Divided D-23, so many options....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Usagi, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    I listed some most common recipes in attachment (most taken from Anchell&Troop: The Developing Cookbook).


    Anchell&Troop writes common developing directions for all DD-23 variants, but as this http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html explains, it's far from truth.
    Thornton also writes in his book Edge Of Darkness that DD-23 variants are easy and re-usable 'almost forever'. That differs a lot from Lipka's writings in linked web page.



    I have used Thornton's variant. Just because it was first one I learned.
    As there's so many variants, I would like to know how do they differ from each other? My limited literature and lot of googling I did, gave no answers.
     

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  2. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    When we refer to D-23, we refer to a developer formula that was published by Kodak under that name. When it comes to DD-23, can someone please find out whether such a developer was ever published by Kodak? Because if not, then there is no "real DD-23", and DD-23 is just some name assigned by random folks who coined the name mostly because its part A resembles D-23.
     
  3. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    As far as I know Kodak only published D-23. The rest of these are just referred to as "divided D-23" or "D-23 variants" because they are based on Metol/Sulfite in bath A. In the Anchell/Troop table Adams's formula is the only one that uses the true Kodak D-23 as the first bath.

    As to how they all differ in terms of working characteristics, there would likely be relatively small differences. Stoeckler and Dalzell are nearly the same, as are Thornton and Adams, although one would expect slightly higher sharpness from the Thornton version. The Leitz version is said to be sharper, but who knows. A controlled test of all of these might be interesting, I'm sure that has never been done.

    The 6g Sulfite/40g Sulfate mix in solution B in the TD formulas is suggested to reduce swelling.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Kodak had nothing to do with DD-23. In fact it only published a handful of divided developers that were intended for very specialized uses.

    When using DD-23 it must be remembered that development will occur in bath A so time and temperature are important.
     
  5. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    So the lack of comparative data about different DD-23 developers is real.


    So far the best source has really been http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html . There's also reference list for literature.


    There's also Jim Veenstra's developing times as an example. These are way different than usual DD-23 instructions: 'develop 3 or 4 mins in both solutions', taking care of developing time in both baths just like Gerald mentioned above.

    This also suggests that DD-23 should be used as one shot developer. As it is really D-23 + alkaline after-bath. Not a 'silver-bullet' developer that can give similar results even when re-using up to 20 times.

    Veenstra suggest that only N- developments needs bath B. N/N+ developments are done with only bath A.
    Thornton suggested that contrast should be controlled by varying bath B, not caring about developing times. For normal contrast, use 12g Sodium Metaborate solution. More contrasty or dull light use 7g and 20g Sodium Metaborate solution (He suggested similar method for His DiXactol developer when used as divided developer).


    As the most instructions are on the 're-use both solutions and develop 4+4 minutes' (or 3+3, ...), I would like to raise a question.. As the solution A is really developer, how come that no one instructs for longer developing times to compensate re-used and more exhausted solution? Like D-76 suggestion of adding 15% to developing time after each 4 rolls / 8x10 sheets of film if re-using solution.


    Is the DD-23 so forgiving developer that no one cares about under development or am I missing something?
     
  6. ooze

    ooze Member

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    I've been toying around with divided developers recently and can confirm that what Gerald wrote is true. Following the recommendation in Anchell&Troop I developed for 4 minutes in each bath and the negs came out extremely underdeveloped. Extending bath A to 8 minutes resulted in good negs. Correspondence with another APUG member put me on the right path there, i.e. that most of the development happens in bath A. In hindsight and looking at the formulas, it looks obvious.
     
  7. ooze

    ooze Member

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    By the way Jukka, your last two paragraphs are questions that are bothering me as well.
     
  8. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    Another interesting point is dilution. As d-23 can be used as diluted one shot developer up to 1+7, could this used to improve dd-23's economy?

    If bath A is 1+1 or 1+3, how would it work with bath B (after bath)?
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    As already mentioned, DD-23 is not some official developer formulated by Kodak, so a lot less testing and expertise went into it. If you can't even get accurate dev time numbers from these instructions, how would you expect numbers for reuse?

    Looking at DD-23, it is basically D-23 (or variants thereof) and a second alkaline bath to raise its shadow density and boost sharpness (i.e. try to make up for D-23's biggest deficiencies). If you use diluted D-23 as bath A, you will see less effect from bath B.
     
  10. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Generally the point with divided development (note I'm specifically calling this divided development rather than 2-bath development since there is development in both the A and B solutions) is to limit contrast by letting development go more or less to completion in the second bath, which is intended to generate reasonable film speed while reducing contrast. It also typically produces a slightly sharper and grainier negative. D-23 is the basis for most of these developers because of the relatively high concentration of Metol.

    The issues I see with what you're suggesting are (1) Highly dilute D-23 is a very slow-working developer which means not much development will take place in bath A unless time is extended considerably and, more importantly (2) not much density will be added in bath B because the developer in the emulsion is so dilute it will exhaust very quickly in bath B. While this should produce a sharp negative, I would expect it to be exceedingly low in contrast with poor speed.

    One way to improve things slightly in this scenario would be to use a stronger alkali such as Carbonate in bath B. Since your bath A would be a dilute Metol developer and bath B would be a stronger alkali, notice what you'd essentially have is a type of divided FX-1 developer. But that type of high acutance developer is highly compensating in the first place, so dividing would only result in less speed and even lower contrast. In addition, according to Troop you would have to add a either a significant amount of Sulfite or Sulfite+Sulfate to bath B to control swelling.
     
  11. JDP

    JDP Member

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    I have used divided d23 quite a bit. Regarding development time I think a good starting point is to take the normal development time for solution A (i.e. d23), and half it. Then develop for that time in both solutions. One needs to realize that the more development is done in solution A, the less compensating effect takes place and the more the negs will look like normal contrast negs. Using the above times the negs do look a little thin, but this is the intended result - a low contrast negative.

    I find it a great technique for very contrasty scenes where one wishes to retain detail in both highlights and shadows, but it does not give good results for normal or low contrast subjects.