Photographers Formulary BW-65 & TF-4 ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm looking for feedback on these two product's from Photographers Formulary. The company states that no hypo clear is needed for the TF-4 fixer - very cool if so. Any thoughts?

I'm also interested in any feedback on the BW-65 liquid paper developer. Any users? The biggest draw back that I can see is that once you mix parts A&B it has a life of just 8 hours.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts...

-- Craig Uecker (, February 03, 2001



I use them both. The fix I use mainly for film (I do most developing with PMK) but find its not very economical with paper. It works great with film. I like the developer and use it for most printing unless I use Ansco 130. Choice of developers is pretty subjective and has a lot to do with which papers you're using. I like it with Agfa and Seagull papers, less so with Ilford. I would buy a small batch and give it a try.

-- Kevin Kemner (, February 03, 2001.

Hi. I've used BW-65 and it's powdery counterpart, whose name I can't remember. The difference between it and standard developers like Dektol is, to my eye, extremely subtle. I would venture to say that no one but you will ever know, although in a bright, bright light I thought the blacks might have been a tad darker, and the tone a smidgen cooler. But I wasn't positive. My comparision was between it and Dektol and Bromophen, on Ilford and Agfa papers. Any number of things could have thrown off my casual experiment (water, etc.).

-- Bryant Urstadt (, February 03, 2001.

I use and love alkaline fixers. TF-4 really does not need hypo clear and the wash times can be as short as two minutes for film. I have tested film processed this way for residule hypo and none was indicated. I don't use TF-4, but TF-3 and TF-2, which I mix myself. TF-3 is the same as TF-4, as far as I can tell. TF-2 is a sodium thiosulfate fixer. It has no order, and I use it for prints. Why buy TF-4? Mix one of these up instead (its cheaper, too):

TF-3, 1 liter, dilute 1:4

Ammonium thiosulfate 57-60% 800ml

Sodium sulfite anhydrous 60g

Sodium metaborate 5g

TF-2, 1 liter

Sodium thiosulfate 250g

Sodium sulfite 15g

Sodium metaborate 10g

-- William Marderness (, February 04, 2001.

I'm reviving this thread because I'd like to get more feedback on BW-65. I just tried this the last couple nights and it does some things I like, especially on warmtone papers. Someone above mentioned its much like Dektol. The Formulary advertises BW-65 as being as close to amidol as you can get. Does this mean Dektol is also very much like amidol? (only half sarcastic there, I've never used Amidol and Dektol is probably cheaper and easier to get than BW-65). I dont have any dektol handy for comparison, but I could mix up some D-72.

I've read other things-that BW-65 is very much like Ansco 130, and even that its simply a phenidone version of that formula. I also like A130, Adams version, a lot. I havent tried the regular version which I suspect will yield cooler tones much like BW-65. Has anyone actually tried formulating a BW-65 look alike by subbing phenidone for Metol in A130?

any and all experiences with or thoughts on this developer are sought

-- Wayne (, May 01, 2001.

I have used the BW-65 developer for over a year and really like it. I've always hated powder chemistry. The two liquid-stock solutions are a quick way to prepare a working bath. The system has great self life. The short working solution can be over come by preparing smaller volumes and mixing another fresh batch during the printing session. This doesn't take long and doesn't interrupt the process. I originally tried it at 1:1:8 (4 min. @ 70 degrees) but finally settled on 1:1:3.

I use Agfa MCC so I can't comment on other papers but I like the neutral results. MCC does not have a strong response to different developer so the any effects should be greater with other papers.

-- Robert McBride (, December 23, 2001.

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