Paper developers: Multigrade/Dektol/LPD

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by images39, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. images39

    images39 Member

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    For paper developers, I've only used Ilford Multigrade to date. I've acquired some Dektol and some LPD paper developers, but haven't tried them as yet, and am interested in the differences that others have observed among these paper developers. For example, do Dektol or LPD yield "softer" print contrast than Multigrade? Any other differences? I'm using Ilford RC Pearl and RC Pearl Warmtone papers.

    Any insights would be appreciated...

    Dale
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Dektol had always been my choice of developer until I tried LPD. LPD (IMO)outshines Dektol. It lasts longer, and you control tone by dilution without affecting development time. Use straight for cold tone, and dilute more for warmer tones. I still have a ton of Dektol on hand, as well as Selectol and Selectol soft, but I get the benefits of all those in one developer with LPD.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You'll see a difference with the Warm tone paper, Dektol is much colder in tone, there shouldn't be s a significant difference with contrast.

    Rick, there's a big difference using Selectol & Selectol soft which can't be obtained with a dev like LPD or Dektol, it's more noticeable with Warm tone papers.

    Ian
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I consider Dektol to be a developer of higher contrast than Multigrade and LPD.

    LPD is a bit unique here in that it lasts long enough that you can use it replenished. Same developer works fine for six months or more.

    To me, LPD gives better separation in the shadows, and the highlights are 'calmer' with smoother transitions of tone than both the others. My printing system is based on Fomabrom 112 and LPD, though, so if I switched paper developers, I would have to start working on how I develop my negatives again.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
     
  5. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Hi Dale, I have used all three of those developers and prefer LPD as well. Dektol is the most contrasty. Mutigrade is a great developer as well. But for my money LPD is very economical and lasts a long time. I've been using 130 1:1 lately and re-using the working solution for months. The stuff is amazing. It lasts forever. My recommendations to anyone looking for paper developers are LPD and 130. That's all I'll ever use.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Ian

    How does ID-78 (Ilford Warmtone, Agfa Neutol WA) compare to LPD?
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    LPD is a Neutral toned developer according to the manufacturer's data-sheet, so it would be more comparable to Neutol NE (liquid) and Ilford Multigrade.

    Ian
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    So, LPD is 'colder' than ID-78 but 'warmer' than Dektol, correct?
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Try them with negatives you have printed before to see how you like them. Neither Dektol nor LPD will be softer. Dektol will have a somewhat colder tone.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes, but remember that a warm tone developer is significantly warmer than a Neutral tone developer, the differences between a Colder tone developer like Dektol and a Neutral tone developer far less so. The specific cold tone developers like the discontinued Ilford Coldtone and Neutol Bl are a bit colder toned than Dektol.

    Ian
     
  11. images39

    images39 Member

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    Thanks for the replies on paper developers, some very helpful comments here. I mixed up some Dektol stock solution last night, but from the comments posted here, I think I should try LPD for the prints I'm making on Ilford Pearl Warmtone RC paper.

    Dale
     
  12. kapro

    kapro Member

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    Hi Thomas,

    are you able to compare Fomabrom with Forte's Bromofort B 10. It's my beloved paper and I have couple of hundreds sheets yet. It seems I'll have to consider new baryta graded matt paper this year since my Bromofort will be gone... I'm looking for most similar paper. Suppose Fomabrom could be solution.. Have you ever tried Fomabrom with Amidol or Ansco 130? If yes, what's your opinion?
    K.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Hello K,

    Since Forte is no longer, I can't compare them.
    The Foma paper has a long range, and a beautiful neutral color. It curls a lot when drying, so getting it flat is sometimes an issue.

    While I have used Weston's Amidol and loved it with Emaks paper, I ascribe improvements of my prints to technique. Switching to replenished LPD was mostly for practical reasons, but it also yields incredible open shadows, and highlights that can tolerate very high contrast negs.
    130 is great too, but I've stopped ascribing magic to print developers.
    The only thing I stay away from is really soft working developers, and sometimes I would like a colder tone in the prints, but in the end it's the tonality of the finished print that matters, and in that regard I cannot pick Amidol over 130 or LPD. Just pick one for your printing system and make lots of prints. They're all fantastic.
     
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  15. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I use it down to about 60*F without ill effect. It's slower, but prints are highly similar to higher temp ones.

    It's best if you can keep the chemistry at about 70*F for consistency, though.
     
  17. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    The space is going to be cold in the Winter, what is the best way to keep the trays themselves warm enough?
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I use a hot water bath. Others use electric warmers.
    I am yet to meet an electric warmer that takes the chemistry up to 70 degrees from my darkroom's ambient temperature of 45 degrees, hence the water bath.
     
  19. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    My darkroom is in the basement so it's cool all year long, but especially cool in the winter. I mix the developer in a large glass graduate and put into a hot water bath to bring up to 70 degrees. I then pour into the tray. Under the tray I use a heating pad that I bought at walmart. It has 4 heat settings and depending on how cold the ambient air temperature is in the darkroom I pick the correct setting to keep the developer at, or atleast very close to 70 degrees.
     
  20. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have been using the same Dektol in my darkrooms for 35+ years. I think its good stuff.

     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Dektol works well but once mixed to working strength it has a very short tray life, and not much longer even poured back into a full bottle.

    I had last printed in November, and poured my working strength LPD back into a plastic bottle, squeezed the air out and capped it. I next printed the weekend of January 17th, and the solution was still fine.

    I wish I had time to print more often but that's only a bit unusual. LPD is great for life of the working solution.

    I've been using Ilford Warm Tone with MGWT paper too, and it seems to keep nearly as well at working strength. I haven't compared it yet to a higher, warmer dilution of LPD for warm tones.
     
  22. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    Six reason to like LPD:

    1. Reduces Dektol black stains in the developing tray.
    2. Allows minor color shifts
    3. Longer shelf life than Dektol in a working tray, stored as stock solution, and higher tray capacity.
    4. Cheaper than 130 which is a better developer than Dektol
    5. Avoids Metol
    6. Now this is real subjective....is it just my perception Dektol dumps delicate shadow separation.
     
  23. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    This is an old thread, but a good one so I'm bumping it - hope no one minds.

    I've got a couple of cans of LPD - I bought one when I was at B&H in NYC in 2007 and I bought another can a year and a half ago. I've yet to open either one but I think it's time, since I'm flush out of Ansco 130 and have the itch to do some serious printing again.

    Who's using LPD these days, and what are your tips about using it? I like the idea of using it with high dilution for warm tones in addition to using it as a normal neutral-tone developer.
     
  24. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Still using LPD, but haven't used any warm tone paper for a couple of years now, since I've run out of Forte polywarm tone.. The batch of LPD I'm currantly using is almost two years old and still acts fresh.
     
  25. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I too enjoy LPD. it is my main paper developer. I dilute it 1:3 normally. Gives good results on Ilfords MG papers. I do have a bottle of Eukobrom and Dukomol waiting in my darkroom as well. I'm going to try those alongside LPD with the new ilford classic and cool tone paper when I get around to it. I've got the serious itch to print!
     
  26. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Years ago I would use two developing trays one with Selctol Soft and one with Dektol. For whatever reason I thought the Dektol was too "harsh" I would develop for the first 1/3 in the Selectol and then the 2/3 in Dektol. I was using graded paper so at least to my eye I could get in between grades that way. Once I got an Aristo VC light I used Zone VI or Dektol with Ilford multigrade but it sounds like LPD is worth a try.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/