved, add each chemical in the order given, being sure each is dissolved before adding the next. Glycin sometimes goes into solution rather slowly, so be sure it is mixed thoroughly before adding water. Finally add water to bring the total volume in the container up to 1000 ml and stir to ensure it is mixed thoroughly.

STOCK SOLUTION B
Chemical Amount Units
Distilled Water (90°F/32°C) 750 ml
Potassium Carbonate (crystalline)* 75 g
Distilled Water 1000 ml
*The crystalline grade of Potassium Carbonate contains some bicarbonate buffer required by FX-2.

Place the water in a the container and add the potassium carbonate, cap the container and the shake it to dissolve the solid. After the solid has gone into solution add sufficient water to bring the final volume up to 1000 ml. Cap and invert the container several times to ensure it is mixed thoroughly.

LIFE OF THE SOLUTIONS
The shelf life of both stock solutions is 1 year in full and tightly capped bottles, but considerably less in partially filled bottles. When the color of Stock Solution A changes from its initial golden tint to that of a deep yellow, it must be discarded.

USING THE DEVELOPER
Developer FX-2 will give an exposure index (E.I.) of ½ to 1 stop greater than the manufacturers recommended ASA. You should conduct careful tests to determine your exact E.I. FX-2 can be used with agitation or as a stand developer, instructions for both follow.

DEVELOPMENT WITH AGITATION
Prepare fresh working solution for each roll of film developed. We recommend you test your film for development times which will be between 11 and 18 minutes depending on the film you are using. Recommended time for Plus-X is 18 minutes. Develop in your normal development procedure; develop, stop, fix, wash, clear and wash.

WORKING SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPMENT WITH AGITATION
Chemical Amount Units
Distilled Water (68°F/20°C) 750 ml
Stock Solution A 100 ml
Stock Solution B 100 ml
Pinacryptol Yellow (1:2000) 3.5 ml
Distilled water to make 1000 ml

WORKING SOLUTION FOR STAND DEVELOPMENT
Chemical Amount Units
Distilled Water (68°F/20°C) 750 ml
Stock Solutin A 50 ml
Stock Solution B 50 ml
Pinacryptol Yellow 1.75 ml
Distilled water to make 1000 ml

The film should be presoaked in water (68°F/20°C) for one minute to prevent air bubbles from forming on the surface. Development time will be about one hour. If a scum forms on the film, it can be removed with an acetic acid stop bath. Successful use of high acutance developers requires the thinnest practical negative consistent with printing on normal contrast paper. Over-exposure will result in coarse grain and lower acutance.

VARIATION
Replace the potassium carbonate with 225 g Kodalk (sodium metaborate). This variation, FX 2K, provides more flexibility with enhanced midtones.

REFERENCE
FX-2 High Acutance Film Developer, Kit No. 01-0085, Photographers' Formulary (800-922-5255),
150 Popular B&W Formulas, Patrick D. Dignan,
FX 2, The Film Developing Cookbook, Stephen G. Anchell and Bill Troop, p. 59, 60 & 127.
FX 2, The Darkroom Cookbook, Second Edition, Stephen G. Anchell, p.161.


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Revised: May 19, 2002