Liquid Dektol compared to D-72 / powdered Dektol

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Directed to those that have used both products: Is liquid Dektol equivalent to powered Dektol or D-72? As the liquid concentrate dilutes 1+9 whereas the powdered developer dilutes 1+1 to 1+3, I would think not. Presumably a hydroxide is substituted for the carbonate.

    Liquid Dektol: http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/kodak-dektol-5l-conc-602-p.asp

    Tom
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Sort of, but not quite.

    D72/Dektol is an MQ developer, using Carbonate as the alkali, while Liquid Dektol is a Dimezine/Hydroquinone developer and to allow greater concentration uses Carbonate/Hydroxide instead, this is common with commercial liquid paper developers.

    Until Kodak dropped paper manufacture Liquid Dektol was called Polymax developer, but with no Polymax B&W paper the name has changed in Europe.

    In practice it's similar to Bromophen and PQ Universal, it's actual warmth will depend on how much Benzotriazole or similar it incorporates

    Ian
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tom

    i used to use solutol ( solutek ? )
    liquid d-72 all the time.
    this was when i was using powdered dektol often as well ..
    while, as ian stated, they are different developers
    it worked exactly like dektol ( as far as i could tell ) ..
    and i used it with ilford, agfa and kodak papers.
    maybe the differences were subtle, but i wasn't able to tell prints apart that
    i had made in dektol and the reprinted in solute(ek/ol).

    i haven't used either developer in years though ...

    have fun!
    john
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Agfa used to make powdered and liquid versions of some of the Neutol range, the powdered ones were MQ based and the liquid PQ. In addition most liquid print developers Ilford, Kodak & Agfa usually use Potassium rather than Sodium Sulphite & Carbonate, this is another factor which affects the warmth of tone, so in general the liquid versions give warmer tones, unless specifically formulated to give cold tones.

    Ian
     
  5. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Thanks for clarifying that the developers are distinct. Recently I have been using Fotospeed PD-5 which claims to give a slightly warm tone; so I was speculating as to whether I could achieve a colder tone via liquid Dektol. However, even with fiddling around with various developers, I have found the most effective cold tone via gold toning warmtone paper (Adox Premium Variotone, and Fomatone) developed in a dilute solution of ID-78 (1+7).


    Tom
     
  6. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    One other concern is your paper. Some papers react more strongly to differences in developers than do others. Generally speaking, the papers I use most often (VC RC papers, such as Agfa MCP 310 RC or Foma Variant III) don't seem to produce much difference no matter what I use for a developer -- D-72, DS-14, DS-15, or whatever. I haven't done much testing of papers I use more rarely (such as the graded FB Slavich Bromoportrait), but I suspect they'd show more effect from the developer.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Arista.EDU Ultra VC RC papers change tone rather radically depending on how old my dektol working solution is.
     
  8. Tref Hopkins

    Tref Hopkins Member

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    I played with liquid Dektol, but fell in love with D72 as a home brew, using Anchell's 'Darkroom Cookbook' recipie. Warmth (or lack of!) can be affected by exposure and dilution and are very much related to paper in use. Good workaday dev, and cheap and easy to brew. Excellent in combination with D163 (gen, softer, warmer) for two-bath paper dev (control of true warmtone papers particularly!) As with any dev, paper or film, all parameters are movable and any 'standards' are purely personal. Experimentation will often reveal things you didn't know your materials could do... And you might even like it! ^_^

    While now irrelevant, Tet Eukobrom+ Forte Polygrade gave the coldest un-toned results I ever got.
     
  9. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Previous experiments with image tone using other developers have lead me to believe that a process sequence involving toning is generally a more effective way to control image tone than relying on the paper developer exclusively. e.g. If I process a warmtone emulsion in a fairly cool tone developer, when that print is placed in selenium toner, the warm characteristic will re-appear, and more neutral papers may not respond that dramatically to developer variance anyway.

    Tom
     
  10. Tref Hopkins

    Tref Hopkins Member

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    Um, I think this depends what you intend to do and how you want to get there, which is all part of the joy of the darkroom!

    Personally I categorise toning other than very light selenium for archive purposes as special effects, and prefer to control image colour through the properties of individual paper/exposure/developer techniques. That's my preference though, and probably reflects that when I was first learning printing all my teachers were very heavy on the toning, always starting out with neutral images. When I discovered what was actually possible, I became entranced by the possibilities.

    I would agree that toning gives more general case control over a variety of papers, and would also readily agree that proper warmtone papers with their super-finely-divided silver content can generally be relied upon as better 'toners'. However, assuming that your paper is well cared for and your developers consistent then the only other factor that should be affecting image colour on a given warmtone paper is the degree of exposure given. Warmer papers tend to be slower, usually at least +1 stop.

    I don't have dev oxidation issues due to mixing fresh from raw components, and my dev tray is thermostatically maintained at the temperature I've chosen; usually between 21 and 24 c based on paper and maybe what I want to do to it. This is purely for purposes of predictability though, and does allow me to do away with troublesome thermometers in the tray once everything's set up and known working. As a bonus, I like the rocking motion of the dev tray floating in the bath! I got the habit after spending far too long lithing... ^_^

    Ultimately both approaches can give you a cold print, but one way doesn't use a gold toner. On the other hand, gold's a good archival print treatment. Skipping the tone stage would be quicker, but do you need to get in special papers or devs? Any one of these I'd say was good reason for one way or the other, depending on circumstance.

