Dual developer: Any advantage?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dorff, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. dorff

    dorff Member

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    I was wondering whether two-stage development in two different developers would enable one to combine the best of both worlds, or whether it would merely end up being the worst of both, or at least nothing better than the average of the two. Is it possible to develop halfway in Xtol, then finish off in Rodinal, for instance? One would probably do a water rinse in between the two.

    Would it be possible to for instance get the shadow detail of Xtol with the compensation and nice mid-tone contrast of Rodinal? Is it a matter of the rate at which the grains are activated, or the rate at which they fully develop, or both? If one developer can do the former for good shadows, and another developer can do the rest of development better in one way or another, then maybe it makes sense? Of ocurse it is twice the amount of work, and I am lazy by nature :cool:.
     
  2. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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  3. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I have tried the xtol/rodinal thing and I didn't see any great reason to continue. But if you like xtol with better midtones you can use the more diluted (1:2 or 1:3) mixtures or just use replenished. I favor the replenished.

    Another approach, which will give you xtol and compensating wold be to use a 2 bath. Thornton suggests to use your favorite developer at about the 1/3 the time and then soak it in a 2nd bath of Sodium metaborate @ 12g/l with no adj for about 4-5 mins. You may also use 2g/l of borax. Soaking and doing nothing should meet the lazy requirements.... :smile:
     
  4. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    The question is what do you want to achieve with mixing developers?

    For me personally, Barry THornton's Two-Bath developer gives me the best combination of speed, fine grain, acutance and tonal separation.

    Without your definition of what you are trying to achieve with mixing developers, I do not think anyone here can help you..

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de