A print developer for deep, rich tones.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tim Budd, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Tim Budd

    Tim Budd Member

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    Hello all

    I am currently using Polymax Fine Art and used some in a session the other evening with some Ilford PQ universal. I found it to give a very neutral image tone and was looking for a more 'deep' richer tone to my prints.

    I was wondering if PQ was as a good as it will get with Polymax FA or if there is such a developer to bring out richer tones.

    Maybe the paper is just a bit too cold for me.

    Apologies if this thread appears a bit pointless.

    Many thanks all.
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Ethol LPD, you change the tone by changing the dilution.
    1+10 or so may gve the results you want.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Not pointless at all. When you find the answer we would all love to hear it! In the meantime have you tried Selinium toning?
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Try Ansco 130. You can find the recipe in Anchell's "Darkroom Cookbook", or buy it pre-mixed from Photographers Formulary.

    Dektol is also a favorite of many photographers.

    I'll give a nod to LPD and selenium toning as well.
     
  5. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I find that most devs are good. When I fail to get a richness it is usually to do with my exposure/development of the neg or exposure/dev of the print. The more I print, the more I am reminded of this. I have used polymax fine art in neutol, ilford MG and others. All great. Selenium toning makes the world of difference, but it all starts with the neg. I have also found that some negs are not fussy in how they are printed. With others even a 2-3% change in print exposure or less than half a grade can change glowing into 'thud'. I am still a long way from consistent prob because I shoot many formats and films and use too many papers. I am in the process of changing that now..... I reckon if you use PQ or Neutol or Kodak then great prints could be had with any of them. I printed a series of identical images with two different devs (Neutol WA and bromophen) on agfa MCC and apart from a touch more contrast from the agfa dev, once this was adjusted for I could see no ddifference whatsoever. I had not intended changing devs, but teh 19" images with solid black backgrounds killed the dev like I have never seen! I ran out of bromophen half way thru and so changed. A short adjustment later and all was running again. More and more I am using Ilford MG as it seems as good as anything else really, with eukobrom when I want blue black.
     
  6. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    Your question about richness / too cold is a bit confusing to me in that I don't generally think of richness and cold as being directly related. When thinking of richness the first thing that comes to mind is how deep and black the blacks are... To this end there are some developers that tend to provide a "richer / deeper" blacks (all other things being equal)... Amidol is said to be like this... I use a developer that is said to have "Amidol - like" qualities ("a full scale of rich blacks" the manufacturer says)... Photographer's Formulary BW-65 paper developer...
     
  7. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I get good blacks with Ilford MGIV fiber and Dektol 1+2. I've found that developing closer to 3 minutes than 2 helps get better blacks and as mentioned Selenium toning helps a lot. Also with certain negatives a little burning in also helps a lot.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    PQ universal contains Benzatriazole anti-foggant so no chance of warm tones, try Ilford Multigrade developer instead. Or try Agfa Neutol WA from Silverprint.
     
  9. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Recipe for deep rich tones:

    .J&C Museum weight fiber base normal grade paper
    .Ansco 135 warm tone developer
    .Toned in Selenium

    Scrumptious
     
  10. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Any ideas where I can get J&C Museum paper and Ansco135 developer in the U.K?
    I already have the selenium toner!
    Alan Clark
     
  11. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    J+C MUseum Paper

    Alan -that paper is most likely FortePolywarmtone Plus. A great paper.
    Regards, Peter
     
  12. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    PWT is a paper where I struggle not to get depth and glow. It seems to take no effort at all compared to some papers. I recently started a portfolio of images of my kids. Negs were HP5 plus, dev'd in aculux 2 and printed on PWT. It was ridiculously easy. I probably used about 10 sheets for 6 different images, each one just seemed to print itself.
     
