Paper Developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by arigram, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    What about Paper Developers?
    Do people have favourites?
    I mean, there is so much about Film Developers: The Church of Rodinal, the Taliban of Pyro, PC-TEA fanatics, XTOL advocates and the Holly Martyrs of D-76. But I know nothing really about paper developers.
    I have been using Ilford's Multigrade liquid since the beginning of [my darkroom] time because it's readily available around here (and that says a lot). The only others I can find are PQ Universal and Agfa Neutol.

    I am aware of the three tone categorisation of developers (neutral,cold,warm) but so far I have only used neutral papers like Ilford Multigrade RC and FB. The only warm developer I know of is Agfa Neutol WA which will be probably a bitch to find so I am not sure if its worth the trouble. I have yet to try papers other than Ilford (and hope I will eventually have the opportunity to do so) so maybe I can't be very specific.
    Every company that makes chemicals bring out atleast a couple of developers so I am curious of their characteristics.

    (I also tried Lith, but that's another story alltogether)
     
  2. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    I use Photographer's Formulary 130 (aka Ansco 130). While the differences between paper developers are much less pronounced than the differences in film and film developers, 130 is a standout.

    Perhaps the best thing about 130 is it's shelf life. Unlike most paper developers, the working solution is rated for 2-3 months. That being said, I've kept working solution around for 6+ months. It was very dark and funky looking, but it still worked just fine. In fact, it almost seemed to get better , but I may be dreaming. I finally dumped it because......... well, I'm not sure why I dumped it. It just seemed like I should.

    Great stuff, and I like to support the Formulary.
     
  3. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I have been using Dektol 1:1.5 1:2 for years with all types of paper
    Also mix a solarization developer, as well lith developers.

    Tried the agfa line of developers , but quite happy with Dektol
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    M. A. Smith's amidol in two versions--one for Azo and one for enlarging papers. Usually I'll try to do Azo prints at the beginning of the session, then add the requisite amount of KBr and benzotriazole, and finish with enlargements, usually on Maco/Cachet Expo RF graded, which also responds nicely to amidol.

    Formulas at:

    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/Azo_Formulas.html

    Amidol is expensive, though, and not every paper benefits from it, so I usually have a batch of Dektol around or Agfa Neutol WA.
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    LPD, ansco 130, Zonal Prowarmtone.
     
  6. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I used Dektol for years, then I started using Ilford PQ and Agfa Multicontrast.
    Lately by ann's suggestion I moved to LPD and I'm loving it...
     
  7. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    For fiber prints on Bergger VC CB, I've been mixing Defender D55. It's easy to mix and gives nice color. I didn't do a bunch of research. For contact prints, I've been using Agfa Neutol Plus. I love this because it lasts forever in the tray and undiluted in the bottle. When I'm done, I just toss it in the garden so it is good that it doesn't have HQ. I'm going to see if it looks good with the VC CB and if it does, use it or the similar E-72.

    http://www.jackspcs.com/pde72.htm
     
  8. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Its all down to personal choice, it all depends on the look your after and how long you want the developer to stay in working condition. David Vestal has written a superb book on printing that may interest you, good luck and seasons greetings, Bogey
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    For Blue/Black tones on enlarging papers, Ilford Universal Concentrated Developer with Benzotriazole instead of Potassium Bromide. For warm tones, Ilford ID-78. See the APUG Chemical Recipes section for the formulas, dilutions, etc for both of these developers.

    For Azo contact prints: Michael Smith's Amidol formulation or Francesco's split development procedure with Moersch Catechol and Agfa Neutol WA. Ilford ID-78 would probably be a good alternative to the Afgfa Neutol WA.
     
  10. Will S

    Will S Member

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    David,

    I've been using the PF Amidol kit for enlarging papers. Do you see a benefit to switching to Michael's formula?

    Thanks,

    Willl
     
  11. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Developers

    Zone-VI developer- I can add my own benzo 1% if I need to. Defender D-55 is a great developer but it works better on Graded papers. I got some great tones with Ilford/D-55/Zone-ViI developer. It won't work well with Oriental,Forte,or Ilford VC papers. Glycin dev. are great but a PITA as they don't last well. Forte will go really good blue/black with some benzo added to the mix.
    Happy Developing Peter
     
  12. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    [​IMG]

    It produces neutral to cold tones which I like.
    I really haven't used anything else as I never have been disappointed with it. But this thread may tempt me to try some other devs.

    Finally: Rodinal 1+4 should be great for paper (although a bit expensive)
     
  13. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Agfa Multicontrast developer is cheap - lasts a long time and gives great cold blacks - Now my supply is drying up and I am thinking I'll mix my own. I still am not sure what I will try - Probably some kind of Ilford like brew.
    Stock
    Water (125 F)--------------------------750 ml
    Sodium Sulfite (anhy)-------------------110.0 grams
    Hydroquninone---31.0 grams
    Potassium Carbonate (anhy)---100.0 grams
    Phenidone-----------1.28 grams
    Potassium Bromide----5.0 grams
    Sodium Hydroxide-----2.0 grams
    Water to make----------1.0 liter
    Mix 1:9
    I have used this before - I don't think it lasts as long as the Agfa MC but the results were as good for both fiber and RC paper - anyway - it looks cheap enough to mix and if it lasts me a month in the jug I will be happy. - That is probably about 40 4x10 worth of paper. Times are usually 1 minute for RC and 2 minutes for Fiber

    For the good stuff it is Amidol for AZO. That is the Holy Grail of paper and developer combos - So good, I had to buy an 8x10 camera and lenses to go with it.
     
  14. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yep, thats the same as the Ilford Universal Concentrated Developer formulation I published in the APUG Chemistry Recipes section a while back.

    For papers where a blue-black tone is required,
    add 0.05 grams Benzotriazole to the concentrated stock solution.
     
  15. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    I use dektol at 1:3 or 1:4. It makes for a 2 to 4 min development and exhuasts quick but I love the highlight detail and if i keep the temp up to 72 to 75 F. I git hard blacks.
     
  16. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening,

    Dektol or LPD, both usually at 1:2. I don't see any significant difference between them except that mixing and storing the Dektol is a nuisance.

    Konical
     
  17. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Im another Eukobrom user. I too favour cold tones. I've just bought a litre of Moersch SE6 blue with finisher blue that I am looking forward to trying. I'll post some results when I have done some work prints.
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    But is there a reason to use a specific developer than just because its there?
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Absolutely. Just as with film developers, paper developers will affect the density range, contrast and tonal gradation of the print as well as the color of the print. For papers that work well with amidol, amidol gives deeper blacks.
     
  20. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The same applies to paper that does to film. That is the developer can not and will not extend the characteristics of the paper beyond what those characteristics happen to be.

    In other words if a given paper has a dmax capability of 2.08 and a dmin of .07 then no developer will extend this dmax capability to 2.30 or the dmin characteristic to .05.

    Nor will a given developer extend the exposure scale of the paper beyond it's potential. For example if a paper has a potential exposure scale of 1.28 then no developer is capable of extending that to 1.45.

    Differing developing agents and formulations will utilize the paper's potential in different ways. For instance color can be affected to some extent and some developers will not have the energy to develop the paper to it's full potential. Selectol Soft is an example of a developer that acts in this manner.

    Amidol is widely recognized as the most powerful paper developing agent. So formulations utilizing this agent will tend to produce deep and convincing blacks. This is not so much due to the developing agent as it is the fact that the characteristics of the paper are utilized to the greatest potential.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No disagreement here. Thanks for stating it more clearly.