Foma/Efke Only Divided Developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Paul Verizzo, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    I have just experienced the strangest thing ever in my quest for the perfect DD :smile: . Long story short, this DD makes the most stunning negatives with Foma 100 and Efke 25, with other films.......NOTHING!

    In a stroke of genius, ha ha, I decided to try a high contrast Bath A and a long soak in a low pH Bath B. Sort of the opposite of what most DD’s do. I shot my last roll of Arista/Foma 100 in bright sunlight, part of it with EI’s from 25 to 400. I soaked it in my newest concoction, having gotten the Metol and Hydroquinone amounts from D-11: 1 gram Metol, 8 g. HQ, then 80 g. sodium sulfite and 1 g potassium bromide. I agitated once per minute at 75 degrees for 5 minutes. Bath B consisted of 30 grams of borax for a pH of only 9.5. Another 5 minutes with a gentle 180 only inversion every 30 seconds.......

    Water bath for stop, a few minutes in my fixer, and the check. Ohmigod! Stunning negatives. That night I printed one to 5x7. Then I put the 8X loupe onto it. Did I say ohmigod already? Well say it again. At what was now the equivalent of a 40 x 60 print from 35mm, the grain was almost non-existent and very smooth. And this was from not-so-fine grain Foma! The next day I noticed the silver stain on the developer jug after only one roll, so I’m presuming there was a lot of physical development going on.

    I made a developer test roll of some old TMX, just shooting a daylight scene with the motor drive until all used. Taking a snip, I did the same 5 and 5, fixed...........NOTHING! Not even partial development, no edge markings, NOTHING!

    So I made a test roll of Forte 400, developed the same. NOTHING!

    Now I was in a panic. The Holy Grail yanked right out of my hands! I remade both A and B baths. Still nothing with the TMX or Forte! I increased the time in Bath A, nothing. I increased the time in Bath A and used a pH 10.5 Bath B. Some thin images appeared with the TMX and Forte.

    What was different? Aaaaaaaargh!

    Oh, the film. Nah, that couldn't possibly be the critical element, could it? So I swapped the films in the bulk loader and rolled up a few more Foma’s. Did the snip test 5 and 5 and.....there they were, beautiful negs! Again, nothing with Forte or TMX.

    I made a test roll with Efke 25. Did the 5 and 5 again........and very nice negs from EI 12 to 100.

    I have a roll of Tri-X and some TMY-2 that I will make test shots on if the weather clears up or I get so anxious I’ll do with overcast. I’ll let you know later on how these went.

    I am presenting this thread with the perspective of a question, “How can a developer do so well with certain films and nothing with others?” Not worse, not a matter of degree, but nothing.
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Call the Formulary, call Wall St., you've done it! :smile:
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Paul, perhaps Foma incorporated a developer component or developing reagent in their film emulsion?? Got access to a mass spectrometer?

    For a rough and ready test, I'd be inclined to dip a piece of the Foma film in a sodium carbonate solution.
     
  4. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Perhaps the emulsion of the Foma is thicker and/or softer, thus carrying more developer over to B.

    I'm a little surprised that the A is not a developer of the ilk of D-23 all by itself. We used to do D-23 as A and Borax as B, how long ago? My gosh, it was about 50 years ago! 7 or 8 minutes in each IIRC. Emulsions were thicker then.
     
  5. Klopstock

    Klopstock Member

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    In order to pay tribute to the near end of a presidency that has changed so much for all of us, we might decide to call this developer the George W. Bush Soup - because it is "a total failure"... oh, well, your recipe DOES develop something :D

    http://presidentialmemorial.wordpress.com/

    Sorry for this, I just had to get that off my chest...

    Back to the topic: did you try developing a Foma and a Tmax in ONE tank, just to exclude all possibility of doubt?
     
  6. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    I'm with ya....

    ...but you malign a good developer! Well, good for Foma and Efke.

    Actually, I did do Foma, TMX, and Forte snips at one time.
     
  7. Klopstock

    Klopstock Member

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    Okay, that makes a difference - your developer is good for something :D

    May we see some results? I am curious.
     
  8. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    The only film scanner I have is one of those worthless things you lay on top of a flatbed. Maybe I'll try it again just for tone purposes, grain won't matter.
     
  9. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Mystery DD update

    After a lot of deliberation as to what to try next, I decided to add 1 more gram of Metol to the mix. I then developed snips of Foma and TMX at the original 5 + 5 minutes. Solution temp was about 82 degrees, ambient.

    This time the TMX showed signs of life. Lacking shadow detail but printable otherwise. Maybe I'll add some phenidone, good for kicking low exposure grains into cooperation. The Foma was, as expected, now rather contrasty. Grade 4, anyone?

    One avenue of thought is that maybe there is a correlation between the "developability" of a film in this DD and the time to develop in D-76. Indeed, there is! The easy to develop Foma and Efke use 6-7 and 5 minutes, respectively. The given times for TMX and Fortepan 400 are 9 minutes for both.

    I will be making some test rolls today, the sun is out. I have some Tri-X and if I get energized, I might be able to get another Plus-X at was once a real photo store. Nine and 5.5 minutes accordingly, so that should be interesting.