    Another way of looking at things is that starting out with a given image colour gives you more space to manouver when you do begin toning! As I say though, all personal preference!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2009
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Tom;

    You are 100% correct. I do the same and keep to a "one tone" developer leaving the rest to the toner itself. It is the toner I select.

    PE
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I disagree 110% :smile:

    Back in the 80's I went on a workshop with the late Peter Goldfield, a trick he had (on a printing workshop) was to expose bits of Agfa Record Rapid in a test strip just to the enlarger light light source, stopped down well then cut the bits up and place in a tray of developer Agfa Neutol WA. He then plucked out a range of densities at various dev times, (can't remember now but roughly) 30 seconds, 60 seconds 90 seconds & 2 minutes, half then selenium toned, then all swabbed and compared by roughly equal densities. The difference in image colour was quite astonishing.

    The key is total mastery of the whole process and that means developer and how you use it and Selenium or Gold toning afterwards, (or another toner).

    A great many European printers use developers and exposure/development time to control image colour and tonality, this is only possible with Chloro-bromide papers, and the older Cadmium incorporated versions worked best, but late Record Rapid was still good as was MCC, another excellent paper that responded well to developer variations was Forte Polywarmtone.

    It's fair to say that Warm toned papers were not fashionable in the US in the 70's-90's, Ansel Adams and others like Paul Capronigro, Minor White etc shunned them, but in Europe it was very different and even Americans like Thomas Joshua Cooper have fully mastered warm-toned papers :D

    Ian
     
  13. Tref Hopkins

    Tref Hopkins Member

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    Forte made some truly awesome papers. Two-bath D72/D163 could send Polywarm all the way to olive green if exposed in a suitable manner, and all the silvery-greeny-browny-greys in between. Soft/hard was worthwhile also. And colour shifts weren't the whole story; primarily you got huge contrast control from the twin dev setup. Something like Eukobrom used 1+1 (powder) could produce blue shadows in Polygrade if hit hard enough. 'Proper' paper that actually behaved itself. I miss Forte.

    Seeing what could be achieved by developer manipulation alone was as mindblowing to me at the time as when I was first introduced to fstop printing and broke away from the millions of slavish 5-10-15-20-25-30 tests I'd been taught to do at college... so much wasted paper...
     
  14. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Doesn't working with development times pose a danger of insufficiently developed emulsion?

    I agree that paper developer can be important; see my comment on the first page of this thread re response to gold toning.

    Tom
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In theory yes, and in practice with Bromide emulsions very definitely, and this is what PE (Ron Mowrey) will agree with me on,

    But with Chlorobromide papers no, we can under-develop and use Selenium to bring the Dmax back, or just accept a slightly lower D-max. That's simplistic but it works.

    Actually under-exposing and very long development times were recommend by many companies to get greater image warmth, and Kodak were right up there with the rest of the companiws recommending these techniques. But they only work with appropriate papers, and after Kodak dropped Bromesko, there was only Ektalure left and you either hated in and were in the majority or were one of a small band od afficianados.

    Ian
     
  16. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    As far as I know Ektalure was discontinued before I started using fibre base papers, however, I could have tried Polymax Fine Art but never got around to it.

    Tom
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Polymax just about got to Ilford standards of quality.

    Kodak's problem was they kept changing papers almost every 6 months, it probably wasn't quite like that but that's what it seemed back then. So few people bought Kodak. (In the UK).

    Ian
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Varying development time with todays modern Cl/Br and Cl emulsions runs the risk of overdevelopment with little change in tonality at the price of fog or other variability.

    I have to agree with Tom that the less risky and more repeatable route is via constant development in a single developer and then toning after a constant tail end process. This will give a constant batch-to-batch repeatability of image tones. It can even be duplicated across paper types with much less "fiddling" with the parameters.

    PE
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW, almost all of my printing is done using Polymax Developer and RC paper. It gives me good neutral tone on Ilford and Oriental and Kodak neutral tone paper, warm tone on Ilford warm tone paper and, not surprisingly, cool tone on Ilford cool tone paper.

    I don't see any objectionable colour casts. The cool tone and warm tone papers respond reasonably well to Selenium toning, while the neutral tone paper hardly responds at all.

    It is also convenient to use, and economical.

    Was that what the OP was originally asking :smile:?

    Matt
     
  20. Tref Hopkins

    Tref Hopkins Member

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    ^_^ It has got quite a long way o/t!

    I have used liquid Dektol and I obviously home brew D72. I was able to get similar places, but the liquid stuff was way more expensive. Surprise surprise. Maybe it was a little colder, but that would pretty much stack with the different components. I certainly wouldn't have called it a 'cold' developer, nothing like Eukobrom.
     
  21. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've not tried Tetenal Eukobrom. I do have a bottle of Moersch SE6 but haven't worked with it enough yet to form an opinion.

    Tom