Beutler Formula | Pictorial Planet

Pictorial Planet



From the author of "The Art of Black and White Developing"

Beutler Formula

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I would like to list a famous formula by Willi Beutler from the 1930s. 

This formula by Beutler is very robust and can be used as either a single bath or a two bath (for very contrasty subjects). It shows high acutance, low grain and good contrast control. It works well with modern flat grain emulsions (Ilford Delta and Kodak T-Max) as well as all others. Make two stock solutions as follows:

Solution A
Water                 400ml
Metol                  5g
Sodium Sulfite    25g
Water to make    500ml

Solution B
Water                                   400ml
Sodium Carbonate (Anhd)   25g


*Solution B can also be made using 50g Kodalk made up to 500ml with water but there will be slightly less acutance.
• Make a working solution using 10:10:80
• Example to 400ml water add 50ml A + 50ml B 


Developing times for Beutler:

ISO 25-50 films process for 5-10 minutes
ISO 64-125 films process for 7-10 minutes
ISO 400 films process for 9-12 minutes

• All at 20 degrees centigrade
• Agitation 10 seconds every minute

This is a developer to always have at hand as it does well with so many films. This is a very sharp, high acutance developer with compensating effects. These attributes are mainly due to the Metol being in a low concentration and the alkaline level being high.

Use as a two bath developer:

I've used this developer as a two bath to calm high contrast scenes. With FP4+ give the film 8 minutes in solution A followed by 4 minutes in solution B with no wash between. Solutions A and B can be reused for around 10 films.

For agitation recommendations see two baths in The Art of Black and White Developing.

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