Mixing Developers in Printing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kintatsu, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    I mixed up a batch of Eukobrom Saturday, but after reading that adding HC-110 can extend paper developer's life and help with the high values on the Covington site, I added about 3ml to the mix.

    After printing 10 5x7s, I put the chemical away. I printed again today, and got great results. The developer acted like fresh, and their was no change in tone. The times remained the same, so I'm inclined to think that a little HC-110 to my Eukobrom is a good thing. Usually, the developer is good for 1 session.

    Does anyone have any experience in this matter? Is this likely to be a fluke, or does the HC-110 actually preserve print developer for several days?
     
  2. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I don't understand the point of extending the life of a developer by adding another developer. If the amount of developer Y added to developer X is enough to have some sort of effect on tray life or capacity, it may also be changing other working properties of developer X (contrast, print colour). If you like Eukobrom, use Eukobrom. When you approach capacity, mix some more. Simple as that.
     
  3. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    Normally, I don't print enough to exhaust the developer. With Eukobrom, that takes more prints than I'm running. The working solution doesn't last beyond the next day, so it gets chucked. I tried this as an experiment. I like the idea of being able to mix up a batch on Friday, and print on Sunday. Another advantage of this is being able to do more with the highlights without impacting the shadows, but exposing and developing the negative for that provides for the ranges desired in most cases.

    I am still quite curious about other's experiences with this, or something like it, and how mixing can improve or degrade a print.

    Thanks for the advice, though!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2013
  4. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    To reduce the working capacity a bit, and hence to economise on use of the concentrate per session, you could increase the dilution from 1:9 to - say - 1:14 ? The time and agitation may need to be modified of course, and with some developers dilution affects tone too.

    I have not tried mixing different developers, though I can confirm that doing some replenishment (with the same developer type) in a Nova tank system seems to work quite well.
     
  5. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    I've tried it at 1+18, and gotten decent results, with less waste. The problem is the shift from neutral to warmer tones. I'd rather use at, or slightly lower dilutions than, recommended. The tones don't shift, and in smaller batches, it's not too big a waste.

    Thanks!
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    For all we know and you know you might have discovered a real boost to developer longevity without any drawbacks. However two days as opposed to one day's life is probably not enough for most people to make a difference.

    Keep us informed of how long it does last. I for one would be interested in what the limits of its life is and I suspect there are others here who would also be interested.

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  7. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    The addition of HC110 to print developer was an old trick that I learnt when I worked for good old British High Speed Rail. It was common practice to help with massive print runs, extended periods of printing and dealing with the negatives of some of the 'senior' photographers who always seriously over souped their negatives.

    I believe that I discussed this with Michael Maunder from Speedibrews many years ago and he was of the opinion that it was not the HC1110 per se rather it was simply a result of the change in PH and the introduction of a restrainer present in the HC110.

    Personally, whilst principally being a devotee of always working with fresh developer, when I run workshops over several days, I find that my developer of choice for too many moons to mention - Dokumol - delivers working life over several days and perhaps this might be something you would like to try. In comparison to Eukobrom you will also find that Dokumol at 1 + 6 delivers more overall contrast, more micro-contrast and a similar image colour.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  8. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    It's been 4 days now, I haven't printed, but plan to do a couple that have been waiting. I'll let you know.
     
  9. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    It's interesting to know that folks have been doing it for some time, and using it to enable printing overdeveloped or overexposed negatives. I suppose that makes it worth the effort in some cases!

    Unfortunately, I don't know enough to say, although I would think that just changing the PH and adding your own restrainer, perhaps potassium bromide, would be sufficient.

    Thanks for the tip on Dokumol. Tetenal products are reasonably easy to obtain here, and at an affordable price. When I finish my Eukobrom, I'll have to remember to try it out. I like neutral to cool tones, and Eukobrom when diluted too much, or the development is too long loses that feature.

    Your website has some very nice photos, Thanks for the tips and information.
     
  10. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    In case anyone is interested- here's an update- I printed 3 shots last night, with beautiful results and no change in development time. Tonight, I printed 5 shots, and had the images come up very quick. The change in development time was likely due to the use of Foma Variant 311, but the developer is just as strong as it was Saturday. With the shortened times, a very cool tone was produced. My test paper for the initial check was Ilford's MGIV exposed to room light and the paper went black in about 30 seconds. My times on the Foma were about 15-20 seconds for shots that took 30-60 last night on MGIV.
     
  11. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    > images come up very quick

    If you use print developer longer you'll get longer development times. This is not due to en exhaustion in a closer sense but of the increased concentration of bromide, which reduces development speed (but prevents the highlights form getting gray).
    To reduce this effect one could use print developer based on Phenidone. I don't know whether such a dev exist. Phenidone reacts lesser to bromide.
     
  12. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    The thing with last night's prints, wasn't that they developed too slow, or even slower. The MGIV developed in normal time, the Foma developed too fast. I had expected little to no action, as the solution was mixed Saturday and used for 4 days, with yesterday being the 5th day. Of course, only printing a total of 20 5x7s shouldn't exhaust it too much, but the time in a half full bottle will cause oxidation and a loss of activity. The issue with the Foma, that I hadn't caught, was that they add developing agent to the paper. That's why the times were shorter. The Ilford, without the agents, developed normally.

    I will try to use it again tomorrow, just to see if it's holding up. If it lasts a week, that should be good for me, as I can mix it up a day or more before printing.

    I would still like to find out more about the use for highlight control, and any impact it might have on the rest of the process.

    As for the phenidone tip, that's interesting to note, thanks, I'll check into it.