D-76 question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by McFortner, May 19, 2009.

  1. McFortner

    McFortner Member

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    I see where you can use D-76 either straight or 1:1, but I am wondering if there are any other ratios that I can use to stretch out the stock solution? And if so, how would it affect the developing time?

    Michael
     
  2. voceumana

    voceumana Member

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    1:3 is also a "standard" dilution ratio. It increases the developing time (of course). By how much varies with the film. Try: digitaltruth.com for the massive developer chart. Pick your film (or similar technology and speed) for estimated starting points.

    At 1:3 the grain will be more obvious, and sharpness will increase.

    If you really want to get all you can from your developer, try a 2-bath version of D-76. You'll have to mix it yourself from scratch, since I don't know of any pre-packaged 2-bath D-76 (though Photographer's Formulary sells a kit--it's cheaper to mix your own, though).

    Charlie Strack
     
  3. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I have seen references to "two bath" development. What does it accomplish and how is it done?:confused:
     
  4. Nathan Potter

    Nathan Potter Member

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    As above a standard 1:3 dilution of D-76 should yield a somewhat sharper and more defined grain structure than the stock solution. Development is longer. "Two bath" or also called divided developers are an interesting item. The normal developer consisting of both developer and accelerator is divided into two baths "A" the actual developer constituents and "B" the actual accelerator. In practice the film is immersed in the developer wherein the gelatin absorbs the chemistry but essentially no actual image is formed. Next when the film is placed in the "B" bath the action of the developer in the gelatin is accelerated and development of silver takes place at a rate and end point determined by the volume of developer that had been absorbed in the emulsion. To generalize a bit, the resulting density vs expose plot (sensitometric curve) and slope (gamma) is reduced. The shadow and highlight ends of the curve are linearized which provides for more shadow and highlight definition. This type of divided development finds usefulness in subjects with a high Subject Brightness Range (SBR). I'll sometimes use this technique for SBR greater than 6 stops or so. Some workers consider it to be a simpler implementation of the zone system N- contraction technique but the results are not exactly equivalent insofar as the LogE vs D curve is concerned. Mostly I'll use Diafine which can be purchased as a two part chemistry from Accufine.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX.
     
  5. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    I've been using D-76 mixed 1+3 on my 35mm movie stock Plus-X [Eastman Kodak EK5231] and it's great. Not as fine-grained as Delta 100 in Rodinal 1+50 or 1+100. However, the tonality [and economy] of 5231 is flawless. Lots of rich mid-tones. I'm tempted to try D76 diluted further, or use Beutler. There's been much discussion of Beutler on RangefinderForum.com. It is extremely economical [mixing at home] and, from what I've read, great on fine-grained films.

    The advice I followed was to double the developing time for 1+3 D76 compared to 1+1 D76, and that seems a good starting point. My EK5231 [EI 80] develops nicely in 10 minutes.
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    In the "good old days" (say around 1955-60), D-76 was generally used undiluted. When modern "thin emulsion" films were introduced in the late 50s and early 60s, D-76 diluted 1+1 was recommended to control contrast in these films. That has continued to be the standard, with 1+3 dilution used by some practitioners. But recently I have noticed that manufacturers are again recommending undiluted D-76 for the highest quality (whatever that means) when developing their films. Films change and styles change. Both may have influenced this recommendation. But I wonder if there was any specific change in the films that caused the recommendation to use undiluted D-76. One advantage on the undiluted developer is that it can be reused and even replenished; diluted D-76 must be used as a one-shot.
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    You could use other, much weirder, dilutions -- 2+3, 2+5, 7+13, etc. Past a certain point, though, there won't be enough developer to develop a roll of film, particularly not in reasonable time. You'll also need to figure out the times yourself. Overall, there's no much point to doing this; stick to the standard dilutions and life will be easier.

    There are a number of techniques that qualify as "two-bath" development. One of the most common is a divided developer, in which the ingredients in a regular developer are split into two solutions. The first solution includes the developing agents (metol, hydroquinone, etc.), but the pH is such that little or no development occurs. The second solution includes the alkali activating agent(s). The idea is that the film absorbs enough developing agent in the first (or "A") bath so that, when the film contacts the second ("B") bath, the agents are activated and development proceeds. Divided development is claimed to produce less variability in development times from film to film, and from one temperature to another. Divided developers can also be inexpensive, since the "A" bath is typically re-used until it's gone (although this isn't always true). OTOH, many divided developers were designed with old emulsions in mind, and they may not work correctly with modern films.

    I've also heard of people using two different developers in series -- for instance, developing for part of the recommended time in XTOL and then for part of the recommended time in Rodinal. The idea here is to get the best characteristics of both developers. I've never tried this myself. I think most people would rather mix the two developers together or try another developer to achieve this effect.

    There are also more exotic variants of this, such as using both B&W and color developers with color films. (There were some recent posts on this technique in another thread here in the last few days, but I don't have a URL handy.)
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The best way to use D76/ID-11 is undiluted on a replenishment basis, this is how it's always used commercially. This is how the developer was designed to be used originally and once the developer has seasoned/ripened gives optimal results, with better sharpness, tonality and finer grain. Xtol works well used the same way.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2009
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That may be true, but not practical unless you're running a lot of film in a relatively short period of time. For me, and I suspect for a large number in the home processing camp, the optimum balance of image quality, economy, and consistency happens when the developer is used one shot at the 1+1 dilution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2009
  10. McFortner

    McFortner Member

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    Well, I developed two rolls of film last night in it at 1:3. My son had finished a roll of Arista Pro 400, and I had a roll of Seattle Film Works 200 color. The color was old (~1999 exp) and I was using it to test the light seals I replaced on a Canonet 28, so I figured why pay more to develop it as color.

    My picture of my daughter on her DS, moving that stylus to beat the band:

    [​IMG]

    And my son's picture of our dog Jake playing fetch, taken with a Kodak Star 935 I had repaired:

    [​IMG]

    Over all I think it did OK. I knew the color film was iffy being as old as it was, but some of the pictures turned out good enough for me for just playing around. The entire roll of the black and white turned out. Now if I could get my son to not push down so hard when he takes a picture to eliminate the blur in some of his shots..... :smile:

    Thanks for the help. Now I need to find some D-76 replenisher and the money to buy it!

    Michael
     
  11. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Don't do it to stretch out the stock. That's false economy. But many people believe that deeply dilute developers have beneficial effects upon sharpness and the releative level of development of the shadow areas of the film i.e. compensated development.

    It should be easy to try the ordinary straight development, and the 1 to 3 ratios and see what works best for you.

    If absolute cheepness is your goal, try a plastic camera, cheepo film, and a powdered coffee developer.
     
  12. McFortner

    McFortner Member

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    I've done that. I like Caffenol, but I'm trying something else for fun. It gives me a starting point for what I want my pictures in Caffenol to look like! :smile:

    I'm just a tinkerer at heart. I may try a Caffenol/D-76 mix one of these days....

    Michael
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    With Xtol replenishment is easier on a small scale as the replenisher is fresh developer, but if you use 2.5 litre containers for the dev them it's extremely practical with quite a small volumes of film.

    Ian
     
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  15. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Multiply your usual undiluted times by 1.4 as a starting point for 1+1.

    I'm certain that 1+1 visibly increases grain; ive yet to convince myself it really affects tonality or sharpness, at least for D76. But in my Jobo at 75F, the longer times with 1+1 are more practical.
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    To put some numbers on this, using the current cost of D-76 at B&H ($5.95 for a 1-gallon packet), a guesstimate for shipping costs ($2.50; it could be more or less than this, depending on how much other stuff you buy, where you live, and how you divide up the costs), assuming 250ml of solution per roll in a tank, and assuming one-shot use, D-76 stock costs $0.56/roll, 1+1 costs $0.28/roll, and 1+3 costs $0.14/roll. This does indeed work out to pretty small savings per roll. If image quality were identical in all conditions, it'd certainly make sense to use it pretty dilute, although the cost advantages would be minor. For saving just $0.14/roll (or even $0.42/roll), though, the differences in grain, sharpness, etc. are probably more important.

    I don't have a cost estimate for Caffeinol, since I don't happen to have a cost handy for instant coffee. (I'm not a coffee drinker myself.) My cost estimates for commercial developers range from $0.09/roll (for Rodinal at 1+100 dilution) to $0.82/roll (for Clayton F76 1+3 or Paterson FX-50). Some mix-it-yourself formulas go pretty low -- down to $0.02/roll for some simple phenidone/ascorbate/carbonate developers and some Rodinal-type developers. (These estimates are mostly based on prices from 2-5 years ago, though, so they may be a bit higher today.) At anything but the high end of that price range, other costs -- notably fixer and of course film among consumables, but also the fixed costs of developing tanks, cameras, etc. -- will be more significant factors.
     
  17. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Can you explain this better?
    It's very interesting...
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When D76 is used on a replenishment basis there's a build up of Bromide & Iodide from the processed films in the developer these reach an equilibrium as the developer is topped up with replenisher, the developer loses a little activity bu becomes better balanced. It's easier to describe the differences between fresh D76 & seasoned D76, the fresh developer is more contrasty, grain is harsher & more prominent, it's not as tonal, in many ways it's behaving like D76 used at about 1+2 without the compression you get at 1+3 but with finer grain.

    D76 was originally designed for Cine film processing so right from it's early inception it had a replenisher, used this way it's highly efficient and extremely economic, stable and easy to use. In commercial laboratories running deep tank systems D76/ID-11 was the standard developer in the the vast majority of cases, I shared a commercial darkroom in the late 70's with 2 other photographers and large quantities of film passed through a deep tank of ID-11 every week, a fresh abatch would be made up every 6-9 months, seasoned with some of the previous batch.

    On a smaller scale I used to do the same with Microphen (ID-68) & Adox Borax MQ, using a 2.5 litre amber glass bottle replenishing as needed, keeping a notebook to monitor the developers behavior. Since then I switched to Xtol but still replenishing.

    This was the only way professionals used these developers and is still recommended by Ilford & Kodak. with replenishment rates in their data-sheets.

    Ian
     
  19. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Ian,

    As I'm someone who has invariably used one-shot type developing, Ilfotec HC, Tetenal Ultrafin, and now Pyrocat-HD, how would you compare the image quality of replenished developers to one-shot developing?

    Tom.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Over the years I've tended to use replenished developers for commercial work, usually processing 10 to 20 rolls of 120 or a dozen or so 5x4's in a session sometimes more. For my personal work I used Rodinal for 35mm through to 5x4 alongside Xtol, I liked Rodinal for it's ability to use dilution rather than just development time for expansion & contraction, N-2 & N-2 particularly, and as I often process away from home a one shot dev is more practiacl in this respect.

    However in real terms comparing negatives and final prints replenished ID-11(D76) or Xtol gives me very much the same final image quality as Rodinal or now Pyrocat HD. My choice is down to economics because with a high number of films using developers like D76, ID-11, Xtol etc dilute to 1+2 which is my preference is just not cost effective, and replenishment gives almost the same qualities while being simple and extremely economic.

    At present my volumes are lower as my commercial work is now rarely film based so the Xtol lies idle and everything gets processed in Pyrocat HD. So yes replenished developers compare very favourably with one-shot if the volume of film is sufficient, and of course deep tanks are ideal for 10x8 & 5x4 work.

    Ian
     
  21. cinejerk

    cinejerk Member

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    Ian I was told D76 was not a suitable cine developer

    "quote
    D76 was originally designed for Cine film processing so right from it's early inception it had a replenisher, used this way it's highly efficient and extremely economic, stable and easy to use. In commercial laboratories running deep tank systems D76/ID-11 was the standard developer in the the vast majority of cases, I shared a commercial darkroom in the late 70's with 2 other photographers and large quantities of film passed through a deep tank of ID-11 every week, a fresh abatch would be made up every 6-9 months, seasoned with some of the previous batch."


    Ian can you expand on this a little? I was told in one of my threads that D76 was not suitable as a cine developer. Or is that for negative use only???
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    D76 is a negative developer for cine use, or making optical positives from a negative. The other thread was about its use as the first developer in a Reversal process which requires quite different parameters. D76 is relatively low contrast as a developer which is better suited to negatives rather than reversal.

    Ian
     
  23. wogster

    wogster Member

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    To summarize:

    If your shooting low volume one of the long life one shot developers such as Rodinal is better then trying to keep life in a batch of replenished D76/ID11.

    So the question becomes at what point does it become more
    sensible to use a replenished developer, a roll a week, a roll a day, more, less?
     
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The answer to your question, wogster, is in tech pub J78 from Kodak. Replenishment information starts on page 7 under "Storage Life and Capacity."
     
  25. wogster

    wogster Member

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    That's the capacity, what I was looking for is how FEW rolls you can process while it's still economical. For example if you buy a package of developer and mix it up, and run a roll through it, and it's dead before you run another roll, then it's not as economical as a one shot developer like Rodinal where even at a roll a month the concentrate will last long enough that you can use it all up.
     
  26. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Page 7 and 8 of J78 imply that you can run about 100 rolls per US gallon of developer and replenisher, at which time you are to start over, and they also imply that a month is the shelf life. While it may last longer, for planning purposes you should take your monthly film use and divide the cost of a gallon of developer and replenisher by that number of rolls to get the cost per roll. Then calculate the cost using the developer one shot depending on your tanks. (picking a package size that will most closely match the way you use the stuff.)