Alternative D-23 developement procedure

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ronlamarsh, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle Wash
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    After taking a B&W workshop, where the instructor told of a method I had not read of before: where you use a very high concentration of developer for the first 2min or so then switch to a very diluted version of the sme developer to finnish off developement. He claimed that it controlled highlights very well but still produced very well separated shadows and mid-tones. So I tried it.
    I had a subject that measured EV8 to EV16.5 I placed EV8 on zoneIII and gave an extra stop of exposure. I developed the film(foma 200) in straight D-23 for 2min with 45 sec constant agitation at the begining and 15sec/min after. I then transfered it to a water bath and diluted my straight D-23 to 3:1 and continued developement for another 9min(45sec constant agitation at the start and 15sec/min after) it came out beautifully. I did not have to do any dodging at all to print the negative the shadows are well separated and the entire print has excellent contrast throughtout, the highest whites are right at zone 8 with excellent detail.
    thought I'd pass this along since it worked so well for me.
     
  2. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

    Messages:
    913
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmm... this is certainly useful to me. I'm not enthusiastic about dodging and burning my prints so if there is anything I can do to avoid it, then I'm all for it. Did your instructor indicate how concentrated/dilute the developers need to be or is this a trial and error process?
     
  3. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

    Messages:
    462
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle Wash
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Process

    Yes the instructor uses HC-110 "1 part stock to 71/2 partrs water" constant agitation for first 50sec then rest for 50sec total developement time 1 min 40sec " at this point the film is transfered to the highly diluted 45 parts water to one part stock" agitated for 20sec developement time now 2min. Then normal agitation schedule 15 sec/min for total developement time of 10min.
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Interesting. Since shadows in standard development are fully developed in about the first three minutes, (or so I was taught) the diluted developer controls the highlights without further affecting the shadows. I'm going to print this thread out for future use, I think . . .

    Peter Gomena
     
  5. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

    Messages:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes a good method for taking advantage of the compensation effect of D23 for high contrast scenes. For lower contrast scenes the cycle can be repeated until the contrast is where you like. This would have application for roll film as well. A couple tests could iron out the details. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,191
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Alamos,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This seems to be a variation of Barnbaum's compensating development method (Barnbaum, B., "The Art of Photography" ed. 3.1, pp 9-18 to 9-19). He uses HC-110, but the idea is the same. The first solution is somewhat more concentrated than usual (1:10). He develops a Tri-X negative in the first solution with constant agitation for 45 seconds or so and then lets it stand for another 45 seconds. That provides a base development for the shadows. He then transfers the negative to a very dilute solution of HC-110 (1:65) to complete the development (about 10 minutes) with constant agitation for the first 30 seconds and normal agitation thereafter. You can alter the final contrast by changing the time in the first solution. This system is capable of handling extreme contrast ranges (N-3 to N-5 development, more or less) while retaining decent shadow speed. The method can obviously be used with other developers or combinations of developers, and variations can be made for various compensation techniques. But the principle is the same for all: a concentrated developer initially develops the deep shadows; then a dilute developer takes care of the midtones and highlights.
     
  7. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

    Messages:
    452
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    These sugestions all remind me of Barry Thornton's idea that one would use full strength developer for 2/3 or near to of the normal full time, then transfer (no rinse) to a second bath of borax/metaborate/carbonate (your choice) just like a regular 2-bath to allow the shadow development to finish w/o over doing the highlights.

    The idea was to allow the highlights to exhaust before development had concluded in the shadows.

    Murray