Massive Development Chart

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MartinCrabtree, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Is the info here reliable enough to use w/o question? I'll soon return to the darkroom after literally decades. It'll come back after a few screw ups but I'd like to keep the mistakes my own. What say ye?

    Thanks.
     
  2. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I've used the chart when I had no other information, and so far, it's worked well. Not to say the times many need some 'tweeking', but they have worked for the few times I've needed it.
    I do always try to get the developer manufacturers data if I can, but sometimes there is no other published film/developer information. Try it on a non-important roll if there is a concern.
     
  3. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    I've used the MDC without problems. it is a lot from makers suggested times, and should be taken aa a starting point, but it has always been fine for me, the one exception being Fotospseed FD10 developer which I tried for a while, but even Fotospeeds times did not work for me,
    Richard
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I don't think I've ever gotten bad results from the MDC - as noted, it may need adjustment for your personal uses (filtered vs unfiltered water, hard vs soft water, other chemical impurities, temperature requirements, etc). But in my experience if you use their time/temp/agitation schemes, you'll get workable negatives, even good ones.
     
  5. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    There is another site which I use called Digitaltruth.com Contrary to what it says there is no sign of anything digital about it.
     
  6. wilfbiffherb

    wilfbiffherb Member

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    same site
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I only used MDC a few times and seems to work so far.

    Jeff
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Yes it's reliable, but for serious photographers, they're only a place to start. You'll have to come up with your own times. As for me, those dev times are a little flat for my diffusion color head so I end up usually printing on grade 3. I think these times might work if you're using a condenser head enlarger or scan your negs. I don't assume that all development times will work for all situations.
     
  9. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Well, you'll be f@$# if you use the Rodinal numbers, which are a direct repeat of the AGFA tech sheets, and the comprehensive AGFA data sheets state the times are for a Gamma of .65 rather than the Kodak standard of .56 so you'll get blasted overdeveloped negs. Which is my beef with MDC, they just say numbers and don't give anything behind it.
    There is so much good info is on the web, you can access just about anything if you try, info that took many talented photo engineers best efforts to make sure that things work the way they are supposed to, why not make the ever so slightly extra effort to access the Correct info rather than just trust a number aggregator. But hey, its your film....
     
  10. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Well trusting the MDC or trusting the "good info on the web" is pretty much the same for an amateur like me. I have to start somewhere and it appears the MDC will give me that start. Thanks.
     
  11. welly

    welly Member

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    So where might the correct info on the web be?
     
  12. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Kodak. Ilford. Fuji.
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The MDC is found on the Digital Truth site.
     
  14. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I think RidingWaves exaggerates maybe a tiny bit? I've been using the MDC (app in my phone these days) for processing with Rodinal for the last nearly a decade - with APX100, then Plus-X, and now Neopan & TXP... and unless I do something really silly, I always get decent printable negs that come out how I imagine they should.

    Marc!
     
  15. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    The OP asked if it is Reliable to Use Without Question. I just pointed out one example of the number given as being repeated without the correct additional (important) information. Besides, most casual users often neglect obvious potential variables in their process, stuff like is the thermometer precise? (are you sure? By calibrating with a known standard such as a Kodak Process thermometer?) Is the developer temp shifting during processing? Perhaps processing at .65 vs .56 is not a big deal but to some careful workers it matters beyond getting merely Decent Printable Negs.

    And As I Said, hey its your film. If you trust that site without question that's your biz. I don't.
     
  16. dorff

    dorff Member

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    I'd say they are a good starting point, and I have used them extensively because I seldom develop with the dilutions given in the film boxes. That said, you will have to figure out what you want to do with the film afterwards. The "ideal" densities are different for scanning vs enlarging, and again different for diffusion vs condenser enlargers. You can use a few thumb rules and get pretty close, though. Fortunately, it is possible to get decent prints out of slightly under- or over-developed negatives using contrast control and other techniques. It is also possible to modify the negative density up or down (usually irreversibly) with reducers or intensifiers, of which there are quite a few formulae. The latter always holds some risk, though, and if you want to do it with a precious negative, it is worth doing test runs with reference strips.

    Given the above, the web times outside of manufacturers' data have the same reliability concerns, so always try to verify what the intended use of the publisher was. Most people develop for scanning, which is usually a less dense neg than for printing onto VC paper. The problem with scanning lies in the constraints on DMax, as I understand. It is sometimes really difficult to get a good scan out of an over-developed dense negative, because the light source simply does not give enough light, and the scanning time is what it is. It is not like in the darkroom where you can give more time for less light. At least that is how I interpret it. My solution has been to do multiple scans, sometimes as many as 16, and to blend them in Photoshop using Layers with blending set appropriately (have to go check my notes on that). It is not perfect, but it has saved a few images for me. Still, it is more work than I would like. So I try to split it halfway, so that I get relatively good scans and relatively good prints. That means developing ever so slightly shorter than most of the times on MDC or in the boxes. ALWAYS shoot test strips with every film/developer combo you want to use. Unless you are willing to accept just about anything in the results, standardise on as few developers and dilutions as possible. It is really hard to keep track of everything. I have settled on Rodinal and HC-110 as my developers, although I use TMax and occasionally caffenol too, but only with certain films. Rodinal is the cheapest, but tends to fog some films (Rollei RPX400, Kentmere 400), so for those I use HC-110.

    Edit: I should also add that it will stand you in good stead to devote a bit of time and effort to shooting a few test rolls before you jump into photography per se. A good colour checker card with white to black gradations and a grey towel are two useful tools. My check works as follows: Take a mid-grey towel (the hue is not important), and photograph it at -5 to +5, with 1-stop increments, making notes as you go along. The reason for using a towel is that you need some detail to discern whether the film is recording detail or not. It is nearly impossible to tell when using a completely smooth surface. Then develop and see what you can extract when printing with your enlarger (or scanning, of course). If you can print the -5 (zone 0) as a black with barely visible details, and the +4 (zone 9) as a white with barely visible details, then you will be fine. The +5 is there to see if you are underexposing or underdeveloping. If it is not dense enough, you know where the problem lies. That is my method, but of course others may have a different way of doing things.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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