Film Developer on Paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Lruw, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Lruw

    Lruw Member

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    So, thanks to a shipping mix up, I was sent film developer instead of paper developer. I will get the correct product in a week or so, but I don't feel like waiting to do some printing.

    Is it possible to use film developer on paper with reasonably good results? This is not for any professional use, just my own personal experimentation. I figure the chemicals would probably be fairly similar, but I don't know how to adjust for dilutions, timing and so forth.

    If it's any help, I'm using Arista RC paper and film developer.

    As always, thanks for responses.
     
  2. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    I've done it before with reasonable results - I wouldn't do it for a client or anything but if you just feel like playing in the darkroom I'd say go for it. Some others here might not think it's kosher (and I guess it really isn't) but in the spirit of play I say anything goes!

    Have fun with it!
     
  3. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Some RC papers have built in developer agents--at least they used to. So the alkali in a film developer might activate that. Once, years ago, I accidently used D76 1:2 instead of Dektol. The images were weak and flat. That was with non-developer-incorporated fiber paper. To test your paper w/o wasting much, try "developing" a piece in a tablespoon or so of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda or some Baking Soda mixed in a pint of water.
     
  4. DannL

    DannL Member

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    My experience was D-76 and paper (probably Ilford Express, but don't quote me on that) the result was a rich chocolatey brown print. Only the first couple prints were like that, and as the developer became more exhausted the prints became duller, and weaker.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Film developers are much softer working than what's considered normal for a paper developer. I've tried it, and it's not so great. All the comments you've read so far about the color going warm, or not being able to develop a good strong image, all point to the fact that film developers are not active enough to properly do the job. Don't waste the film developer. Use it for film. If you like the idea of a softer working paper developer, that's easy; simply dilute the paper developer to about 1/2 strength. I do this with Dektol, and some of the papers I use, particularly the Foma variable contrast papers, develop warm tones with only slightly less contrast than you'd get with regular working strength Dektol. To be fair, the Foma VC papers do possess a slight warm tone to begin with, much warmer than Ilford MG and other papers.
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Paper developers are active and are designed for high contrast. Some film developers, like D-19, should work decently, if a bit slowly - like diluted paper developers. Motion picture positive developers are very much like paper developers. Ordinary film developers will generally be very slow and will tend toward flat results.
     
  7. Lruw

    Lruw Member

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    I tried a couple of prints using the film developer. It definitely gave a chocolate-brownish tint to the paper, which wasn't all that bad. However, it was looking underexposed. This could have been partially from not exposing on the enlarger enough, but I have a feeling the developer had a lot to do with it. That being said, my second print didn't look terrible. If I expose and develop a little bit longer, I think it could come out fairly nice (by my amateur standards). The second print is drying now. Depending how it looks in the morning, I might retry the whole thing.

    It was Arista film developer, which is recommended at 1:9. The container has enough for 5 gallons, so I'm not terribly worried about wasting precious developer. It was cheap, anyway.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Warm tone developers work by producing finee grain in the paper, the only visual effect is the colour shift, so this is why your Film dev gives Chocolate coloured results :D

    Ian
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Generally film developers need to be made more
    active, alkaline. Adding washing soda, sodium
    carbonate will do that. Some film developers
    will make good paper developers. Dan