Developer Incorporated Paper?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by DrPhil, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    The local camera shop had a box of 4x6 MGIV RC paper on sale. 250 sheets for just a few dollars. I thought it would be a great paper to experiment with different dilutions, two-bath development, and paper flashing.

    When I plot the curves before and after flashing I get what I expected to see. However, my experiments with dilutions and two-bath development have been quite odd.

    With Dektol I have tried 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:5 dilutions. All yield the same results. With two-bath development I get the same results. I tried various combinations of Dektol dilutions and selectol soft. I get the same results regardless of time in each bath.

    Is this the result of a developer incorporated paper?

    In the past I have thought that I saw results from using two bath development. I always did it by sight and thought that I saw differences in the results. I can't have been imagining it can I? Past papers certainly included Ilford MGIV fiber, MG WT fiber, Forte polywarmtone, and Kodak fine art.
     
  2. rjr

    rjr Member

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    No. It can´t be - MG4 has no developers substances incorporated in the emulsion. They stopped it with MG3 when they realised some problems, like long term storage (the papers deteriorate faster... they build up fog and get soft in terms of gradation).

    A german Ilford employee stated this repeatedly at another forum. And you can test it for yourself - a bit of Alkali solution should be enough to trigger the hydrochinone... but MG4 won´t react to it.

    So far I have used only one paper of this type - Fomaspeed Variant 3. It is much faster that MG4, it gets very soft after 2 years of storage and an undeveloped piece blackens within a few hours if exposed to sunlight.

    BTW - a very nice paper.

    Roman
     
  3. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    So what has Ilford done to their MG RC paper?

    I just repeated the test with MG WT fiber paper. While I have to wait for the prints to dry, the results are visibly different than the RC paper?

    Has Ilford added something to their MGIV RC paper? It is obviously responding differently.
     
  4. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Don't know about recent production, but a year ago, I was doing the same thing and came to the conclusion that the two-bath developement just didn't work with RC paper. Worked just great with all the fiber base papers I used. Must be something to do with the inherent differences between fiber and RC, like the baryta base.
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Try the alkali test. A tablespoon of sodium carbonate in a quart or liter of water should turn a piece of the paper black in room light if it contains developer.
     
  6. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    True. The emulsion is thin, but so is that of FB paper. The plastic base does not absorb and carry over developer as does the porous fiber base. You might get some results out of 2-bath if you use a very strong alkali as the second bath. Probably won't be the results you crave though.
     
  7. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    My results support this conclusion. The RC base must not carry the other developer over like fiber paper does. Even before turning the densitometer on, the differences are apparent between different dilutions and times.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have been playing around with a huge stack of different papers as well as a long list of developers for quite a while now.

    Ilford MG IV RC is almost impossible to get a reaction from by changing developer, dilution or anything else.

    This is NOT a result of the RC base, as some other RC papers (MACO Lith RC, Varycon PE RC) behave quite normally.

    Nor is it a result of the emulsion, as the FB version DOES react. And Ilford claim it's the same emulsion.

    I have no idea what they've done to it, but at least it produces very stable results...
     
  9. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    I had always assumed that MGIV fiber and RC were the same emulsion. Now I know is is not.

    MGIV RC gave the same results regardless of developer or dilution. You would expect dektol 1:1 and 1:5 to produce different results. Oh well, I know which paper I won't be using.
     
  10. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    Just for those that are curious, here is what I came up with.

    Start with the hard developer first. I used dektol. It needs to be strong 1:1 and 1:2 produced identical results. 1:5 did not produce full blacks.

    Aim to be in the hard developer (dektol) for 5-10 seconds. You want to have moved to the soft developer (Selectol Soft) before the first blacks appear. I still saw full blacks at 5 seconds with dektol 1:1. The longer you stay in the hard developer the greater the effect it has on the midtones.

    The second developer needs to be very dilute. Selectol Soft is normally mixed 1:1. I saw the best results at 1:9. I am going to experiment with even more dilute solutions next.

    Expect longer overall developing times. My normal time is 2-3 minutes; however, with the really dilute (1:9) soft developer I would suggest starting with 5 minutes.
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I think you're on the right tack DrPhil. I have found times for dilute Selectrol Soft (1:9) as long as 30 minutes. Additionally, the 'hard' developer is much less likely to compromise the soft developer by allowing time in a water bath prior to let it neutralize/exhaust; a good minute seems to work and account for that minute when you determine your total development. It is an important step. Also, the dilute soft developer does not have the tray life you might think it does.
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Th efew times I've tried something like this, I found out that it's better to use the soft developer first if you don't have running water for the wash. A little metol in the hard won't hurt it, but a trace of hydroquinone in the soft will make for gallopping contrast.

    BTW; I've managed to make MGIV RC very slightly warm by using exhausted G232 at 1:20 dilution... At that point, other papers just didn't develop.
     
  13. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    That would make sense as there is very little developer in all that solution.

    When I get a chance I am going to try even greater dilutions and times. I think I might try to find a deep rubbermade bin to use as a soft developer tray.