Ansco 130 / PF 130

June 29, 2008

I’ve been meaning to try out the Ansco 130 paper developer formula for a while now. Photographer’s Formulary sells it as PF130 in a kit form. Works out about the same as buying the ingredients myself so I bought the 4 liter kit. Alex Hawley has been using it for a while and had only good things to day about the PF130 formulation.

Mixed it up the other night and tried it out today. Used Ilford MGIV paper, in this case their double weight RC postcard paper. Supposed to be the same as “regular” MGIV but this stuff is extra heavy for RC paper and pre-cut to 4″ x 6″ with the backside printed for use as a postcard. APUG does a regular postcard exchange and round 14 is coming up. Thought this would be a good time to play with the new paper developer.

PF130 mixed up easily, no problems getting the components into solution. Just use hot (>120F) distilled water and lots of elbow grease to run the stirring paddle. I’ll store the stock solution in a 1gal brown glass jug and it should last quite a long time. As stock gets used up I have smaller glass bottles or I can use the marble trick to limit the air space.

For this test I’m using it mixed down 1+1 for the tray. At first blush, this seems to be a bit higher contrast than I’m used to with Dektol / D72. However I’ve fallen into the habit of using D72 diluted down to 1+3 which does lower its contrast. I can do the same with the PF130. Maybe next session I’ll drop it down to 1+2 for a few prints. In the mean time since MGIV is a multigrade paper, it is just as easy to drop the filter grade a touch.

Also did a print from the same negative on some Arista.EDU Ultra paper (Foma) and it was definitely much too high contrast for what I’ve become used to. And again with some Kentmere Fineprint I had to drop from a grade 2 to a grade 1 and it may still be a bit too “soot and chalk”.

All in all, it seems like a good paper developer and it does punch the contrast a bit. If its useful life is as long as I’ve read then I can definitely get used to PF130’s slightly higher contrast and learn to control it.

Hobo Duckies

Pinhole Graphlex w/ 6×7 back and Foma 100 @ 50 souped in Pyrocat-HD

(Time to figure out how to clean the inside surface of the scanner glass!)


One comment

  1. Hey Rob – I’ve come to use 1:2 for my standard dilution for PF 130. Tried it at 1:4 recently for a high contrast neg and that dilution also worked well.

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