  13. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Ansco 135

    Hi Alan. The Ansco 135 is the simplest of MQ formulae. I've just posted mine at the "Chemistry Recipes" page right here at APUG. I usually consider it a one timer. Use and pitch. Especially in the quantities I make. A dozen 11X14's would exhaust it. It's incredibly cost effective. Also, I'm sure the good folk at J&C would tell you exactly which paper to get to duplicate theirs if they don't ship to the UK.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    J&C Museum is not Classic (Forte) Polywarmtone but is a similar Graded paper on a 360gm base as opposed to the 240gm Polywarmtone. Try www.fotoimpex.co.uk or www.fotoimpex.de

    For Agfa 135 (aka Ansco 135) it's very similar indeed to Agfa's old powder Neutol WA, the liquid form is available here in the UK.
     
  15. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Many thanks for your very quick replies.

    Alan Clark
     
  16. tomicjusz

    tomicjusz Member

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    Handmade amidol developer. I'll try to send you a recipe.
     
  17. roy

    roy Member

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    I think that Bromophen is the powdered form of PQ Universal.
     
  18. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    Tim, You are already quite close to your goal, in that Polymax Fine Art can give an extraordinary rich blacks. Your only job is to find which of the following 3 developers works best for you in combination with KRST Selenium toning at 1:9 for 3 min at 68 F. In order of increasing blacks they are:
    Dektol 1:2 3 min
    Edwal UltraBlack 1:9 3 min.
    Amidol (Weston's) 2 min.

    To minimize the hassle factor and to eliminate shipping of liquids over international borders, I would favor Dektol.
    I see no need on your part for a lifetime crusade for a holy grail. Polymax in Dektol will give you the most crisp, neutral results. Get that combo right, then experiment with other shades at your leisure.
     
  19. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I don't use many different paper developers, but I do prefer Dektol over Bromophen. The way I see it, Bromophen is a PQ developer as opposed to Dektol which is an MQ formulation. Bromophen also contains benzotriazole, an anti-fogging agent that costs me about 1/2 stop of paper speed and giving no chance of getting slightly warmer tones at higher dilutions, which is something you can do with some papers in Dektol. One fellow I know likes Bromophen because he's concerned about the possibility of dermatitis caused by contact with the metol in Dektol. I've been sticking my hands in Dektol for years and years without any problems aside from some dry skin, and that's only after I've spent a day in the darkroom with wet hands. The same thing happens when I wash the dishes by hand. Tongs? Rubber gloves? Bah!

    Kodak's Polymax and the latest version of Polycontrast papers do exceptionally well in Dektol. If you aren't getting good blacks with these papers in Dektol, I'd start looking elsewhere for the problem. Maybe your exposures are a bit on the short side, maybe you need add a bit of contrast with a higher filter number, or maybe you need a combination of the two. Selenium toning doesn't give much, if any, color change with the Kodak papers but will increase your Dmax a bit. The effect is subtle and it won't save an otherwise "ho-hum" print. But take two identical prints, treat one in selenium, then place them side by side and the toned print will have just that little exra bit of depth to it that makes all the difference.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Dektol and Neutol WA are very similar developers and you'd be pushed to tell the differance, the original formulas essentially ony varied with slightly more KBr in the Agfa product, and a slight decrease in Sodiium Carbonate.

    Neutol WA has a far better shelf and dish life (the liquid version does not contain Metol) and is readily available in the UK whereas it's highly unusual to see Dektol although a few dedicated darkroom specialist suppliers stock it.
     
  21. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I love Ethol LPD! I'd also love to try Ansco 130 but haven't been able to as of yet.
     
  22. Tim Budd

    Tim Budd Member

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    Hi guys

    Thanks for all of the responses so far.

    I would just like to make a few points clear. First of all, it is not a problem as such. It is just that, like others have said, a switch in developer could be what's needed. I was just not 'digging' it with PQ. Just my taste I suppose. ;-)

    Secondly, on what was pointed out earlier on this thread that Polymax FA has hardly any reaction to selenium toning. When I started toning at the end of the session I had to check my bottle to see if I poured the right one in my selenium tray! The change is ever so slight – it is a bit easier to see if you compare with an untoned print.

    Just as an aside – it was mentioned that Neutol WA is very similar to Dektol. Would not Neutol WA make my prints a lot warmer?

    Tim