Film Developer for prints

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pstake, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I've read several posts suggesting that D-76 can make a fine print developer. I have quite a bit of it mixed that I do not think I will use on film before it becomes unusable, so I was considering trying it as a print developer. This is the same for some Ilfotec-HC I have mixed.

    Can someone give me some starting points for using one or both of these film developers as print developers? i.e. dilutions and times?
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    D-76 does not make a good print developer. Print developers are far more active than film developers. Your development time for prints in this developer would be exceedingly long.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    I have seen wonderful work done with Rodinal as print developer. Don't ask me how it was done, but the prints were fantastic!

    Why not just try it out next time you have a printing session? You likely have to use it fairly concentrated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Other than activity the objection for using film developers such Rodinal or HC-110 for making prints is the additional cost.
     
  5. pstake

    pstake Member

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    This is what I shall do ... adding a tablespoon or so of washing soda per some other posts I read.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Rodinal was sold as a print developer as well as a negative developer at one time but as Gerald points out it wouldn't be very economic. Actually Agfa recommended it as such from the start but you'd need to use a dilution like 1:15 to 1:20, or for more contrast 1:8 (1+7).

    D76 has too high a sulphite level to be a practical paper developer.

    Ian
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Rodinal was originally a film and print developer.

    EDIT: Just as Ian pointed out. One day I might read all the posts in a thread before answering!


    Steve.
     
  8. kevs

    kevs Member

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    If you store D-76 / ID-11 (same thing!) in airtight bottles, filled to the top with any air squeezed out, it'll keep fine. Don't use accordion bottles as they're useless. If you use plastic drink bottles, de-label them and keep them away from children etc.

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  9. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Thanks, Kevin ... I store in Brown Glass bottles and they are all filled to the top. Hopefully the Ilfotec will keep, too ... that stuff is expensive.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    I've used accordion bottles for six years now, and don't consider them useless. But I don't use them for long term storage. However, they are very good for shorter term storage, say a couple of months, if you use it for stock solution for replenished film- and paper-developers.
    Say I mix a 5 l kit of Xtol, I put two liters in an accordion bottle, and the rest in 1 l glass amber jars. When the Xtol stock is about half empty in the accordion bottle, I fill it up with one of the liter bottles, and continue indefinitely. I do the same with replenished Ethol LPD, and never had a single problem with failing developer.

    I'm just saying that they do have a purpose, and are therefore not useless. I agree they are not suited for long term storage.

    - Thomas
     
  11. desertrat

    desertrat Member

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    Deleted - The washing soda addition has already been mentioned.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2012
  12. pstake

    pstake Member

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    How exactly does the washing soda help D-76 (or Ilfotec-HC) develop prints better? Can you recommend an amount? I read roughly a tablespoon per liter (mix and match measuring systems!)
     
  13. desertrat

    desertrat Member

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    The sodium carbonate makes the solution more alkaline, and thus more active. A print developer like Dektol has the developing agents metol and hydroquinone in roughly similar proportions to D-76, but uses the more alkaline sodium carbonate as the accelerator. If you add sodium carbonate to D-76, it becomes the accelerator because it's more alkaline than borax, and the borax sort of just goes along for the ride. The formula becomes similar to Dektol as far as the important ingredients are concerned. D-76 has a lot more sodium sulfite than Dektol because the extra sulfite is needed to give the silver solvent property that helps D-76 achieve fine grain. It also helps preserve the D-76 stock solution for a fair amount of time. All the extra sulfite probably won't have much effect on how your 'accelerated' D-76 develops prints, because they won't be in the tray long enough for the silver solvent property to take effect. It will probably make for longer tray life, though. You can probably dilute your D-76 1:1 before adding the sodium carbonate and it should still work. A teaspoon or two of sodium carbonate should work, but a tablespoon shouldn't hurt anything. Try 1 to 2 minutes developing time for your prints. If developer fog occurs, try reducing the amount of sodium carbonate to 1 teaspoon per liter of developer.
     
  14. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Very helpful information. Thanks desertrat.
     
  15. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Fair enough; I might use them for fixer if I had any accordion bottles, but not for dev. YMMV. :smile:
    Cheers,
    kevs.