Developers for school lab

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Valerie, May 21, 2012.

  1. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Looking for some ideas here.....I'd like my Photo II students to experiment with using film developers other than our standard D76. I want them see that different developers can effect their film in different ways (grain, tonality, etc). So, if I were to provide 2 additional film developers, what would you suggest?

    BTW, most use Arista EDU ultra or Ilford films.
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    If the toxicity is not an issue, I would suggest one of the pyro developers to have them experience a very different developer. Then perhaps X-tol as another different one.

    I would think that hc-110 may not be different enough to be worthwhile.

    Vaughn
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Rodinal - so they can see what it is like. :smile:

    Perceptol, so they can see what a "fine grain" developer does.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi valerie

    you could have them experiment with dektol, which is often used as a film developer.
    it gives a different look than d76 .. they say 1:7 7mins as a starting point.
    mad scientist thing with coffee ( caffenol C ) might be fun too easy to mix with teaspoons and no scales ( or exact measures! ) needed
    it can give a look anywhere from just like d76 to grainy and foggy any pyroesque without the worry of chemistry used.
    you can also add 1oz/32 of print developer into the caffenol .. it takes the edge off. i use ansco130 ...

    good luck !
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2012
  5. AgCl4ever

    AgCl4ever Member

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    Rodinal for sure.... and then maybe go the other way with a fine grain low acutance developer like Microdol-X.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    A staining developer, WD2D+, PMK, whatever...

    Then maybe Rodinal or HC-110
     
  7. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Caffenol-C might be a great one to add to the mix?
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I don't know whether an experiment with a discontinued developer (Microdol-X:sad:) is the best learning experiment for students - thus the recommendation for Perceptol from this long time Kodak user.
     
  9. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Microdol-X is available from Freestyle as a LegacyPro branded product.

    I think Caffenol-C is a good choice. It's easy to make and can produce some pretty interesting results, and it's cheap. I'd also vote for Rodinal, also cheap.
     
  10. vfalendysh

    vfalendysh Member

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    +1 for Rodinal and similar ones (like R09 or Adolux, etc).. Really classic developer. Very flexible. Easy to work with. Long storage times.
    +0.5 for Caffenol-C - interesting process :smile:
     
  11. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Rodinal for sure

    hc-110 for the higher contrast ----- caffenol-c for the interesting factor.
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I have d76, xtol, and rodinal(adonal) stocked for development with arista films where I teach.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    When I was taking photography at a local college, it offered Sprint as a basic developer, then had students experimenting with D76, XTOL, and Diafine.

    The latter two was introduced when push processing was the subject of discussion.
     
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  15. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the ideas.... I had been thinking Rodinal and caffenol. Perceptol will likely be added too.
     
  16. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I haven't used anything but D-76... But john, you should make a stronger statement for caffenol. Especially since you have the examples to show what it can do.

    This would be valuable as an eye-opener. See how little it takes to make a developer, this will open the student's minds.
     
  17. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I went through two different high school photo programs. One used D-76 1:1, and re-used the developer. The other used HC-110 dilution H one shot. Both worked great, and I still use and love those developers to this day.
     
  18. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    The Legacy Pro version has been mentioned. A related soloution would be the atomal A.K.A. A49 family, which is off the other way from Rodinal.
     
  19. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Rodinal would indeed be great. It would prove especially useful to show them regular (1:25 or 1:50) development, and then stand development; they'd surely see the difference one can make with only changes in dilution and agitation.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks bill !

    valerie,
    caffenol c is, as long as you have the right ingredients, a simple, useful developer that compared to a lot of
    developers is made of benign ingredients. its a lot of fun to use, can be made without a lot of scaling / measuring out
    of the ingredients ( i don't measure anything for the most part i just free-pour the ingredients ). it yields negatives
    that look grainy and stainy sometimes, and other times like they were souped in d76... not much of a downside
    (other than what some refer to as an evil stench ). i haven't done it in a while, but you can just soak the film in the coffee
    without any of the other ingredients, it takes a while and it works !
     
  21. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    My first thought was the same as Bill and John. Having them mix caffenol would make a stronger connection to the chemistry of photography, than opening a bag, or a jug. It could lead to a lot of experimentation, and learning, which is (after all) why teaching can be so rewarding.
    I say this as an ex- high school photo teacher...
    Eddie
     
  22. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Ok...getting very excited about the caffenol! I think they will love doing this.
     
  23. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Valerie- Don't get too excited, or we'll have to suggest de-caffenol for you... :D
     
  24. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Ha!! That's right! It has to be caffeinated instant coffee for Caffenol-C to work. Don't be tasting the chems!

    Valerie, Digital Truth has an easy version of Caffenol-C (ie US version in teaspoons and oz) below, I think your students will have a ball learning about such an organic developer, that is green no less, which students are pretty attuned with, then when I was in school...

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/data/caffenol.php
     
  25. BrendanCarlson

    BrendanCarlson Member

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    Caffenol sounds really cool (I haven't mixed my own yet), but if I were in a photo class I think it would be really cool to see the image come out in a developer that I made from a few items.

    By the way, if you want to show the differences in developers I would try a paper developer (ex. Dektol), much larger grain as compared to a lot of traditional film developers. Have fun!
     
  26. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    I'd suggest Rodinal for the careful students, as they would see the different results from agitation and dilution quite clearly.

    Alternatively, diluted print-developer (whatever you use in the lab) would certainly give a different 'look'.

    Diafine might surprise them, and you can perhaps use a step-wedge or densitometer to demonstrate the actual difference in the scene-to-film tones.

    And Caffenol, simply because it is so unusual for students who have possibly always thought film-photography requires a PhD in chemistry!

    Which couple to choose might depend on the individual student, and on covering all the options between the group for discussion later. It might also be an idea to get the group to mix their own fixer from 'ordinary stuff' they (or you) have bought from the swimming-pool supplies shop, as sodium thiosulphate (old traditional fixer) is used for some sort of chlorine reducing purpose apparently. Have fun!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2012