1:1 / 1:2

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Pfiltz, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    When it comes to developers, and using a dilution to increase yield and/or reduce waste, does it effect the print any?

    When I use my Arista, I was doing the suggested mfg. mix. 1 part developer to 9 parts water and was developing for 2 minutes. Since I don't print much, I've decided to go 1:2 and go 4 minutes. I can't really tell a difference, but is there in the grand scheme of things?

    TIA
     
  2. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi,

    Dilute developer will require a longer development, and will exhaust more quickly that a strong dev. You might have trouble achieving a full range of tones if you over-dilute, and strong dev will keep longer and exhaust more slowly than dilute dev. You'll probably achieve the same result because unlike films, prints are best developed to completion. 1:2 and 1:4 are really strong, you'd probably be better (and more economical) to use the manufacturer's recommended dilution as you won't see a difference in the final result anyway unless you're using some esoteric ancient emulsion. However, it's always good to experiment and your mileage may vary. ;-)

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  3. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    Thanks Kev.

    The Arista calls for 1/9oz, and I've been mixing it 1/18oz, and doubling the development times. I haven't seen a problem, but thanks for the exhaustion part. I didn't know that, so I'll have to watch it.
     
  4. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    You mentioned 1:1 and 1:2 above. Not sure why? You aren't using 1:1 or 1:2.
    Yes, when you make it more dilute (same amount of developer in more water), you need more time. However, I'm not sure why you'd decide to do this because you don't print much. Do you mean not often or not many prints when you do it? If you use it more dilute but the same total volume, that means it'll take you longer to use up a bottle, which means it's more likely to go bad before you finish it.
    And I think it's much easier to do the math if you use ml and L rather than oz. An 8x10 tray works well with 1 L of working solution. 100ml developer and 900ml of water gives you that.
     
  5. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    Thanks Winger... Never thought about the bottle of it going bad faster. When I say I don't print much, I'm talking volume. I printed (6) 5x7's today. That will probably be it for a week, at the most. Maybe 3 days or if I see something I want to shoot, or decide to shoot still life in the studio.

    I was more interested in knowing if there are any benefits to longer development times, or the standard more so than anything. But this is some good info too.

    I've just started to print from negatives.
     
  6. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    As mentioned above, more dilute developer will exhaust after fewer prints, and even just from standing because more water equals more oxygen. If you were to print a large number of prints you may have problems getting the prints you made later to look like the earlier prints. Some developers produce warmer tones in higher dilution, but it differs from developer to developer. And papers differ. For instance, Ilford RC has developer activators incorporated into the emulsion, (for machine processing) where, as far as my experience suggests, Foma RC does not. Therefore Foma RC may not take to higher dilutions as readily as Ilford. In the end, your eye should tell you.

    I suggest an A/B comparison. Next time you print, start with a small amount of 1:9, make a print, and then dilute it to 1:18, and make another print with your adjusted developing time. Compare them when dry.
     
  7. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    I use a 1:9 ratio using Arista but keep an electric heating unit under the tray to keep the developer from becoming so cold that development times become too long.

    Related subject for folks who don't print on a regular basis: I recommend a collapsible plastic bottle to store developer base in. Freestyle sells them. These bottles prohibit oxygen from degrading developer during storage.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Here's I reasoned myself with the similar problem concerning economy.

    I buy Dektol but the idea is the same. 6 dollar bag will give me 1 gallon of stock solution. If I follow the manufacturer's specification for dilution, I use 8 oz + 16 oz water. That means 6 dollars = 1 gallon = 15 tray full. (tray = 8x10 size) Stock solution lasts 6 months per spec. 6 months = 26 weeks. That's more than 1 printing session every other week. I don't print that often. Also, I can spare 6 dollars every 6 months.

    What all this means to me is, there is no reason to skimp on developer for economic reasons. If you want to play around with dilution for density control, yes, but it's silly to do that to save few pennies. You'll be far ahead on saving by skipping one Starbucks coffee every other day.

    I am not sure which Arista developer you are using but I bet the scale of economy is about the same.

    I just follow manufacturer's recommendation.
     
  9. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Damn! I thought this was going to be another thread on dilutions! :smile:
     
  10. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    NOOOOOO!!!!! run away! run away!

    I was happy to find that was Not in contention this time. :smile:
     
  11. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    Appreciate the info. I guess I'm just paranoid that I'm pi$$ing away resources, because I'm really new at this. I've only printed (1) 8x10 so far, just due to not being 100% confident in my process yet. I'm making good progress, but there is this doubt in the back of my head, and of course, having a great looking image, that I would want an 11x14 or larger on the wall. I did however; print a couple of 5x7's that I liked enough to frame and mat them.

    I've been ready as many of the threads here and in the enlarging forum to gain more insight as well.

    It's all good.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    All questions are good questions, because they usually teach somebody something.

    Don't worry about wasting resources. As you've discovered from the excellent advice above, if you don't use up the concentrate, it will go bad, so please go ahead and use it in whatever way produces the best print. That's what matters most.

    As you gain more experience you will be able to tell when your print developer starts to go off, and when it does you will discard what's left and mix fresh. Before you ask, there has been numerous discussions here on the forum, regarding dividing the powder components into smaller batches and mixing half of it, or less, at a time. The consensus seems to be that if you have to do it, try it, but if you expect 100% consistency from developer batch to developer batch, it's probably not advisable.

    Good luck, and have lots of fun printing!
     
  13. Pfiltz

    Pfiltz Member

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    Thanks Thomas... It makes sense as to what everyone has mentioned now that I think about it. I'm finding this darkroom adventure, very addicting as well. Looking at prints, and thinking about how they might look differently, with a tweak here, and a tweak there... :wink:

    Regards,
     
  14. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Very good advice from others, with which I fully agree. Skimping on chemistry is rarely economical yet often very frustrating. On the other hand, depending where you live, you should consider reusing some of it, and minimise waste, within reason. What concerns me, is the disposal. In many parts of the world, it is ok to dispose into a public waste system, and one-shot use is easy to justify and enjoy. On the other hand, if you live with a septic tank, or if your local regulations are strict, you may need to minimise waste, or your hazardous waste disposal bills/trips will mount.

    I reuse a long-lasting print developer (Ansco 130), indicator stop-bath (till it starts changing colour), and fixer (till test strips indicate it needs changing), HCA (based on a count of processed sheets), and Se toner (till it slows down a lot). I do not reuse film developer, I use it one-shot. I also use Silver Magnet to recover some silver from the fixer, before disposal.

    Enjoy your darkroom, very much.