Correct formula for Vestal's divided D76?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ooze, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Hi,

    Maybe some of you who mix their own developers can shed some light on this before I ruin any film in my first attempt. It appears that two different formulas float around both on the web and the printed page.

    One version has 2g Metol in bath A and 2g Borax in bath B; another version states 3g Metol in bath A and 5g Borax in bath B.

    What I also find interesting is that Anchell & Troop give the first version in their "Film Developing Cookbook" and then the second version in "The Darkroom Cookbook" :blink:

    So, which one is correct?

    Thanks
     
  2. ooze

    ooze Member

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    My mistake with bath A. The 2g Metol version also contains 5g Hydroquinone, so that's clear for me now.

    Still, the amount of Borax in bath B is still a question mark.
     
  3. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    The Film Developing Cookbook altered Vestal's formula by omitting the hydroquinone, increasing metol to 3g and borax to 5. Anchell & Troop published the formula for 1L vs 4. I notice most of the Cookbook's charted formulas state ""cold water to make 1L". In some cases their formula spreadsheets do not identify water volume. Differences most likely are authors variations and the quantity of chemicals to make 1L or 4.

    The original source!

    Split D-76, From Vestal's book, "The Art Of Photography".

    Solution A. (Metric)
    Water 3L
    Metol 8g
    Sulfite 200g
    Hydro quinine 20g
    Water to make 4L

    Solution B
    Water 3L
    Sulfite 200g
    Borax 8g
    Water to make 4L

    The story behind the formula is Vestal could not recall Paul Faber's published split D-76 formula which uses 2x as much sulfite in solution A, and none in solution B. Not remembering the proportions David Vestal divided the sulfite equally between the two solutions. The advantage is the sulfite helps preserve the developer and is a silver solvent. Time and temperature are not critical with this developer. He claims no loss of film speed and beautiful fine grain, long scale, negatives which cannot be easily overdeveloped.

    Fill one film tank with solution A and a second with solution B. In total darkness, place the film reel in solution A. Agitate 10s each minute for about 3 minutes. In total darkness open tank A and move the reel to tank B. Close tank lid, turn on lights, and develop in tank B for about 10 minutes.

    Vestal suggested to use the developer as a one shot and to never get solution B into solution A. You can use one film developing tank, pouring the solution in and out with no bad effects.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2013
  4. ooze

    ooze Member

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    Thanks a lot Richard. Turns out what I mixed yesterday was correct after all (i.e. the original Vestal formula).

    You mention 10 minutes in bath B. How critical is this? Other sources give a range between 3-5 minutes. E.g. Anchell&Troop state that Vestal used 5 minutes in each bath.
     
  5. LikeAPolaroid

    LikeAPolaroid Member

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    Hi. Pulling up this thread to ask about longevity. How many rolls can you do with the two solutions before ditching them? I know sol A is never altered not deteriorates, but what about sol B? Anchell and Troops mention 10 rolls generically for all divided developers, but I have read on various sources that Vestal's sol B should be one shot, and this would be seriously anti-economical.
    I used to develop with Barry Thornton's Two Bath and I managed to get 12 rolls easily out of sol B.
     
  6. LikeAPolaroid

    LikeAPolaroid Member

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    OK - I tested this myself :smile:
    Sol B can indeed be reused. I am on my 5th film now and everything works perfectly. Today I developed four films (2 Fomapan 100, 1 Fomapan 200 and 1 APX 100) in the same 1 liter tank with the Sol B I used for the first roll, and they all came out very nicely.
    Great developer all round.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Since bath A is alkaline some development will take place in it. Therefore time and temperature are important.
     
  8. LikeAPolaroid

    LikeAPolaroid Member

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    Yes but development in bath A is very little, but indeed, it happens.

    I developed two more rolls today and results were disappointing. I believe bath B is approaching end of life as negs are very underdeveloped. They were 7th and 8th roll.

    So I guess bath B should be really used one shot. It is not so convenient after all.
    Unless you just use Borax in B without Sulfite and move the whole Sulfite in A. Or just leave A with 50g/l to get a tighter grain (which I like better).

    So my next attempt will be:

    A:
    Metol 3g
    Sodium sulfite 50g
    Water 1L

    B:
    Borax 5g
    Water 1L

    B to be used one shot.
     
  9. Sandtrout

    Sandtrout Member

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    I remember when using AB 55, he had Sol. A, Sol. B, and Sol. B Replenisher. After soaking the film in Sol. A, you poured it back into it’s container then poured in Sol. B. After the 5 minutes, you poured Sol. B back into its container…all but 1 oz (which you discarded). Then, you added 1 oz from the Sol. B Replenisher to the Sol. B container to bring it to FULL again. When you were out of Sol. B Replenisher (after 32 rolls) you discarded everything and started over. I used to plan my projects so I could develop at least 30 rolls I usually bought a spool of film from Freestyle and ‘rolled my own’.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the one published last in the 3rd edition of the darkroom cookbook.:wink: