DD/FF - dilute developer / fast film - for grain

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Lee L, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    In Creative Black and White Photography (p. 58) Les McLean outlines a development regimen he learned from older press photographers, which he refers to as DD/FF, for dilute developer / fast film. Shoot Tri-X at EI 400, 800, or 1600 (or combination of these EIs on the same roll), then develop with D-76 diluted 1:30 (not a typo for 1:3), with inversion agitation for five minutes, then a six hour stand with the tank in a water bath at 24C / 75F. Fix and wash as normal. Les doesn't specify tank size, but suggests only one roll of film per tank due to the small amount of developing agent present. I'd probably start with a full liter to a single roll.

    Has anyone else tried this? Has anyone tried with other film / developer combinations? I can certainly try it for myself to find out what I think, but I'd be interested in others' experiences, and thought posting it might spark some interest and inspire experimentation among APUGs curious folks. It's a way to enhance graininess. More contrasty subjects are suggested. I'm wondering what it does to tonality.

    Les, please chime in if you have more to add.

    Lee
     
  2. CBG

    CBG Member

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    This sounds just whacky enough to be plausible. I hope you or someone can shed some light on whether it works.

    C
     
  3. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I don't doubt that it works if Les recommends trying it for specific purposes in his book. I just overlooked it before and wanted any comments or observations from those who may have tried it.

    Lee
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think there were variations of this practice used in Fleet Street at all the newspaper labs. I've heard of similar before but always using the normal soup, the replenished deep tank that was used for all films & plates. It's the same as stand development used now, giving an extreme compensating effects.

    It has to be remembered that press photographers were still shooting with LF in the 50's and into the 60's, the papers weren't interested in high quality, just in getting an image so grain, sharpness etc weren't important as the images weren't being enlarged by much at all.

    Ian
     
  5. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Isn't this just (semi-)stand development, which develops film to completion? I've tried a number of films at different speeds with Rodinal 1:200 - agitate first minute, let stand for 1 hr 59 min.

    But maybe I'm missing something and this is something else...
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    My normal dilution with Rodinal is 1:100, and 1:200 isn't too far off that. This is D-76 at 1:30, that's 10 times the most highly dilute (1:3) version commonly used, and 30 times the most common dilution of 1:1. That's roughly equivalent to Rodinal somewhere in the 1:1000 range where dilution is concerned, and also three times as long in the developer as your example. Both are obviously stand techniques, but I'd call the dilution in the DD/FF significantly greater than the more dilute end of what's commonly used.

    Lee