Dektol paper dev ... okay for film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by IloveTLRs, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I bought some Dektol today (powder mix for 1l of solution) and got it home before realizing it was for paper, not film.

    Before I try and return it, I'm wondering if I can use it for film? I seem to remember people saying paper developer gives way-out grain for film ...
     
  2. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Gives high contrast, I use ilford paper dev for my enlarged negatives because I don't get good deep dark blacks with rodinal or diafine. But enlarged negatives are a bit specialised, I don't know what it'd do to sun-shot normal film.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    D72 which is Dektol was once sold as a Universal developer for plates, films and papers. It isn't a fine grain formula so expect grain if you do give it a try.

    Ian
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Not the best choice unless you like a lot of grain and high contrast. You could try diluting it down more than normal to say 1+7, or so and maybe tame some of the contrast isuues. Reliable development times are hard to come by, so you're pretty much on your own there.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have times in a BJP almanac for D72 diluted 1:1 for press negatives: Dish 4 mins, Tank 5 mins, I assume at 20°C. The times are attributed to Crabtree & Mathews (Kodak)

    Ian
     
  6. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    For the enlarged negatives I do in Ilford Cooltone (okay it's a really wellused working solution of it, I'm not going to use it for silly film stuff anymore, promise), it's normal paper dilution 1+9 at room temperature which is around 20C and I use 5 minutes in a tray in the dark for fomapan 100 4x5 film. I think 5 minutes is a good starting point.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Heather, one of the recommended developers for the Ilford Ortho film is Ilford PQ Universal at 1+9, so using Cooltone probably gives very similar results.

    PQ Universal gives good fine grain and can also be used as a normal film developer if diluted further - 1+19 or more.

    Ian
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear IloveTLRs,

    Take it back. Better yet, it's cheap so keep it for making prints. It's just not worth the effort or risk on already exposed negatives.

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    dektol works well for film.
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/31300-paper-film-film-paper.html

    someone in the above post linked to film processed in dektol
    together with time and dilution ...

    have fun !

    john
     
  10. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I know paper developer is used for lith film but fomapan 100 is panchromatic stuff (yes I bumble around happily in complete darkness). I feel bad using the nice Cooltone stuff that isn't being made anymore so I'll have to try PQ if it lasts as long as Cooltone does. That might be another post entirely anyway.
     
  11. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, IloveTLRs,

    I wouldn't use Dektol for general-purpose film developing. I understand that some press photographers from the mid-20th century occasionally used Dektol for film developing when they need results fast. If you're in a hurry and like lots of contrast and grain, Dektol will do the job.

    In producing B & W slides by copying negatives, I have used Dektol diluted 1:1 for developing the old Kodak High Contrast Copy film. It worked quite well. I have also used Dektol, diluted about 1:15 or 1:30 to develop film used for contrast masking.

    Konical
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The press photographers used Dektol 1:3 for 3 minutes or 1:7 for 7 minutes. These values work for a broad range of films, but as noted above, they don't give the best grain. I've used it and have gotten acceptable results, but I was not particularly overjoyed. It is like the old Universal MQ from Kodak, I would guess.

    PE
     
  13. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread but I am looking for a developer for Kodak 2431 aerial film for a special project. I have D11, D19, D76, DK50, Tmax, HC110, Rodinal, Technidol LC & Liquid, and Christie V53 which is a 2 part powder universal developer with high capacity and long life.

    Advice please.

    Regards
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Richard;

    We usually tended to use higher contrast developers for aerial films, but IDK if that is true with the more modern films. I also don't know if it would be desirable to use with ground shots. Ours were done at quite high altitude and contrast enhancement was usually a good thing.

    Under normal conditions, I would have selected the D-11 or D-19 for aerial shots. For ground work, I guess I would have used DK-50.

    PE
     
  16. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I have a 1941 War Department Technical Manual of Basic Photography that gives this formula (I converted weights to grams) as the Air Force specification developer:

    Water...........96 ounces

    Metol............13 grams

    Sodium Sulfite..182 grams

    Hydroquinone...31 grams

    Sodium Carbonate..216 grams

    Water to make 1 gallon.

    Not that much different from Dektol. It was to be diluted 1 to 4 for use on films. The smallest camera discussed was the 4X5 Graphic or equal. Interesting how times change.
     
  17. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Thanks Gainer,
    I will give this a try but think I will try some that I have first.
     
  18. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    It only cost me $4 so this weekend I'll drop some film in it and see how it comes out. Lots of grain ... sounds good :smile:
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    IloveTLRs - it has been recommended, time and again, that if you want a lot of grain with your films, use Dektol as film developer. If you're like me and love grain for some purposes - whammy! The stuff is really cheap!
    - Thomas
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    some developers like to be "mellowed" to reduce the contrast.
    harvey's panthermic 777, dk 50, ansco 130 ...
    maybe dektol likes this too ....

    when i say "mellow" i mean process a few rolls of film in whatever dilution you
    want to use, and then mix some of *that* in with whatever you want to process your film ...

    good luck!

    john
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Dektol does indeed change slightly in contrast over about 3 days keeping after it is mixed.

    PE
     
  22. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Dektol is very similar to Kodak D-19, which is commonly used to get very high contrast, continuous tone negatives. It is not a fine grain formula, but it works well for its intended purposes. It can be very useful to develop negatives for contact printing with alternative processes, like platinum or cyanotype. It is usually used for prints, for which it is excellent. For ordinary negatives, you need to get a regular negative developer, like Kodak HC-110.
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    D19 is quite different to D72/Dektol. D19 has far more sulphite and less carbonate so won't give similar results.

    Ian
     
  24. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Dektol as film developer

    There was a paper in the Journal of Biological Photography a number of years ago, where the author photographed a golf ball and processed the (same) film in different developers to evaluate sharpness/grain etc.

    It was his opinion that Dektol at 1:29 (or perhaps 1:31, if my aging memory serves me well enough) was a as good as a "winner".

    My copies are still packed in boxes in the basement (after a move) but if I find the article......

    Ken
     
  25. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Sheesh! Then dont! Your question deserves it's own thread.
     
  26. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    It works. I've done it a couple of times. Didn't notice much difference between it and my normally processed negs to be honest (though I'm usually not too bothered by grain since I shoot 4x5).