Dedicated LF developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by miha, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There use to be many developers dedicated mainly for LF film. Kodak D 19, Gevaert G.201 are known for their brilliance, G.215 is a soft working developer,... They are all quite fast working which was beneficial when tray developing was the norm. They are not of the fine grain type but that shouldn't be priority when shooting LF. I wonder is there still a reason to favour these old formulae?
     
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    D19 is a particularly high contrast developer, I used it for b&w reversal for that very reason. I don't think it is specifically "known for it's brilliance" or ever preferred for LF use ?
    Where is it suggested that it (or any of the others) are "LF" developers ?
     
  3. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In one of the books on photography I have, from 1960.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    While some developers are more suited to MF and LF films because they tend to emphasize grain I would say that it is erroneous to characterize them as "large format developers." In fact this idea turns the common definition of developers on its head. What is usually done is to say that there are general purpose developers and those more suitable for miniature camera use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2014
  5. jochen

    jochen Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The well known Kodak D-72 was even a so called universal developer. It could be adjusted by the dilution to paper, sheet film or roll-film. But for small formats (120 or 135) it was too contrasty and grainy, for real large formats like 4 x 5" or 8 x 10" it was o.k.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How a developer is used also has an effect. DK-50 would be considered a MF/LF type developer. However when diluted 1+4 with the Kodalk concentration restored to its original concentration it is an acutance developer suitable for 35mm film.
     
  7. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To be more exact there is a capater in the book I'm referring to about tray/dish development. Roll film development is covered in anothe chapter, giving formulae for D76, Various Agfa developers (8, 14, 15, 17,...), Atomal, Adox MQ, Be-Be, Windish 665, Sease 3, etc, and explainig their characteristics.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,482
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    T-max RS=sheet film developer
     
  9. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not particularly old, is it?:smile:
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So putting a developer in a tray somehow makes it different? From the little that you say above the chapter appears to be more about development technique than any thing else.
     
  11. smithdoor

    smithdoor Member

    Messages:
    125
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Location:
    Clovis CA
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Use D76 works great for 4x5 film

    Dave
     
  12. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never said that. The fact is that most of the Gevaert developers were formulated when LF was the norm. Later on more sofisticated developers came to the market (Windish, Beutler,...) designed primarily for roll film, but LF was still being developed in the old formulae, hence my question.
     
  13. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I already have my favourite.:wink:
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My point was that the book's author seems to be making an artificial distinction between developer formulations. My comment was not directed toward you. As I said, hard to tell without having access to the chapter.
     
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,906
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I use exactly the same pyro developer options for 35mm film as for 8x10 sheet film, but could use something as common as D76 for either if I
    wanted to. Sometimes there are reasons to use specialized developers to optimize extremely fine-grained miniature camera films, but there is
    really no warranted distinction between other film sizes. The nice thing about large format is that you generally don't need to enlarge the original nearly as much, so can concentrate more on tonality or speed when choosing a film and developer combination, and worry less about
    things like grain per se. So in this respect, you have even more developer options when working with large format, not less.
     
  16. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This could very well be the case, but perhaps we agree that dedicated developers exist. And that LF generally calls for a higher beta, and also that shorter times are benefical for the operator developing in trays. The author of the book speeks about these properties.
     
  17. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    True, but most of the pyro developers were reformulated to suite rhe current films in use.
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,906
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Wander over to the Large Format Forum and it will be abundantly apparent that we large format practitioners have long used many types of film
    and developers, will continue to argue over the merits of our favorite methods, and that almost nothing of what you describe is necessarily correct with respect to typical practice. There are even many different ways of tray processing, which will in turn affect the specific outcome.
    Film keep changing, developers too, but all kinds of combinations of new and old themes coexist. A pyro formula from the 1930's could be made
    to work just as well today. But now we know about even more options.