Best all round paper developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by thisispants, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    Hi, sorry for the absurdly subjective question.

    I've just bought a durst enlarger and all the gear, very excited!

    Can anyone reccomend a good paper developer for Ilford MGRC paper.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JimO

    JimO Subscriber

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    i'm a dektol fan
     
  3. RPC

    RPC Member

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    Dektol is good. If you mix your own chemistry from scratch, I would try Ansco 130.

    RPC
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I'll third Dektol if you are OK mixing powders
    it not
    Ilford MultiGrade or Universal if you MUST have a liquid concentrate.

    These are good to get you started.
     
  5. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    What are the advantages of powder developers?

    I've used D76 many times for developing film.... same principal or is it harder to mix powders for paper?
     
  6. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I read your post as you were just starting.
    If you have mixed D76 you will have no problem.

    Some prefer liquid because you can mix a small amount at a time but it is more costly to ship liquid.
     
  7. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    Sorry, I've been developing my own film and scanning, I'm just about to start proper darkroom printing.

    Fantastic.

    With Dektol, how long does the developer last once made up? Can you use dektol for multiple sessions?
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    If you want good tray life I think the better bet is an ansco 130 formula.

    Photographers Formulary sells a kit.

    Dektol stored in a reasonable manner will have keeping properties similar to D76.
    perhaps better than D76
     
  9. thisispants

    thisispants Member

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    Ok, cool, thanks for the tip.

    So essentially you make up Dektol, use for the session and then discard?
     
  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Well I make a gallon of STOCK solution from the yellow Kodak envelope.
    Then you dilute that Stock solution to a WORKING solution (immediately before printing session) depending on what look you are after.

    There is more info regarding dilution here on apug and can inform you better than I.

    If I run a short session and don't use say that 1-2 litre of WORKING solution I just diluted I will sometimes save it for tomorrow for contact sheets if blacks aren't super critical.
    Once the STOCK solution is diluted to WORKING solution it doesn't keep as well so you will ultimately be the judge on how far you want to stretch it.
     
  11. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Dektol usually is diluted 1:2 with water from the jug of stock solution. RC paper will develop in about 1 minute, fiber-based paper in 2 or 3.

    Peter Gomena
     
  12. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Diluted, usually 1:2, yes. It will last for about 24 hrs in a tray (or until you reach it's print capacity.)

    The stock will last in a well stoppered bottle for at least 2 months.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    thisispants,

    where are you from ?
    some developers have ingredients more easily accessible
    if you live in the states ( like ansco 130--- glycin )
    any general paper developer like ilford or sprint ( for liquids ) or
    dektol ( powder ) will work well .. liquids are great because you only dilute them
    you don't have to deal with mixing dry chemistry to make a stock solution ..

    good luck !
    john
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Powder developers tend to be Metol based and have a shorter tray life than developers using Phenidone or Dimezone instead.

    Powdered Dektol/D72 is an MQ developer so uses Metol while Liquid Dektol (Polymax in some countries) is a PQ developer.

    The big advantage of PQ based print developers is they can be sold as concentrates, have a much longer shelf life, and are more economic.

    Ian
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    LPD
     
  17. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Am I missing something, or is Dektol expensive? Going by Ag's prices, 3.8L of Dektol (mixes up to about 12L at working strength) is GBP11. 5L of Multigrade Dev is GBP20, which mixes out to 50L or 75L. For most people, the dev will be discarded after a session so Multigrade is 2-3x cheaper per session.

    Obviously, I use Multigrade. It doesn't help that that (and PQ Universal) are the only paper devs I've actually seen in a shop here in AU.

    Edit: oops, it looks like it's the other way around if one shops at B&H. *ponders*...
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    +1

    Good stuff.
     
  19. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    we use LPD in all my classes. It has a long tray life, and can be mixed a various ratios (as can Dektol) for various tones.

    It comes in liquid form (very expensive) and powder, easy to mix .
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Not me with LPD.

    Replenishment is soooo cool.
     
  21. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I use Dektol. Mixing it is no different from mixing D-76.

    I then divide and store it in many 250cc bottles. Mixed 1:2 makes nice 750cc one shot solution. Stored that way, it lasts at least 6 months. I usually run out before that time, anyway.

    Once mixed 1:2 and in a tray, Kodak says to keep 24 hours. But, I have put a saran wrap (not over the rim, but the wrap actually touching the fluid at all surface) and kept it that way for 3 days. The print looked identical to the first. I don't do this for keeper prints but if I'm testing something or just making contact sheet or junk prints, it's a good way to do it.
     
  22. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    I like Ansco 130 and LPD myself.
     
  23. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    If Ilford produce the paper, does it not make sense that their Multigrade developer is the one to buy.
     
  24. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I use Dektol or Ilford Universal.

    Jeff
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Kodak Polymax T (sold as Liquid Dektol elsewhere) for me.

    I like the results, and the fact that it is a liquid you dilute 1+9 means that it is convenient and takes very little storage space.
     
  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Another recommendation for LPD if tray life of the working strength dilution is important to you.

    The liquid is expensive (but very convenient and lasts a long time) while the powder is not. Note that the powder mixed to stock is half the strength of the liquid so it isn't fair to compare the prices directly. Powdered LPD is mixed to stock then standard dilution of 1+2 where the liquid is diluted 1+4.